In an odd kind of irony, it’s not advisable to pressure-wash in the rain. While they both involve water, and both result in getting outdoor stuff wet, it’s just not all that great to use your pressure-washing equipment when nature is refilling the aquifers.
For that reason, I was not able to start my spring pressure-washing last week. Last week’s rain gave way to cold temperatures early this week, which prevented me from hauling the washer out then. By today, the weather had decided to give me a break. Although it was exceptionally windy today, it was mild and clear.
I managed to wrest my 2200-psi pressure-washer from the tool shed, hook it up, and start the fun. However, when the water started coursing thru the hose, it was also coursing right out of the handle of the “gun” I was holding. How in the name of all that’s logical can a machine be working perfectly fine when it’s put away in the fall, and then have a major flaw like that for its first use the following spring?
I really thought I could do the job (I wanted to pressure-wash our front porch so I could set the furniture out and make some room in the tool shed where the chairs and such had been stored for the winter). However, the water pouring out of the handle was soaking my sneakers and watering my jeans right up to my knees. It occurred to me that, with so much water escaping from the handle, the machine probably wasn’t delivering the pressure I wanted.
On the advice of a neighbor I called Harbor Freight to see if they had a replacement hose/handle combination. They did not. I next called Tractor Supply. They said they had what I was looking for. So I took the malfunctioning attachment with me and found that the hose they sold was, in fact, the standard size I needed.
Home again to try out my new attachments. The hose connected to the pressure-washer beautifully. The new handle was compatible with the hose. However — oops — the wand from the old machine was NOT compatible with the new handle. It was custom-designed for that machine only. Just when you think everything is going to fall in place, it falls apart instead.
Back to Tractor Supply. I found the young and pleasant sales-kid who had waited on me on my first visit and ‘splained my problem to him. I said, “Look, let’s just cut to the chase. Do you sell pressure-washers?”
Of COURSE they do.
So, I opted to start over with a new machine, a 3000-psi monster. (Giggle) It wasn’t until he had carried it all the way to the checkout counter that I saw it was a gas-engine machine, and not an electric one (the “broken” one is electric). Tractor Supply — at least the one with whom I was doing business — does not sell electric machines in-store. “I can order one for you. Should be here in a couple of days,” said the very helpful sales-kid.
“No, thanks. I’m really trying to start my project today.” So I’m now the owner of a brand-spankin’-new gas-powered pressure washer.
Have I had a chance to use it? No. The machine is so complex, and comes with so many warnings and specific rules to follow (such as using only fresh gasoline that’s no more than 10% ethanol), that it took me the rest of the afternoon just to put it together and read the instruction manual to make sure I knew what I needed to do to start it up (yes, yes, I’m a manual-reader. Where do I relinquish my “I’m a Real Man” membership card?) That, and the fact that the gasoline in my can has been sitting there since last fall, so probably not the freshest. By the time all of that came together, I simply wasn’t in the mood to run one more errand, even if it was just to the local gas station. So much for good intentions.
So, now I’m back in the weather-forecast watching business. The next time a decent day coincides with enough time to make it worth taking my new toy out of the tool shed, I’ll crank ‘er up and see what she can do.
If you know of anyone who would like to see about sticking their finger in the dike of my old machine, let me know. Other than flooding the user’s hand, it works fine.