Portland Pressure Washer from Harbor Freight – Review – 1750 PSI – 63254/63255
The Portland Electric Power washer from Harbor
Freight – does it really clean or will it take you to the cleaners? That’s what we’ll
find out today. It seems every ad, and certainly every magazine
advertisement, for Harbor Freight stars this little florescent gem as the budget-minded
must-have to keep your belongings sparkling clean. But does it live up the hype? I don’t think anyone really pays retail for this because it’s always on sale. The price doesn’t seem so bad, and I do like the color, so naturally this seems like a
wise decision. ;~] And I have quite a few items I could really
use a power washer on. And here we go – my first ever electric
pressure washer! It’s touting a whoppin 1750 PSI with 1.3 GPM! It has a few different
spray adjustments, and onboard storage. And just look at all the handy things you can do. Oh, yes, we will test some of these and more. Right away we can see the sacred owner’s manual. And there’s some kind of wire tool
inside. Here are some various accessories like the
handle, spray gun which seems kinda light. Trigger action is a bit crunchy.
The detergent bottle and, I have to say, I am excited about this.
And this— thing, which I’m sure is cool. The high pressure hose. This actually feels
pretty sturdy. Cardboard accessory.
And, of course, the main attraction. Let’s take it out of the bag and let it
breathe a little. Well, the manual likes to ensure that we lay
everything out to make sure we’ve got everything. Hmmm, yep – close enough.
Let’s begin the assembly process! [Upbeat Music Starts] [Music Stops] Where are the screws? [DING!] [Music Begins Again] [Cat Sound] And to stow everything away… Spray gun. Wand. Hose. And detergent bottle. Let’s take a look at the spray gun in more detail. Included with this washer is an attachment I’m excited about called the foam canister—err– detergent bottle. This is supposed to jet soap out on your car or trailer or whatever needs to be foamed. And then we have the traditional wand with an adjustable spray pattern. Let’s see how this fits. There’s some notches we have to line up and then press kinda hard and twist
clockwise to secure. And of course, here is the spray adjustment.
Exploring the mechanism to change between the two different modes– I’m not quite
impressed. There’s so little resistance on the rotation and it lacks any firm notches
or stop points to give it the confidence it’ll stay where you set it. Hmmm… The on-off switch is operated with this large
plastic dial. It feels lightweight and, sorta like the wand, it doesn’t have a firm feel
to it. The cord stows away with the help of this
Velcro plus this… plastic bracket. You know how on vacuum cleaners this bracket usually
rotates so you can pull the cord off? Yeah, I guess this isn’t a vacuum cleaner. Let’s take a closer look at the power cord. The manual specifies that this unit has GFCI
protection built into this plug of the power supply cord and that is should be tested before
each use. The white button is to test the protection and the red button is the reset.
Should the power interrupter trip, press this to get it going again once you’ve determined
it is safe to do so. We’ll make sure the reset is pressed for now. Let’s plug this in and get going. Ummm— hmmm… Here we have our first problem.
With the electrical outlets I have installed on my house, this is going to be a challenge. My first inclination is to grab an extension cord. However, the manual clearly states not to use one. I’ll leave it to the viewer to determine how I fixed this issue. The manual states that we should run water
through the supply hose to purge any contaminants. And of course, we’ll turn the water off
and then attach it to the water inlet on the pressure washer. I’ll go ahead and prime the water through the system before I turn it on. I’ll do
this by leaving the unit off and just pulling the trigger on the spray gun. This should
help prevent the pump from running dry during first stratup. You can see that air is being
purged out of the system. Let’s turn this on for the first time and
see what it does. The pump powers on for a moment and then shuts
off automatically when pressure is obtained. This will cycle automatically as we use the
spray gun. Let’s start out by hosing down this wheel. Ok, well, the narrow pattern works well. Let’s try the wide spray for a moment. Whoa, what happened there? Let’s try
to re-prime the unit by turning off the machine and pressing the trigger to let the water
recycle through the unit. As suspected, there is a bit of air still bleeding from the system.
Much better. It’s loud, but not as obnoxious as many of its gasoline counterparts. I suspect that
more expensive brands would be a bit quieter, but at least this one won’t drive the neighbors
crazy… at least not right away. Let’s take this to the wheels on our Tahoe.
I recently changed the brakes and it’s been shedding quite a bit of rotor and brake pad
dust on the wheels. Now before the criticism starts, these are
older aluminum wheels that already have major damage with the clear coat, so I don’t take
as much precaution as I used to when they were newer. My goal here is to speed up the
cleaning process. Well, it’s sorta loosening the dirt off. I don’t think I want to use too much more pressure on these as it is as that may
damage the clearcoat even further than it already is. This will give us a good soaking
to help loosen the dirt. I’ll just give these a brief scrub to help
agitate the dirt. Ah, as you can see, It’s coming off a bit easier than just using a low-pressure soaking. And let’s give it a rinse. Not bad! Let’s try this on the Audi wheels as well. It’s been a while since they’ve been deep cleaned and this material has a different finish. Wow, alright, much better. This is somewhat satisfying actually. Let’s give it a bit of a scrub. And, of course, a final rinse. Not bad! [DING!] Alright, I cannot wait any longer. Let’s
try this detergent bottle foam soaker— thing. The manual does state to use “the recommended
type of detergent”, but doesn’t state what that really is. I’m sure a quick trip
down to the auto store would do the trick. However, I just dug around the garage for
a few minutes and found this old bottle of Mr. Clean carwash. Whoops, the washer came off. Let’s tuck that back up in there and close the bottle. Let’s remove the wand and install the detergent bottle. And now the moment of truth. Holy smokes, it works! I’m actually quite enjoying this. Another handy way to utilize this accessory
is to really get into areas like the undercarriage. This makes quick work of a task that took
quite a bit of effort before. This will also be handy on our camper with
bugs. And just like that it reaches up the top and gives the front a good soaking! Coming back to our detergent bottle, I can attest that although we get a nice soap distro, talk about eating the soap! I went through most of my supply with several refills to
get through these projects. I also noticed that if I were to set the gun
and canister on it’s side, the soap would leak out. And it actually leaks pretty fast.
