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Simpson MSH3125 PowerShot Pressure Washer: Pros and Cons From an Owner

I own a small construction company and employ four builders. I go though a lot of equipment, and I enjoy writing reviews. on them.


About the Simpson MSH3125 PowerShot Pressure Washer

I've owned four high-pressure washers over the years. The Simpson MSH3125 PowerShot pressure washer is our latest. I need them for my business. Buying my first over fifteen years ago I just had to go by what the salesman told me and he turned out to be dead wrong. He told me to buy an electric powered pressure washer instead of a gas-powered model. I've got to say that actually at that time pressure washers themselves were a lot more expensive than what they are now but gas-powered pressure washers definitely were a lot more than electric powered machines. These days there's not a lot in it between them both.

Anyway, he was right in some respects that the electric pressure washers are quieter and lighter to handle than the gas equivalent. But, what I quickly found out that electric power washers are limited by the current supplied to them and also by the length of the power lead. So, if you have a very long lead down a long driveway, the unit is probably going to cut out all the time because its not getting full current delivered to it.

I also found out that the gas-powered machines are not that noisy. But the biggest difference of all between them is that the electric units are restricted in how much water pressure and flow goes through them, whereas a gas-powered machine is only limited by the size of its gas engine horsepower.

So, you'll find that an electrically powered pressure washer will be limited to about 2000 PSI (Pounds per square inch of compressed water) whereas a gas-powered power washer for commercial use might be as high as 10,000 or even 20,000 PSI. The Simpson MSH3125 pressure washer has a useful 3200 PSI.

Now here's another really important lesson I learnt early on too. That's to do with water flow. This is basically the crux in many ways of a pressure washer. Electric washers at 2000 PSI have a maximum water flow of about 2 gallons per minute. There's an equation going on here. The power of a pressure water is the greater the water flow plus the greater water pressure. What I'm saying is that to get the job done faster and with cleaner results, buy a machine that has as much water pressure and water flow as you can. Electric power washers are limited to 2 gallons per minute throughput maximum (most are much less than this) because they will cut out if the water flow was any greater. The Simpson MSH3125 pressure washer has an output of 2.5 gallons per minute.

So, that was quite an expensive lesson that I learnt at the time. The electric washer I'd been talked into just wasn't man enough for the job.

Since then I've only had gas-powered pressure washers as you can now see why. I've owned this Simpson MSH3125 PowerShot Pressure Washer for only about eight months, but so far its stood up to the cleaning tasks we give it most days, very well. Its got faults but I'll cover those in a while.

What you get with this Simpson MSH3125 PowerShot is 3200 PSI at 2.5 gallons per minute. We could have bought a gas-powered power washer with far greater pressure and water flow but in our experience this ratio is about right. You can always turn this pressure washer right down too if this pressure is too great, for instance, if you are washing your house. More on that later.

Honda Engine

It comes with a 200cc Honda engine (I love Hondas—never let us down yet) a 25-foot hose that's anti kink. That's a great feature believe me. Not so long ago you couldn't buy anti-kink hoses and some of the roughies I've had working for me managed to put kinks in when pulling the hose around blind corners. That would be the end of an expensive hose. The Simpson pressure washer also comes with five clip on spray tips of varying degrees, plus it has a detergent tank. All good stuff.

Problems I've Had With the Simpson PowerShot Pressure Washer

Initially we noticed that when you released the trigger on the Simpson MSH3125 pressure washer it caused the pump to stop dispersing water that the Honda would backfire. That lasted for a couple of weeks and then went. We weren't hugely worried about it but kept a close eye on the oil just in case it was an engine problem, but we think it was a matter of running the Honda in.

The second problem we had was the standard hose it came with does not have quick attach/detach couplings and the fitting is actually in quite an awkward place. We also found that 25 feet doesn't really cut the mustard with us lengthwise and it's a drag having to be moving the unit all the time. So, I opted to pay an extra $79 and got the Simpson 50-foot hose that comes complete with quick couplings. If you're thinking of buying a Simpson MSH3125 pressure washer, I'd do this at the same time and just keep the 25-foot hose as a backup spare.

Although this hasn't been a problem, it could be. We watch very carefully which direction the hose is in when close to the engine. The exhaust is in such a position that it could be possible if you weren't careful for the hose to rub against it and it would be more than likely to blew out.

However this problem is not just a design fault of this pressure washer , there's not a gas-powered pressure washer that I've owned that the same problem could have happened to. When you've owned a pressure washer for awhile you'll soon learn that caring for the hose is the number one lesson.

Only $408 - Free Delivery

Details of Features

  • 3200 PSI water pressure
  • 2.5 gallons of water flow per minute
  • Honda 4-stroke engine: 190cc
  • Low oil gauge
  • Triple ceramic coated piston pump
  • Welded steel frame
  • Pneumatic tyres
  • Five nozzles with varying degrees
  • 25-foot braided no kink hose (discussed above)
  • Weight: 66 lbs
  • 34 inches x 21 inches x 24 inches
  • Detergent injection system
  • Safety lock on gun
  • 2-year engine warranty
  • 1-year warranty on pump
  • 5-year warranty on the frame
  • 90-day accessory warranty
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Great Things You Can Do With a Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are actually great fun to use. If you've got a moss coated deck or patio just watch as the Simpson MSH3125 pressure washer very quickly removes everything in front of you to make it just like new.

There's not nearly the big mess that you think there'll be because how a pressure washer works is to compress the water coming in to the pump down to about a quarter or less coming out the nozzle. So if you were just using a hose to clean a mess up you'll have four to five times the water pooling compared to the pressure washer.

