Pressure Washer advice?

Jellybean

Admin Team
I am considering the purchase of a Pressure Washer. Any recommendations or ones to avoid from member experience?

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Rusty911

A2OC Donor
I had a Karcher that lasted about a year before it destroyed its seals (despite being well cared for and never run dry).

For years and years after that I've used an unbranded pressure washer that came out of a skip married to the above Karcher's excellent hose / lance. It's still going strong today, is really powerful and is tiny.

Therefore, it probably comes down to things like hose length and flexibility (this is a massive pain if too short or not flexible enough). I prefer a lance that comes in one piece as they seem sturdier.

You might want to consider whether it'll take a SnowFoam attachment.

You might want to ask if the pump is plastic bodied or metal.

For all my failure with the Karcher, which was probably an isolated case, at least going for a known big brand will mean you can get spares and accessories much easier. Just make sure your money is going into quality internals rather than flashy features or accessories you don't need. I never did use the bread maker on the above Karcher for instance.
 
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dj_efk

A2OC Donor
Sorry to ask a stoopid question, but what are all the key tasks you will want it to do? I assume wash the car’s bodywork for one (?!) - but for example will you use it to clean your engine bay occasionally, clean your drive/pathways etc.?

This may have a bearing on recommendations
 

Jellybean

Admin Team
Sorry to ask a stoopid question, but what are all the key tasks you will want it to do? I assume wash the car’s bodywork for one (?!) - but for example will you use it to clean your engine bay occasionally, clean your drive/pathways etc.?

This may have a bearing on recommendations
Ok, key tasks will be washing the cars, and a snowfoam attachment seems sensible. I see on modern washers it is often possible to vary the pressure. This has to be a bonus.
I recall at work we built a diesel powered washer. We were invited to the transport dept to try it out. Stripped most of the paint off a truck cab and severely cracked the wooden sides! After that we were banished to clean only foundry forklifts!
Around the house, cleaning decking and brick garden walls spring to mind.

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in9999

Member
Also a no-vote from me for Karcher, had two and both went in the bin. I believe Nilfisk get good reviews from a lot of the guys who I speak to regarding detailing and model dependant they do come with quite a few attachments. If you want one to pass on to your offspring as they will last a lifetime, get a Kranzle.....but sit down before you look at the price!
 

bretti_kivi

Member
I have a Nilfisk with variable pressure and it's rather good. Turtle wax big orange works well as "foam" - not allowed to use real snow foam here, too close to the water table - and for stuff like stripping the deck the other day it's perfectly powerful enough. At low pressure it's fine for getting the crap off the car without shredding paintwork.
I believe it's something along the lines of the C135. I would pay attention to the pressure and to the max flow. I'm a happy user. A terrace brush I'd like, along with an angled lance for underneath the cars. Note if you clean brick paths you really should replace the sand afterwards.

- Bret
 

dj_efk

A2OC Donor
Count me in on the no vote for Karcher too - Although mine lasted a good 10 years on similarly light domestic work as you intend, being honest it always felt cheap and nasty for the price I originally paid.

From the above it seems I got lucky getting the service out of it that I did! I'd much rather spend 20% more and have something I know will last 2/3x as long.
 

nod

Member
I recently bought a tiny makita pressure washer £65 delivered, seems pretty powerful for the size and all the other makita tools I've had have lasted well, has an attachment for spraying cleaners. Cheers
 

Jellybean

Admin Team
Thanks guys. Nilfisk look competitively priced, decisions, decisions!

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kp 115

A2OC Donor
I am considering the purchase of a Pressure Washer. Any recommendations or ones to avoid from member experience?
I’ve had an Aldi powerforce jet wash since 2003 and have had only 1 problem with it , which was covered under their 3 year warranty !
Phoned & expected problems only to be told wrap it up in cardboard & a courier will pick it up in the morning , it was returned in 3 days direct from the Karcher factory!
Strange Karcher only give 1 year warranty!
Hth
Keith
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wilco184

Member of the year 2015
I've got a Nilfisk E145. It's more than powerful enough and there's a decent length hose that gets rolled up by a wheel at the top of it - it works great and I'd definitely recommend.

Matt.
 

66Beetle

A2OC Donor
Bucket and Sponge is the only safe way for Washing Cars. Seals on Cars are only designed to stop rain water / spray at very low pressure. Not the High Pressure from Pressure Washers. They cause damage by forcing water past seals where it was never meant to go. They do not even work to wash Road film away. Complete waste of time and money.
 

depronman

A2OC Donor
I agree fully with @66Beetle a good hose pipe, bucket with grit gaurd hot water and car shampoo is what is needed, only time I get the (lidl) powerwasher on the car is to do the underside and under wheelarches etc

Lidl power washer was £79 and only one I could find at the time with 3 year warranty. first one lasted about 6 weeks and was arking from motor, claimed under warranty and they sent me another complete unit and told me to dump the broken one, I took it apart and the wire to motor connector was loose, climped on some better spaid connectors and never had a problem since, motor is OK and pump is metal - plus I got the spare one for when it goes pop
I would be mad if I found a Karcher tho

Paul
 

66Beetle

A2OC Donor
Just to add to that, we had never put a Car through a Car Wash until 7th March this year. We had stayed at a posh ( supposedly ) Hotel near a Cemetery just outside St Andrews after the Funeral of my Uncle. The car park was under tall trees. When we came to leave the A6 had been absolutely splattered by Birds overnight. Wipers and Washers could not take it off the Windscreen. Went for Diesel for the drive home at Morrisons. Paid to put the A6 through the Car Wash. Even that did not shift this tough ***t. Had to resort to borrowing a Bucket and Sponge from my Auntys house. That did it !
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
Bucket and Sponge is the only safe way for Washing Cars. Seals on Cars are only designed to stop rain water / spray at very low pressure. Not the High Pressure from Pressure Washers. They cause damage by forcing water past seals where it was never meant to go. They do not even work to wash Road film away. Complete waste of time and money.
I think in terms of simply keeping a nice car nice, yes, I'd agree. For dealing with salty, muddy clagg, around door shuts (A-post area for instance), underneath wheel arches / arch edges, filthy mats and so on, you're going to need more than a hose and a bucket.

For all that, I would say that it's rare for the pressure washer to come out at Rusty Towers, but when it's needed, it's needed: nothing else will do.
 

kp 115

A2OC Donor
I think in terms of simply keeping a nice car nice, yes, I'd agree. For dealing with salty, muddy clagg, around door shuts (A-post area for instance), underneath wheel arches / arch edges, filthy mats and so on, you're going to need more than a hose and a bucket.

For all that, I would say that it's rare for the pressure washer to come out at Rusty Towers, but when it's needed, it's needed: nothing else will do.
2 bucket method & grit guards for me
but as above when the need arises the
Pressure washer comes into play,
 

Joga

A2OC Donor
I have a Karcher pressure washer and am happy with it.
Had it for approx five years, but must admit I dont use it too often, mostly when cleaning wheels once off the car, ie twice a year when changing from summer to winter wheels (on half a dozen cars..🥴).
I dont use it very much on the cars themselves as I think it is a bit aggressive, at least on high pressure.
 

kp 115

A2OC Donor
Topic swerve (apologies).
Buckets with grit guards: where do you buy yours?
Thank you, Andrew
I got mine in 2007 from clean & shiny but now widely available from Halfords or a multitude of detailing companies
Google is your friend , 2 Five gallons buckets With screw lids & your set 👍
Hth
Keith
 
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