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  • Pressure Washers

    The fuel injection pump on my backhoe ate itself so I started cleaning all the muck and grime with engine degreaser and a pressure washer I got for free from 3PhaseLightBulb. It's like an 1800 psi, low volume pressure washer but works fine for basic tasks like this.

    Then I saw Mr. Fixit's post in the thread about wet sand blasting kits for pressure washers, something I thought about a few years ago, but those kits require a minimum of 3000 psi / 4 gpm pressure washer.

    So now I'm thinking about upgrading my pressure washer and then adding a wet sand blast kit for removing paint and a hot water conversion kit for steam cleaning greasy / oily things.

    Trouble is, I don't know who makes a good pressure washer these days. All of the product reviews I've seen are based on "homeowner" pressures washers (1800 psi, battery operated, etc.). What would you guys recommend? I see DeWalt makes a 3500 psi 4 gpm gas powered unit that was expensive but not way out of the question. Many of the truly commercial ones seem to be >>$1k, and that's too steep for how often I would use it.

  • #2
    I bought mine from Northern Hydraulic (now Northern Tool) about 35 years ago. Cold water unit with a Honda gas engine. Kept the pump from freezing and so far so good. It's a Cat brand pump. Not sure of the quality of the new ones, but at least they have an offering at a wide spread variety of price points.

    If you're in the northeast and want to explore some of the industrial options give these people a try: http://powerwashersales.com/ Their new ones would most certainly be a big budget buster, but they may have something used coming in on trade that you could justify, or at least steer you in a good direction.

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    • #3
      My DeWalt has been flawless for the ~10 years I've had it (4200 psi @ 4 gpm). Honda motor. I have replaced the pressure hose in that time, as it burst when a friend borrowed it once.
      I can't imagine the pumps would last long with hot water, but I have no idea. I could see the sand blasting being useful for some things where the mess would no issue.

      Comment


      • #4
        Everyone that makes them just assembles parts and slaps their stickers on them. Here's a site that will confuse you with so much data. https://www.pressurewashersdirect.com/

        Gas job? Honda engines as few use usa made engines. The good Honda engines have the angled cylinder. Red =made in japan.
        The same engine in black = Thailand.

        Best pumps are Cat. The metalflake blue ones and made in Japan.

        I have a ~4 year old Simpson 3800 psi 2.5gpm with a black Thai honda engine which is ok and a AAA pump. CHINA JUNK. I rebuilt the pump after maybe only 6-8 hours operation and a month wait for parts. A month later it was again putting water into it's crankcase.
        So I drain the pump after use and refill it with 15/40 when I want to use it. What a pain that is.

        *These things hammer the engine non stop bigtime and they get very hot. I installed a needle valve on the water inlet and a copper tube to put a light flow of water on the cylinder head.
        The cooling fan blows the water out and it substantially reduces the engine temperature. The crankcase is only around 180 F which is fine.

        Did I say get a CAT pump?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jwmelvin View Post
          My DeWalt has been flawless for the ~10 years I've had it (4200 psi @ 4 gpm). Honda motor. I have replaced the pressure hose in that time, as it burst when a friend borrowed it once.
          I can't imagine the pumps would last long with hot water, but I have no idea. I could see the sand blasting being useful for some things where the mess would no issue.
          Yeah the hot water add-on actually heats the water after being pressurized from what I understand. They are basically high pressure, diesel-fired boilers.

          Thanks for the recommendations so far!

          Comment


          • #6
            I would get a pressure washer with the flow rating and pressure that you need and would stick with either a General or Cat branded triplex plunger pump. Stay away from the axial cam or swash plate style of pump as they have a relatively short life and often cost more to repair than to replace.
            A direct drive pump is likely all you'll need as the belt drive and gear driven pumps, although offering some advantages, will be a pricey upgrade.

            A proper hot water conversion or add-on unit complete with all of the built in safety features you want and need can get pricey as well so keep this in mind. Although I'll admit hot water can speed up the greasy jobs considerably.
            I did run a Cat pump for several years running warm (120°F) water from a hot water tank though the pump with zero issues and it did make one heck of a difference in cleaning power compared to 42°F water out of my well.

            Probably not recommended but I had heard that they can survive very well as long as temps are kept under 140 so I erred with caution at 120 without issue. But that was me with my pump so take that for what it's worth.

            My current pressure washer uses a General triplex pump rated at 3.5 [email protected],300 PSI and does all I need it to do and has no trouble with the water coming from my household hot water either, but then I'm not cleaning off a D8 final drive housing with it either. Even warmish water makes a huge difference in cleaning power compared to cold.
            A hot water conversion is nice, though I cannot justify it's cost anymore.
            Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
            Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

            Location: British Columbia

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            • #7
              Thanks, Willy - I do have a hot water spigot I could use that comes off my domestic hot water supply, about 130 degrees. Definitely cheaper than a hot water conversion unit (which looks to be another $1200 to $1600 new for a base model).

