A PW's pressure is a function of it's PSI and it's GPM (gallons per minute). If you multiply these two numbers you will get a good indication of the washer's TRUE performance.
As far as cleaning goes I don't know what I would do without mine. If you like things clean, i.e. your fence, your siding, your barn, etc they are a must have. Renting them is just NOT a good option in my opinion. Cleaning anything large with a PW is time consuming and if you have 24 hours you will be miserable because more than an hour at a time gets real old and your arms and hands get tired. If you rent you'll either not clean all you wanted or you'll be miserable finishing it. Besides, in my part of the country mold and mildew on brick siding grows like a weed.
I don't recall the brand of mine but I got it reconditioned at Home Depot for $299. It normally sells for $399. Whatever you do DON'T get an electric one or any one that is rated under 2500 psi. Mine is 2800 psi and it does a great job on everything.
Also, don't pay much attention to engine HP. The lower rated Honda HP engines generate as much power as the higher B&S engines. For example, my Honda is rated at 5 HP but it's PSI times GPM equivalent with a B&S engine is 6.5 HP. Personally, I haven't had good luck with B&S and prefer the Honda.
I bought an new Excel with a 5 hp Honda engine about a month ago. It's got 2600 lbs psi. I really like it. It came from Home Depot and I think it ran just over $400.00 plus I got a rebate (waiting for it) a $75.00 set of goodies. I find that the 25' hose that comes with it is not long enough. Another 50' of hose ran $69.00 but was worth it. These newer ones are so much easier to use than those from 10 or so years ago. I fell in love with this one the first time I used it. I chose this one specifically because of the Honda engine as Tim said.
OK, I'm home now and checked the specifics on my unit. Mine, too, is an Ex-cell. I have the XR2500, 2500psi and 2.5 gpm. Probably very similar to what David has. I agree that the standard 25' hose is not optimal, an extra 25' would be nice. I haven't bought more hose and have gotten by but it is indeed a hassle at times having to move the unit.
For what it's worth, that is too good reviews for the Home Depot model and since my dad owns HD stock I recommend you go there to get yours
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