Use it to clean your RV and other vehicles. The Simpson MSH3125 has a separate detergent tank so you can soap the RV first and then give it a high-pressure wash to get all the grime off it.

Wash your house. All houses should be washed at least once a year to keep the paint in great condition. Houses are just like cars, they collect grime and dust all the time which if left will start eating through the pores of the paint. Give your home a light soaping just like your vehicle first and then give it a light pressure wash. I'd suggest turning the pressure control down to about 750 PSI for this job and keep the wand nozzle tip about two feet from the paint. If you have chipped paint any higher pressure will blast it off.

If your house is due for a repaint then this Simpson MSH3125 pressure washer is the best tool to start with. Wear some goggles for this as chipped paint will fly everywhere. If you've got old lead type paint I'd suggest not using a pressure washer though. A friend of mine lost his dog this way as the leaded paint landed everywhere and his dog ate some.

Start a new business. Every house needs to have some pressure washing done each year.

Questions and Answers About the Simpson MSH3125 PowerShot Pressure Washer

Q) What's the dimensions for storage?

A) Without the hose, the MSH3125 is 35" wide and 23" high.

Q) The high-pressure hose—does it connect to the top or the side or the bottom?

A) It's clearly marked on the washer as # 1 as the connection for the garden hose on the left side and the high-pressure hose is attached to the back on #2 port.

Q) Is the engine loud?

A) That's one reason I bought it. No engines are dead quiet, but Honda engines are quieter than most.

Q) Is it possible to adjust the pressure on the MSH3125 or has the factory set it at 3200 PSI?

A) You can turn it down to 1600 PSI and then use a combination of the different nozzles to decrease it further.

Q) Is the high-pressure hose fitting screw on or quick connect?

A) Standard as screw on—suggest buying with the MSH3125 the optional quick connect high-pressure hose.

Q) Does the MSH3125 come standard with the high-pressure hose and optional spray nozzles?

A) Yes, arrives at your door from the factory complete with high-pressure hose and nozzles.

Q) What's the horsepower of this Honda engine?

A) 6.0 HP.

Q) Can you put hot water into the water inlet?

A) Good question. It's recommended for cold water only. Some pressure washers will take up to 60 degrees, but you may breach your warranty if you try this.

Q) How much is the MSH3125 boxed shipping weight?

A) 65 lbs.

Q) What type of pump does the MSH3125 use?

A) It uses the well-known ceramic piston Triplex pump. Most pressure washers in this price category use the inferior Axial pump.

Q) Can I use Chlorox through the pressure washer to clean the outside of my log cabin?

A) Chlorox may damage the MSH3125 seals and gaskets in the pump. That's why it's not recommended, as it's a very harsh bleach. There are other bleaches you can safely use that will quickly clean your log cabin.

Q) Can I buy an extension hose for the Simpson MSH3125?

A) Sure can and it's recommended to make your cleaning job easier than having to move the pressure washer all the time.

Q) Is there a lock on the high-pressure hose wand so that I can keep the pressure on?

A) They do have a lock on the spray wand to lock it 'off.' Mainly I guess so kids don't pick it up and do some damage. But not an 'on.' I guess the obvious reason is that if you went over backwards with it locked on it could be fairly dangerous. There's not a lot of danger when you turn it down to 1600 PSI though. This is what I use to clean my RV and house. Because the handle can get a little tiring to keep compressed over a long time, I just wind some tape around mine and keep it compressed. That works well.

Q) Can the bypass be modified to recirculate water back to the water tank?

A) You will need a feed pump.

Q) How long is the warranty on the triplex pump?

A) It has a 1-year warranty.

Q) I see a knob on the pump. Does that adjust the pressure?

A) Yes

Q) Can an adapter be used to connect to the water intake and the wand? I have a 50 3/8 feet hose that I would like to use, but the fitting is different.

A)The water intake doesn't connect to the wand. The wand connects to the high-pressure side. I've never used a high-pressure hose with anything but standard m22 fittings, to I've added quick connect fittings. But if it's a high-pressure hose I'm sure there's an adapter that will fit your application.

Q) What size is the gas tank?

A) It's about a gallon. Almost 2 hours running time per tank.

What I Like About This Simpson MSH3125 PowerShot Pressure Washer

  • The price. You can pay another 50% for other brands with identical features.
  • I really like Honda engines. They make great cars and outboards plus bikes. This is the second Honda-powered pressure washer I've owned, and they've yet to let me down. The last one we just wore the pump out. We use this for commercial work without a problem as well as weekend washing at home with our RV and paths etc. They're very compatible with the Simpson MSH3125 pressure washer.
  • It's reasonably lightweight and compact. We've also found it to be quite economical on gas too. If you do buy one, when you get it just make certain that it has a full container of oil. It should have—that's how they're delivered. But just make sure before starting for the first time.
  • It's compliant with Californian emission laws. Bear this in mind when buying a pressure washer. We had a close look at another couple of gas-powered pressure washers, but they turned out to be non-CARB complaint. In other words, they couldn't be used in California. Not only is the Simpson MSH3125 pressure washer compliant in California, it's compliant in every state across the USA.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: Is it capable of pulling water from a static tank?

Answer: Yes, it is.

Question: Water cannot be compressed, the water is just pressurized, and bleach doesn't go through the pump. Is the bleach siphoned after water leaves the pump?

Answer: Bleach doesn't go through the pump it's picked up on a venturi feed after the pump so it's delivered at low pressure, which is what you want anyway as the bleach will stick to the surface better anyway.


matthew becker from terengganu on July 27, 2015:

great article mate,lot of new info i learn from here.

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