Yard Force Pressure Washer (YF1600A1): Product Review
A powerful pressure washer in a small package, but it would be even better if the storage compartments were just a little bigger.
Available on Amazon
If you’ve never owned a pressure washer, you don’t know what you’re missing! And with the newer, smaller, electric models like the Yard Force Pressure Washer (model YF1600A1), there’s no reason not to own one.
While these pressure washers don’t have the force of a larger, gas-powered unit, they more than hold their own for common household tasks like washing a car, cleaning a deck, removing peeling paint, cleaning gutters, removing mold from sidewalks and furniture, etc. There are so many uses that I could go on almost forever.
See it in use in the video below:
- Voltage: 120/60Hz
- Amperage: 13
- Working Pressure: 1600 PSI
- Flow Rate: 2 GPM
- High-Pressure Hose Length: 20 feet (non-marring)
- Power Cable Length: 35 feet with GFCI
- Wand: Metal wand with quick-connect tip
- Nozzles: 25o, Soap and Turbo
- Detergent Tank: 3 Gal.
- Weight: 20 lbs.
- Handle: Folding
- Storage: Built-in storage for nozzles, power cord, and high-pressure hose
- Warranty: 2 years
The Yard Force YF1600A1 pressure washer arrived neatly packaged in a cardboard box with the two parts of the wand separately packed in plastic bags. There was no question what was in the box; there were pictures all over the outside. The packing box came through without a hitch and no damage to the unit.
No Included Instructions
There was no instruction manual or paperwork of any kind – I guess they expect you to know what you’re doing without requiring any explanation. However, if you’re stuck (or curious), the Yard Force website offers a complete owners manual that you can download as a printable PDF.
There is also a customer service toll-free number that helps with product assembly or use, missing or damaged parts, and troubleshooting: 1-866-902-9690 (M-F 8:30 am – 5:00 pm ET).
I would have preferred to see a manual or placard (like the one on the Yard Force YF1800LR) placed in the box or attached to the unit. While the YF1600A1 was intuitive for me to set up and use (because I’ve used other pressure washers), it may not be so for those who have no experience with them. It’s annoying having to fire up your computer to get started with your new toy. But it seems that the world is moving towards internet-based manuals and customer service.
Compact Design With a Place For Everything
The design of the YF1600A1 pressure washer is well thought out, with a place for everything. The unit comes with all the necessary parts, including a wand (in two parts), high-pressure water hose, electric cord and three nozzles (soap, 25o and turbo).
It also comes with a cleaning needle for loosening debris that may get stuck in either high-pressure nozzles (you’ll find that in the compartment at the side that holds the nozzles). The electrical cord is located on the end opposite the nozzles. The high-pressure water hose is coiled up and held together with a hook and loop strap and is housed in a compartment at the back of the unit. There are two tall bins at the front for the two parts of the wand.
Assembly? What Assembly??
The only assembly needed is to push the two parts of the wand together and twist until they lock in place. To take it apart, push the parts together and twist in the other direction.
Easy to Move
There’s a fold-down handle to carry the unit and two wheels on the bottom at the back to wheel it around. The wheels aren’t meant to let you wheel the unit around while holding the handle; rather, they allow you to drag it along using the water hose and high-pressure hose as a pull cord. That way, you don’t have to pick it up and carry it if you need to move it while in use.
At only 20 lbs, it’s easy to carry by the handle and the compact size means that it’s easy to manage.
Shortage of Storage Space
I love that there’s a spot to store each part of the pressure washer, but I wish the two compartments for the high-pressure hose and electric cord were a little larger. You have to coil them up very tightly to get them to fit into the small spaces; I had a hard time doing that so I had to either leave the compartment door part-way open or try to force it shut (and risk breaking it). Just another inch of space would’ve made a huge difference.
Over time, the door on the high-pressure compartment warped (probably from me trying to force it closed over the hose) and the side compartment (for the electrical cord) just wouldn’t stay closed; I ended up holding it in place with duct tape.
Does It Work?
