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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2010
    Posts
    2,161

    Default power washers: rent or buy?

    I plan to power-wash my old wood barn at least once a year (we'll see how much of a hassle it is to do) to remove cobwebs and such. I also would like a power washer to clean my trailer maybe once a year. At this point in time, I don't foresee any other uses for it, though perhaps once I have one I'll stumble across other potential uses.

    So, do I rent one from the local hardware store on a Saturday or buy one? I think they're for rent for <$50 (I can't remember, I was looking at multiple tools to rent), and it's a high-powered one. Or buy one for $300 that may not be as good? Or they even have little electric ones for less than $200. I don't need much or often; I really just need to blow dust off things once or twice a year. Would it be worth it to buy one?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2002
    Location
    way out west
    Posts
    3,107

    Default

    I went over to Home Depot to rent one. They rent in four hour blocks, so you'd better be ready to go home and get to work when you pick it up. As I was talking to the guy there he mentioned they had a used one for sale. So I got a really high powered and expensive one for only $250. You might check that out. It was one they'd used as a rental and they turn them over pretty often for new models.

    I wash my barn twice a year and use it on my horse trailer at least once a month.

    Rental fees would quickly exceed what I paid.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,618

    Default

    Buy.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    9,697

    Default

    I'm going to say rent. The decent ones start at like $500. Yes if you buy one you will find uses for it, but ugh.

    DH got one last year and it's had a lot of use (deck, driveway) but he's also had to order and install a new carburetor, order new parts for the hose because the hose kept blasting off the body, and just recently it decided to start leaking gasoline from somewhere. We were sniffing around the garage trying to find the source of the smell, and found it sitting in a puddle of gas. .
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2011
    Posts
    1,099

    Default

    Buy. It get's used for a lot.
    "I couldn't find my keys, so I put her in the trunk"



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
    Posts
    3,045

    Default

    DH decided to buy a used one off Craigslist instead of renting one.
    Be very careful about powerwashing the painted part of your horse trailer. A friend just bought a used trailer and the previous owner apparently would powerwash the outside. The powerwashing chipped the edges on the stripes on the trailer. On her trailer they are painted not decals.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,490

    Default

    Check your area for a local equipment rental place. The big box stores are great for convenience, but you can get better rental deals at smaller, local places.

    There are 3 rental places within 30 minutes of my house where I can rent $1500-$3000 pressure washer that also heats the water if needed for an entire weekend for $150. Pick up on Friday and drop off Monday morning. You can get a LOT done in a weekend.

    Even if I rent it 2 weekends annually, it would take 10 years to cover the $3000 model I've rented. So for me it's worth it. For now. But I am planning on buying one of their used ones in the next few years. Mainly because I keep finding more things to do with it AND I have a buttload of family in state who could also use it, so I'd have one they can borrow.

    Owning one is great and I do prefer to own rather than rent. (I am also horribly addicted to power equipment though) But if you can find a nearby equipment rental place that isn't a big box store, check those places out too. They have large/more powerful equipment at MUCH better rental prices. Their used prices are great for buying too. They cost less and have better stuff because the bulk of their customers are contractors who don't have any use for residential grade equipment. Go industrial grade, it's worth it.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2001
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    673

    Default

    Buy, you'll be washing trucks, trailers, house, barn, tractors, 4 wheelers and the list goes on and on and on.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2013
    Posts
    43

    Default

    I bought an electric powered one at lowes for $150 or so on sale........it's fantastic and wife-friendly.

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_336396-53393...r|1&facetInfo=



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    733

    Default

    Buy. If you had it you would find all kinds of things that need to be power washed. I use ours on heavy saddle pads and horse blankets that won't fit in the washer. Our concrete house steps get washed a couple times a year and they look so much better. Couldn't even begin to list the machinery and lawn mowers, etc that are power washed. Water tanks and buckets. Keeps the dirt from closing in on the sidewalk. Definitely buy one. I think ours was about $500 and we've used it a lot.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    9,415

    Default A small Hijack

    Has anyone used one inside a metal pole barn?
    I'd love to de-cobweb & de-birdpoop the barn rafters @ 10' high and even the indoor @ 16' rafters, 24' peak w/o having to get on a ladder.

