Advice on next equipment upgrade

I’ve done pretty well with pressure washing as an add-on to my window cleaning business this year. We’ve been doing siding, stone, pool decks, stuff like that. Did a couple of roofs, but i’m kind of holding off on pushing that till next year, so i can focus on it a little more. it’s not very popular yet here in michigan anyway.

I want to really step it up next year, so i’m looking for advice on what to add to my current setup.

Right now i have a good surface washer and a nice 4gpm Vortexx cold water machine. I definitely need to set up a trailer, that’s a given. I need advice on if/what type of machine i should add.

I was thinking that a hot water machine at 5.5gpm or so would give me a lot of extra cleaning power, and i could mate it with the 4gpm for those jobs where i really want a lot of volume. i don’t have much need for hot water right now, but I think i might like the option to move into commercial work in the future as this part of my business grows. and we do have a shot at lots of limestone, brick, etc in the very-high-end residential settings we work in, so hot water would really help with that stuff.

the other option would be to just get an 8gpm cold and use the 4gpm as a second/backup machine.

i’ll probably have $4000-$5000 to put into the whole project, and i think i can get it done for that.

i would appreciate opinions on which move would make more sense to you guys. thanks in advance.

I’m not to sure if it’s a good idea to combine 2 Powerwashers that aren’t similiar in ratings. Russ Johnson,Bob Williamson & Michael Hinderliter just to name a few could give you a more precise answer on that. I always hooked 2 similar rated PW’s together when we needed more GPM’s.

Hey Caleb-In your scenario above I would get the 8gpm cold water PW. Hot water would be better but you can alway add a hotbox down the road(120v would be the preference there).

8gpm is great for rinsing especially when doing roof jobs and house washing. Rinsing is critical to your overall success. 5.5gpm would be the least I would move up to in your situation.

You won’t get far on $4000 to $5000 if you want hot water and a trailer. I say get the trailer and a 8gpm cold and or a dedicated roof rig.

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already have a roof setup on a pallet that will get integrated into the setup. think I also have access to a good trailer for free. that budget would mostly be for machine, hose and reels.

i was thinking it would be nice to have a hot water machine because then i would have the option to do pretty much anything. 8gpm cold would be more efficient for what i’m doing now, but would limit me to certain kinds of work going forward.

anyone else have input about linking a cold 4gpm and a hot 5.5gpm?

If you are in this for the long haul there really is no reason not to purchase a 115v 8 gpm hot skid. It is $400.00 more for the 8 hot than the 5.6 hot. I only looked at 115v prices because they seem to have less issues over the long term.

If you run with two guys, you will throw soap on the wall with your 4 and rinse it off with your new 8. Go ahead and set up an appointment with your chiropractor because your head will spin at the rate that you will get work done. You have to quit thinking in terms of hourly $$ though because the revenue generated per hour will be unlike anything you could ever imagine.

I strongly encourage new guys to spend more on marketing and business structure than they spend on machines but you seem to be well out of the beginning stages. Go run with the big dogs now. Not to compete with anyone, but to be the most profitable and successful pressure washing contractor that you can be.

Nice is one thing, justified is another…Is this something you “Need” or “Want”…Needs & Wants are 2 different things…Just Saying.

If you’re moving into more Commercial work then yes having hot water will be the way to go…but if you’re doing that save up and go with a 8 gpm hot water skid…$7-8,000

If your main income is derived from the residential side, step up to the 8 gpm cold water units ($3,500) and save your bones for a hot water unit at a later time.

Combining pressure washers can be done…But…you now have more parts that could possibly fail…check valves, jumper hoses, unloaders, etc…it just doesn’t make sense to me to do that.

Think of gpm as H.P…If you’re a race car driver which would you want under the hood…400 hp (4 gpm)…550 hp (5.5 gpm)…or 800 hp (8 gpm)…Which of these will make you faster and make you more money?

thanks for the above, it’s good advice. i’ll give it some thought. maybe i’ll see what’s available on the used market in my area over the winter. if i find a good deal maybe i can get a used hot water for the price of a new cold 8gpm.

You could do that and I’ve done just that in the past. Just remember unless you know who your buying from you could also be buying other peoples problems with a used machine. Just food for thought.

Great advice. We are a resi company that handles washing large apartment complexes as well as condo complexes. I want a big hot water skid. I have the money for one. But we do not need one. It just can’t be justified right now. When we want to make the move into commercial surface cleaning then I will make the step. Just don’t make yourself equipment poor.

There’s an interesting listing on craigslist in my area that may fill a number of my needs in one shot. i don’t really want to post a link on the public forum, but would any of you experienced guys be willing to check it out and give me your thoughts? i can pm you the link… volunteers welcome.

Ill be your huckleberry


thank you kind sir, pm sent.