Used Pressure Washer Buying Guide [Checklists Before the Final Deal]

By Power Tools

September 5, 2019

Buying a used pressure washer is a good idea, only if it’s in good condition.

Pressure washers are a great investment and cost some good amount of money. If you are planning for a top branded pressure washer then it’s going to be an expensive one.

used pressure washer buying guide

This is when buying a used pressure washer going to save your money by a good margin.

For example, one brand new Generac 7019 Onewash will cost around $400. But a used one can save you more than $150. These prices are not exactly on the market.

All you have to do is avoid buying a pressure washer that is in terrible condition. To avoid getting screwed you need to check the condition of that pressure washer personally.

In most of the cases, gas pressure washers are listed for sale. This is because they are more durable than electric pressure washers.

Now, follow these steps before wasting your money.

1. Start Your Engine From Cold Start

A car engine struggles to start if it was put in idle condition for a long time. And an engine needs warmth to start smoothly.

The seller can run the engine to keep it warm in front of you before you reach there. So, the only way to find out an engine is good or not is to start with a cold start.

Engine, in good condition, will face no problem in cold start. This way the seller would have no chance to cheat on the engine.

2. Ask for the invoice of that pressure washer

This might sound odd. But just to be sure the washer is genuine I recommend to ask for this favor.

A valid invoice will assure you that the power washer is genuine. If you are lucky enough you can get a warranty if it’s on the invoice.

3. Check the manual and match with the washer’s nameplate

The owner must have the manual of that pressure washer. Ask for the manual and have a look at it.

Manual is important. Why?

A manual by manufacturer contains every little detail of that pressure washer. Makes it easy to identify the pressure washer.

A complete specification of a pressure washer is described on a manual. The specification is the exact one mentioned on the pressure washer’s nameplate.

There can be a nameplate on the pressure washer pump as well. The exact nameplate will assure you are getting the right one.

Reading a user manual can be boring. But I love to read them as I am an engineer by profession! The main things you’ll learn by understanding a user manual are listed:

  • Essential Information
  • Machine Age
  • Parts
  • Maintenance Schedule

4. Check the Engine (Most Essential)

Until now, if everything looks good it’s time to check the engine. There are a few certain things that must be checked.

  • You let the owner start the engine. Even if there is some hide & seek, it will be unveiled during the start. Be sure that there are some issues if the engine does not start in three pulls.
  • Hear carefully to notice any kind of rattling sound. There should be smooth sound if the engine is in good condition.
  • Let the engine run for about 30 seconds or a minute there should be invisible smoke. Black smoke means an injured engine.
  • Definitely, check the fuel tank for any kind of dent or rust. Anything of these is a bad sign.
  • Ask the owner about the schedule of their oil change. Did they even change the engine oil? This is extremely important as many owners avoid it and barren their pump. Make sure the owner winterize the pressure washer. Proper storage is also important to reduce residual sludge.

5. Connect a Hose, Start the Engine and Check for Leaks from the Pump

This is an important step for the closing deal. Let’s see how you can do this!

  • After the used power washer is turned on, check for leaks on the pump. Before, coming to any final decision make sure the leaks are from faulty hose connection or a major leak of the pump. Major leaks are very costly for repair. Leaks can be due to faulty hose fitting. So, make sure you double check them.
  • All right, we got a no leakage pump. Now check the supply pressure. Make sure the pump is generating the mentioned pressure as on the user manual. You will feel the pressure right when you are going to kick start it!
  • Check for any sign of damage.

6. Now It’s Time for Field Test

This is the final step. Make it worth.

  • Start pressure washing on a driveway for say. Check if you are getting continuous pressure. Shaky pressure is not expected for good pressure washer.
  • In general, you should have a good pressure kickback with the wand. If there is any kind of problem pressure won’t be continuous.

If all of these is a green signal then approach for a final deal.