Soft wash set up, or power wash set up?


#21

http://www.watercannon.com/p-6251-simpson-420cc-belt-drive-40gpm-4400psi.aspx?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3JPqlLfX3AIVB7bACh32LAhSEAQYASABEgJB8_D_BwE


#22

That machine is about 500 more than the simpson. It also robs my budget to get the necessities to set up properly.

I’m just not willing to dump more than 2K starting out with a more serious attempt at PWing. Were PWing going to be something I would do instead of windows, I could justify about 10k as an initial investment. Not for an add on, in my mind. The machine you linked is nice, just too much money when I have to get hose, a spinner, long reach lance for 2nd story work, a buffer tank, a reel, and probably a couple hundred in incidental stuff to get everything set up and running.
THEN adding chems. It all adds up, and it’s not like I intend to do PW day in and day out. I just want to get set up with a decent system to offer up general PWing or house/roof washing.

I know there are benefits going with a high GPM unit, I just can’t justify the expense at this point. IF it turns into something that I like doing, and I am getting over run with work, then I have no problem investing in a skid and setting up something bigger.


#23

I totally get all of that. And that is a really good price on that machine.

I noticed this under the description:

I would call them up and see if they’ll throw a 5gpm pump on it for an extra hundred bucks. Worth a shot to at least ask.


#24

Do you really need a long reach lance from what you have posted with the right nozzles you should be able to shoot up to 3 stories, its not the pressure that cleans its the chems, you can still downstream with what you have with an injector.


#25

The truth of the matter is your already in businesss. You have ample opportunity to make money with pressure washing. You will make your money back no doubt. Don’t be afraid to go a little over budget. I’m not a machine know it all , but I do know Honda engines are what I always buy, An hadn’t had a problem yet. Plus 500 more for a 5 gallon machine when you have the room for a buffer Tank is something you should put some serious thought into.

I have a Honda snow blower , Honda generator , An 2 Honda PW great engines.

Yes it’s 500 more than the Simpson , but it’s woorth it. Not only that , but you won’t have to upgrade for quite some time. Just saying !!

God luck with what ever decisions you make. You’ll be fine :+1:


#26

One word of caution on that machine: it has a built in bypass on the unloader. So depending on who used it, there’s a good chance that pump has seen excessive heat or thermal cycling. I would bring a pressure gauge with you if you go check it out.


#27

Yeah, I tend to agree with your points here. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much convincing Hoosier at this point. (Also, it’ll be more like $700 difference after freight fees on the better machine.)

Personally, I’m glad I didn’t find that deal (the Simpson 4gpm) when I put together my pw rig. It’s very tempting for someone just starting out.

Looking back, I can see that running a smaller pump would have held me back on several occasions. Times where I had a full day of work, either just power washing, or combined services at one home, 1.6gpm would have been the difference between finishing in one day, or returning to finish the next.

I don’t know about you, but having to return to a job I didn’t finish in a single day as planned, is a total productivity killer for me. It’s not just about travel time, but trying to then make the rest of the day count, as well. Not to mention the possible annoyance to the customer that you have to make a second visit.

Granted, some jobs I know I need to leave some time open for possibly returning to finish, but I avoid that situation as much as possible.

As a solo operator, this is my single biggest reason for trying to improve efficiency in everything I do. Finish in one day (or less), keep the next day open (and preserve my energy) for a full day of productive work.


#28

Great thread, as I recently bought a roof cleaning kit and I’m hoping to add pressure washing down the road. @Alex_Lacey will you be in Atlanta in a couple of weeks?


#29

I understand what you are saying and I appreciate the thought.
However, even buying the Simpson machine, I’ll still be over budget by the time I get everything plumbed, and set up. The machine, hose, reel, and surface spinner already put me at 2K, and I still have a buffer tank and the expenses of mounting and plumbing.

I know 2K sounds like a tight budget, and it is. I am looking at this from the angle of this is throw away money. If this add on isn’t something I can make enough money offering, then when I sell the equipment, I am going to take a bath on selling it. I’m not the only one in my area offering power washing. Far from it. So the extra 700 in the other machine is going to add up to more money than I am willing to gamble.

As I said before, IF this turns into something I enjoy and it’s profitable enough and I have a long list of clients that want the service, THEN I can justify spending a bigger budget to buy a big machine and set up a trailer or van. Right now this is going to be an add on and I don’t expect at this point, a lot of business with the equipment. At this point, I’m just getting my feet wet in PWing.

Besides, this machine comes with a 2 or 3 year warranty. That’s a pretty solid warranty…


#30

If you’re just looking to get your feet wet and prove to yourself that you have a market for it, I would get a down stream kit and some elemonator from PressureTek.com, rent a 3.5-4 gpm machine to practice on some friends houses, and then once you’re comfortable, line up a few of your residential customers for housewashing and use the rental machine.

I actually completed a dozen or more houses that way, before I committed to buying good equipment.

You’re looking at $100 or so order from PTek, and maybe $75-$100/day for a half-decent machine.


#31

I get the tight budget gamble(?) thing. I have had several customers ask me if I offer it - which I don’t right now - and that came from ZERO ADVERTISEMENT. The demand is out there and people like to “One-Stop-Shop” instead of hiring someone different for everything; consolidate where you can. With advertising of this service I expect that I (and you should too) will have little to no trouble getting a positive ROI on my equipment purchase. Initially I am looking at about a $2,500 investment and that will likely edge up a wee bit. I may even do it in well thought out stages as I get closer to the end of year. (Hope 2019 is my intro to this add on).
Thing is, I believe just getting the word out to every customer - past, present, and yet to be - will make that ROI happen.


#32

Yeah, I understand where you are coming from too, Garry. I do plan on marketing PWing to existing customers, but I’m also going to market to new clients.

