Are 3 gallons per minute for a pressure washer good to start?

Hello, I’m a newbie to this industry. I want to start a kitchen exhaust cleaning business. I was wonder if 3 gallons per minute for a pressure washer is good to start with my business?

For Kitchen exhaust 3gpm should be fine. Everything else I would suggest 4gpm and above.

Drumline, Great first question. 3gpm is adequate for KEC. This is fineif your cold water unit can be hooked up to hot water ( hot water packing kit ) or you have a hot water unit. Regardless of what you have hot water is a must.

I second John’s suggestion. If you’re doing anything more than hood cleaning, get at least a 4 GPM machine. They’re a dime a dozen on Craigslist. :smiley:

We don’t offer hood cleaning, but we do a good amount of awning cleaning, which I view as a niche service from our pressure washing side. We have a portable Northern Tool 3gpm unit that does nothing but awnings for us. That little thing cost us maybe $800 (back in 2011) and in 2013 alone pulled in over $16K in awning work.

You seriously clean awnings with a Pressure washer??? You crazy? That’s possibly the worst thing you could use on an awning. Huge risk from blowing the seams apart or worse blowing the fabric apart. Clean it with good ol elbow grease on an extension pole with a cup of SH 12.5 gallon of water and a good soap

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Unless you mean metal awnings in that case keep on keepin on

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Crazy? Naw… We use the right tips, bring the pressure down. In 3 years and hundreds of awnings later, not a one “blown” apart :cool:

I agree on the elbow grease. We do that too!

But thanks for looking out :smiley:

Lol, yea I’d think the seams could be too vulnerable too for pressure washing.

I would never use a pressure washer because I wouldn’t want to be known as “that guy” doing that method but I have been thinking of getting a 6-8 GPM 12V pump for rinsing. It’s quiet and would really help the job go faster than a garden hose

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if you knew how to properly use a power washer it would not be a problem. I save my elbow grease to stuff money into my pockets :smiley:

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I don’t wanna start a war here but I am the only guy that cleans awnings for the largest awning company here in my city. 90% of my awnings are Sunbrella fabric witch they sell and I can sell my services easier to the customer by saying I use warranty approved cleaning methods directed from Sunbrella. Even on the Sunbrella site they say no pressure washers. I’m sure you guys do great work and with the right tip you could get it clean but I like to tell them that I won’t void the warranty and it’s the approved way. Just my pitch.

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with the right tips, soaps and sometimes a brush, I PWer is faster then with a brush only and no more harmful than a garden hose

Are you cleaning canvas or only vinyl awnings?

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How often do you get asked from a potential client “how do you clean the awning?” Or if you use a pressure washer? The reason I ask is, for whatever reason, at least in my market, it’s just not something we have to “sell.”

I looked back and in 2013 we gained 23 (out of 31 bids) new, separate awning cleaning customers. Not one asked if we used a pressure washer or not and only one or two that I can remember asked about the cleaning process. The 8 bids we did not get, from what I could gather, was about our price being too high, and not because of how we cleaned the awning.

I agree with you though, if someone didn’t know what they were doing, using a pressure washer could certainly cause some damage to canvas. But then again, you can screw up concrete, wood, stucco, or just about any surface that we clean everyday with a pressure washer too. But that doesn’t stop us, does it? It’s because we know what we are doing…right? :stuck_out_tongue:

To be completely honest I’ve washed 9 residential and 7 commercial awnings since the start of 2014 and every single one asked me my process and were worried that I was going to use a pressure washer. They get put at ease when I tell them it’s all my hand. It seems like people in my market are more informed and already have done research on awning cleaning. One of the commercial jobs I got because the last guy used a pressure washer and tore a hole in the awning
To be

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Tim the toolman taylor always said neeed moreeee power


Its not about the power, its about the equipment and knowing how to properly use it

Different areas…down here in Florida they don’t care as long as you get it clean without damage.