Using the customer’s water for pressure washing.

Many lawn care business owners look to offer additional services to supplement their lawn service income. One of the many services they choose to offer is pressure or power washing. If you choose to offer such a service you may be wondering where to get the water. That is what one member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum was curious about when he wrote “is this alright?I want to add pressure washing to the list of service I offer, but I want to know if it’s alright to use the client’s water to do the job? I have a 2,750 PSI - 2.6 GPM pressure washer to get me started until I can afford more professional equipment.” Here is another post in the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum that discussed this topic as well.

One lawn care business owner said “in my opinion it would be more professional to have your own water however, you aren’t in the pressure washing business and hauling that big water tank around would be near impossible with all of your equipment. You are simply adding convenience to your customers by offering this service so they don’t have to contact another company, write another check, etc. They will more than likely understand this, so using their water shouldn’t be a huge deal. Obviously you can’t charge quite as much as you could if you were using your own water, but I think the difference would be minimal.”

A second business owner suggested “I think you should notify or ask the customer if they will permit you to use their water first.

What alternative do you have? It probably wouldn’t be cost effective for you to buy a tank with water and put it on your truck/trailer. I suppose this could be done, but it would require more work/investment on your part than it may be worth. You would then have to charge more for this option.

The extra expenses would include these:

1. Your water
2. A tank to hold the water
3. A hose to get the water from the tank to your washer
4. In the cold weather you may have to drain the tank daily, depending on your local temps. This would take more time from you. You would have to fill the tank before the job, then to drain it afterward. If you don’t have enough water in the tank then you would have to go back to your house or where ever to get more water.
5. Truck or trailer space to haul the tank.”

A third lawn care business owner said “we only use our clients’ water and yes it is fine. For a cleaning detergent we use Simple Green, which you can get from your local big box retailer and it works well. As far as water pressure goes, an average well will generally produce 4.5 GPM so you are good to go. If you use city water there should be no problem at all.

A 2,750 PSI power washing unit is excellent for vinyl siding but light for use on decks. However to get around this you can buy buying a turbo tip. They are around $80.00 and are well worth their weight in gold.

As for pricing, we quote power washing jobs anywhere from $65.00 to $90.00 an hour gross.”

To sum all this up, if you are looking to get started in offering pressure washing as an add-on service, using your client’s water seems to be acceptable. Consider getting a smaller pressure washing unit to start and scale it up as the need for this service increases.

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