I don’t want to buy the big 3000 to $5000 units. Has anyone used this Or a similar portable unit ? If so, what’s been your experience? I only pressure wash 5 to 10 times a month, though I want that number to increase.
I would stay away from any NorthStar stuff personally. That is just a hot box and you can find much better quality stuff for not much more in price. I made the mistake of going with a NorthStar unit when I first started my exterior cleaning company and regretted it almost immediately. Not that it was a horrible piece of equipment, but because I could have purchased something bigger and better for not much more. Just my two cents.
A few questions:
What do you wash, mostly? What do you plan on using the hot water for?
Do you already have a pressure washer to use with this unit? Because as @SurfaceMedic pointed out, this is just the hotbox.
If you are just in need of a hotbox, this is probably the most reasonably priced unit that I would trust:
If you’re looking for an all in one unit, and really need the hot water, $4k+ is what you’re looking at. Make sure to get something with belt or gear drive. Otherwise, you can get a decent belt driven machine in the 4-5.5 gpm range for around $1600
thank you both @Infinity @SurfaceMedic
I have a travertine drive I do monthly that the owner does not want chemical used on and it is HUGE. Cold water is not cutting it. It cuts a shade or two. I do have a good PW already and wanted a box to go along with it. (I spend close to $1400.
I also clean mostly garages and and drives (2 bays and standard driveway). I need to spend a lot more time understanding chemicals. But as I read through the PW forum I am a bit intimidated and do research a ton and still feel stupid. LOL!
I may just have to suck it up and go to my local hotsy dealer or is the easy kleen any good?
Nothing wrong at all with adding a hot box to your setup, I just would stay away from any of the Northern tool stuff. Just my opinion. Honestly, I can’t give any advice on the easy kleen. I’ve seen them for sale but never any first hand experience with them. Hotsy, from what I gather is a great machine but pricey. The one @Infinity referenced above a lot of guys use and seem to like.
As for chems, don’t let it intimidate you. It’s not all that bad. I will say, I keep SH, a good degreaser (I really like F9 Double Eagle or EBC), some hydroxide, and oxalic on my trailer at all times. That is about it. I have other stuff that I keep at home, but those pretty well stay on the trailer. I pretreat and post treat all flat work with SH (sodium hypochlorite) and a surfactant. I typically use elemonator for pre and apple blossom and snotmenade for post. I DS my pre and 12v my post so that is the reason for two different surfactants. Any oils or grease gets the double eagle or ebc. The hydroxide for off the wall stains. And the oxalic (I use plain oxalic and F9 Barc) for any type of rust stain. That is about it. It doesnt have to be difficult not intimidating.
Don’t let your customer dictate how you clean. If it were me, I would have bid it two ways. One price for “his way” and one for “my way.” I’m sure you can guess who’s would be less.
Oh, and if I’m completely honest, my burner on my hot water machine rarely gets cut on. Ran it today for about an hour just to run it since its been a while. But it rarely gets used. I almost wish I had bought another cold water machine and a hot box because of footprint. Anyway, just my two cents for what its worth.