Generac is well known by now for its line of portable generators. The company has gone beyond that product line and put out a series of pressure washers. Several of them are worth a look and the Generac 6022 leads that list because of its great price-value ratio.
Pressure Rating – 2,700 PSI
At first glance a pressure washer doesn’t look much like a portable generator, and that’s certainly true of the Generac 6022. Yet, there’s a functional similarity. To a central engine the pressure washer adds a control valve and a hose that can transform that motive power into a high-pressure stream. In this case, that means 2.3 GPM (gallons per minute) delivered at the robust pressure of 2,700 PSI (pounds per square inch).
Not sure what those numbers mean in practice? Well, for comparison, the average garden hose shoots water at 30-40 PSI. Even with a special high-pressure nozzle you’ll get at most around 250 PSI. For a less technical explanation consider that, of the many safety precautions Generac recommends, the foremost one is: don’t put your hand in front of the nozzle. They politely don’t mention that doing so would result in a serious wound.
For a less gruesome picture of the capabilities of this device, observe that you can clean car tires but have to keep the hose at least six inches away from the sidewall. Or, think about its ability to remove even dried deck stain off a concrete patio, as I’ve done. That’s the power of the 6022 in practice.
196cc OHV Engine
The 6022 can supply that kind of pressure because it’s powered by a 196cc OHV gasoline engine. The tank holds 3.6 quarts, or just short of a gallon. The company has applied its expertise from the portable generator line to implement an engine that’s plenty durable for everyday use. It’s not the equal of professional units, but those big guys cost many times more.
The 6022 has no electric start ability but the manual start isn’t at all difficult, even for those with minimal upper body strength. The engine sits in a welded steel tubular frame that provides a strong ‘cage’. A pair of 10-inch solid tires on the rear provide for easy movement around the house.
I’m not thrilled with one aspect of the otherwise-fine design: there is an oil sensor in the engine that will shut the unit off if it is tipped over. On the whole that’s a good thing. You really don’t want the thing to keep running if you happen to yank the pressure washer on to its side. But it’s a little more sensitive to angle than I would prefer.
There is near-zero risk of damage to the engine or other parts simply by being less than vertical. Imagine, for example, you’re spritzing the house as the washer sits on a fairly steep driveway. Generac could still incorporate the shutoff feature while reducing the annoyance factor by making the sensor a little less sensitive.
On the other hand, the low oil automatic shutdown is a welcome feature that’s well implemented. Just as with a car or portable generator, you definitely don’t want your engine to keep running if for any reason the oil goes low. It only requires 20 oz to fill so it wouldn’t take long to run the tank dry if something went wrong. When the 6022 senses that condition it shuts down to avoid damage to the engine.
25-Foot PVC Hose
The hose matches the engine in quality and function, both in pros and cons. The 25-foot tube is made of really stern stuff, a relatively stiff PVC plastic that’s tough but flexible and durable. This thing won’t crack or rip just from normal use.
However, it is a bit close to the muffler so it’s a little too easy to burn it if you pull it to the wrong angle. Also, it can crimp even if you avoid the muffler and move too far sideways the other direction. That said, it’s strong and – used properly – will stand up to years of hard use.
It couldn’t be easier to use, that’s for sure. The wand sits in a well designed holder and the hose can be wound up onto an amply-sized hook. The long tubing is flexible enough and the brass quick-change wand connector will accept a number of helpful add-ons, like a telescoping extension and different nozzles. Four of the latter are included with the washer.
The pressure is adjustable via an easy-to-turn valve on the top of the engine cowling. Still, it would be nice if there were a similar control on the wand or gun itself. The other major controls are on a panel conveniently near the handle you grip to move the unit.
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3/4-Gallon Detergent Tank
The 6022 will often do a fine job just by shooting water at high pressure, of course. But, for those stubborn compounds – long-standing dirt on the siding, oil on the garage floor, deck stains, and more – this unit also sports a soap dispenser feature. The company describes it as a “chemical tank” but don’t be misled. It’s not intended for use with harsh cleansing compounds such as those, for example, intended to rinse off greasy automotive parts.
Karcher sells a 12-pack of concentrated detergent SoapPac units that work just fine with the Generac 6022. They are a bit pricey if used often but Karcher also offers a 1-gallon jug concentrate that dilutes to 20-gallons of soap. The compound is similar to ordinary liquid detergent you might use in the kitchen on the dishes. Similar, but not exactly the same.
Ordinary liquid detergent is not recommended for use in a pressure washer. Among other things, pressure washer soap is much more concentrated as it’s intended to go through a rapidly moving stream. Also, liquid dishwashing soap is designed for use with water that will typically be much warmer. Finally, the soap in the packs is geared to work on all kinds of material: wooden fences, plastic lawn furniture, concrete, and so on.
A Word of Caution
One word of caution about the Generac 6022. While it fully deserves all the positive reviews you’ll find on Amazon and other sites, you’ll also notice it has a number of highly negative ones. The company has recently (as of this writing) produced several lemons. Units that are dead on arrival or that break down after only a couple of hours (or minutes) of use are not unknown.
If you purchase a Generac 6022 make sure you buy from a source that will accept a return without huge expense or hassle. No one wants to buy a brand new pressure washer only to have to take it to a service center right away.
The Generac 6022 review is a fine residential gas powered pressure washer. It takes advantage of the company’s experience in portable generators, offering a durable and well-built engine that produces robust pressure. The soap dispenser is handy. However, several real-world buyers reporting unreliable units are reason for caution when purchasing.
Note that this model is not CARB-compliant. If you live in California you should look for the CARB-compliant version of this pressure washer – the Generac 6023.