Wanting to buy a pressure washer first time

I was just wondering which brand is the best and how much PSI would I need to clean concrete. Thank you.

I would suggest something 3000 PSI with a flow rate of 4gpm, there are many good brands, I use Bulldog Pro which is made here in San Diego

What is your budget

Residential or commercial concrete cleaning? Using a surface cleaner or a wand? Give us some info and you will get the right answer. Use the search function the best thing you can do is educate yourself. There are many different variables to be considered.

Don’t focus on P.S.I… it’s all about G.P.M. the more water you get on the surface you are cleaning the faster you will get it done. IMO you should not get anything under 4G.P.M. . There are alo other factors to consider. What type of unit, Portable, skid, trailor mounted, hot or cold water. do some research before you buy. Good Luck.

All good advice. You’ll also want to stick with a Honda, Vanguard, or Kohler engine. Make sure you have a good pump as well. General is the best in my opinion, especially for the 4-5.5 GPM range. Direct drives are cheaper, but belt driven machines last much longer and allow you to pull water from a tank easier.

Ours has a Briggs and Strat engine

Thank you for everything. I am looking to spend about $300-400 on it. Just going to use it for Residential.

$300-400 is way to little to budget. You will need to budget at least a $1000 just to get your foot in the door to making money…and that’s probably buying used and that’s just the machine…you will need to budget in surface cleaner, hoses, wands, tips, downstreamers, etc.

To get a machine you can reli on you need to spend at least $1200. If you lucky maybe you can find something on Craigslist. Or e bay for a little less. Sorry to burst your bubble but $300 to $400 won’t even get you something from the big hardware stores

Ours was like 400 and it has made us 1000’s. Not a super fancy skid loaded commercial machine, but does the job nonetheless. We got ours at farm and fleet.

Gotta ask why you like general as a pump brand? We have had best luck with AR, I like the Honda motors however the Subaru motors are quieter

Gotta agree with you on that

They are dependable and when they do need to be rebuilt they are easy (and cheaper) to do so.

Most serious pressure washing guys will tell you that General is the preferred pump. When you start getting above 5.5 GPM some like AR and Udor. I myself still prefer the Emperor series General pump. I have a TSF-2021, it’s 8 GPM. It’s about bulletproof as long as you keep it supplied with water.

Anybody have any experience with Hotsy machines?

I don’t really know about Hotsy but there is a dealer near me and I see quite a few machines around here. They have a good reputation around here but I have never used one.

Hotsy has expensive proprietary parts, expensive to maintain.

As the others have said gpm is king, time=$ and gpm makes you more efficient. I also think any machine with the unloader attached to the pump is going to give you trouble.

Thanks for the info John.

Hotsy very overpriced, same as Karcher and Landa

May I lend a hand here ??..

  1. friends don’t let friends buy pumps with unloaders build into the head of the pump.
    …they are more difficult to troubleshoot,
    …they are more expensive to rebuild,
    …the rebuild does NOT last as long with the unloader in it,
    …they will NEVER be “Long-Term-Low-Cost.”

  2. Direct drive pumps… were designed to be pressure fed…
    they can last 4 years between seal kits, IF plumbed with a high-volume bypass, …and IF properly treated.
    …that’s only about $275 in pump parts n labor in 5 years.
    …just keep your fingers crossed you can separate pump from motor when you need to.
    Running more than 50ft of suppply hose…
    …or using cheap 5/8" id hose instead of contractors’ grade 3/4" hose…
    I’ve seen direct drive pumps get 2 years on a set of seals, but the average is only 12 months,
    even if you never let it overheat in bypass (with the trigger-gun off).
    On “repair day”, expect to also repair shaft-key damage,
    and replace a check valve set every other time…
    that’s over $1000 for 5 years, IF the pump isn’t tossed into the “bone-yard” before.
    I didn’t even add the possible cavitation-damaged ceramic plungers or cracked head at a valve-seat.
    … that can be another $200-400. each time !

Belt drive…
I’ve seen 5 years out of a set of seals, used several days per week,
but 3 to 4 years is more likely,
to a system that isn’t always getting the “perfect water supply”.
Unloader-Valve replacements every 4 to 5 years… 3 years is most common.
Shaft repairs are only a “direct drive problem”
… but do add a set of belts.
Cost for 5 years, on average…
$ 375. including labor.
…and the pump can last 12 to 20 years, depending on how you treat it.

These numbers are based on a 4gpm pump with competitive parts pricing…
Newer models are coming out with more “model-specific” kits…
with “elevated prices”.
Some are now double or triple the above costs !
…Stick with the AR and Comet models…
Especially Comet FW, HW and RW series,
AR’s SXM, RK and XW series, or
General’s good ol’ TS2021 and EZ series are fine,
…just don’t let’em run low on oil…
aluminum-alloy is NOT as heat tolerant as forged bronze rods.

I didn’t add unloader valves to the above numbers…
high-speed pumps eat TWICE the unloader-valves, or more ! Cavitation KILLS !

  1. NEVER buy with a built-in unloader valve…
    they are made to TAKE your money. period.

if you “invest in” belt-drive, like you should…
MAKE SURE it has an external bypass hose,
MORE than 2 feet long, and MORE than 1/2" id.
We use 5/8" x 5ft on 4gpm systems…
and seals last several years, because you can set the wand down for a few minutes
… without overheating the seals.

e-mail detailed questions if you like