PW/pump Startup Recommendation GPMvsPSI

Going to be starting up. Researched info on here but here is my situation. Looking to begin with entry level decent unit just because I dont know how much business it will bring in to start. So I’d like to get the min 4gpm belt driven honda. I have a budget for a unit around $1700. I see multiple either AR GP for that price or less. Found a 2500 5GPM honda belt driven PWS Contractor Series Belt Drive 5.6@2500 #PWS-5525HG for around 1,300, Rated for 5.6 gpm @ 2500 psi. GX390 Honda engine, HP Pump. Should I go for that or something with at least 3500. and a little less GPM. I heard they make cheaper AR and such pumps and just dont want to get stuck with a cheap one.
Going to be used for softwash houses 1 to 2 story, vinyl, and driveway, and patios with a entry level surface cleaner addon i’ll get to start. If I should get the 4gpm honda which pump is preferred for those of you who do this for work and have tried some of them. Calling these distributor they dont even know the exact model number on the pumps and the specs. sorry and Thanks for the help

From everything I’ve learned here, 2500 psi is about the minimum needed for effectively using your surface cleaner. Once you start adding any length of hose to your setup you will quickly start loosing psi. My advice is at least 3000psi as that will allow you to stay above the 2500 threshold. You’ll make money off your rig and I’d bet money it’ll pay for itself in less than two weeks. Do yourself a favor and buy the BEST you can possibly afford, the FIRST time.

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Either of these would be a great option from an outstanding supplier. We buy all of our equipment from him. Belt Driven 4 GPM @ 4000 PSI General Pump - Pressure Tek

I have to disagree with MRFixit. I highly recommend the 5.6 @2500 machine over the 4@4. I have both and use the 5.6 way more. GPM means cleaning faster on everything. The max psi residential concrete can take is about 2500 psi. I clean most concrete at 1800psi and the extra gpm is way faster and cleans the same. The main time more psi is really need is if your running 300+ feet of hose all the time. One other thing to consider though is once you go over 4gpm you really need to run a buffer which means for the most part have a stationary unit either in the bed of truck or trailer.

As for the pump, i have only use General, but did a lot of research and thats why i choose it. Dont go cheap on a pump

Surface cleaner:
if you get the 4@4: get the 16 inch whisper wash
if you get the 5.5@2500: get the 19 inch classic whisper wash.
Expensive but their is a difference.

5.5 gpm has a General Pump TSS1021SG
From kecsupplies.c0m. Is that a good version of the general???

Yea I would plan to setup buffer in back of truck if the 5.5gpm is the way to go

I would be using 150ft hose with an additional spare 50ft but 150 would be all I would need probably 90 percent of the time

Everyone makes valid and true points the reason is because we are all targeting something different…you say you want to do driveways and 1 or 2 story homes ok… is that your top out ( is that where you will be happy in 2 years of washing )are you going to go all out and move to commercial work as well ??? I feel I am washing on a professional level even though I am part time …for me one and two story homes is good and I have a 4000psi 4gpm unit and it works great no problems …I have to use a ladder every so often but that’s ok…
I don’t think either way you go would be right or wrong just get the appropriate equipment for the set up you choose …you will make more than you think !!!

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For under $4500 you can get a good 8 gpm. Udor is the best pump made. I use honda 690’s but Kohler is good now that they went efi. Hondas are good for about 3000 hours and udors about 6000 hours before rebuild

There are far more experienced professionals in this forum than myself so I’ll step aside. I agree gpm over psi any day. I guess I was off about the minimum needed for good surface cleaning. I’ve always “read” that 2500 was a minimum. I purchased a 8gpm @3500 off pressuretek last spring and never looked back. We’re gonna be buying another one with hot water this spring to grow the business. Our season finally started back up with the nice weather we’ve had. We booked $2000 worth of jobs yesterday and just finished one this evening.

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GPM is always better than PSI, but your posts made sense. 8gpm is definitely the way to asap, even if only doing one or two story houses. Last year I was able to slightly decrease my prices (and get more jobs) but greatly increase my hourly rate…8 gpm will help you to be fast and efficient!

With the larger gpm comes a higher price tag overall. With an 8gpm you need a larger buffer which means either HD truck or trailer to hold the weight. Also unless 5k is just the equipment start up cost, you have to factor in the price to become a real business.

Heres a break down with a start up of 5k
$3200+:8gpm - by time you add shipping your atleast over $3500
$100: Buffer ( using the ibc tote because its the easiest/cheapest for most to get)
$100: Plumbing everything
$200: High pressure hose, at least 200 ft to start
$50: Garden hose ( something cheap form home depot)
$100: soaps and chems( just gallon jugs to start)
$300: surface cleaner, thats getting a BE or hammerhead
$100: MISC - nozzles, whip lines, filters, back up parts, ect
$1,000: Insurance- this seems to be a happy medium of what most people pay
$300: Becoming a legal entity- s corp, llc, ect ( thats Texas, some states are cheaper)
$500: marketing - Business cards, post cards, yard signs, ect

All that = $5950
Thats also assuming you have a trailer or dont need one, no hose reels, ladders, shipping hasn’t been added and i know i missing some things. So starting with a 5k budgets its not always feasible to get an 8gpm, that said the prices above are buying NEW, but gives you an idea

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8k is average cost per set up. I was giving price for machine only. $3200 won’t get you a decent 8gpm. Might get a low end pressure pro with aluminum skid, cheap muffler and a general pump. If you are in the Raleigh NC area I have some used 8gpm honda/udors I’ll sell for $2500

I replaced these. They still have life in them but I got a good deal on two new machines.

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Not to derail the conversation, but that’s an interesting setup with the unloaders. What’s the purpose of the jumper hose between the pump and unloader? Just to take up a smaller area?

Never mount the unloader directly to the pump. Vibrations destroy the pump and cause leaks. I use unloader blocks with a jumper hose.

Gotcha. Good to know.

I wish you would start a “how, exactly, to set up your rig” class or something…for real! Would it be possible to get more photos of your rig?

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That would be awesome. I’m sure there are a dozen or more issues with my setup.

Btw, @Innocentbystander, what fittings did you use on the pump inlets? Looks like you have 1" or 1.25" hose going straight to the pump. Pretty hard to find a brass or stainless 1/2" mpt to 1" barb fitting

Use brass on the pump. Absorbs vibration better than stainless. Udor has one inch inlets.

Thanks for everyones input; I ordered the EB5525HG 5.6 GPM @ 2500 PSI GX390 Honda GP Pump.

I am putting together an order for parts for a buffer tank. I’m going off this links setup. Any other suggests on a setup feel free to comment. I’m going to start and set it up on a plastic 55gal drum and try it out for a bit and eventually get a 65 gal tank probably.

Great link, thanks. I’m probably ordering that pw soon.