Things you'll never know starting out, no matter how much research you do or questions you ask

  • You will need two of everything, minimum, thus increasing your startup costs about 25-33%

  • Something will always be breaking, coming undone, leaking, not starting, wearing out, making weird noises, getting tangled, catching on something, corroding, spilling, sloshing, tipping over…

  • Your system will come with regular Orings even though you have a hot water system.

  • You wont realize the difference until you are on your first job, blowing Orings every 15 minutes.

  • Autozone does not carry what you need but you will buy them anyway because they are the only store around at that moment.

  • Your system will not come with hose reels, even though you asked for them and they are an absolute cornerstone of any system.

  • Reclaim is really hard to do properly.

  • Nobody cares about it.

  • 200’ of hose is really hard to coil without a reel.

  • Power washing isnt a one man operation

  • There is money in commercial.

  • There is a difference between black smoke and white smoke coming from your heater

  • A vertical heater has the injector at the bottom

  • That injector can easily get debris on it

  • That debris can cause serious malfunction.

  • That malfunction causes soot buildup on the coil

  • That soot acts as insulation from the heat

  • That causes your water not to heat up properly.

  • It also causes black plumes of smoke, with or without the trigger on.

  • It costs 700 to fix it.

  • White smoke means too much air in the combustion ratio.

  • Too much air can cause the burner to delay when the trigger’s pulled and then suddenly ignite with a BOOM.

  • Wayne burners are tougher to adjust than Beckett.

  • Your skin will itch and burn from something, even weeks after you arent PWing anymore.

  • Your gloves will stink something fierce.

  • Your feet will inevitably get wet, even with rubber boots.

  • You can clean Fast Food restaurants during daytime business hours.

  • You can get weekly maintenance accounts.

  • You can charge close to a small housewash for each one.

  • 6 months of your hoses getting run over won’t hurt them. Much.

  • Variable pressure wands make downstreaming a breeze but no one seems to know that.

  • If they do, they dont talk about it. Much.

  • You will always feel like you made the wrong decision about your startup strategy.

  • You will be forced to troubleshoot like you’ve never troubleshot before in your life.

  • Hundreds of hours of research isn’t enough.

  • You will have to assert yourself like never before.

  • After a full season of forums, you still wont know if SH stands for hypochlorite or hydroxide.


Just seen your video. Sorry for your troubles bud. At least you were close and seem to put it out fast before the whole thing burned right?

Yeah. I ran like I havent run in years. Dropped my wand right in the middle of the parking lot and booked it over, grabbed the fire extinguisher but wasnt enough. Shoulda popped my feedline off and dowsed but didnt plan ahead. I think some filter mats fell and touched the exhaust, ignited and ignited my vacuum hoses and sand dams.

I quick disconnected my gas tank and flung it across the parking lot. There was 5 gal more in the van and 15gal of diesel. Right at lunch time in the city. Packed drivethru. Good show. Thankfully, there was a police officer happened to be there, he called fire dept and had a bigger extinguisher.

But van sustained minimal damage, already got it cleaned and detailed. Nobody was hurt and nothing exploded. Looked worse than it was and the two Engines shutting down everything for 1/2 hour made it much more dramatic.

So, Im facing building an open trailer. I dont want an enclosed. So, we will see how it goes…:roll_eyes:


I’m not a big fan of enclosed either for this reason. That and I would think the bleech smell would be unbearable.

Yes, it probably would if it was mainly used for housewashing. I was all commercial so after a month or so, I wasnt using any chemical on the weekly sidewalks, just steam, very little bleach, except for the occasional stain or to brighten up.
It was actually the fuel smell that would getchya.

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Didn’t see the video, but it sounds like you had quite a day… Bummer…
Why do you say PW is not a one man job?
And if you buy 2 of everything wouldn’t your cost go up 100%?
Why does your skin itch and burn?
In confused… LOL

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Having a helper was so much better. One guy could man the van or clean the windows or help with hoses.

