I’ve been using the AR 45 for a few seasons now and while it is a great machine, I feel that it could definitely have some improvements. Unfortunately, there is no more expensive version that I can find that will hold up to SH at high concentrations.
I try to keep the pressure no higher than 190 psi, always keep the hand on the trigger or in bypass mode when starting and stopping, put Loctite on the bolts and torqued them to the proper level, eliminated a whole bunch of the unnecessary 90° fittings they put on and fixed the feet to make sure that it doesn’t vibrate much.
Yet I still get leaks regularly through the cheap plastic pieces that they use. I was thinking of replacing all of the plastic parts with new ones, and then strengthening them by adding a whole bunch of JB plastic Weld to the outside of all of the pieces. Anyone who has one of these knows that frequently a small leak will spring out of the plastic somewhere. Has anybody done this?
Would I be compromising any heat distribution through the design of the ridges in the plastic (if that’s even a thing)?
Basically, I want to reinforce all of this cheap plastic to eliminate or drastically reduce the leaks that seem to happen almost always.
Additionally, the only 90° fitting that I have left is the custom one that comes out of the back for the bypass hose. I talked to E-Spec and they do not know about a straight fitting with the weird connection it has going into the machine. There is a threaded ring on the outside but the fitting itself has a unique design that is different from our standard pvc fittings… I’ll add a picture of it later when I get to the truck.
This is the best match for the bypass threads that i found. Very few options for fittings on this. Parker makes a 3/4 hose barb with the correct threads. I haven’t tried it yet.
I don’t use the same pump, nor have i been using one very long. I was trained by the vendor to always put into bypass upon starting and shut down and also operate slightly above 100psi and increase if necessary because they are fragile. So i do. It was very expensive. One thing i wasn’t warned about was air in the system. I noticed the pump behaving very erratically because there was alot of air in the system. I now know the problem but haven’t fixed it yet and everytime i start the system i have to bleed out a little air and the pulsation the pump goes through is almost unnerving. For me its a bad hose clamp/connection with the bulkhead 90 on top of the chem tank
If you look closely you’ll see the air gap that has to be bled straightaway. I believe its also causing a problem with my mixing ratios because of the air it must be drawing in under suction. My vendor keeps giving me excuses but ive finally realized that must be the problem. Maybe not your problem but i wonder if you have an air leak or are riding it too hard
Replace the screw clamp with a t-bolt clamp you will have a better seal.
I have the same issues as you. I’ve fixed the problem by pretty much parking the AR and just using it when i absolutely need it like for a roof or stucco. And thats pretty much it. I used it for 2 seasons to wash houses until I realized downstreaming was 100% better for a number or reasons.
What are you using your AR for?
I’m curious why some like downstreaming more than a dedicated softwash system?
Also, if you had electric reels and proportioner would that change your mind or opinion?
And having employees, a dedicated system with proportioner to select exact percentages seems so much easier and safer as an owner to put in the field as opposed to downstreaming and mixing. Let me know what you think.
In my case I have to downstream with my pressure washer as gutters here need a little extra ‘convincing’ with a medium fan tip. Low pressure wouldn’t do a darn thing.
Also there’s no ‘mixing’ with me, i downstream straight SH out of the tank.
What about the extra pressure and gpm from a gas pump like an AR45? Or is that still insufficient?
Also it seems that for roofs and house washes, the AR45 would be very easy to apply your chems, and then switch straight into rinsing after dwell. No need for pw to rinse as you’re getting plenty of gpm from the ar45. Does that sound right, or no?
In reality, no. There are plenty of instances where 1500psi is needed, if not more.
I have a 7 gpm (4gpm net) 12v system. I call it the ‘enforcer’ because downstreaming can’t put a strong enough mix on really bad spots, so I’ll set it to about 3% then do a final fan tip.
Brick is a prime example. Just because you nuke the mold and algae, it still needs to be taken off, and 100psi won’t do squat.
Understood, so the benefits of the AR45 would be faster roof wash, faster sh application on house wash, and more reach so you, more times than not, can do roof and house washes from the ground? Just need to have the pw line pulled as well for the extra psi, if needed. Otherwise the sw system could handle it all basically?
Basically, it is a speed convenience more than a necessity??
The other more experienced guys can explain better, I mainly do basic housewashes and concrete. They have all the fancy SW systems and can elaborate. I have no need for a gas or air powered system.
I second @dcbrock , the gas/air powered softwash system isn’t what I’m running for basic residential washes either. I believe those “high powered” softwash systems are better suited for certain commercial applications, say like a multi-story hotel that has stucco all over it. I’ve never used one, but I am not sure if it’d be practical for your typical one & two story vinyl-sided homes. Downstreaming is usually more than enough for a “basic” house wash. A basic, electric/12v pump will work for residential stronger applications such as a driveway pre/post treatment (if such a heavy treatment is needed) or asphalt shingles on a roof.
A gas powered pressure washer with correct tips should allow you to easily hit 2nd and even 3rd story homes siding.
If you notice, most the people running the AR45s are using/pushing the 10gpm machines because with the 10’s they often can’t pull a strong enough mix to ds a housewash whereas with an 8, I can. I have an AR45 and have had for 3 years. Probably has 40 hours on it. I’ve used it once this year. In fact, it’s going on the market in next day or so. And I do a lot of big roofs, but in reality the flow is more than you need for roofs. With roofs, you need distance more than flow. Even for commercial buildings I rarely use, but I’ve got a great 12v system, which I also rarely use except for roofs. It’s extremely rare you’re going to do a roof wash from the ground unless they have no plants and my 12v system will shoot as far as my AR45 and use considerably less chemical.