Selecting a pressure washer... what a headache!

So im there already. Expanding my business. A friend of mine wont shut up about adding pressure washing to the biz and he’s right, it’s a service we should offer.

  1. Is it necessary to really do “hot water” pressure washing

  2. What are some typical ones I might be able to find at a lowes or home depot that could hold up to the rigors of comercial work.

  3. I’m assuming best way to price pressure washing is by squarefootage?

Remember I live on an island. it cost me 800 dollars just to ship my WFP machine over… so im really trying to stay local on this purchase.

Karcher Industrial Pressure Washer $1500 This caught my eye on craigslist but it looks cheap. to much plastic on it.

Im gonna continue using search function but any input would help. I would not have made 700$ in one day if this forum didn’t exist and I appreciate everything everyone has done for me on here.

Dont over think it. You need to get a 3500 psi 4 gallon a minute machine, and you can pressure wash anything. Hot water is nice, (I have a hot water trailer unit), but if you are lookinbg to do residential houses, driveways, sidewalks, pool decking etc., Cold water is just fine.

Just make the purchase, set up the customers, and start rockin!!


THANK YOU!!! Im looking for honda motor like everyone said with all those specs. Belt driven if can find. Thanks for clarifying and that’s the attitude that I like. Sometimes you just gotta “do it” and trial by fire… as long as your not ruining anything :slight_smile:

If you’re not running it 8 hrs a day, 5 days a week don’t worry about a belt drive. Just stay away from off-brand engines and pumps.
A direct drive with a 13 h.p. Honda motor and a 4 gpm General pump will do fine.

By the time you wear that out you will have made so much money you can buy whatever you want.

I agree if your not using it 8 hours a day dont spend the extra on the belt. if you do alot of flat cleaning gas station parking structures. Hot is the only way to go huge time saver. might be worth it to buy a cold water from your pressure washing shops. sometimes the home depot and lowes brands even thoughj they have a honda motor or general pump tent to be cheaper and hard to get parts for.

I think this is it… DEWALT DPD3800 3800 PSI, 4.0 GPM, Commercial Pressure Washer: Patio, Lawn & Garden

I personally really like Dewalt also. I’ve never had any issues with any of they’re power tools. They are bomb proof and truly made for the working class.

I wouldn’t want that pressure washer. It will be difficult to get replacement parts for the engine. Cat pumps are overrated and expensive to repair.

Find a pressure washer with a normal Honda GX390 13HP engine with a General Pump. You can easily get replacement parts such as recoils, mufflers, and recoils from sites like cheap for the GX390. It’s a bullet proof engine. The General Pumps are the best in the industry in my opinion. It’s the only direct drive pump I would own. I believe you can have those repacked for 30 bucks in less than half an hour.

Do you have a local dealer of any brand? The best move I made was finally finding some local so when it broke down they could repair it.

Lowe’s carries a 3500 (or 3800 cant remember) PSI, 4 GPM John Deer with a Honda Motor. They often have it on sale for $900. That’s the one I bought about a year ago and it works great for me. I don’t do a bunch of pressure washing but it handles house washes like a champ.

Wayne thats actually the other one that i was checking out.

The only dealer we got here is Karcher.

Karcher Commercial Pressure Washers & Floor Care Cleaning-Equipments

So what about Karcher are they any good?

I would ask Micah or Thad on that. I own a belt drive 3000/3gpm karcher and it has broken down on me4 times. I bought it brand new on sale for about 1500. After the dealer told me on the first break down that it was a motor issue (Honda motor) I took it to a local pro, who is on this forum once in a while (Gerry from and gave me the run down on whats up with the whats up on pressure washers.

The stinkin’ float valve on my motor (and on many of them, except I assume the one Micah mentioned) is made outta plastic. If you don’t turn the lever to the off position while driving, gas will work its way to where the oil is, and it locks up.

Mine was so bad, just the vibration from running it did the same thing. He fixed it for me and re plumbed the pump too.
From what I have been told, its a good brand. I will tell you though, I had a Dewalt 900 dollar 3000/3gpm home depot model that worked for 3 years with not one issue.
When I get another one when I am ready I am having Gerry make me one of his, 5gpm, on a trailer with a reclaiming system. Might as well go all out instead of wasting money on crap.

My advice: Ask Micah or Thad in a PM or ask if you can call them up when they have time.

I have the dewalt 3800/ 4 gal From Home depot…going on 2 years, not one issue. $900 and change. I consider it a good first unit, but Next year, I am buying a second…and will take Micahs Advice…good stuff to know about replacement cost etc…didnt know that…thanks Micah

The most popular cold water washer that we sell has a 13 Hp Honda pull start engine with a EZ4040G general pump on it. I beleive that you will find the same machine in most major cities. As the guys told you if you will buy this type of machine it will be a reliable one. General Pump makes the most cost efficient pump on the market. They are reliable and relatively inexpensive to repair when the need arises.
Tips: 1. Change pump oil after the first 50 hrs. then every 500 hrs.
2. Change engine oil every 25 hrs. for commerical use.
3. Turn off gas when moving or transporting the machine.
4. Never allow the pump to run without water, or to run in bypass for more than 2 minutes.

Do these things and you will avoid most of the problems that people have with cold water pressure washers.

Good Luck on Your New Venture


What is the purpose of this? I have been wondering if we should be doing this as sometimes the machine is hard to start and we see raw fuel coming out the exhaust the first few pulls. I’m guessing the motor is flooded because we leave the fuel on?

The reason for turning the gas off is when you move or transport the machine the carburetor float bounces as the machine is being moved thus allowing gas to drain from the tank into the carburetor until it floods the engine. If this continues long enough it can drain the fuel tank into the engine. As you can see this will not only saturate the spark plugs but it will also drain into your crankcase and thin the oil which will cause engine damage.


Thanks for chiming in, Larry.
It’s great to hear from an absolute authority on the subject.

ccwc turned me on to this pw…

Costco - The Water Blaster 4200 Honda 390cc Commercial Series Engine Pressure Washer


As I suspected. Thanks for the input, we started turning the fuel off and bingo, she fires off first pull now.