It was hyperbole. Maybe not the main components but guns, lances, fittings, swivels, valves, tools etc.[quote=“Greg755, post:6, topic:10345”]
Why does your skin itch and burn?

I have no idea but i feel like its from bleach. But it hasn’t gone away. Feels kinda like poison ivy. Only on my forearms. From my gloves?? Idk. Been putting Calendula cream on it but didn’t seem to help.

Here is the video. Might as well post it. Maybe it will help someone else.

Didn’t expect you to reply… I was Just being a smart,alec :slight_smile:

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Wow glad you had an extinguisher. That was somw fast thinking on your part. Great to see you were not injured.


SO, I’m knocking out a walkway freebie after a complete window cleaning when I smell gas. I look to my pick-up, and see a tiny stream of gas blowing onto the manifold of my PW. I drop my SC and run like hell to the truck. I had left gas can (plastic, replaced with metal BTW) too close to PW. I jerked that can off the back of the truck with great force and speed. AND YET, having narrowly averted disaster I still haven’t purchased a fire extinguisher.

I’m sorry for your loss, my Brother, and grateful for your contribution. NOW, I’m pushed to get a fire extinguisher. Thanks for the nudge!


Always have fire extinguishers. Best not to carry gas cans but if you do they should be metal with old school nozzles, in my opinion. @Jordie if you lost something you need right away and can’t get let me know and I’ll try to help you out.


Im using the honda 390 so i have to have a gas can (metal safety can). Was on a job and the machine ran out of gas so i started to pour and the vapors ignited. I jumped in the back of the pick up and threw some stuff out the truck to get my Fire Extinguishers and had the fire out within seconds. Im just glad the extinguisher worked, it was a 10+ year old one with the arrow barely in the green.
The neighbors kids was just standing there watching, not sure if she saw the flames but she saw me panic. Had to turn machine two on and finished the job. Had to clean out the gas tank and get out the powder out of the gas tank. Immediately bought another fire extinguisher and now always have it next to me when i fill with gas. I will be buying another to have one on both the trailer and the bed of the truck.

If you dont have a fire extinguisher, GET ONE NOW. you are quite literally playing with fire by not having one. They cost less than $20 bucks


That is why machines with tanks that need to be refilled before the day is over should be avoided. I guess blowers are an exception but with 9 and 12 gallon tanks readily available refilling p/w shouldn’t have to happen


@Innocentbystander thank you for the offer but not much got damaged. The sand dams, the filter mats and my vac hose were the worst of it and the two fuel tanks were compromised. The cargo lights in the van dont come on, the cable mustve gotten toasted at the worst spot.

Wierdest thing is when the van is in reverse, there are two sets of guidelines on the backup cam - red/green to let you know if you are going to hit something and white which curves as ypu turn to guide you. The white guidelines just disappeared.:thinking:

So, going to put a trailer hitch on and looking into an open trailer. Van will become my workshop and a virtual parts store.

What I am interested in is anyone’s experience with having a trailer built by the big players - Pressuretek,, Pressure Washers Direct, PowerLine USA, Ultimate Washer,…
I do not want to build it myself.

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Bob at pressuretek used to build trailers for Jeff LeCours but not sure if he still does. He would be my first call.

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the gx390 only hold one and 1/2 gallons which only last about 3 hrs. so you have to refill on some jobs. Not everyone can afford or even wants a “bigger” machine.

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These guys will build you a trailer and they build based on your needs…

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I LIKE THE WAY YOU THINK! I may follow your lead this Spring. I think I’ll monitor your progress, my good brother. I REALLY like the way those folks in Petersburg, FL describe best practices and products. @Racer Rick does business with them, and I just bought a Delavan 12v pump that will get here Monday.

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Glad it looked worse than it was. I was just telling my wife I need to get a fire extinguisher for my trailer. Probably mount it in the truck though since I might not be able to get to it if it were “in” the trailer.