View original topic: Pressure washers
calvinater Sat Apr 15, 2023 5:58 am

can anyone recommend a decent affordable unit that can use hot water from the hose, 120-140* ?


Glenn Sat Apr 15, 2023 6:20 am

Why hot?

I looked at them last year and quickly decided on a gas model. Yes they cost more but are so much better at getting the job done. Wound up splitting it with my son since you only use it for a month or so per year.

67rustavenger Sat Apr 15, 2023 6:21 am

A quick Google search,
Quote: Can you use hot water in a cold-water pressure washer?
One can run warm water through a cold water pressure washer safely up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit – 65 degrees Fahrenheit. You cannot run hot water, especially at extremely high temperatures, through your cold-water unit. You could potentially melt the seals in the pump, and overheat the unit. All that said your hot water tank likely wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demand for very long.

Based on that quote. I guess you can run hot water through just about any pressure washer.

I own a Honda PW. It has a detergent tank that applies cleaning solution at low pressure. Then the cleaning agent can be washed away at high pressure.

jinx758 Sat Apr 15, 2023 11:43 am

Black Max 3400psi ... from Wally world 3yrs ago. $350
Has been flawless - starts everytime, power to spare, & drinks 2.7 gpm.
Use it on driveways-etc, brick walls, fences, patio furniture, & et all.

Bought extra hose, use 3/4" reinforced HF 100' garden hose, & has inlet barb after pump for " down streaming".
Also picked up 15" surface disc from Tractor supply - worth every penny of $80.
Got a Turbo Nozzle for this season - caint wait.

Only thing is we put blue Locktite on the hexhead bolt holding the rubber bumper at bottom of stand pipe.

We downstream 2% SH, let it dwell, & get to work.
Be careful of streaks on heavy fungus-mildew-algae.
Never needed hot water but that's mainly for oil, grease, & heavy tire marks.
Golden Assassin, scrub brush, & 25 degree (green) tip gets good results.

Went to do one house ... Ended up spending 3days & getting 8 houses on one block.

We couldn't justify the Homo Depot price tag for their 4400psi one.

Use a pump saver chemical & use at recommended intervals.

Best to you ... stay safe


PS ...
We use a 1/4" hose on inlet barb dipped in bucket of diluted SH with a soaper (blue) tip to distribute over work area.
Presoak edges to prevent burning from SH.
TONS of YT vids out there.

nbvolks Sat Apr 15, 2023 1:29 pm

The question to ask is, what do you plan to use it for? That'll determine the pressure requirements/limitations.

Abscate Sat Apr 15, 2023 1:54 pm

All I can offer is that even a measly electric one at 1 foot from bare feet hurts like Hades.

LAGrunthaner Sun Apr 16, 2023 7:19 am

Rent one? $55.00 for 4 hrs and no need to store and maintain for the 11 months of not using it.

Abscate Sun Apr 16, 2023 10:30 am

LAGrunthaner wrote: Rent one? $55.00 for 4 hrs and no need to store and maintain for the 11 months of not using it.

We would rent the gas powered one for a week around 5 neighbors and split the bill. We would get it at half rate if we sent the right neighbor around to bargain, a 5 foot tall Hmong mom

raygreenwood Sun Apr 16, 2023 12:00 pm

About shopping for a pressure washer:

What are you trying to do with it? Most importantly, how much are you going to use it and what is your budget? What do you call affordable?

Are you sure you require hot water? to cold are different and no you cannot run Hot water through just any pressure washer. Different seals and bearing lubricants just for starters. In general can run water up to about 125-130°F through most well made cold water units.

When I worked for a large chemical company I also sold and serviced a range of pressure washers and know quite a bit about them.

As a company, it is hard to beat Hotsy for equipment, parts, advice and service.....but they are premium price and some of their rigs are not any better quality than some others on the market and a lot of everyone's equipment ....pumps....wands...hoses...fittings...valves...are made by the same companies.

First two questions when shopping for a pressure washer is NOT hot or cold. They are:

1. How long will the unit be running at one time, in one day, in a week, in a month? This sorts you out as do you need an industrial pressure washer or will a consumer unit do.

2. How much pressure ......on the surface or the part you are you REALLY need?

Almost 100% of the consumer grade PWs you find in stores.....are rated by a very deceptive method.

For instance/example..... I have a small PW that is a very popular brand and model. At Home Depot you can buy a small Ryobi unit for between $139, $159 and $199.

They are rated at 1600 psi, 1900 psi and 2000 psi respectively. BUT....most importantly they are all rated at 1.2 gallons per minute....gpm.

The gpm rating of almost all consumer grade pressure washers are the MAXIMUM gpm its lowest pressure setting. As you turn the pressure increase knob (called the unloaded valve)'s the equivalent of putting your thumb tighter onto the end of a garden hose. The restriction causes higher pressure......but it also reduces water flow.

So, a pump with a 1.2 gpm rating will make that flow rate at about 200 to 400 psi. But when you turn it up to say 1900 psi.....the gpm flow rate drops to about 0.3 to 0.6 gpm. With so little water volume flow.....that high pressure gets very little work done. It washes very little debris away.

