One of our most popular services, and probably most enjoyable to complete is pressure washing. From patios and driveways to garden furniture and outhouses, we cover it all. What may surprise you is that our favourite machine to use isnt our petrol powered multi jet pressure washer, it is in fact the modest and humble Karcher K2 pressure washer.
The machine itself.
No one will argue with the opinion that Karcher are the kings when it comes to pressure washers, but we weren't always massive fan of the corporate giant. After having trouble with earlier models (pumps cracking one after another) we went through a stage of buying anything but Karcher including a few Petrol washer systems.
Although the petrol washers are fantastic and have their own long list of benefits, in the winter of 2018 we wanted to add an electric unit to the stock pile as working in house estates and large developments was noisy and intrusive. We needed a quieter option and electric seems to be the only option for a quiet machine.
With the mind set of big is best we reviewed the top few machines including the improving Karcher range. The Karcher K4 model had super reviews and so we cautiously rented one for an afternoons testing before committing to a purchase. The K4 was exceptional in performance, but it was heavy and cumbersome when pulling it in and out of the van. We tried it out in a smaller courtyard and it wasn't that easily portable and so we headed back to the drawing board.
We thought a smaller machine would be the way forward and began checking out a few different YouTube videos before finding a few glowing reviews of the Karcher K2 pressure washer. Around January 2019 amazon had a massive sale on Karcher pressure washer units and we bit the bullet and bought two K2 units.
Out of the box the unit was brilliant. When first plugging it in I had plenty of doubts about it's performance and had written it off as a washer that would be used to spray down the van and that would be it. I couldn't have been more wrong. 110 bar doesn't sound like much, but when paired with the dirt blaster lance fitment, it gave results that would put the petrol washers to shame. The circular motion of the head is well known and we've all seen the Sunday morning QVC specials showing how the circular spray pattern is so special for cleaning, but its true! It lifted this heavy moss like a blanket and worked through the step effortlessly. The circular spray pattern is also far more forgiving than the traditional fan spray that comes with many petrol units as standard, It reduces your chances of lines in the washing giving a far more even wash. After that two hour wash it earned a place in the van with the rest of our full time equipment. The long power chord was a real bonus as getting an extension chord wet and shorting out a customers fuse board was a real concern when considering moving to an electric unit.
It's been a year since the first machine was bought and it's still going strong. In that time the unit has been kicked across driveways, dropped from the van, dropped off the shelving and crushed by other equipment. The hose has been wrapped around the machine in a tangle, driven over and bend every shape. The lance has been dragged, dropped and thrown every shape too and still it works. We've done maybe 40 hours of work on the machine with the longest stints being 6 hours of continuous work, and so far the only real sign of wear is a small water leak inside the unit. It seems to be coming from the lance output but hasn't effected the use.
Value for money
In gardening and landscaping we've always felt there's a pressure to purchase only the best in equipment, meaning specific name brands and pro models of kit, but why? Due to the low cost of less than £100 for the unit we were able to buy two and still have change in comparison to buying a petrol washer equivalent meaning if one broke down we could reach into the van and pull out a new washer straight away. No down time on the job , no flapping to rent a new machine whilst the current one is being repaired and more importantly no loss in service for our customers!
There has to be one, and my only downside is the quick release hose. It was a battle to click the lance from the hose or even the hose from the machine as it would jam and out of frustration and laziness the hose and lance would end up wrapped around the machine. The threads for the water input are plastic on this unit instead of brass, so some care needs to be taken threading the hose connector on, but really in the grand scheme of things these are tiny issues. The circular patio cleaner fitment does work, but in heavy moss or dirt areas it just churns the muck making a mess and its so slow in comparison to just using the lance. Some people swear by them but personally not a fan.