The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Smallholding => Equipment => Topic started by: Foobar on November 14, 2014, 03:48:27 pm

Title: Pressure washers & disinfectant
Post by: Foobar on November 14, 2014, 03:48:27 pm
I'm thinking of buying a pressure washer to make cleaning out the trailer and stables easier (as well as for the car and the drive etc), but I want one that I can use disinfectant in.  I was looking at the Karcher ones and the manual says to only use Karcher cleaning fluids.  Is this just a marketing ploy?  can I use anything, as long as it's not abrasive?
Can anyone recommend any sensibly priced washers with good pressure?

...oh and with the disinfectant mix I'd like one where you can get the correct mix ratio, like 1:50 or 1:100 etc.  Not just some vague dial :S.
Title: Re: Pressure washers & disinfectant
Post by: HesterF on November 14, 2014, 06:41:38 pm
I've got a Karcher pressure washer - in fact got it for free with supermarket points in Switzerland - and it's fab. I can't think why you couldn't use it with disinfectant as long as it's fully soluble and wouldn't attack the plastic or rubber tubing. I've never used it with disinfectant - theirs or anybody elses - because I mainly use it for cleaning down paving but I can't think why it wouldn't be OK. It is very powerful - you have to be careful with painted surfaces and wooden surfaces, for instance.
Title: Re: Pressure washers & disinfectant
Post by: VEG on November 14, 2014, 08:21:34 pm
I use disinfectant in mine to clean out stables after a friends horse is turned out for the spring. I had to buy one capable of being used from a water butt, just something to bare in mind.
Title: Re: Pressure washers & disinfectant
Post by: Foobar on November 17, 2014, 08:02:26 pm
Brill, thanks both.
Title: Re: Pressure washers & disinfectant
Post by: cloddopper on November 17, 2014, 10:30:11 pm
Verkon S is an excellent disinfectant , it's used all over the place in disease control as well
 , it turns pink in water
 I've run hundreds & hundreds of litres of it through the dosing tank on my Nilfisk pressure washers over the years .
Cost is always the limiting factor  but going for the cheapest is a false economy as a good washer will usually outlast three or more cheap ones .
 Drain them down and after every use and always store them awy in a frost fre place as a good freeze often slits the casings/body of the pump unit .

 If you don't have your washer yet , think of buying one that has a reinforced rubber hose rather than a plastic /nylon one as the reinforced rubber ones last a lot longer so long as  you store them out of sunlight & heat and away from grease & oils .

I'd also recommend that you get a washer that has an extension hose on it as this often stops you twisting the hose around as you work , plus you don't have to keep moving the washer pump and incoming water supply hose around.

If you can get a washer with two changeable heads it's very worthwhile .  One for a rotating spray cone  which is good as a floor cleaner and the other as an adjustable wide blade to a point spray blaster that is good for channels . 
Having the extension hose also means that if needs be you can add a drain blaster head to unblock rainwater down pipes & underground 100 mm dia pipe etc  with ease for up to 30 mtrs or so . Any longer in the hose dept  and the hose expands and contracts so much with the pulses of the pumping elements that it struggles to preform the best pressure spray form.

Re:-  the barrel & header tank .

Its best to have some sort of in line filter on the incoming water if you are using rain water in a header barrel .  Having the barrel three feet higher than the washer inlet is very helpful to ensure that the pump  has enough head of water pressure when the level in the tank is low  ..... To stop the pumping elements drawing in air and it causing wear.
Title: Re: Pressure washers & disinfectant
Post by: Still playing with tractors on November 19, 2014, 10:18:52 pm
I agree with Clodhopper we have a Karcher and it runs detergent no problem.
Title: Re: Pressure washers & disinfectant
Post by: Foobar on November 24, 2014, 04:14:25 pm
Some good tips there, thanks Cloddopper. :)
Title: Re: Pressure washers & disinfectant
Post by: chrismahon on November 25, 2014, 11:13:01 am
We had a cheaper Karcher (£150?) and 2 weeks outside the warranty the plastic casing of the pump split. It was hardly used and never allowed to freeze, so I won't be buying another one. The jet nozzle started leaking as well and the thing wouldn't shut off properly just before it failed -rubbish quality I thought.

I borrowed a more expensive Karcher and that was fine. About 6 years old and working perfectly, so I think the problem is them trying to cut costs on the later models.