The YF1600A1 pressure washer from Yard Force is simple to use. First, attach a garden hose to the water intake (the connector is large enough to grasp and turn easily), attach the high-pressure washer hose to the unit and the wand by pushing the male ends into the female receptacles, and then screw both ends tight.
Select a nozzle and slip it into the brass coupling at the end of the wand. Make sure that the nozzle is firmly inserted into the wand end and the brass coupling slips over the hose nozzle. If you don’t do this you can accidentally fire the nozzle 20 to 50 feet away and may never find it.
For safety reasons, don’t plug in the unit until everything is fully assembled and set up. Finally, turn on the water and press the “On” button. Then pull the trigger on the wand and blast away!
I put it to the test on algae that had baked onto the surface of a water fountain in 100F+ heat after the pump died. Hand scrubbing with a scouring pad and even rubbing with a metal brush had little effect (other than to tire out my arms!). But the turbo nozzle on the YF1600A1 made quick work of not only cleaning the fountain but also the algae-covered rocks and gravel around it.
Car Washing With the Yard Force Pressure Washer
Thanks to the built-in detergent reservoir and soap nozzle, the Yard Force 1600 PSI pressure washer can be used to wash a car, boat, plastic lawn furniture, or anything else that needs a good clean.
One nice feature is that you don’t have to dilute the cleaning detergent (only use materials that are specifically made for pressure washers). Just use it straight out of the bottle and the FY1600A1 automatically mixes the proper amount of water to soap (a 20:1 ratio) while it’s being dispensed.
The soap nozzle (black color) can only dispense detergent – it will not dispense high-pressure water. Fortunately, the pressure washer has a built-in sensor that won’t let soap be dispensed at high pressure even if you forget to use the right nozzle. The high-pressure nozzles will only dispense water while the soap nozzle will only dispense detergent. I really like this feature; it makes the machine virtually idiot-proof.
I found that washing a car (or boat, RV, etc.) takes some practice and patience. First, wet down the surface using the 25o nozzle. Then switch to the soap nozzle (the black one) to dispense the soap. Finally, switch back to the 25o nozzle to rinse off the soap.
Instructions on the detergent bottle said to let the soap stay (wet) on the surface for three to five minutes to dissolve things like bugs, tar, caked-on dirt, etc. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time for the soap to sit that long as we did the test in the Arizona sun. Even though I started early in the morning, the temperature was above 85o and the sun was unavoidable, so the detergent started to dry on the car within the first minute. As a result, I didn’t get the full cleaning effect, as I had to wash it off (with the 25o high-pressure nozzle) almost as fast as I applied it. Consequently, there were still some bugs on the windshield, brake dust on the wheels, and tar on the side panels when I’d finished rinsing off the car.
This is in no way the fault of the Yard Force pressure washer, rather the extreme temperatures in Tucson, AZ and the lack of time the detergent had to do its thing. That being said, the car was significantly cleaner than when I started. The YF1600A1 made quick work of the car washing and saved me a bundle from going to the expensive car wash downtown.
When you’re done, wash out the detergent tank with water. Make sure not to overfill the tank with fresh water as you don’t want to expose the pressure washer’s electronics to it. I filled the tank up to the halfway mark two times and dumped the semi-soapy water onto the driveway to evaporate. I just figured that leaving this tank clean is better than letting the detergent sit for long periods of time where it could possibly gum-up the delivery system.
And finally, store the unit in a heated environment over the winter so that the high-pressure water pump and associated systems will not freeze and crack.
Small Hands? Read This
If you have smaller hands, you may find that they cramp up after a few minutes of holding the trigger handle depressed. There’s a fair bit of back pressure on the trigger so you have to hold it fairly tightly. My wife found that she had to release the trigger every couple of minutes or switch hands. With my larger, stronger hands, I had no problem holding the trigger for what seemed an eternity.
Pressure Washer Tips
Always test a nozzle on a very small area of what is to be pressure washed before you start blasting away. 1600 PSI can rip up wood furniture, decks, and other softer material if the nozzle is placed too close to the surface to be cleaned. You’re better off being conservative and holding the nozzle farther away from the surface; that way, it will only remove the grime, paint, or other surface matter without damaging the underlying material.
