Buying used machines- Do's and Don'ts?

I searched a little for this and didn’t see anything that really answers my question, so i’ll post here.

I’ve been eyeballing used machines on craigslist in my area, but im not sure i want to go that route. I’ve been looking for hot water machines and i’ve seen a few around. Most of them look pretty well-used, bot not necessarily worn-out.

If you were going to look at used machines, what would you need to know from the seller? How many hours would be considered “a lot?” How much money would you need to save vs. a new machine to make it worth the possible risk?

For instance, if you could get an older hydrotek or alkota (or some other reputable brand) 3000psi 4gpm 12volt in good running condition, would it be worth $3000 to you? $2000? Would you just avoid it all together?

i like the idea of saving a bunch of cash up front on a machine so i can spend the rest on upgrading other equipment and marketing to get more work. and i’m pretty handy, so i’m not afraid of doing a little maintenance on a machine. i don’t think i would be scared to tackle rebuilding a pump, for instance.

But i’m not sure if it’s too much $ to gamble on something that needs to work perfectly for it to pay for itself.

Just looking for some input from some of you guys with lots of equipment experience. Thanks in advance.

If your handy then a 2nd hand machine can be a good investment. Most would rather buy new and in my case I did that with my first hot water machine because I wanted all the warranties etc. If money is an issue then go the used route. First thing I would ask the person your thinking of buying the hot water machine from if you can run it for at least 15 minutes at full tilt heat to make sure everything works ok. Also like you said ask about the hours on it and if he says less hours then the machine looks be a little leery here.

Buying use is always a gamble and weigh the risk if you go that route.

Good luck

I’ve always had good luck buying used equipment, but I did buy new at first. Knowing pressure washers or the experience running them is a big plus, along with being a little mechanically inclined. One thing would be to take a psi gauge with you and check psi both trapped & operational. I also look & listen to the person I’m buying it from. Does he look or act like he takes care of his stuff, does he actually know anything about his machine? Lots of people don’t…why I have no idea.

No I don’t think a 4 gpm 3000 psi skid is worth 2 to $3000, just no way…but hey that’s just my opinion.

I second what Guy said. Definitely consider who you are buying from. This can be especially important if buying off somewhere like Craigslist.

I was scared to buy used but didn’t have the capital for a new set up. I was able to finance one with very good terms. May be an option.

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