Electric power washer?

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Even the Chinese predator “junk” is at least as good as the golden standard Honda. Everybody is making pretty dang good stuff these days.
You need to take a look at who made that 'gold standard' motor. Isn't always Honda either. Don't consider them a gold standard anyway. My 'gold standard' is a Hatz.
 
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semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,810
SW Virginia
I don’t understand the problem with “maintaining” yet another small engine. There’s nothing to maintain, this isn’t 1970. Change the oil once after break in and that’s more than most people. Then just use the same stabilizes fuel as your other engines or run it out when done. It will outlast the pressure pump.
I've found recoil started cords break and the engagement mechanism hangs up, hoses rot, mice get in and clog air cooling, carbs gunk up even with fuel stabilizer, cables seize, etc.
Still, after owning two electrics, I strongly prefer gas-powered units.
My time is worth something and I find I'm wasting too much of it using a 120 VAC unit.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,810
SW Virginia
A friend and I compare how many infernal combustion engines we have when we're drinking beer. At last count, I was at something like 14 and he was at 21. He's still accumulating. I'm doing better at cutting back.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I've found recoil started cords break and the engagement mechanism hangs up, hoses rot, mice get in and clog air cooling, carbs gunk up even with fuel stabilizer, cables seize, etc.
Still, after owning two electrics, I strongly prefer gas-powered units.
My time is worth something and I find I'm wasting too much of it using a 120 VAC unit.
Never broke a starter cord but then most of mine are electric start anyway. Never a gunned carb either. I use Marine Stabil (blue) all the time.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,230
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I've found recoil started cords break and the engagement mechanism hangs up, hoses rot, mice get in and clog air cooling, carbs gunk up even with fuel stabilizer, cables seize, etc.
Still, after owning two electrics, I strongly prefer gas-powered units.
My time is worth something and I find I'm wasting too much of it using a 120 VAC unit.
Are you storing these things outside?
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,810
SW Virginia
Are you storing these things outside?
They're stored in a pole barn. Keep in mind I've got equipment that's 40 years old too and I used to do a lot of small engine repairs for others.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Storing a pressure washer in ANY unheated space if you ambient temperature EVER drops below freezing (32 degrees) will destroy it, if you don't drain the pump and replace the water inside with either a 'pump saver' solution or RV antifreeze. No exceptions. Don't matter if it's gas or electric, it (below freezing) will destroy the ceramic pistons inside.

If I had an electric one, it would be a 220 / 1 washer with a 5 horse motor.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,705
Massachusetts
don't forget there are a lot of people that want the biggest thing they could get their hands on, not because they need it but because they like telling other people they got the best. instead of buying something that does the job. when i'm at work i see it daily. biggest and best
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
don't forget there are a lot of people that want the biggest thing they could get their hands on, not because they need it but because they like telling other people they got the best. instead of buying something that does the job. when i'm at work i see it daily. biggest and best
Had one of those years ago, a diesel fired 13 horse electric start very expensive MTM power washer that was constantly a problematic unit. Something always breaking. Finally sold it in CL for about 1/2 what I paid for it. When it worked, you could cut a 2x4 in half with it and it was real good for removing paint you didn't want to but the one I have no, cold water and cost 300 bucks does a good enough jib and don't break down... ever. Takes up less room too...
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Sometimes, bigger isn't really better but bigger always costs more and in the case of a pressure washer, usually lots more. Only thing I look for in any unit is one, it has a triplex plunger pump with a cast and machined brass manifold and rebuildable and it has a dependable power source and of course develops at least 2000 psi with a good water flow. In reality, it's the flow rate more than any other factor. You buy one with a piddly flow rate, no matter how much pressure it develops, you won't be happy because it takes flow at pressure to clean away the dirt.

I never use a downstream detergent injector either. All it does is waste cleaner. I use a garden sprayer to apply cleaning agent though I've heard the foaming attachments work pretty good. I may get one sometime.
 

festerw

Feeling the Heat
Nov 16, 2009
441
Cambridge Springs, PA
I never use a downstream detergent injector either. All it does is waste cleaner. I use a garden sprayer to apply cleaning agent though I've heard the foaming attachments work pretty good. I may get one sometime.
Like this? Yup they work very well. Bought this one and use about 2 ounces of soap with the rest water in the bottle.

IMG_20180714_160005.jpg
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Like this? Yup they work very well. Bought this one and use about 2 ounces of soap with the rest water in the bottle.

View attachment 259666
What kind of soap do you use? Ordinary car wash or dish soap? I ordered one btw.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,177
Iowa
don't forget there are a lot of people that want the biggest thing they could get their hands on, not because they need it but because they like telling other people they got the best. instead of buying something that does the job. when i'm at work i see it daily. biggest and best
Like the little woman struggling to unarse from her 50k 4 door 4wd pickup at the grocery store. And she lives on pavement. In town. ;lol
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
$50K, she got a deal. Nre 4x4 loaded is 80K.
 
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zrock

Minister of Fire
Dec 2, 2017
852
bc
Storing a pressure washer in ANY unheated space if you ambient temperature EVER drops below freezing (32 degrees) will destroy it, if you don't drain the pump and replace the water inside with either a 'pump saver' solution or RV antifreeze. No exceptions. Don't matter if it's gas or electric, it (below freezing) will destroy the ceramic pistons inside.

