Tuesday, April 06, 2010

RAC 2000W pressure washer

While my parents were in a shopping mood (re PS3) I persuaded them that they needed a pressure washer. Argos were doing an RAC model with a whole batch of tools cheaper than less powerful models with fewer tools on offer elsewhere.

As with so much technical, I set it up and gave it a blast. What fun setting it up. First off there's a clip for the cable which needs to be fitted to the side. The diagram shows it being pushed on in that there's an arrow pointing towards the washer; it slides on; or at least that's the idea - very tight.
Next fasten the male connector to the hose inlet, except said connector is already fastened to the female connector and refused to come off. On hefty tug later and a sticky lubed connector pops free. Fasten the gun hose to the front, easy; fasten the gun to said hose using two 17mm spanners (not supplied). No 17mm spanners, I dig out an adjustable from the boot of my car. Why does it need two? It doesn't say until further down the list where it states that one should be used on the nut and the other on the gun to prevent stress. Yeah could have told me at the time.

Attach the lance to the gun, three lances with only one with a peeling label "High -Low" with arrows; luckily they're different lengths with different nozzles so matching them up wasn't too difficult; except they were shown in the diagram as 10, 11 and 12 okay but the one you want me to start with is number 11; why not make it number 10?

[Update - The lances can fit directly to the gun, but there is also a lance extension I fitted without thinking about it. It's only an extra foot or so in length. I've also found the turbo lance, probably good for close work as it has a limited range]

I connect the hose thanking the 'universal' hozelock system works; unreel the electric cable and find the extension cord and try it out. Woah nice kick to it, but it still won't reach the back of the conservatory unless I get closer on a ladder (I'm standing on the raised garden).

I decide to try the patio cleaner on the lawn path. Pretty much useless as it's so dirty and no detergent comes out with the patio cleaner attachment. The high pressure lance does the trick and I can see the original colour once again, but no detergent. Low pressure and it's a trickle, but the detergent kicks in. So I swish it down and switch to the patio cleaner, then back to the high pressure.

Well it's clean(ish) now and hopefully it won't need as much doing in the future if done regularly.

Anyway the washer itself. Not that noisy; heavy, but it has wheels; a reasonable length for both hose and power and a simple on-off button operation; and changing lances was a piece of cake. Cons. How do you clean out the detergent; it drops to the minimum level in use, but won't empty any further. Other than tipping the machine upside-down there's no way to empty it. The lock on the gun is a bit tricky, it only pushes one way and you have to find it each time. No wrapping points for either the hose or the power cable when not in use I ended up wrapping them around the main body of the machine. Not sure if there's a pressure cut-out; I managed to kink the hose and it was trickling at 'high' pressure but still working, the manual warns against running it without water, but does it cut-out if the supply is cut?

I've yet to try the static brush or the rotary brush.

[Update -Both the static and rotary brushes don't connect to the pressure washer, they connect directly to the hose pipe. That means using the turbo lance or the pressure lance at low to get the detergent; then shutting down the washer, disconnecting the hose and adding one of the brushes. Not that clever.]

[Update 2 - the problem with cleaning the detergent tank also applies to any water left in the tank.TOP TIP - don't leave this out when the temperature drops to -10°C; the tank split and the washer is now broken]


kannu said...

Thanks for good information.
i am looking for pressure washer competitive to daimer pressure washer, which i brought from http://www.daimer.com/pressure-washers/
with 5000psi.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Thanks very much for this. It was on my 'get review before you buy'list. I'm going to stick with the Karcher I think. Cheers. Lynda, Ireland

Alan said...

I got one of these RAC 2000 and left the lance in the gun over winter. The ice actually snapped the plastic bayonet. Spares are available from the manufacturer for £10. Also now, it seems to use up detergent VERY quickly, I mean 1 litre of detergent in about 30 seconds!

FlipC said...

If it were the gun I might have looked around for a spare, but this was the interior bottle that got iced up.

I mean no-one's fault but mine own and I doubt any other manufacturer's would have fared any better.

With the detergent as I said mine only seemed to come out at the lower pressure rate, but once it came out if you kicked it up high it would pump it out as a thick foam and use up the entire bottle very damn quickly.

Well it was cheap at the time so I didn't expect greatness; just a shame we had that sudden plunge in temperatures the first winter I bought it and left it in the shed :-(

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review... I had this model too... a good powerwasher but a bit finicky messing around having to connect and disconnect for the different features. Also like yours mine just stopped working one day. I hadn't left mine out or anything, I never got to the bottom of the problem. It was only about 13 months old and had only been used about 4 or 5 times. I got about 4 different repair guys to look it over and they all basically said how come I didnt buy a Karscher. I had happenned to be in Argos and saw this one. If they had had a Karscher I'd have bought that. Hubby since came home with a Power Devil cheapy little thing from Tesco. Worst value ever. Feels like trying to clean the patio by blowing through a very short straw. I am currently shopping for the next power washer. Or a new husband. Whichever is better value.

FlipC said...

In my case the act of buying a pressure washer was a case of "Well it's not something we'd use a lot, but it would come in handy for various tasks currently performed in different ways". So something reasonable, but cheap. With Argos doing it as a special this seemed ideal.

As such I haven't looked for another, but should I do so I'd probably be looking at a Karscher and now avoid the Power Devil.

As it stands I've returned to a patch I use when washing the car - an underslung weed killer sprayer.

Instead of filling the bottle with weed killer I use detergent and attach it to the hose with the HozeLock system. There's only the standard mains pressure forcing out the suds, but it's still easier and cleaner than using a bucket.

My neighbour laughed his head off when he first saw me using it, but soon stopped once he saw how easy it was to use. IIRC the bottle cost me about a fiver.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just bought one of these.
In the instruction manual it has got the patio lance (10) as the longer one but in real life, the shorter lance(9) has a yellow patio cleaner sticker on it.
Anyone know the correct patio cleaner lance?
I have not used one of these before and want to set it up right.

Thanks for the advice.

FlipC said...

If it's the same model the shorter lance is supposed to be the one that goes on first; to be honest I don't think it really matters as the connections on both ends of the two are identical and the length difference is negligible.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I will try either one and see which does the best job.


Anonymous said...

can u please someboby tell me where i can get spare parts in ireland(dublin)? rac hp 132 2000w

FlipC said...

Try hilka.co.uk

Unknown said...

When I had bought a cheap pressure washer, I also had the mindset that it would do since I wouldn’t be using it often. It turned out that its maintenance and consumption rate of chemicals were more troublesome. I have since learned to browse for reviews first and see which ones are more suitable for my siding, car etc.

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Anonymous said...

Had one of these and eventually died I think i burnt out the motor from over use.
replaced with a 1900 W karcher. Really preferred the RAC. Much better power more control with the lance. Better Selection of spray options . Forget the chemicals Spirit vinegar 21 pence spartprice at ASDA will remove the green glar and kill the moss in a flash.
Brilliant for cleaning garden wood/ trellis before re-staining.
Amazingly easy really.
Spray it on undiluted direct with a kitchen sprayer.

FlipC said...

And the Karcher's are supposed to be so good too. Seen the advert for the Vax version don't know what that's like, anyone know?

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Precision Water Blaster said...

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