Obviously, there is a problem with the washer or tolerance of these mating surfaces. I tried
removing and re-installing the washer a couple of times without success. I’ll probably
work on this at a later date, possibly replacing the washer or finding a better way to seal
these two pieces. We have a lot of deck on our house that needs to be repainted. Our smaller front deck is in the worst shape and has needed to be refinished for a couple of years. Let’s begin to prep
the surface by knocking off all the loose stuff. Well, it doesn’t appear that the fan spray really is working all that well. Let’s move this up to the narrow spray. Here we’re digging in a bit deep! This is what happens when using the narrow spray too close to the working surface. But this is easily avoidable by backup up just a little bit. Much better. Although this is going to take
a while. It’s worth noting that the manual advises
against using this harsher spray setting, and (laugh) you can see why. It also specifies that wood shouldn’t be cleaned in direct sunlight. Ahem. Let’s take care of our rails. This isn’t too bad, although some of this
paint is a bit suborn. There are purpose detergents for this type of deck stripping and probably better methods, however, I’ll just use some sandpaper and quickly go over these areas
before painting. Another recommended use according to the box
and the manual is for washing windows. Aaaaaand, actually, I think I’m going to pass on this
test. My windows are pretty aged, and compliments of the builder, some of the cheapest ones
you can buy. And actually, we have a problem with these things leaking. Let’s pass on
this test for now, but I’m sure this would work fine. While doing some final pressure washer prep
work the other night on the deck, I noticed that the machine was cycling on and off even though the sprayer handle was fully depressed. By this time, I’ve used it all season on
a variety of projects and have even loaned it out once for a deck stripping project.
So according to what I’m reading, this could be the result of the tip
needing to be demineralized and cleaned. For this, it recommends using a demerializing
solution. We have some vinegar under our sink, so we’ll soak the end of the wand in here
for a few hours. Now we’ll take our wire tool and clean out
the spray tip. However, after the original unpacking, I promptly lost it! Sooooo… Let’s look through the BINS OF
FURY. And…hmmmm. This is probably not the recommended way of doing this so just don’t lose your tool like I did. After I completed this procedure, the pressure washer is working fine again! One of the tips I’d like to offer is dealing
with the high-pressure hose. After it’s been decoupled and re-coupled a few times, it becomes stubborn and almost impossible to attach. I recommend using a lubricant
and applying it to the washer. After that, it seems to go together a bit easier. I also noticed that sometimes the hose can
get tangled up. This is because the hose is a bit stiff so spending a few minutes untwisting
it fully when needed seems to help. Now we’re at the end of the season and it’s
time to store this thing away. And, believe me, it gets cold here in Montana.
The manual recommends installing anti-freeze into the pump. And, I’m not exactly sure
how I’d get this stuff flowing through here honestly as that part is conveniently left
out of the manual. So what I have here is an adaptor I use for
my RV. One end fits into an air pressure fitting and the other attaches to a standard hose
water hose fitting. My plan is to run some air through the system, sorta how you winterize your sprinkler systems in the fall. I have the pressure set down to just under
40 PSI on my compressor. We’ll let this run for a few minutes. This air feels pretty dry now, so I think this will be good enough for storage. So, what’s my take? Is this a green fountain
of fury with the ability to strip a grizzly bear bare? Or is it more of a gentle spring
shower of drizzling disappointment? Well, I’d say it’s right in between those two
extremes. For $75, this isn’t a bad deal. It does
everything that’s advertised. There are quite a few things that are not refined such as the plug end, the inefficient way to loop off the cord, the spray adjuster lacking a
solid feel between the two modes, the general feel of the trigger on the spray wand, and
the leaky detergent bottle. However, my friends, what do you expect for something this cheap?
It was able to finish all my projects for the season and it’s still running fine from
Spring to Fall. At this this price point, that’s about all you can ask for. If you’re on the edge, don’t hesitate to buy it and just deal with the shortcomings. But if you’re into quality, spend a few extra bucks for a more reputable brand. There is one question that yearns to be answered and I know it’s on all of your minds. Can we use this pressure washer to clean
our fruits and vegetables? Let’s find out!. [Loud upbeat music starts] And there you have it! As with anything… [CRUNCH] It’ll work if you try hard enough. If you enjoyed this review, please consider subscribing and joining our community. Adventure waits just around the corner, we’d love to have you along for the ride!