For comparison, the average car wash pressure washer puts out about a maximum of 400-500 psi....but it flows about 1.5 gpm. They are fed from big triplex pumps, belt driven from 16+ hp motors to a manifold. I used to sell and install those as well.

The other issue with cheap consumer pressure washers is load/duty cycle. If it's rated at 1250 psi and you are running it at that are running the motor at 90% or greater load. And because of the reduced have to run it for longer to get anything done. Short life.

If you truly need a solid 1250 to 1500 psi.....which is a good pressure for parts need a pump rated for about 2000 psi and a starting throughput of about 2.5 to 3.0 gpm that drops to no less than 1.0 gpm and preferably about 1.2 to 1.5 gpm at the pressure you want to run it at.

A lot of the smaller to medium shops and factories I go into that need a recommendation.....the best bang for the buck are some of the Northstar series from Northern tool.

Go to Northern tools pressure washers cold water. The first one that comes up is superb. I have installed about 50 of them.

It's about $1450, 230 volt single phase, 3000 psi @ 2.5 gpm. Use it at 1500 to 2000 psi and it flows about 1.8 gpm. Excellent! It can plug into where your clothes dryer does.

The next one down they have a 110v version that is 2000 psi at 1.5 gpm that drops to right at an honest 1.0 gpm at 1100 psi. Very good but it's still $1250. The far better deal is te 230V.

The consumer models.....really all the same. Look for ceramic lined triplex pumps l, preferably as many parts as possible made by Karcher. Don't fall for 2000 psi or higher at places like home depot. Look for one in the 1500 psi range with the highest gpm you can get and plan on an actual output of 400 -600 psi like a car wash.

My 1600 psi Ryobi which I bought strictly for its portability.....puts out an honest 500 psi at 0.5 gpm.

modok Sun Apr 16, 2023 1:01 pm

There is also a type of pressure washer that uses compressed air to blow roughly atomized water.

Low cost and can be made to blow any liquid at any temperature, but you'll need a big air compressor

[email protected] Sun Apr 16, 2023 7:49 pm

I bought a close to new Ryobi electric model at a pawn shop for 60.00, a few years ago. Works great, and my hot neighbor likes to borrow it occasionally, win win.

nsracing Thu Apr 20, 2023 8:18 am

If you intend to do engine block cleaning w/ it will not be EPA friendly. Just too much chemicals to go down the drain.

I have switched to hot jetwashers in a long time. I did like everyone else before and just take the parts to the car wash where they still have pressure washer wands but that got old. They do not like you washing engine parts there.

I got pressure washers I have inherited from other people when they stopped running. They are easy to fix - Pressure washers are great for driveways and things. Esp for getting salts off your under carriage after running thru winters.

Also great for cleaning the sides of your house. I love my pressure washers.

I don't why you cannot run hotwater thru it -

calvinater Thu Apr 20, 2023 9:24 am

just want it to clean the cars, and tractor and stuff

mud season makes a mess

hot water to clean car parts. 140* from the tap.

oprn Fri Apr 21, 2023 8:18 am

modok wrote: There is also a type of pressure washer that uses compressed air to blow roughly atomized water.

Low cost and can be made to blow any liquid at any temperature, but you'll need a big air compressor
I have one of those. Great for presoaking greasy caked on stuff using solvent then a regular pressure washer afterward. Otherwise they are that much better than just a garden hose and nozzle.

I bought a small gasoline pressure washer a few years back but it didn't last long and parts cannot be found to fix it. China made I think, not intended to last. Last fall I found a better quality one used. It has a heating chamber that burns diesel (not working) and a triplex pump with a 240v motor. It does ok but without heat it really doesn't cut the heavy stuff very well. It took most of the crap off the tractor but I really need to get the burner going.

As far as it being worth it to have your own pressure washer, oh ya! for me it saves an hour and a quarter of driving time to the nearest car wash! I paid $650 for this one used. It would have been a $2500 unit new I am sure.

nbvolks Sat Apr 22, 2023 6:56 am

calvinater wrote: just want it to clean the cars, and tractor and stuff

mud season makes a mess

hot water to clean car parts. 140* from the tap.

If you're using it for cleaning cars, then the max pressure you'd want is around 2,000psi, and that's with a wider fan nozzle. In general, around 1,500 with a ~45° spread will do the job.

I have one that I use for washing the cars, that I've had for going on 5 years now, and it does the job well. Looks like my specific model has been discontinued and this is what's in it's place:

nsracing Sun May 14, 2023 3:41 pm

I use just tap cold water in mine. They clean just fine -

Pressure washers are great.

Q-Dog Sun May 14, 2023 3:51 pm

I get by with cold water and a 2300 psi electric pressure washer. I washed my house with it last week. \:D/

oprn Wed May 17, 2023 6:00 am

2000 psi does not get our cars clean. It takes off most of the mud but you still have to scrub by hand to get the last of the film off. If you don't you can see every stroke of the pump in that thin dirt film once the car dries.

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