House Fire from softwash. MUST READ!


It also adds to your professional image and makes you stand apart from other companies out there. Most homeowner’s love seeing attention to detail like that. You know, treating their house just like you would your own. It’s the sort of thing they’ll mention to neighbors, friends, and family. Even if you did a prefect wash job sometimes things like that can be the deciding factor of them leaving a review.


It’s simple. If you’re willing to take the risk of a house fire or damaging electronics at the least don’t tape off. If you’re unwilling to take on that risk take five minutes to tape off. Simple. I’m just having a hard time grasping how an EMS work so closely with the fire department is asking whether or not it’s really worth the time savings.


Because realistically, not every house you wash is going to have the GFI wired properly if at all. And it might be the newest house that surprises you.


When I was going to college I would help a buddy out with electrical work when he was busy. They were just a small company with like 3 employees and mainly did all new construction. I can’t tell you how many brand new gfci outlets were faulty right out of the box. We always went around and tested them before leaving the job. I guarantee there are many contractors out there who don’t.

There was a recent post on here about a gfci not tripping and the breaker not tripping during a house wash. I want to say the outlet was smoking. Luckily nobody was home but that also means the doors were locked. I’ll try and dig the post up. I know nothing major happened but can’t remember all of the details.

I bet it happens a lot more than we think especially if you add in homeowner statistics of them washing their own house.


Well, Joe home owner here, learned to soft wash a house from this site so I could do my rental. Rental is leased to my daughter and son-in-law. Started Sunday (10 June) morning cleaning it up. Washed the drive and front steps, stones around the flower beds, and off to wash the house. Son-in-law finishes cleaning up the front and I head to the back. Start spraying the back with SH, move to left side spray it, then to the right side. Get everything sprayed down and start rinsing, back, left side, then the right. Just so happens the right side had the heat pump close to the front. As I’m rinsing I hear something, like popcorn popping. Then I smell burnt plastic. As I’m standing in front of the unit I see smoke coming from the pull breaker for it. Not thinking, I reach out, open the box, and jerk the pull breaker out. (I know electricity and water don’t mix) Thinking this has stop the arcing I start to walk away to the front when I hear a loud pop and see a small flame shoot up the wall behind it. I run to the breaker panel in the garage to throw the hp breaker. When I get there the breaker still hasn’t trip. So I reach up to trip it and sparks shot out of it then it tripped. I tell my son-in-law to go in and check for anything on the inside and I will go back to the outside unit. When I get there the black wire insulation had a small flame on it. So for anyone thinking that it won’t happen to them, well I’m here to tell ya IT CAN!

After all said and done, I pulled the small box off the wall and looked at the wiring. The black wire must have had a crack in the insulation and was arcing off the ground wire because the ground was melted into. Now mind you, it has been raining in eastern NC it seems like everyday for 3 weeks and nothing. But as Steve said it must have been the sh wash that did it. Don’t know for sure but a hell of a coincident.

Also, the wires are only sticking out just far enough for the box. AND now 2 of the 3 won’t reach the terminals. So, now I’m awaiting a call back from home owners insure and a electrician to see was the cost is going to be to repair it. And I have to listen to my daughter about how I almost burnt “her house” down.


But hey, look at the $200 you saved by doing it yourself.


Well, you can look at it 2 ways.

  1. Glad it happened while I was doing it or when no one was home or was asleep.
  2. Let someone else wash it and not give a poop and walk away not knowing what was going on.

So, I guess only professionals has the G2 to wash or clean a house?

And actually I did save by doing it myself. Electrician said $110 to run a new wire so I can hook it back up. Only reason I am not going to run the wire is because for it to be covered again by insurance a licensed electrician has to do it. Don’t worry, I got a 5 year apprenticeship program under me for residential and commercial wiring up to 3 phrase switching. Or do I need for him to install it also?

Lets see, $200 for house wash, $75 for driveway, $50 for the front stoop and steps, and $50 for the stones around the flower beds. So, that $375 - $110 = $265. Yep saved enough that I can buy the spool gun for my welder.


If I recall, you have also spent a lot of money since January on PW equipment including a 12V softwash setup, so you kinda have to factor that in to your overall savings.

I too have a welder and plenty of fabricating and shop equipment. I also have a bunch of wood working tools and two roll away tool boxes that would make most mechanics green with envy but I don’t kid myself that I’m doing it to save money.

I do it a lot of my own work because I like to and I’m good at it. Saving money? Not so much…


Your an electrician but you had an electrician come out to tell what’s wrong, but you can do it because your an electrician…

I’m confused


As you can read in the original post I made I cancelled all but the 4gpm pump, 35gal tank, and gal of elemonator. But I also have washed my home, fence, back deck, and pool deck, the other 3 rental houses to include fence, drive, and porches before selling them. All without incident. This was the last one to do. So over all I did saved by buying the equipment.

But as you said, if I was really and truly worried about saving money then I would have paid to have it done. I just enjoy doing things myself. Point was that just because I am not a professional washer nor do I have the “PROPER” equipment(which I do for the softwash) that I shouldn’t try something new on my own property as implied by Racer.

I too have a 30x40 garage out back of my home with every tool you can think of for woodworking, metal fab, boat building, and chests of all sizes full of mechanics tools to rebuild or repair anything up to a semi. I just get tired of a professional in his profession look down on DIYer’s. Because I too am a professional in my profession for 26 yrs now but I don’t not look down on ppl who want to learn the trade.

Patriotpwashing, I finished my apprenticeship and never took the NEC test with the local. I got into some trouble with the law and joined the military to leave the area. And never said I was an electrician just had been to a apprenticeship program. And as you can read above, I said that I pulled the box off, not the electrician. He just looked at it and said yep you need a new wire.


No one said you shouldn’t try, but you have to take your lumps.

Last year my mechanic (who’s shop is across the street from me) couldn’t get my van in for a rear axle seal quick enough, so I did it myself on a Saturday. Ran into several problems and because I stupidly had the van half in and half out of the shop, I couldn’t close the door, and couldn’t move the van, ergo, I couldn’t leave and had to keep working until 3am the next morning.

My mechanic laughed at me for weeks because of it. Then come to find out I had to have him re-do the whole thing 1 year later because when I did the job I didn’t notice that the axle was bad and so it ruined the new bearings and seals I had just put in. Sometimes DIY sucks, that’s all.


I did the pinion seal on my F150. Not easy but I got it done! :wink:


Thank you! Hope to learn a lot from everyone!!


Wow I’m honored that one of my firsts post on here made the shortlist!