Need Pressure Washer Recommendations

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1,333
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Charlotte, NC
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I have been doing some research on pressure washers and feel like I am falling a bit short on locating exactly what I want. The main thing that stuck out to me when researching is that on the units that are ~$250 to ~$350 is the pumps are sealed and "maintenance free". My view on this is similar to that of "maintenance free" automatic transmissions. As in there is no such a thing and that fluid/lubricant eventually has to be replaced if you want a long life out of the unit. I feel like spending money on "maintenance free" is equivalent to spending money on a ticking time bomb. It's not a matter of if it will go out, it's just a matter of when. In looking at pressure washers that have the drain plug on the pump for the purpose of maintenance (what I've found so far), they are ~$900 and up. So, clearly I am missing something between $350 and $900. I have to be. Are there pressure washers out there between $350 and let's say $500 that have pumps that allow maintenance? As for PSI, I would like at least 3000 PSI. I'd rather spend once and be able to do maintenance for years of service. A pressure washer with a horizontal mount pump is what I would strongly prefer for the ease of maintenance. All suggestions are welcome.
 
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24,603
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Upstate NY
The cheap ones are vertical shaft and triaxial pump. They are rated for a given number of hours. Typically under 50 to 70. The better ones are horizontal shaft engines. Look at who made the pump. Top is Comet and CAT. AR makes some but also makes some of the traxial ones. Most pressure washer pumps do not wear out. They freeze or the guts melt as someone left it running for too long without pulling the trigger. Figure out what your needs are. Degreasing a huge CAT bulldozer or cleaning the front walkway. For many and electric is all they need. And easier.
 
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1,333
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Charlotte, NC
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Originally Posted by Donald
The cheap ones are vertical shaft and triaxial pump. They are rated for a given number of hours. Typically under 50 to 70. The better ones are horizontal shaft engines. Look at who made the pump. Top is Comet and CAT. AR makes some but also makes some of the traxial ones. Most pressure washer pumps do not wear out. They freeze or the guts melt as someone left it running for too long without pulling the trigger. Figure out what your needs are. Degreasing a huge CAT bulldozer or cleaning the front walkway. For many and electric is all they need. And easier.
Regarding needs, I am wanting to upgrade from an electric pressure washer to a gas unit. I have an electric unit and while it is fine for washing my cars, it's not so good at doing something such as cleaning the grates on my BBQ smoker or cleaning sidewalks/driveways.
 
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24,603
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Upstate NY
I would find another way to clean the BBQ and rent one for cleaning the sidewalk once a year. Sounds like the majority of the time your electric one is fine. I have many. I use my electric one the most. Now if your looking for another toy or gadget thats something else.
 
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4,669
Location
Lakeville, MN
Take a look at the Northern Tool power washer units - powerhorse or Northstar brands. Northstar's will get you a Honda Engine and a Comet or Cat pump - and they do have some under $800. I've got a North Star going on 8+ years old now, its been used well, and I just replaced the comet pump on it this year for less than $200. No complaints for the amount of work its done over the years!
 
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NY
Originally Posted by MNgopher
Take a look at the Northern Tool power washer units - powerhorse or Northstar brands. Northstar's will get you a Honda Engine and a Comet or Cat pump - and they do have some under $800. I've got a North Star going on 8+ years old now, its been used well, and I just replaced the comet pump on it this year for less than $200. No complaints for the amount of work its done over the years!
+1 My 11 HP Honda powered power washer came from them, and it is well over 30 years old now. I just rebuilt the pump for the first time early last week. A Honda engine and a Cat pump is a tough pair to beat, if you're willing to spend the money.
 
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435
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MN
Not helping you at all, but if have any wrenching skills, look for throwaways. I have 2 vertical shaft pressure washers with the Honda GCV160 motors. Yes, these are throwaways to a point, but for the average home owner its enough (vs the electric). Both were on the curb as "dead". Both luckily just had carb issues and not pump issues.
 
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1,333
Location
Charlotte, NC
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Originally Posted by ZebRuaj
Not helping you at all, but if have any wrenching skills, look for throwaways. I have 2 vertical shaft pressure washers with the Honda GCV160 motors. Yes, these are throwaways to a point, but for the average home owner its enough (vs the electric). Both were on the curb as "dead". Both luckily just had carb issues and not pump issues.
This was my first approach, but sellers have not been responding. I wanted to get a horizontal washer with a busted pump so that way, I could go with exactly what I want. No luck. I gave up on horizontal for a bit and inquired about vertical engines. Still no response. I haven't seen any curb units in the past 30 days or so. Sellers of bad units aren't responding and nothing is being tossed (from my digging around). The one seller that did respond said he sold it.
 
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1,333
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Charlotte, NC
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Originally Posted by Donald
I would find another way to clean the BBQ and rent one for cleaning the sidewalk once a year. Sounds like the majority of the time your electric one is fine. I have many. I use my electric one the most. Now if your looking for another toy or gadget thats something else.
The problem with this approach is I BBQ regularly (as in 1-2 times a week) and I live in NC with clay dirt that spreads like mustard. The clay dirt stains the driveway and sidewalk (and my house is on a slight incline and yet it still is visible on the driveway and sidewalks). Once a year wouldn't work. The red clay doesn't outright coat the sidewalk and driveway, but there is a slight orange tint that occurs over time.
 

JTK

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12,841
Location
Buffalo, NY
What's the flow rate and pressure specs of your current electric unit? Reason I ask is, my cheapo "refurbished" SunJoe SPX3000 will do what you describe with ease and you don't have to deal with the noise, exhaust, heat, etc..etc of a gas powered unit. For uses that require more flow rate and pressure, I get it that gas is your only option.
 
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wv
What is the verdict on Champion? I have 3 of their generators and all have been flawless. $314 at Walmart, $50 more at Lowes, Home Depot and Amazon. [Linked Image from images.homedepot-static.com]
 
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Lakeville, MN
The only thing that would make me nervous with the Champion is the engine... For me, I'd pony up for the Honda for the long run. But that's me...
 
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Charlotte, NC
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Originally Posted by MNgopher
The only thing that would make me nervous with the Champion is the engine... For me, I'd pony up for the Honda for the long run. But that's me...
I take it that Honda engines are pretty much bulletproof as long as the maintenance is done?
 
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2,162
Location
Flaherty, KY
If you don't like the idea of a throwaway (sub $300 unit), the Champion and even Harbor Freights $300-something horizontal shaft pressure washer is a step above in quality and durability. I have a cheap no-name (actually it has a name, "G-Clean," same company that makes that old G-oil, but obviously they don't make the pressure washer) 2700 PSI vertical pump unit that I bought for $199 Black Friday deal at Menards. It's about 11 years old now and I've never had an issue until recently I began having backfiring issues from the Kohler XT-7 engine. Currently working that bug out (probably needs a new carb), but that pressure washer has paid for itself several times over. So the ones with throwaway pumps can be a good value-- just so long as your expectations are reasonable. I wouldn't buy one to earn a living, but they work well for chores around the house where you probably only fire the thing up a couple times a month or less.
 
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11,641
Location
North Carolina
After tiring of doing the upkeep on a 20 year old honda triplex pressure washer. ( Family shared, but no one took care of it). I decided to get this northern unit. Works great. Will see in the long run. It does have a sealed pump. If it goes out, i will replace the pump with whatever i like that fits. So much easier to move around than one like this, which is what i was using. The low handle is a pain in the back litterally. i like the ergonmics of the upright much better. Not my old one, but similar in the pic below [Linked Image from i.ebayimg.com]

IMG_20200621_194654559.jpg
 
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