    Both have fluorescent fixtures - would I have to avoid spraying these?
    The metal hoods could sure use cleaning, but I'm afraid I'd either short out the ballasts or break the bulbs with water psi.

    I don't see a problem in the indoor (even if I have to work carefully around the lights) but I store hay in the barn & sure don't want that wet!
    I guess I could wait until I'm almost out of hay in the early Summer, move the few bales outside & powerwash then.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 3, 2010
    Posts
    1,426

    Default

    I bought an inexpensive one and LOVE it! It allows me to do things I could not otherwise do. I know other folks who have the smaller less expensive ones and they seem to hold up better than the pricier gas ones.
    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
    ― Albert Einstein



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2011
    Location
    So California
    Posts
    2,634

    Default

    Sometimes it's not the convenience of owning but the inconvenience of storing an item which nixes a purchase. I can't answer that for you, but you might consider whether you have an accessible clean dry place to store it for the majority of time you will not be using it. I mean, I would think you would have space in a barn, but I mention this because some people have their barns full to overflowing and end up having things packed in and stacked upon to the point where they end up buying the same item or renting to avoid searching through all the stuff.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    2,944

    Default

    We have an inexpensive one and use it a lot. Convenient to have it where and when it's needed.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2005
    Location
    Central California Mountains
    Posts
    769

    Default

    I, too, have a cheapie electric one (I think mine cost $100). LOVE it - it's portable, fast and effective; use it alot and it is just fine for my purposes. After waffling on buying and going ahead, I would definitely buy again rather than rent.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    552

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
    Has anyone used one inside a metal pole barn?
    I'd love to de-cobweb & de-birdpoop the barn rafters @ 10' high and even the indoor @ 16' rafters, 24' peak w/o having to get on a ladder.

    Both have fluorescent fixtures - would I have to avoid spraying these?
    The metal hoods could sure use cleaning, but I'm afraid I'd either short out the ballasts or break the bulbs with water psi.

    I don't see a problem in the indoor (even if I have to work carefully around the lights) but I store hay in the barn & sure don't want that wet!
    I guess I could wait until I'm almost out of hay in the early Summer, move the few bales outside & powerwash then.
    I powerwash inside my metal pole barn 2x a year....love it. makes the place look so much better.

    What surprised me the first time I did it was that the water doesn't *really* splatter all over the place like you would expect. Because of the high pressure it's a fairly small amount of water. I store hay in my barn and was able to wash around it--covered most of it with a tarp just to be careful but it wasn't too much of a hassle to work around it.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    9,415

    Default

    ArabDiva:
    What happens with the goop you powerwash off the walls & ceiling?
    I'm imagining wet slop that must be picked up somehow.
    Tarping my hay would work as I can then just gather up the tarp, goop & all to clean up.

    And again: what about light fixtures?
    As much as I'd love to powerwash the metal hoods, I'd hate to ruin my fluorescents doing that.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2011
    Posts
    516

    Default

    I have an electric unit that I find to be very useful for a variety of cleaning tasks around here...and washing my trailer is one of them. I bought my current one from Costco and I'm actually enjoying it for the very reasonable cost it had. If I really needed a "big job" done, I'd absolutely consider a rental.

    Just remember...using the correct nozzle is critical. If you don't, you can actually cut through wood and other materials with the water stream!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2000
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    12,607

    Default

    Borrowed one from a friend, and liked it so much I bought myself one.
    Gas powered Generac.
    Love it.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2004
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    292

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
    Has anyone used one inside a metal pole barn?
    I'd love to de-cobweb & de-birdpoop the barn rafters @ 10' high and even the indoor @ 16' rafters, 24' peak w/o having to get on a ladder.
    We have a commercial karcher machine, and my rafters are at 16' in the barn. It won't reach even the bottom of the rafters, much less the eaves. Does a great job everywhere else.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I'm not an outlier; I just haven't found my distribution yet!



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