A pressure washer can be both a great investment and a fairly useful tool for most handyman businesses.
For those who find themselves regularly cleaning large areas that are extremely dirty, it is probably a wise investment to purchase a gas powered model; while people who neither use one frequently nor have large cleaning jobs, an electric model or even renting one from the local big box store might be a better idea.
However, before pulling the trigger on purchasing a pressure washer for your handyman business you should consider the following important issues.
Cost and Function
The question of what to spend on a pressure washer is answered by another question: what type of cleaning will you be doing?
Basically, if you only plan on using a pressure washer for small jobs like cleaning driveways or outdoor furniture, then you may be best served by sticking with a lightweight electric powered pressure washer.
If, on the other hand, you intend to clean much dirtier things like outdoor vehicles, mold and mildew covered surfaces or large items like farm equipment then you will probably want something higher-powered like a gas powered or industrial pressure washer.
Once you determine what you will most likely be using the pressure washer for you can begin to formulate an idea about what to spend. Industrial pressure washers made by Karcher or Simpson can cost upwards of $5000, while smaller electric and gas models by Ryobi or Briggs and Stratton typically are never more than $1000 at most. This is why is it so important to determine what you will be cleaning.
Once you decide on what you will be cleaning and how much you can spend you will need to factor in the following 5 considerations.
- Electric vs Gas – Gas and electric pressure waters can be very different, mainly in speed and strength. If you own a gas and electric version of the same type of lawn equipment you will understand the difference. Chiefly, electric ones are much cleaner and quieter, but they have less power. Gas pressure washers usually are much louder and produce much more power, which makes larger cleaning jobs easier to perform.
- Hot Water vs Cold Water – The main difference between hot and cold-water pressure washers is hot water washers tend to clean better. This is because hot water shifts grime a lot easier, the machine uses less soap, and it’s better at sanitizing. Cold water pressure washers rely on the water pressure to clean things. This is why cold-water pressure washers are used for cleaning things around the house while hot water ones are used more for industrial style cleaning jobs.
- Warranty – There are a wide assortment of warranties available, so you have to make sure to read the fine print. The important part is to make sure that the engine and the pump are covered by the warranty.
- Power – Pressure washers tend to state their power in two and sometimes three ways. There is (PSI) pounds per square inch and (GPM) gallons per minute. It can be tough to figure out which makes for a better pressure washer unless there is a third stat called (CU) or Cleaning Units which you determine by multiplying the GPM by the PSI. This gives you a way to compare the power of separate units on a similar scale.
- How Portable is the Pressure Washer – It is fairly important to figure out how portable a pressure washer so don’t just take someone’s word on the ease of use. Make sure to try the pressure washer out in the store to be sure you will be able to use the washer on your own.
A pressure washer can add an extra dimension to your handyman service. It is important to determine what you will need from your pressure washer and exactly how you will use it so that you can be sure you have picked the best pressure washer for your needs.