For more information about pressure washers and the various nozzles, be sure to watch our video, Introduction to Electric Pressure Washers.
About Turbo (Rotary) Nozzles
Rotary (turbo) nozzles are particularly useful as they can speed up the cleaning process by as much as 50%, but they’re extremely aggressive when held close to a surface. The inner cone of the spray pattern is around only 1o at close range, creating an extremely high pressure, narrow stream of water. That’s great for blasting off paint or stubborn algae but can rip up softer materials, like wood, in a nano-second. Don’t get me wrong, the turbo nozzle is an excellent choice for cleaning virtually any surface but be very careful not to place the nozzle too close to the item you’re cleaning.
Turbo nozzle tip rusted
I found that the on-board storage for the turbo nozzle on the YF1600AI was rather difficult to use. It’s held in place very tightly and is hard to pull out. Also, because the tip is placed in a rubber receptacle, it tends to stay wet while in storage. After a few months, the tip was completely rusted.
The Yard Force YF1600AI is a powerful machine, despite its small size, and should be used with the typical care you’d use around any electrical power equipment. There are warning stickers reminding you to:
- wear safety glasses (I like these from Wiley-X)
- never spray:
- electrical outlets
- people or pets
- in rainy weather
- flammable liquids
I did have some issues with customer service. I wanted some clarification as to the high-pressure hose length and the soap tank volume. There is conflicting information on both these stats based on the specs on the shipping box and information on the Yard Force website (is the high-pressure hose 20’ or 19’ long and is the detergent tank 0.5 gallons or 0.3 gallons?). I called the customer service number and was put on hold for about 4 minutes until the customer service line was disconnected. Another option was to leave a message. I then called back again only to have the phone ring about 30 times with no answer other than an apologetic voice that said that all agents were busy. So my last recourse was to send an email. They have the customer service email address on their website. I sent an email and voila I got an answer back in 2 hours. I wish I could have spoken with a customer service rep the first time I called but the attention to detail with the answered email was a good close second. I did get the answers I was looking for and Yard Force was appreciative that I brought this to their attention. The specs on the shipping box were the correct ones and the ones on the website needed to be changed to reflect those on the shipping box. Yard Force was going to address this ASAP.
Yard Force offers a two-year limited warranty on the pump and motor against defects in materials and workmanship, for residential use only. Commercial use voids the warranty. The product warranty is non-transferrable and the original owner must keep the original purchase receipt for any warranty claims. The purchaser is responsible for shipping costs back to Yard Force. For more information call toll-free 1-866-902-9690.
An important fact is that the unit is PWMA (Pressure Washer Manufacturers’ Association) performance certified. What this basically means is that this pressure washer has gone through rigorous testing to meet the highest standards of all pressure washers made. This is not true for all pressure washers and something to keep in mind when buying one.
The customer can return the item (within 30 days of purchase – in the original packaging) as long as the unit has not been used. An RGA (Returns Good Authorization) code needs to be clearly marked on the box and accompanied by with the original purchase receipt. The customer is responsible for the cost of shipping the unit back to Yard Force.
I like the Yard Force YF1600A1. It’s a beast of a machine packed in a small, easy-to-use unit. It has plenty of power to clean just about everything, especially with the included turbo nozzle. It’s simple to set up and easy to drag around on the two wheels without having to lift it (although it’s lightweight enough to be easily lifted and moved with the folding handle). I also appreciate the attention to detail when it comes to the ergonomic design; there’s an easy-to-access compartment to store every necessary piece of gear to run the unit.
Would I recommend this product? Absolutely – with one caveat: the storage compartments at the back and side of the unit should be increased in size to make it easier to store both the high-pressure hose and electrical power cord.
Where To Buy It
The Yard Force LR1600A1 is available on Amazon Prime for $109.99. It is also available at Lowes, Overstock, Walmart, Pressure Washers Direct, and Yard Force.
Last update on 2019-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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