              Comment


              • #8
                It has worked for me Tom but to be realistic it's no Hotsy but then it isn't 7-10 grand either.
                One has to make a viable decision and justify the choice down to what is practical.If you're using this 2 4 times a week to clean dirty greasy industrial equipment then yes a commercial unit will pay for itself. But for the odd job here and there some chemical degreaser applied in advance along with some good warm high pressure water will go along way to make your day sparkle. I should also mention that often times flow can be more important than pressure. I think the pressure aspect is often over emphasized.often times you can move more dirt a pressure of "only" 2500 psi if the flow rate is kept up.

                You can fine tune the flow and pressure curves to suit the situation by using different nozzle orifice sizes depending on what the occasion calls for. The rating of the pump is what it can do at maximum HP input the unit is capable of delivering, it doesn't mean that you are stuck there. By increasing pressure you lower the volume and conversely a decrease of pressure increases volume.
                The flow rate chart below is self explanatory if you give it a good look. the blue numbers signify GPM of flow.

                Also a link from Garage Journal from a few years ago RE: Water heater + pressure washer = hot water pressure washer?



                Click image for larger version

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                Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                Location: British Columbia

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Fasttrack View Post
                  Thanks, Willy - I do have a hot water spigot I could use that comes off my domestic hot water supply, about 130 degrees. Definitely cheaper than a hot water conversion unit (which looks to be another $1200 to $1600 new for a base model).
                  I have a Honda powered pressure washer and hooked it up to the outdoor hot water faucet. It worked like a charm for cleaning grease off of my tractor for about 15 or 20 minutes. Then I had to replace the pump. I won't be using hot water anymore in it.
                  OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                  THINK HARDER

                  BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                  MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                  • #10
                    We’ve had a 5hp Electric Hot Water Hotsy on the Farm since early 80’s with Hawk pump,1984 to present they have there own pump.Thought I would show a Hawk that compatible with hot water.

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                    • #11
                      Booked Marked for Future Reference

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by I make chips View Post
                        ...and a AAA pump. CHINA JUNK.
                        My DeWalt uses an AAA pump made in Italy by Comet, and it's been fine. Seems like it may matter exactly what model we're talking about. My pump is a 9.6GA15C.


                        Originally posted by Fasttrack View Post
                        Yeah the hot water add-on actually heats the water after being pressurized from what I understand. They are basically high pressure, diesel-fired boilers.
                        That's pretty interesting.


                        Originally posted by Willy View Post
                        I did run a Cat pump for several years running warm (120°F) water from a hot water tank though the pump with zero issues and it did make one heck of a difference in cleaning power compared to 42°F water out of my well.
                        Seems like a reasonable approach if you can get the temp just right. I do have a hot-cold spigot in my garage, thanks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jwmelvin View Post

                          My DeWalt uses an AAA pump made in Italy by Comet, and it's been fine. Seems like it may matter exactly what model we're talking about. My pump is a 9.6GA15C.

                          .
                          This. They are all part of FNA Group-

                          https://www.fna-group.com/


                          I just need one more tool,just one!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by I make chips View Post
                            Everyone that makes them just assembles parts and slaps their stickers on them. Here's a site that will confuse you with so much data. https://www.pressurewashersdirect.com/

                            Gas job? Honda engines as few use usa made engines. The good Honda engines have the angled cylinder. Red =made in japan.
                            The same engine in black = Thailand.

                            Best pumps are Cat. The metalflake blue ones and made in Japan.

                            I have a ~4 year old Simpson 3800 psi 2.5gpm with a black Thai honda engine which is ok and a AAA pump. CHINA JUNK. I rebuilt the pump after maybe only 6-8 hours operation and a month wait for parts. A month later it was again putting water into it's crankcase.
                            So I drain the pump after use and refill it with 15/40 when I want to use it. What a pain that is.

                            *These things hammer the engine non stop bigtime and they get very hot. I installed a needle valve on the water inlet and a copper tube to put a light flow of water on the cylinder head.
                            The cooling fan blows the water out and it substantially reduces the engine temperature. The crankcase is only around 180 F which is fine.

                            Did I say get a CAT pump?
                            Aside from the motors and pumps I'm going to guess that these are all made by one off shore mfg., painted a different color and the contracting company puts their sticker on it and decides the price.

                            Same as the Jet "shake, rattle and roll" garbage sheet metal machine I bought a couple years ago. There are about 40 different brand names of these and all are identical. Only difference is color and the sticker. All made at the same factory in China. The Kaka factory.

                            JL..............

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Aluminum pumps are temporary junk.
                              Brass pumps will last.
                              Simple fact, water makes aluminum corrode.
                              That is the big differentiator.

                              --Doozer
                              DZER

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