Surface Cleaners to Scale a Company

This is my first post. I have been reading and learning a lot.

I have a mid-size company. We do window, gutter, and pressure cleaning. I have 5 full-time Technicians.

Up until now, we have just bought the $150 15" surface cleaners at Lowes that stick on the end of your lance.

I’m ready to replace a few of those. I want something that is at a modest price, but will last a long time and do a good job. I don’t need the most expensive, because I have to buy 5 of them.

What would you suggest?

We have three 4 gpm, 4,000 psi machines, direct drive on 3 of the trucks.

We have rwo 2.8 gpm, 3,200 psi machines on two other vehicles.

I appreciate your help.

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Whisper wash ultra 16" would be perfect for the 4gpm. Dont know about the smaller pressure washers.

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I have heard that the Whisper Wash surface cleaners are over-priced. Are there other brands that would do just as well that I could purchase for less for all my guys?

Thats because they are better build and do a better job. you can go faster and save $$ in time spent.
Gp Hammerhead is good and cheaper but for a little more why not get the best.


Buy quality equipment and look at it as an investment. Few driveways and it’s paid for quality will remain as well. Goes for anything in this industry. we work with chemicals and water, quality matters.

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On the 2.8 gpm machines stick with 15" cheapies in my opinion. :+1:

Here’s an idea why not buy 1 GP Hammerhead and 1 WW? Put them both into service and see how they compare?


I wouldn’t buy a surface cleaner until you had professional grade equipment


5 Full time techs and using Lowes equipment??

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Yes. We have just begun to move into a lot more pressure washing. Up until now it has been mostly window and gutter cleaning

General pump 20 inch hammerhead is what I run with my 4K 4gpm. It’s great. Not over priced either

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I can get you 5 SCers.

Sounds like you’re price shopping, so we have some economy cleaners at 16" for the 4 gpm machines.
I can get you a couple choices for 12" cleaners for the 2.8 gpm.

862 312 2633

I’m available now if you want to chat for a few minutes.

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PM’d you.

I hear a lot of guys say they use a 20" surface cleaner with a 4gpm 4000 psi machine. Others say you can only go as big as 16" (4" per 1 gpm). What is the truth here? I’ve seen a lot of guys say their 20" machine works great on their 4 gpm machine.

Have any of you that have 4 gpm machines, tested a 20" and a 16" surface cleaner? What is the difference?

The difference is efficiency, residential driveways will work on a 20 inch with 4/4000 machine with a good chemical treatment. Large commercial lots forget about it. A 16 inch is really a waste of time if you like making money.

One thing to keep in mind between a 16" versus a 20" on a 4 gpm machine is you might be able to clean a wider swath with a 20" but you’re also going to have to move slower. Use that same 20" on an 8 gpm machine and you can fly.

I would stick to a 12" for your smaller machines but wouldn’t go larger than a 16" for the 4 gpm. If you’re doing so much pressure washing you have 5 guys I would definitely upgrade machines and surface cleaners. You’ll make a lot more money in the long run. You could probably triple your efficiency which means more jobs in one day. You’ll be amazed on what more gpm will do for you.


I went from a 15 inch Lowe’s special connected to the wand to the 20 inch, I can say I move pretty much the same speed if not alittle faster with the 20. I personally have 0 issues with a 20 inch and I move at a decent speed. But again it’s 4 gpm not 8 so naturally I do move slower. Kind of like stepping Heel to toe on tight rope speed if I had to describe it.

What about upgrading your two 2.8 machines to at least 4gpm? Then you’d have 5 SC all the same, easier to maintain, train on, troubleshoot.

“Opportunity Cost” is expense heaped upon one’s business partly due to less efficient setups and partly due to hesitating to upgrade. We may actually be costing ourselves money without realizing it.

EX: If you are making $1k/8hrs and upgrading makes you 25% more efficient, you raise your hourly income from $125/hr to $167/hr and your daily income went from $1000 to $1336, a 33% increase.

If you spend 5k to upgrade, you make your ROI in 15 days. (5000/336)


I live by the principle of opportunity cost. This is not just a sales tactic. It’s basic business science.

@masters, I wouldn’t think twice about just getting the whisper wash sc’s. They’re not the cheapest, but they’re also not the most expensive surface cleaners, either. And importantly, they’re probably the most recommended small sc’s among professionals.

What’ll that cost, like $2250 for 5 of them? And if you call somebody like @Jordie, maybe you can get a bulk discount :man_shrugging:. It might not seem like it, but that’s honestly a small potatoes expense for properly equipping 5 teams. Especially compared to a lot of other service industries. You should see what some plumbing and HVAC tools cost. Even a basic sectional window cleaning ladder goes for $1k+ per set.

I would also strongly consider ditching those 2.8 machines for a couple of gear or belt driven machines with at least 4gpm. See how you like them, and look at upgrading your other machines down the line.


For what it’s worth I have a few of the 20" BE surface cleaners and they work fine. However, the first sc I ever purchased was general pump 20" and it’s performed much better imo. In 6 years I’ve just done yearly general maintenance on it and it still runs like new, but I’ve had a handful of problems with the BE’s and have had to replace the swivels a couple of times. Don’t know about the whispers, but the GP was a great purchase for about $300 less than the whisper.