I’m guessing somewhere in the mid-90’s we got our first consumer grade power washer. It was a small yellow unit my dad lovingly gave my mom for her birthday or anniversary (just what she wanted!) and the events that followed were fairly typical for a new power washer user at the time. We all took turns writing our names and drawing swirly lines in the grimy concrete around the pool, only to realize too late that some of that hydro graffiti would still be visible decades later. My sister then dared me to put my finger over the sprayer and pull the trigger… Let’s just say my fingerprint on that pointer finger will never be connected to any crimes I committed before that double dog dare gone horribly wrong.
Then comes the “event” where you can’t say “power washer” around my family without this story coming up:
“Hey remember the time you almost killed your mother with a power washer? That was funny right?”
To be fair, I had nothing to do with the power washer attempted matricide. We had opened up the pool the following year (always Mother’s Day weekend) and my mom was spraying away the grime that collected under the cover (so many worm bodies…). Meanwhile, I was pulling stuff out like the ladder and diving board and attaching them for the season. The problem is that I set the diving board on the mounting frame in what I thought was an obvious location to look as if it was not attached. I guess the satisfaction of blasting dirt away was too much of a distraction (or this was my plan all along muwhahaha) because as my mom picked up the plugged in power washer and stepped onto the diving board… The diving board, the power washer and my mom all fell into the pool. She’s yelling and trying to hold the unit above water (to not electrocute herself) while we’re all laughing not realizing the peril she was in. Happy Mother’s Day! Don’t worry, she survived.
Why does all of that matter? Because Briggs & Stratton has absolutely NO IDEA how dangerous I am with a power washer and decided to put one in my hands after my court appointed restraining order against ever touching one again. Just kidding. But they did give me one. The Briggs & Stratton 2000 PSI, 3.5 GPM Electric Pressure Washer with POWERflow Plus Technology (*affiliate link) to be exact. I pulled the trigger and chaos ensued.
But it was controlled chaos I tell you. The first thing I noted about this unit is that it’s extremely compact. Correction, it’s incredibly compact! We’re talking the size of a tiny carry on rolling suitcase that’s small enough to easily place in an overhead bin. (Please do not try to take a pressure washer onto a plane… Federal Regulations probably frown upon it). However, garage or basement storage loves the size of this tuck away model.
When you hook your hose up and turn the switch, the next thing you’ll notice is how quiet this little unit runs. If you’ve read my tool reviews you’ll know how exciting brushless motors are in the power tool industry. Less friction means more power and longer life when it comes to the battery fed side of things, but when you’re plugged in you get those benefits plus a smoother/quieter running machine (the quietest in the lineup!). Just like the brushless motor, run-quiet, battery powered lawnmowers you see now, the benefit is the same in that you can use these pieces of equipment in areas that might have sound ordinances (but everyone knows that HOA’s are more likely to jump on you about the wrong color mailbox than noisy equipment). Even better… as quiet as the motor is, if you’re not pulling the trigger the motor does not continue to hum away like other models. The Instant Start/Stop System only runs the motor when you have the trigger pulled. That means you can sneak up on your grimy spots and they won’t know what blasted them until it’s too late.
I generally have four gripes with pressure washers, three I’ll touch on, the fourth is between me and the pressure washer… The first has to do with the nozzle. If you’re going to have all of these great apertures that create different levels of flow and power, then don’t make them so easy to lose! This thing is being lugged around and stored away for months at a time, so the chances that I lose one or all of the little screw in tips has a probability of 99.9% failure (or success!). Briggs & Stratton must have listened to my gripes because just like a garden hose sprayer that lets you spin the wheel of destiny for different spraying patterns, this model does the same with 7 different options. That means I was able to spray my patio pavers with a 45 degree fan, spin the dial and move on to the 10 degree fan for cleaning my deck, then spin to the soft fan for cleaning my windows in the matter of seconds.
Gripe number two is water pressure. If the flow coming from the pressure washer is the equivalent of me spitting water through a thin straw, then we’ve got a failure to communicate. I’ve had two other pressure washers in the last few years that just could not maintain water pressure. This model laughs at those other models. With the POWERFlow+ Technology I had a constant stream of water that never let up. Just for fun, I turned the hose off and kept the unit on to see what would happen if I pulled the trigger (probably not recommended). The unit blasted away thanks to the Advanced Pump Technology for another few minutes until ALL of the water had exited the hose. It was pulling the excess water so effectively that I actually stopped spraying, doubled checked I had turned the hose off, went back, sprayed some more and then finally ran out of water. This is my shocked face.
So what’s gripe three? Winterization. You know what immediately kills a pressure washer when not in use? Cold weather. You know where I used to store my old pressure washers after they proved themselves to having little to no pressure? Out in the garage that freezes during the winter. Needless to say they never really survived until the next season. Since this model folds down so nicely (the holster for the gun would make Robocop jealous) I don’t foresee there being a space issue for this model in the basement this year. However, Briggs & Stratton also sent a can of Pump Saver (*affiliate link). You hook the nozzle right up to your hose intake, fire it up and it runs the contents (antifreeze and lubricants) through the unit to make sure those parts don’t freeze up or hard water doesn’t leave mineral deposits that will later cause damage. For a few seconds of work, you’re saving yourself plenty of pain down the road. Even if you don’t get this pressure washer, you probably should pick yourself up a can of Pump Saver.
At 2000 Max PSI this is what you would categorize as a light duty pressure washer but it handled itself like a bigger unit. I have a smaller patio and deck so the size was perfect for the job. If you have a bigger space you can always upgrade to the Briggs & Stratton Medium or Heavy-Duty Pressure Washers.
Want more pressure washing tips and tricks for your home and outdoors? Visit the “Beyond The Lawnmower” section of the Briggs & Stratton site and get ready to get down and dirty (but soon to be clean).
*This post has been sponsored by Briggs & Stratton. I have been compensated for my time in exchange for my opinion on this product. My opinion is my own.