Help with buying a high pressure washer

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:44
ThreadID: 69872 Views:3492 Replies:9 FollowUps:1
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I am thinking about getting a high pressure washer.
I have no idea about what I should be looking for in either brand or features.
Should I go 240v or go for a 4 stroke.
I plan to use it for cleaning: vehicles, boat, house, concrete, practically anything I can squirt.
Any help would be appreciated.
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Reply By: Member - Fred G NSW - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 15:10

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 15:10
Buy the biggest you want to handle, for the most you want to spend, and you won't be disapointed. I have always found the cheaper small Karcher's suit me fine.
AnswerID: 370322

Reply By: ob - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 15:31

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 15:31
We have a quad bike dealership that we owned and operated for 10 years. In that time we have used the Karcher brand, now on our second which is about 18 months old and so far I could recommend them without hesitation. We have not had any reason to use anything other than one of their smaller units

Cheers ob
AnswerID: 370326

Reply By: Member - Johny boy (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 16:39

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 16:39
I bought a Karcher from bunnings for around $120 it does all we need fine ,we clean moto X bikes ,4x4,Caravan,house,driveways and boats well.

Regards John.
AnswerID: 370341

Reply By: DIO - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 16:44

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 16:44
Just make sure that if you're using anything other than mains pressure (filtered) water, to install a filter on the inlet side. It cost me 2 sets of seals on the pump ($100 + each time) before I realised what was causing the problems. Minute particles in water from a rainwater tank. Since the filter was installed (believe me it's amazing just how much rubbish they collect) I have not had any further problems with pump seals etc.
AnswerID: 370342

Reply By: The Esplanade - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 17:57

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 17:57
Thanks for the advice.
Will start having a look around for pricing.
Had thought about a 4 stroke version. Water and electricity just don't seem to go together.
AnswerID: 370361

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 19:30

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 19:30
I bought a Karcher from Bunnings $160 aprox,, I was looking at a Karcher $99 unit, made in China, but a bunnings employee working nearby said dont buy the cheap unit made in China, many have been returned, the more expensive , made in Germany unit had not had any returns any as far as he knew.. I was a little dissapointed in the throughput, about 5 litres a minute, it is slow for things like cleaning paths etc. Obviously the bigger more expensive units have higher pressures and bigger pumps and more cleaning ability. If had a choice again, i would go for a slightly bigger unit, maybe $300 to $400 price range. it really depends what you need it for. regards Michael

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AnswerID: 370383

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 21:37

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 21:37
We can only dream of squirting water on "vehicles, boat, house, concrete, practically anything I can squirt". Wouldn't mind a bit to keep some of the trees alive.
AnswerID: 370418

Reply By: Member - Paul Mac (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 22:19

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 22:19
I purchased a good one off ebay a few years ago. 6.5hp 4 stroke motor and 4 different hose attachments.

It will take the white off rice.

I think I paid about $275 for it but it has certainly done a good job. It was from China but not everything from China is crap.

Take a look at ebay. I think mine was from OzAuctions on ebay.
AnswerID: 370426

Reply By: Ozboc - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 07:46

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 07:46
Main things to be aware of

Electric - NO electric powered pressure washer should be used with an extension lead more than 20 meters long ( presuming you have good power supply) any longer and you can melt plugs on your machine - get voltage drop and increase running amps on the machine which will result in motor burn out or thermocouple ( over heat switch) to activate

check IP Rating - should be a MIN of IP55 -

Petrol/diesel - if you want to draw water from a bucket or other source rather than mains - you need a slow speed pump - ( 1440 rpms) any faster and the pump will struggle to self prime( this is good for use of grey water )

Overall -- Pumps heads from Karcher units are plastic(small ones- last time i seen one anyway) and therefore subject to heat - anything near or over 40 deg can warp the head ( and that's the temp your hose water can reach when left on the ground in summer time - this will not be covered by warranty , not sure on cheaper Chinese knock offs .... but would imagine there plastic also ---- better option to look for aluminum or best is BRASS

if possible get a unit with CERAMIC pistons - they will last a lot longer than chrome plated pistons

WATER FLOW (LPM ) + PRESSURE = cleaning efficiency ie

2000 PSI at 5 LPM (litres per min) will not clean as well as 1000 PSI @ 15 LPM

so higher pressure is not always the best thing if the flow rate is not there - thats where most people get tricked thinking the higher number will be better .. its a combination of the 2

with a turbo head attachment the EWP is then also increased 20% again ( estimated water pressure)
AnswerID: 370614

Follow Up By: The Esplanade - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 10:18

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 10:18
Thanks for a very detailed response. Very much appreciated. Some very helpful information.

FollowupID: 637948

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