Question from a complete newbie

Ok, first and foremost, I am not here to start a business. I want information so I can learn to do it myself. I have 4 rental properties and my home. I am retired from the military and now work for the DOD as a weapons instructor for Special Operations Commands. So again, I am not here to start a business. But I am tired of paying someone else for something that I think I can do for less.

Ok now for the questions. I have been reading up for the last 3 months on cleaning siding, fences/decks, and roofs. And have started to buy the equipment. So far I have bought:

  1. 4 gpm pump
  2. 8 gpm pump
  3. 35 gal tank
  4. 55 gal drum
  5. gal elemonator
    300’ of PVC braided hose

Next week I will be getting the jrod with tips and a gun with 24" wand.

I will be using 12.5% SH at 3% with either Cling-on or roof snot for the siding and roof. A 1.5 % SH for the deck with OA to brighten/neutralize. I have a pressure washer but it is only 2700 psi and 2.3 gpm. I know this isn’t enough for the tasks at hand. I am not worried about killing plants or grass since I do all the landscaping/grass cutting included in the rents.

Does this sound like I have what I need? All comments are appreciated and welcome. And no I’m not soft skinned so fire away.


Define your rental properties.

2 are cookie cutter ranch style with 6/12 pitch roofs and vinyl siding. The other 2 are 2 story with 5-6/12 pitch roofs and vinyl siding. And also forgot the fences, about 1500 ft total with all 4 houses.

Last year the guy charged me $3800 dollars to do my rentals(house, fence, roof, and deck). But this year I need my home done and it has 900ft of fence alone. Thus the reason why I want to do it myself.

Sounds like you have done some good research.

You say you bought a 4 and 8 GPM pump. Do you mean you just bought the pump, and no engine? Or are you talking about something else.

A 4 GPM pressure washer will do everything you need except the roof. Your 2.3 one would even do most of it, just a tad slower.

For the roofs you can get a $100 12 volt.

Here is what will work:

4 GPM pressure washer
50 ft. pressure hose
5 gallon bucket for downstreaming
No buffer tank, unless your spigots aren’t putting out more than 4-5 GPM.

That will do the siding and decks. If you want to do concrete, then a surface cleaner.

For the roofs, a 12 volt, battery, 55 gallon tank for mix, 100 feet of 1/2" hose (maybe longer if needed), ball valve gun.

You can use the 12 setup for the fence also, unless you want to downstream it.


Tireshark, the 4 and 8 are 12 volt pumps. I would much rather do soft wash than run the risk of replacing anything because I got careless. 4 gpm is to spray the wash and the 8 gpm to rinse. And with the pressure washer i have. It is old and is on its last leg. I would hate to get in the middle of things and it quit. I had thought about getting a 4/4000 PW but I think the best course for me is with the low pressure.

I just had the drives replaced at each rental and mine is only a year old so no concrete for me.

300’ of PVC braided hose?

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Dont really need separate 12V’s, especially for what you are doing. Just spray chemical with the 4 and rinse with a garden hose from the spigot. Pressure Tek sells a 5.5 GPM for $130 that is what many professionals use… but your 4 will work.

Wood generally requires more pressure than a 12V can produce… however, if you have been having it cleaned regularly, and are just cleaning the green buildup off, then the 12V might suffice.

If you are only using 12V’s, dont get a pressure washing gun. Get a 1/2" poly gun, or just a ball valve gun. I can link to either if you want.

1 Like @ Ikii

Well, I guess I jumped the gun on the pumps then. Oh well, hopefully it will work. If not I guess I can always call PT and get some nozzles to decrease the pressure for the pressure washer. And yea, I was gonna get a 1/2 valve and build a gun just in case. But if you have some some links that would be great.

Sorry for the double post. But does my mix ratio’s seem about right? I don’t have a lot of green but there is light green on the house and one of the fences plus light greying on all of them.

I know that hose …why 300 feet?

To cut in half, 2 pumps 2 hoses. I have a 130ft run of fence that goes into the wood line where I can’t get the tanks any closer.

If you’re going to be applying direct you only need about 1% net on your housewash mix and even that is pretty strong. If you’re using your 55 gal drum as your draw tank about 1 gal of 12.5 for every 11 gal on water. Add about 1 oz of roof snot per gal.

On your roofs you want 1 gal of your SH plus 2 gal of water. Roof snot the same.

Fence and decks should be about same as hw mix unless really bad. Rule of thumb, on hw and fence, green should disappear in 5-7 min. Any longer mix a little stronger or just respray the bad side before you rinse. Don’t let dry on house, windows or fence. On fence and decks, prewet with water before you treat.


