June 20, 2019, by Dennis K Byrd
5 years ago, I purchased my first pressure-washer. I wanted something with a little power so I bought
one that was gas-powered. It did an awesome job on my deck, my driveway, my fence, my car, my dog,
my kids, and anything else that looked like it could use a wash! I got a little carried away with my new
toy. Life was good, or at least I thought. Season 1 done and sparkly clean!
Season 2 was not so eventful and I did not have much use for the washer. Everything was still looking
pretty good, so PW (the pressure washer) mostly sat in the garage, collecting dust, and feeling
Then, things started to look a little gnarly again, so I grabbed PW ready to make everything bright and
shiny. PW had other ideas, like it was not going to let me forget how I neglected it all last year, so it
refused to start. I said “Fine, be that way!”, and shoved it back in the garage to let it think about the
error of its ways. After a couple of months of punishment, PW decides to start, but I can tell things are
different. It acts all cloggy and stopped up and barely does the job. I have a handy-man take a look and
he takes it home, gives it a good bath, and it starts up again. I knew PW was going to be happier with
this other guy, so after he finished my deck, I sent it packing with its new owner. $250+ dollars down the
tube for a piece of equipment that wasn’t even used that much.
Fast forward to this year. The gnarls have returned and PW is gone. Do I go out and buy a new one,
knowing it might treat me the same way? Or, should I go electric, like I had done with my weed eater
and leaf blower? I start pricing. Electric is a little cheaper, but I can see the power is much less –
meaning what took me two weekends of work is now going to take four! I look at the gas-powered
one’s. Their price seems to have gone up some, and I hate having to spend that kind of money on
something I will use only once or twice a year - with the possibility of it breaking down again.
Then it dawned on me, “Why not rent?” I asked myself. And there so happens to be a pressure-washer
store nearby that also rents! So, I go pay the store a visit. I told him of my woe’s, and he understood.
“The residential washers you can buy from the home improvement stores have some power, but not
like these commercial one’s” – he proudly stated. Plus, he said I could get the job done in half the time.
So, I take him up on his offer, and rent a commercial duty pressure washer for the day for $65. I take it
home and get to work – a boy, did it work! He was right! I got the entire job done in one day, didn’t
have to worry about it breaking down, and don’t have to look at it taking up space in my garage. To buy
something of similar power, I would have had to spend between $600 - $800 dollars. I can easily rent for
many years at this price.
So, what’s the moral of the story? Ownership comes with a price beyond the price of what you pay for
the item. You have to take care of the things you purchased if you want them to last, have them
serviced regularly, and store them properly. A lot of responsibility and a lot of time, which, when it
comes to gas-powered equipment, I am not so good at. Before you make that next purchase, ask
yourself, “Would renting be a better choice?”. It very well may be! What have you discovered that’s
better to rent (or lease), than to purchase? Comment and let us know!