Upgrade Choices

Hello, I am new to the industry and thought I had researched properly before buying my unit. I got a Simpson 3400psi 2.5gpm unit with honda gx200 engine and cat pump.(Underpowered choice but I got what I could)
I now know that for flatwork, the 2.5gpm will slow me down.
Would I be better off upgrading to a 3gpm pump running at 2500 psi to meet the HP requirements for engine, or just save the money from upgrading the pump and tough it out for a few months and upgrade to a 4gpm or 5.5 gpm unit depending on what deals I can find.
Note: I have found used gx390 engines in decent shape for 3-400 locally, so It could be cost efficient to buy the engine and pump separately.

Do you have work?

If yes: buy a professional machine on credit.

If no: market yourself, then buy a professional machine on credit.

Commercial flatwork like restaurants and fast food places will require hot water and 5.5+ gpm at 3500 psi or more.

Residential concrete, you should be starting with a minimum of 4-5.5 gpm and 2500-3500 psi, and cold water will do the trick.

Oh, and read, read, and read some more. The search is finally working here again, so study anything you can find about concrete, chemicals, detergent, degreasers, pre treating, post treating, surface cleaners, etc.


My flyers will be here today or monday and marketing starts as soon as I get them in. I already built my website, and am ranked well on google. I have a restaraunt job lined up that I planned on renting a hot water unit for.
But It looks like I will pound the pavement and when I have a decent amount of work lined up go ahead and uppgrade to a good residential unit and just rent for commercial work unless I land enough contracts to make it worthwhile.
I have spent alot of time reading up on chemicals, the different stages of treatment, etc so even with my inefficient equipment I can still provide a quality service and exceed expectations in the meantime.

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hold out for 4-5.5

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My 4gpm 4k machine,paired with the MiTM 20in surface cleaner I just recently got(rated for max 5gpm) is fast. Its faster than my 18in BE surf clnr by double speed. I dont know why the difference, but it is faster.


Thank you, I will be doing alot of surface work so I will keep this setup in mind.

Also as fall comes on there is likely to be some bargains from guys who didn’t make a go of it. I would suggest a 4gpm as minimum. I would want price to be half or less than the new price.


Save up for a belt driven 4gpm 4000 psi at minimum. also shotgunning flyers is a waste of money been there and done that i got 1 job out of 750 door hangers.

If I had to do it over again, starting out I would get a good used GX390 and bolt on a 5/3000(ish) gear drive pump with buffer tank. Either that or try and find a used belt drive 4/4 that lets you run a bypass line to the tank.

Last fall I started with a 2.5/3200, did a deck for $600 and got a Simpson direct drive 4/4200…but it was a real PITA as it wasn’t fully plumbed. I sold that and with the money made with it bought an overly expensive 5.5/3500.


What was your most effective marketing tactic? I also have a Blip Billboard Campaign staring tomorrow for a week in one of my targeted areas.
Only 35 bucks for the week with 135 displays in peak transit hours

Cool thank you. I have been between a new predator 13hp with the warranty or a used GX390. Can find them both for the same price. There is a place near me with the 275 gal tanks for 45 bucks

If your choice is between a Honda and a Predator–go with the Honda. If it’s been even remotely maintained those smaller Hondas are damn near bulletproof. Check it out and run it through a shakedown before buying, obviously.

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I started Pressure washing in 1989,I have cleaned hotels,apartment complexes,office buildings,parking lots,football stadiums and anything you can clean - I currently own 20 Pressure washers - sometimes you need a rig with a diesel fired burner and a large water tank with cement cleaners - when you have to drive 30 miles to clean a1200 square foot house that is a little overkill,for jobs like this I have a 4x4 trailer with a 4 gallon machine and a 150’ hose reel,I tow it with a 4cyl S-10 pickup that gets over 20mpg - I carry a small 1500 psi 4gallon machine as a back up - I laugh every time I see a big rig at a small house / my advice to anyone starting a Pressure washing business is to have the right equipment including a small rig like I described,that could be your bread and butter

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Have you seen this yet? You could ditch the trailer :wink:




That’s easy to say when you’ve been in business for 30 years. I get what you’re saying and makes sense after you’re an established company. Personally I’d rather have a trailer with my main setup that can do anything and then an 8 gpm setup on a flatbed truck with no trailer. For someone just starting out the last thing they should do is buy multiple trailers or multiple setups. If all your money goes into equipment most of it would be parked in the yard more than at work. It makes a lot more sense when starting out to buy one 5.5 or 8 and use the extra funds for marketing. You’ll build your business faster that way. I guess if someone has unlimited funds that’s a different story.

I would contact troy bilt and see what trailer they recommend to carry all 20 pressure washers. I also think being in business 30 years. You would i have wised up at some point and quit buying pressure washers almost every year. If your still washing 1200 sqft homes why are you worried about overkill and why do you care? Post some pics of your equipment. I would love to see you setup. 30 years in business im sure it is well thought out and efficient.


Your inspiration.

The updates and progress on your truck has sucked since season got underway.



In IT we call the shade tree guys Pizza Pete’s. :flushed:

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