Need Advice on Pressure Washer

Hi Everyone,

I’m in the market for a pressure washer for my 2nd truck. I’d like to get one that is lightweight so that one man could put it on and take it off the truck. It would be used for screen cleaning, gutter cleaning, and an occasional house wash. I know that many cheaper units don’t last very long. I’d like to get a unit that is well built and will last several years. I would need at least 2.5 gpm and 2,700 psi.

Any ideas?

Brian Anderson
Master’s Window Cleaning, LLC
Sacramento, CA

Hey Brian check out this article:

We use hotsy brand (cold water units) - They get a lot of use, 10 hours a day 6 days a week and they hold up well. They are a bit heavy but we just use ramps to get it in and out easily.

You could also consider building your own from suppliers, you can get the engine and pumps and then mount it on a light cart or just to your vehicle. I saw one mounted to an old lawn mower base, which looked a little rigged up, but it was lightweight, and got me to thinking that it would be possible to think outside the box of steel tube roll cage that we generally purchase, so you could probably find a suitable professional looking lightweight cart.

Reels on your truck and he would never have to remove it from the truck bed.

if your going for light weight look at costco or home depot if you want to lift it off the truck. I dont think your going to find high qulity at the gpm and pressure. I seconf the reels. We have a 200 foot fill reel and 300 ft of pressure hose mounted to our ladder rack. HUGE time saver the reels. Look at the time its going to take lifting it out setting it up moving it around and loading it back up and coiling your hoses. We can reeel up 300 feet of hose in about 2 to 3 minutes. Ive had a dewalt 4psi 4gpm from home depot and we use it everyday for the last 4 or 5 years and it works great

These ramp brackets work out great for loading and unloading, saves your back. Remember it’s not just the weight of the PW it’s the awkward distribution of the weight. I bought mine through northertool for <$30 but I’m sure you can pick them up at other places. Just need a couple 2x6’s and your in business.

Now that you mentioned Dewalt at Home Depot, I did some research and found this one:

DeWalt 3000 PSI 2.8 GPM CAT Triplex Pump Pressure Washer - DH3028 at The Home Depot

It’s only 85 pounds. The reason I’m willing to lift it in and out of the truck is because the smaller units are less expensive, and I would save weight in the truck. My truck is a small 4 cylinder Tacoma. I’m trying to keep the weight down to increase gas mileage. I figured I would be using the pressure washer 80 - 90% of the time to do screen cleaning. I would have an occasional house wash or use it to clear an occasional downspout while doing gutter cleaning.

This pressure washer is rated as “Commercial” with a CAT pump. Do you think it would hold up and last for several years?

Brian Anderson
Master’s Window Cleaning

The motto of buy right, buy once is true for just about everything. The last Home Depot pressure washer may have a lower initial cost but generally high end companies like Cat Pumps build custom units to spec for the box stores. That unit has the unloader built into the pump. Unloaders can go once per year with enough usage. That means you would have to replace the entire pump just to change the unloader. Cat pumps are very expensive (ie it may cost you as much as the entire unit cost just to replace the pump). An analogy would be today’s home office printers. You can get a great printer for a $99 buy-in but once per month you may spend $50 on ink. I prefer to look at cost of ownership over the long haul when buying tools for my business.

Edit: As an FYI, many guys buy pressure washers of decent quality and forget that making the phone ring is more important than equipment. This time of year you can steal higher quality units from guys that couldn’t put the whole formula together and cannot continue in the business. Craig’s List and e-bay are littered with them.

“Buy it and they will call” is a common misconception.

Power washing is an excellent complement to window cleaning. This lady called me to clean the high windows under the porch only, front and back. After the bid was accepted she told me she had been paying $75 for those windows.

My bid for the windows and softwashing the dust and spider webs off of the logs was $650. Job was a breeze and they were ecstatic that they didn’t have to get on the roof to clean it with a brush. We shot it all from the ground.

They didn’t call about washing the house, they only wanted those windows done but once given the option and understanding the benefits of professional softwashing they are happy customers set up on quarterly window cleanings.

We use Simpson, and I’d like a Landa, but for your intended use, maybe Home Depot would work. We picked up a little Rigid 3000psi (low GPM, maybe 2.7?): Subaru motor, CAT pump & gun, nice ergonomics, added some real commercial grade hose. Nice integrated chemical tank AND siphon hose for seperate bottle. We only use it two or three times a month, but it’s so small, it’s not really in the way in a truck bed. One guy can lift it w/o using ramps, which we use for the bigger machines. It was only $550, paid for itself in two weeks. ACTUAL 5-day a week? No, I’d use a Landa or Simpson. Occasional residential or commercial upsells? Works just fine, and has held up far better than a $300 Costco or Lowes special.