Going LARGER than recommended (surface cleaner)?

I’m looking to buy a new, larger surface cleaner. I’ve seen the general rule of thumb is 4’’ per GPM of the pump. I have a 4gpm/4000psi belt driven Landa HD (Honda GX390 w/ Landa brand pump). The two surface cleaners I’m looking at(I know, larger than recommended) are the whisper pro platinum platinum ground force 24" and Steel Eagle 24’’ with the talon swivel inline handle. Has anyone used surface cleaners this size with a 4/4000 machine with good results? These two particular SC’s I’m looking at, the GPM requirements are 4-10gpm for the Whisper and 3-10gpm for the Steel Eagle. My back-up unit is basically a big box store 2.8/3100 and it handles a 16’’ SC with great results. That’s one reason I’m considering, and confused a little, about going with a 24’’ on my 4/4000 machine. On a side note, 99% of my work is residential, but some areas of concrete are large…10,000 sq ft. Any experience and input would be a big help to making my decision. Thanks, guys!

Going larger than recommended is not reccomended…but that’s just what recommend.

Stick with a 16".

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You can definitely use a larger surface cleaner, you’re just coming to have to go pretty slow with it. Just have to figure out which works better for type of work you do.

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If ur using a 16" surface cleaner and ur gonna go larger to 24" but then after going bigger ur gonna have to work slower how are benefit from going larger? My 4gpm 4000psi belt drive came with a18" surface cleaner.


Bingo. Is the trade off worth it?

Haven’t used the 16’’ with my 4/4000 machine. My 2.8/3100 backup machine runs the 16 without any problems. It does an excellent job and I’ve done some nasty concrete. Slabs that hadn’t ever been cleaned from 10-40 years old. I’ve done some aggregated slabs as well with excellent results. Compared to others I’ve seen with larger gpm machines/larger SC, I’m moving at the same speed. From the 4’’/gallon guideline I should be using, at largest, a 12’’ SC. My 4/4000 is literally twice the machine as my smaller one. Just trying to see if anyone is using a 24’’ with a 4/4000 or something equivalent such as a 5.5gpm with something like a 30’’ SC. And looking for any info or experience between the whisper and the steel eagle. I do understand and appreciate your take on it. Thanks!

@squidskc check out the comment I left on SPC’s reply. See why I’m struggling with a decision??


This might help

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Ah. Gotcha. I run a 20" off a 5.5 now and on some of the funkiest stuff I’m still kinda meandering along. An average concrete driveway that’s not so bad I can do in about 30 minutes of actual wash time.

As far as surface cleaner brand names… I’ve seen surface cleaners side by side, I’ve stopped and asked when I see other companies doing flatwork, and I did a ton of research too when I first started because I just had no clue. My current conclusion:

Every surface cleaner I’ve seen in comparison with each other look the same, have the same fittings, same casters, same triggers, even identical decks. I’m not sold that any surface cleaner is absolutely better than another. If it cleans concrete at a pace that allows you to knock it out and get to the next job and returns 20x what you paid for it that year. It’s a darn fine surface cleaner to me.

My only concern with a surface cleaner is whether or not it can handle 220 degree temperatures and speed of cleaning.


Yea, I hear ya. That’s generally the take I have on it, myself. A friend of mine in the business uses an 8GPM machine with a whisper big boy 28’’ and he keeps saying my 16’’ on that POS backup machine of mine does a better job that his. And it’s far from a top of the line SC. I wish there was a place to rent surface cleaners around my area so I could try out different sizes/brands. Far as temp goes, the whispers rated for 212 and the steel eagle 210. Temp isn’t a factor for me in the foreseeable future. But if I can physically move at the same speed with a 24’’ as I do with my 16, I’m ok with that. I came across some videos on youtube that Water Cannon put up, looks like your typical 4/4000 machines-honda gx390s on a rolling cart. They were advertising the 24’’ whisper I’m looking at and the results were coming out well. I need to contact them and see exactly what units they were using in the videos.


I have a 4/4000 & use a 19" cleaner (as recommended my dealer). I do some pretty mildewed up driveways, walks, patios. I pretreat & vary mix concentration & dwell time depending on conditions. So far the 19" cleaner has worked great. I don’t have a comparison but it seems like I move along pretty quick with it.

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I have same size machine as you. Going from a 16" to a 20" machine the thing I noticed the most was the 20" took more physical work from me because the 20" didn’t hover as well as the 16"
Especially on rough concrete, I was doing a lot more pushing / pulling with the 20".
With the 16" I just followed the machine around as it hovered along.

@DanC Thanks for this info! I also pretreat according to how bad the surfaces are. If you don’t mind me asking, what brand SC are you using?

Whisper Wash from The Power Wash Store in Milwaukee. Very happy with it. It walks fine for me with my 4/4000. I can sweep it left & right when I’m switching directions.

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@SafeChoiceCleaning the two SC I’m looking at, both have the casters, my 16’’ is a hover type. I do catch myself doing some pushing and pulling with it on the heavy mildewed slabs, but that’s with a 2.8/3100 machine. But I wouldn’t go as far to say that it was a pain in the ass, just a little back and forth to fully clean the surface. Thanks for your input, everything I’m reading from y’all experience with different sizes is helping me!

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@DanC from all the searches and topics I’ve read through, lots of guys swear by their whisper wash, regardless of size and model. I don’t use a surface cleaner on every job I do, and I’m basically doing all residential work, but I want something that will last me a while. These units aren’t cheap!

I’ve been using tools my whole life & I usually regret when I go for the cheaper one as opposed to the one I want. Things ship so fast these days, you may consider trying to sell a couple of jobs before you order it, then order it, go do the jobs and you have it paid for. Then the next job you get is profit. Just a thought.


I have a 4k/4GPM and use a 21" SC. That is what came with it when i bought it, and i didnt know about the 4" per gallon suggestion at the time. Works fine for me, but i have nothing to compare it to, as it is the only SC i have ever used. For all i know, a 16" would perform better. I am planning to upgrade the pump to a 5.5 eventually, so i will find out how it performs at the recommended configuration.

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Absolutely. And I actually have a job lined up now that will just about pay for the Whisper. Same thing when I bought my last PW, had a couple jobs lined up that paid for the machine. Being in the farming industry, I know all about trying go the cheap route…you end up paying for the POS you bought first, then buying the quality tool/equipment you initially wanted after the cheap one breaks! We’ve probably all learned some expensive lessons through the years. So I contacted a dealer who has some videos up on youtube demonstrating equipment they sell. Two videos with the 24’’ whisper and they show the pressure washer they’re using in the video. He confirmed to me that the machines in the video are 4gpm/4000psi. In my opinion, they’re doing a pretty darn good job. I’ll put a link to the videos, if it’s allowed here. Might help someone else who’s having the same questions and confusion