Thing is, most people do NOT power wash every year. So IF I get client “A” to power wash their house, I’m probably not going to do it again for a few years.

And yes, I know that lake people tend to like getting their service from the least amount of contractors as possible. However, the lakers are in communities. If a certain company is providing a certain service, they all/most stick with the same company. It’s tough to be the new guy breaking in a market.

I’m not terribly worried about getting work. The question becomes how MUCH work I’ll get. I’ve already figured that if I can’t gross 10-15k in the first year PWing, it’s not worth adding it on. I’ll sell the equipment and move on. I feel that target number is really small, considering the investment. You don’t buy a trad “kit” and expect to make 1k your first year. So for this add on, 10-15k would be minimal.

I’ve had a few clients ask if I offer PWing, but that doesn’t mean much IMO. Until I quote and they agree to the work being done, it’s just conjecture. I have a small amount of people that will call for a quote, then act like you are trying to rob them. I don’t know where other companies are with pricing, and it doesn’t really matter to me. My price will be my price. So there will be cheap people that object.

I’m already over the 2k I am willing to gamble, and I’m ok with that. Like I said, if I lose out and have to sell the equipment, I am willing to take that much as a loss. I’m just not willing to buy the other machine and lose another 700 at this point. It doesn’t concern me about upgrading later. I’m willing to do that. I’d keep the first machine as a spare.

Keep in mind, this is nothing but an add on for me. My bread and butter is window cleaning. There is POTENTIAL with this add on, but it’s a significant investment to “let’s see what I can do with this”. I’m not looking to do this most of the week, I’m not looking to switch over to power wash as primary business. We’ll see what happens. Like Majestic said, no $100 house washes. I am not going to do any, but that doesn’t mean there are not others doing it.


#33

We have two rental places that rent pressure washers. Problem is, they don’t have many, and equipment is usually rented out. Summer time it’s hard to get a pressure washer, just like spring it’s hard to rent a tiller or a pole saw.

I’m just better off buying something so it’s available to me when I need it. I don’t have to worry about reserving a machine 3-4 weeks out, to do a job.


#34

Just research what people in the business are saying about that machine.
Go to the PWR , before you buy.

Then make your decision. Doesn’t matter if it’s a add on , or your getting your feet wet. Buying inferior equipment is the worst thing anyone can do.

4 GPM isn’t inferior , but a 4GPM not made well is, an mayne im wrong about that machine , but if I’m right it’s worht the xtra money to get the other.

Hope I’m not coming off like a dick I just want to see you succeed. You seem like a good dude
My opinion could be wrong An that machine might be worthy , but from what I’m reading it’s not.
Just trying to help !!!


#35

Yeah, upon closer inspection, I would recommend staying away from that Simpson. That is one cheesy looking pump, and it has a built in unloader. So even though you could run it off a tank, you would have no way of bypassing to it, negating a major advantage of using a buffer tank. Nobody seems to have anything good to say about AAA pumps, either.

Not to mention, who builds the motors for Simpson? Are they rebranded Briggs? Predator? Worse?

People on PWR have also mentioned difficulty with getting Simpson to send them parts under warranty. You gotta send the whole machine back to them for simple bolt-on parts.

Here’s another thought, @anon82274079:

If you buy the Pressure Pro, and decide after a year that PW’ing isn’t for you, you’ll have a parade of new guys ready to buy it off you at a reasonable discount next spring.

If you buy the Simpson, you’ll be lucky if it’s still running next spring. And if by some miracle it is, you’ll have a much harder time selling it for a decent price.


#36

I’ve found the machine from two different places, for about the same price. Comes with tips, gun, lance, injector, and 50 foot of hose.

One place offers it tips only for about 150 bucks less. Even though the 50 foot hose isn’t going to be much use to me, I guess I should buy the package deal. I’d probably have 150 in a gun and the injector wouldn’t I?


#37

Whoever you go with, get a freight quote first. And if possible, try to avoid it going through Estes Shipping. They have a habit of tipping thse machines over, somehow.

There’s a ton of great advice on PWR about what the best accesories to get are. Most of the accessories sold with these machines are just ok. My experience:

My gun lasted a couple months, I think. But it would make for a decent backup with the Suttner 2315 as your primary gun.

The 50’ of hose gets used about twice a month, when I want to spray something close to the trailer, and don’t want to deal with the 200’ on the reel.

The lance gets used about twice a year, for getting some tricky 3 story spots. I put quick connects on it so I can detach it from my gun most of the time. I have a 6” lance that I use for most work.

The injector has been in my spare parts bin since new - sure it would work fine. But I like to use an undersized GP HiDraw injector. If I had known about them, I would’ve gotten a couple of the stainless/kynar injectors from Dultmeier.

Overall, this is an expensive service/hobby - and not everyone sticks with it after getting their feet wet. But I definitely think you’ll make out better either way, if you build your rig with long-term reliability and resale value in mind :+1:t2:


#38

Food for thought:

I purchase all our pw items from a local store which focus’s on pw and steam cleaners.

The price is more than I would pay online, but I get great customer service when I need it as I am not a mechanic.

Saving $150 here or there might not be the best long term play.

Good luck with all your decisions.


#39

Great idea, but I don’t have a local power wash store. No one here sells commercial power wash equipment.


#40

I called both places yesterday. The one you recommended is 50 bucks cheaper including freight. The other also quoted me freight, but neither said what carrier I would be getting.

It sure seems, at this point, that you can’t just use one or two suppliers to get set up… That makes getting PWing up and going, a PITA.

Is there a thread that basically lays out what to buy and from whom, to shorten my search? I’d like to get rolling, but to be honest, I don’t have much time to waste goofing around finding this and that, and figuring out what will be the right stuff to buy.