If I had an electric one, it would be a 220 / 1 washer with a 5 horse motor.
You do not need any type of pump saver or rv antifreeze... Just need to drain all your hose and pump and its good... 20 years of owning pressure washers and have never added anything to it for winter drain and store...
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
You do not need any type of pump saver or rv antifreeze... Just need to drain all your hose and pump and its good... 20 years of owning pressure washers and have never added anything to it for winter drain and store...
Very lucky. There is no way you can evacuate all the water from the piston bores no matter how hard you try and there is an added benefit from a pump save solution and that is the solution contains a lubricant to lubricate the ceramic piston seals and prevent internal corrosion of the brass manifolds. For a couple bucks, why chance it. Pumps, especially good triplex pumps aren't cheap. Myself, I use RV antifreeze with a dash of light machine oil but mine stays in the heated shop all winter anyway.

Whatever blows your dress up. I know what blows mine up, thank you.
 

Kiotick4010

New Member
Jan 5, 2019
28
UP
I had an electric Karcher, and it was pretty effective for most smaller jobs. I screwed it up.....don’t ask, and replaced it with a gas unit. Happy with that too. It’s not an expensive washer, but does well . I don’t put several hundred hours on it.

I am thinking about picking up another Karcher.

I probably have at least two dozen gas powered tools... a dozen or more chainsaws, lawn tractor, couple of weed walkers, splitter, chipper, side side, tiller, three lawn mowers, plud a diesel tractor, excavator, and CTL, and then there are the trucks.

I am going to migrate to as much electric, either plug in or battery as is feasible as I move on. A gas engine is a pita compared to electric.

I may even buy an electric car for local driving, and a Tesla is looking to be a possibility at some point.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
My cousin has a Tesla, the high buck AWD one and it's nice but when he visits I have to plug him into my 220 line. I would never have one myself. I consider them a 'cult car'.

Besides, when the grid fails (and it will), your electromobile becomes a rock.

If I ever consider an alternate mode, would be a hybrid like a Prius.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,427
Wisconsin Dells, WI
I will copy/paste below what I just wrote to a co-worker who asked me for advice on a pressure washer for her husband. I just bought a new one last summer. Here's what I bought. Rated at 4.0GPM and 4,000 psi....actually does 4.2GPM @4,400 with a 4.0 nozzle @ 0°. I have a set of larger 5.5 nozzles I can run with it to change the GPM/pressure. I also don't run it full throttle unless I really need the pressure/GPM.

IMG_20190815_165955.jpg IMG_20190815_170016.jpg

I also have one of these, which I picked up for $50. I called AR pumps and they sent me a new set of valves and seals for it no charge. It runs great and puts out rated pressure and then some (I also have a gauge on that one).

What I sent her:
Don't simply look at pressure rating, it's important, but it's only part of it. The combination of pressure and flow rate is what tells the whole story. The higher the pressure and the more water it consumes the more cleaning ability you will have. I would also stay away from consumer level stuff, but that's just me. Erin bought a cheap $350 gas engine Crapsman, it's junk now as the crappy aluminum pump housing cracked, even though it was brought downstairs every single winter. You get what you pay for, remember that. It all depends on what your budget is.

Here's a good place to start reading:

https://www.pressurewashersdirect.com/stories/343-How-to-Pick-the-Perfect-Pressure-Washer.html

I would try to stick with either a CAT or Annovi Reverberi (AR) pump. Direct drive or belt drive. Belt drives are quieter and they turn the pump slower, so it's easier on the pump for longer pump life, but they are more pricey. You won't find belt driven pumps in big box stores, except potentially Northern Tool.

Honda GX motors are pretty much the way to go. GX are commercial duty while their GC motors are consumer/residential.

No matter what you get you need to know how to properly use and maintain it. NEVER, EVER start the engine without having the water hooked up and turned on. Doing so will burn out the pump seals in short order. Water is used as a lubricant of the seals and for the valves of the pump. Make sure all the air is bled out of the system before use. I normally connect all the hoses and leave the high pressure wand disconnected and then turn the water on and leave it run for a decent amount of time to push all the air out of the system before I even start it. Having air in the system while under pressure will cause cavitation in the pump, which is also not good for it.

It's also a good idea not to leave the power washer run for too long without pressing the trigger on the wand. Water is what cools the pump while it's being used. Most all pressure washer pumps have thermal protection, however seeing the unloader valve is closed, the water inside the pump is now being recirculated inside the pump with nowhere to go. This causes the water to heat up, which in turn heats the pump up and heat is bad for the seals (hence why belt drive pumps are better, as they turn slower and will produce less heat when recirculating the water). I will always shut mine down if I think I won't be using it for a minute or two. I try to keep my thermal bypass from even being activated.

In winter I would bring it inside to avoid pump damage from the water inside the pump freezing. If you don't bring it inside, you need to add pump antifreeze/saver
( Amazon product ).

I actually add it to the pumps on both my pressure washers even though I bring them both downstairs for winter, as it helps keep the pump seals lubricated.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Good write up. Flow and pressure are the essential elements as well as pumps. I run AR's myself. Bit less expensive that a CAT but just as good in a non commercial application.

I'd like to add that changing the crankcase oil in the pump is good practice as well. I change my pump oil every other time I change the engine oil. Pumps take 30 weight NON-DETERGENT motor oil as a rule or you can get the CAT pump oil online if you want to.

Pump oil applies even if the unit is electric motor powered.

Finally, never buy any PW with an aluminum pump body, they just don't last. Always a brass pump body. The crankcase part will be cast aluminum most times. That don't matter, what matters is the high pressure end. Needs to be cast and machined brass.
 
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JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,427
Wisconsin Dells, WI

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
30 weight non detergent is a heck of a lot cheaper at your local auto parts emporium. All the same stuff.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
655
MA
Anyone have a update or anything to add to this thread while I do final research and buy an electric power washer? Thanks in advance.