Please Help! Trying to find the right PW to start off with

Hey guys. I’m new here and new to pressure washing . I want to start off part time after work and on weekends pressure washing . There’s so many pressure washers out there I’m stuck on what to start with. I found a dewalt 3800 3.5 with Honda engine and cat pump for 1029 at home depot . Is this too much machine or a good buy. I’d eventually like to turn this into full time job if I can find jobs. Is this a good machine to start with ?

It’s a little bit light duty. Lots of people here started with a 4gpm, so you’re going to get varying answers.

When I was at the stage you are right now, I thought the same thing. 4gpm, 4k psi. Was ready to buy. But then I spent 6 months reading through the forum and realized a smarter business move was to start with professional equipment I wouldn’t grow out of.

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Thanks. I’m kinda at around 1k budget for the PW

For around that much you can build a gear drive with a 14hp predator motor, 5.5gpm @2500-3000 psi. But you’ll need some support equipment: buffer tank, hose reels, vehicle or trailer to mount it on, etc.

Much better option, if you really want to make a go of this, is secure some more capital to build a professional rig: 8gpm @ 3000-3500, hose reels, and all the goodies.

There’s much power washing business to be had in Florida, but it’s a competitive market and without really good equipment, you’re going to be stuck either winning few jobs at high rates, or making peanuts attempting to be competitive with the big dogs, while using inferior equipment.

Hope that makes sense.

I was just going to get the PW and surface cleaner and just start with residential stuff part time. I don’t really have any experience in the field. Not sure I want to invest 3-4 k until I know I can make some money.

If you do invest $3-4k you WILL make money and you won’t waste $1000 when you can get a professional machine for $1500 that will outlast the Home Depot machine for years.

But I don’t have 4k to invest in it

If you are not committed at this point there is no reason to spend a ton of money. I started with a 2.4 gpm that i paid 299 for. It was more work, but i did figure out this was something i wanted to do. THen I got a 4gm. for $700 and it was a Life changer, and now I have a $1000 5.5 gpm that is a pain in the ■■■ and requires a buffer tank and plumbing and on and on and on. I am seriously thinking about going backwards since i am a solo part timer. Like Dan the window man

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What about your business license and insurance to protect your clients?

Your smartest move right now would be to take your foot off the gas. Read, do the time, maybe pick up a weekend job with a pressure washing company to learn (and find out how much it sucks to give up your weekends).

Don’t be that guy that ruins someone’s property and isn’t insured.


I thought it was a gimmick and just a bunch of dicks saying “get a 4gpm at minimum yo start out…”

Well, I’ve used the 2.3gpm from Home Depot, then got a 4gpm Home Depot machine… well 2 Home Depot machines last yet alone… I wised up to a 5.5gpm belt drive and I wish I didn’t waste money and time on garbage

Belt drive of some flavor, skip the direct drives. You’ll find some pop up on Facebook here and there.

Best thing you can do at this point, is invest in research. Read here, watch actual pros on youtube, take notes. Lots of notes. Bookmark helpful links and threads.

And don’t buy anything until you have at least 40 hours of read time, preferably more. I’m really not kidding. Time invested now, will save you loads of time and money in the future.

After the 40+ hours of reading, you may still decide to start small with a 4@4000 or similar machine. But you will have an idea of what to look for, what other stuff you need in terms of liability insurance, safety equipment, and basic knowledge to avoid damaging property.

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