The supply and availability of electric cold and engine operated power washers has become a huge industry in recent years.
In some retail outlets you can now do your grocery shopping and buy a power washer for as little €50. Some leading manufactures of power washers have seen that the hobby power washer is a more lucrative market and there professional line of power washers is only a small part of a company’s turnover.
Like it or not we have become a nation of disposable power washers.
One of the marketing ploys used to sell the hobby electric cold power washer is on the pressure it can produce either in psi or bar pressure and all the plastic accessories that go with them. The flow rate is never or rarely mention it may be written on the box as Litters per hour.
Stating Liters per hour gives the impression that it is a very powerful power washer, when worked out as liters per min which is the norm it clearly can be seen that it deliveries very small amount of water per min.
Example might be a hobby power washer would have a operating pressure 150 Bar and a flow rate of 360 Litres per hour, with that pressure and flow you would be better off with a bucket of water and brush.
A decent power washer will have a good combination of flow rate and pressure.
Example 120 bar or 1700psi at 10 litres per min. In my experience I have found that most of these hobby power washers have very small pumps and motors inside very large plastic housings are nearly all made of aluminium.
Aluminium is widely used in industry now days and has some very good priorities. Aluminium and various grades of plastic are the main components used in the manufacture of hobby power washers.
The main problem with aluminium, when in contact with water it will erode the aluminium in a short space of time. This erosion even takes place while the power washer is in storage.
All pumps have some amount of oil which is used to lubricate the moving parts between the motor and pump. People have told me that when they would have last used their power washer it was working fine but when they went to use some months later it would not work.
This is a common complaint with hobby power washers. They cannot be even checked for oil they are sealed units.
In my 24 years in business I have built up quite amount of knowledge about power washers. I am pretty sure that it is not possible to buy an electric power washer in the market that has good reliability and performance for less than €500.
I don’t think it is possible to produce a power washer for less.
It is understood that hobby power washers have a life expectance of 30 hours and that average domestic user will use the power washer for approx 10 hours a year, so after 3 years he or she will have to replace it.
That would be exceptionally service life. I have been told some only last days.
There has also been a huge influx of engine operated power washers from China in recent years. In most cases nearly of these power washers have a copy of the Honda engine or if it’s a diesel a copy of the Yanmar diesel engine.
I have found that the pumps fitted to these engines have no brand name. Unlike some of the hobby electrics it is impossible to source parts for these pumps.
These copy engines are highly unreliable and parts will most lightly not interchange with genuine Honda or Yanmar engines.
To sum up: the moral of the story buy cheap by twice.
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