Yes Racer it will be direct. I don’t trust myself with the pw’r. I have seen some horrid wood after some yahoo used a pw on my buddies deck.

So a .8-.9% HW with 1oz per gal on the roof snoot. And 4-5oz for the elemonator

30% roof wash with 1oz per gal on the roof snot and 4-5oz for the elemonator.

1 to 1 1/2% for the fence/decks with 1oz of roof snot and 4-5oz for the elemonator

All with 5-7min dwell, if no change in green color, and more SH.

Now, question about tips. I looked at the chart and from what I can gather they are geared towards pw’s. So what size tip would I use for the 4gpm and 8gpm pumps so that I can get good spray from the ground? I understand how you go across, pick your psi, and then your gpm, then look at tip size for what pressure you want to be at. But I don’t understand how I would use it for such low pressure. Both pumps are only 60psi. As said in the first post I will be ordering the stuff this coming week and would like to get it right the first time.

And thanks for all the info and help so far.

No, no, no. You don’t want or need roof snot and eliminator, Not a whole lot of difference. On roof the snot will do better because you want your mix to stick. House and fence you can use either. I tend to use the eliminator on the siding and fence because it may not stick so much. Which if you’re rinsing you don’t want to have to rinse anymore than you have to. As a rule of thumb, you’re going to spend 1/3 time applying soap and 2/3 of your time rinsing.

Your mixes don’t have to be super precise. But always start off on the weaker side, because easier to add more SH if you need it. But roughly you want about 1% for house and fence and about 3.5% for roof if asphalt shingles. Those are good starting points.

But I know plenty of guys who use roof snot for other things besides just roofs.

Realize on the 12v pumps the flow they state is at like 10psi. Go here and see chart towards bottom of page -

I don’t use a jrod. I have mine setup to use a hose nozzle thereby being infinitely adjustable.

Rinsing with a 12V will be slow. Try it and your regular hose. Your regular hose if you have decent pressure and volume may be a lot quicker.


Sorry for the delay in updating this post.

tireshark, I took your recommendation and cancelled the 8gpm pump. Just going to try and use the 4gpm for soap and hopefully the pw won’t crap out on me for rinsing. So then the question is, which tips? I was looking at the softwash tips from for the 2-3gpm machine. Or should I pick different ones to put in the JRod? I know from reading that ppl go 1 lower to maximize the spray strength. But for my machine it’s already rock bottom. I will need to get at least 30ft because of the 2 stories peaks. I usually have everything done at the first of the year so it will not be to bad. But this last year we had a lot of rain and the algae and mold grow substantially worse than before.

Racer, thanks for the clarification on the doubling of the chems. So, can I use just the elemonator also on the roof? I know I may have to use more to get the clinging factor that I need but would cut a little off the cost for not having to buy the roof snot.

And again, thank to everyone who has offered advice on this.

I use a Jrod for a 4 and 5.6 gpm and hit the peak of a three story easily with no wind. I don’t pull my soap injector I just switch tips. It works great. I use the same tips for both machines and haven’t noticed a difference in height or ability to pull soap.

Jrod tips for 5.6 gpm:
2510 - fan rinse
0010 - stream rinse
0050 - stream soap
2550 - fan


OK, need some help from the experts. I have a EverFlo 4gpm 12 volt pump, 50ft of 1/2" poly braid hose, DIY 1/2" ball valve using tips from a 2700psi 2.3gpm pressure washer. I’m using the same 1/2" hose to draw water from a drum. Problem is, the pump cycles about every second. Is this normal? I just bought it and surely don’t want to burn it up before I get to even start the project.

Any and all replies are welcome.

Another beginner here doing some reading on this thread and wondering what tips (jrod) work best for your 4gpm. Im reading that some of the suggested rinse tips are too strong for siding and others will pull soap from the rinse tips…

2510 - fan rinse
0010 - stream rinse
0040 - stream soap
2540 - fan soap
I believe this is correct. I have to check later today. Some guys say the 0010 is not strong but just use it for up high. If you rinse low with it you wasting time and going to stripe the siding. In my opinion this is a must have tool for downstreaming. If you think the 0010 is to much pressure just pull the chem injector and rinse with the 0040.

I think some wires got crossed along the way on this thread. This topic was primarily about 12v pumps, not pressure washers.

Lookup a nozzle chart to see what your pressure washer will put out with different sized tips.

Personally, I think the rinse tips put out too much pressure for 99% of house-washing. I use the soap tips and go back to my trailer and bypass my injector to rinse. Gives a little more dwell time :wink: