Pressure washing 101 questions

A little info prior to question:

New to pressure washing and currently practicing on friends/family members decks, fences, houses, concrete, and (hopefully soon to be) roofs
Equipment:
4 gpm 4K psi pressure washer (waiting on delivery) have rented in past
M5 xjet
Ball valve
I’m sure there’s more accessories, but if any more detail is needed to answer questions, please ask

I bought and have read (twice) the Amazon ebook under pressure washing 101. Some questions:

-Author lists suggested engines - would this be to replace/upgrade my current engine on my unit or would this be used with a DS set up or what?

-Author talks heavily about importance of an unloader. Is this a must have upgrade/accessory on a cheaper machine or is it typically just replaced when worn out?

-I feel like I’ve read/seen mixed opinions on this. Is cleaning a roof okay with my xjet or would I need a separate DS pump set up to effectively clean roofs?

I’m about to reread for a third time and actually write out questions as I go, but all input would be greatly appreciated.

Well, welcome to the forum.

Frankly you’re all tangled up here and maybe we can get things straightened out.

First, you need dedicated insurance before you attempt to clean a customer’s house.

Second, every pressure washer has an unloader of some flavor. Once set you don’t touch them again.

Roofs require very specific skillsets and knowledge, don’t even think about those right now.

Delete whatever you’ve been reading, sounds like it’s for weekend warriors. Every piece of knowledge you need is on this board, just a little difficult sifting through the fluff.

I’m only saying this because I was in the same place in 2018.

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10/4. I appreciate straightforwardness. I do already have insurance, not just liability. So, at least I have that going for me :joy::joy::joy:

you could x-jet a roof if you have a super low gpm setup like 2.5gpm or something. with 4gpm xjet would be 5% Sh i think, but there’s too much volume, you’d likely kill some plants. so asphalt and tile roofs are a no-go for Xjet.

@mikesPWclean thanks for the solid input. Would I be better off with a downstream setup?or would I need a 12v to actually get into roofs. I did just purchase this( https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200909932_200909932?cm_mmc=Google-pla&utm_source=Google_PLA&utm_medium=Lawn%20%2B%20Garden%20>%20Sprayers%20>%20Cart%20Sprayers&utm_campaign=NorthStar&utm_content=999887&gclid=Cj0KCQiA-K2MBhC-ARIsAMtLKRvAVa_kLEc_S2oiGu2rJTC9lHtpLK8zVBQhDBkmcj_ofKlR2gKVN94aAlHVEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds ) knowing I could repurpose it for something in the future. Would that be a good/better option?

2.5 gallon tank. That’s virtually useless to you.

i think your best option is to get an xjet and stay away from roofs until you have a real 12v setup.

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I didn’t read the book you’re talking about. Don’t worry about upgrading your motor; within a year you’ll already be thinking of upgrading the entire setup. That’s not a jab at you; I just know you’ll get tired of lugging a pail of bleach around and rinsing so slow (comparatively). Put some cash aside so you can reinvest in your equipment/efficiency. You’ll work harder with that setup doing one house than an 8gpm person does on 3

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@Jake_Lambert thanks for the advice! I know I’ll get tired of lugging the pail around, however, I don’t have the ability to run a buffer tank currently, but the plan is to set money aside for an upgrade asap

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You can absolutely downstream with a 4/4, or even smaller for house washes, driveway washes, etc, but it wouldn’t work for a roof wash or a stucco wash. Downstreaming just wouldn’t pull enough chemical and it’d end up being too watered down to be effective for the roof and stucco. But it’s a great way to clean vinyl siding all day every day!

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@PPWofLexSC what about xjetting stucco?

I’ve never used an xjet, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work based upon my limited knowledge of them. I’ve cleaned one home with stucco on one side of it and I used a 12v pump and pump up sprayer.

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That’s how I’ve done it, so far. It gets to be a pain hauling those jerry cans, and sometimes the mix is still a little weak.

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i bought a 16 gallon tank and put it in a beach cart and added 25 foot of hose so I just wheel it around and shoot. Not good for hilly yards but not a lot of that in Florida.

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x jet will work on everything but a roof. i would say it’s bad for fences too but it works you just have to be cautious of overspray

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I really appreciate all the great input everyone. I look forward to posting my first sets of before and after pics.

Awesome tip!,

ETA: I’m im Louisiana, so also mostly flat here. I’ll definitely have this set up purchased before I need it.