Many years I decided I needed a pressure washer. In the first instance, I thought it would be useful to clean the slime and algae off of the paths and drive around the house, but secondly, I thought is would be great to clean the car with, especially underneath and in the wheel arches after I've been driving in muddy conditions or on salted roads.
Looking around at what was available at the time (and I'm going back about 9 years now), there was a vast price range to choose from, where you could spend up to £150 or more depending on what you were after. For my requirements, I just wanted a basic pressure washer with no fancy switches, pressure adjusters or extra features that you tended to find on the expensive Karcher type models. So when I came across this in B&Q for just under £30, it seemed ideal.
Made by Performance Power, it is at the budget end of the scale, known as the Performance Power 2002 model. Basically it has a green outer casing which houses the motor and the pump, all weighing in at about 4 kg. The long power lead comes out of one end of the case, whilst at the other end you connect your hose pipe to feed the water into the pump. Just above this water connection is where you connect the 10' long pump hose which then goes to the lance. The handle and lance assembly are about 30" long. On the side of the casing is a power switch which switches the pump on and off. The pump is also auto controlled by the water flow, so that when you pull the trigger in the handle, the pump operates and water flows. Let go of the trigger and the pump stops. Ratings wise the washer has a 100 bar max pressure rating from the 1.4 kW motor, with a rated pressure of 85 bar pumping about 6 litres per minute.
In use, I found the washer to be very good, where the water or jet comes out of the lance as a sort of horizontal flat fan spray. So for general cleaning, like the panels on your car perhaps or just generally cleaning a path, having the lance about 1 to 1.5 feet away from the surface is adequate to get rid of most dirt. But if you need to shift some stubborn dirt, moving the lance closer in narrows the fan spray and concentrates the power more onto the dirt. Cleaning paths etc is a real breeze because having the 30" long lance means that you can easily operate it from your hip as you walk along and just sweep it back and forth across the ground.
There is another basic addition with this model which is worth mentioning, and that is that you can add detergent to the spray. Sitting between the water inlet hose and the pump hose on the front is a small connection for attaching a narrow pipe (supplied) and then feed the other end of the pipe into a container containing your soap or detergent. As you pull the trigger on the lance, the water flows and draws the detergent into the stream to mix together, so in theory it should improve the cleaning performance. Personally I have never actually used it, but it is there if required.
So summing up the review, considering spray performance per cost, you can't go wrong with this washer. You can get more powerful models (at considerably more cost) but why spend more when this does the job just as well, and can you really tell the difference in performance between a 1.4 kW motor and a 1.7 kW version? Personally, I don't think I could.
I've used this washer regularly for the past 9 years cleaning cars, walls and paths and it still performs brilliantly. Despite taking knocks and being stored in the shed, it still has no leaks and everything still works, which is pretty good considering this is a budget end model that is over 9 years old.
But why am I writing a review now about a 9 year old pressure washer that you can no longer buy new? Well for starters, I've seen 2 of these washers this year in car boots, meaning that you can still get them second hand, and I would recommend that you do so if you are after a pressure washer. But more importantly, the longevity and continued performance of this particular washer kind of proves that it is often worthwhile considering basic budget models for your needs. This model has now been updated many times over, and B&Q now have a number of other budget type models similar to this with the same spec in the same price range. Argos also do the Challenge Xtreme basic model starting at £34.99. So whilst many may be put off from budget models because of the cheap price (for which they may associate poor quality) sometimes it is very worthwhile considering them because you may be surprised at the performance you get in return for the little price you pay. After 9 years of regular use, and still working like new, this pressure washer certainly opened my eyes towards what these budget models can do and how good they can be.
Currently this power washer is going for £29.99 at B&Q. It is quite good and does what power washers do. handy for washing down patios - getting the green slime of the concrete. cleaning the car - getting the muck from under the wheels. handy for getting paint off old fences and brickwork. BUT...the extras cost a few quid. The car washing lance costs about £20. This I suppose is because they want to make more money. There is also an option of adding detergent to the power washers water jet. This consists of a silly piece of plastic tubing which you have to attach to the washer and then insert in soap or whatever cleaning liquid. This is a very stupid set up as it is unsteady. When the power washer moves the plastic tube comes out of the detergent bottle. Most washers have a built in detergent bottle on the lance. For the price its ok for washing down patios but don't expect to add detergent without a bit of hassle. I lost the silly piece of plastic tubing anyway so I can only power wash with water. some cheap models like the red devil range are another option.
Estimated Price: 33 £ / Pressure: 100 bar / Flow Rate: 330 l/h / Power: 1400 Watt / Weight: 15 kg