Briggs & Stratton is a name I’ve often associated with high-power, reliable outdoor tools, but their new Amplifi Hose Powering System is a nice hybrid product that is useful for all manner of tasks. The electric pump is hidden within the base of the attractive hose container and turns your household garden hose into a quasi pressure washer. While it won’t take paint off of concrete, it will add additional water pressure to your home’s garden hose and allow you to do some enhanced tasks. We used it on a variety of projects and found it to be a nifty system that is only limited by its price. Convenience seems to be the key here and, once configured, the Amplifi seems to have that in spades.
Briggs & Stratton Amplifi Build Quality
The Briggs & Stratton Amplifi isn’t meant to be a full-fledged pressure washer, nor is it merely a decorative hose storage container. It’s a little bit of both, which is nice for those who may not need the paint-chipping power of a full-power system. What we liked about the Amplifi right off the bat was that it seemed fairly simple. Simple to use, and simple to operate. Actually, it was even simple to assemble and get up and running. This isn’t a professional tool by any means, but one that any professional might benefit from having around their own home. In fact, it’s kind of a nifty take on the whole concept of hose storage – I mean, why NOT add an electric pump to amp up your water pressure? Why hasn’t anyone thought of this until now?
The Briggs & Stratton Amplifi is a durable and attractive (though plain) looking storage container that comes with a 35-ft extension cord and a fancy nozzle that actually has a lot of features. We’ll look at each of these components individually, starting with the container. Amplifi claims it will hold a 75′ hose. While that may be technically true, I think you’ll have much difficulty jamming a heavy duty 50 ft. hose in there while ensuring it will come back out – we sure did. The base of the container has both an exterior inlet port for the water supply and an interior port for connecting to your hose (which is, unfortunately, not included). A switch at the front bottom of the container engages the high-pressure pump, but the pump doesn’t actually run until activated by water flow through the nozzle.
The lid of the storage container has a mesh that can be used to store items like additional nozzles, the handle, or anything else that would make sense to have on-hand. As we briefly mentioned, there is a carry handle that can be inserted into the hose outlet, allowing you to easily lift the Briggs & Stratton Amplifi and drag it around on its back wheels. Incidentally, we found the wheels to be well-made and of high quality for this sort of outdoor product.
The Briggs & Stratton Amplifi’s 35 foot long power cord allowed us to run it underneath a deck and plug it right into a GFCI outlet. Of course, the cord itself contains an integrated GFCI, complete with Test and Reset buttons. The extra length is nice and this is a handy feature, particularly given the fact that this is an outdoor device and not something you’d typically want to use with an extension cord.
Amplifi-ing the Water
So how’d it do in actual use? Pretty good. The Amplifi nozzle has 5 different spray modes and is comfortable to use. We also liked how it broke down for easy cleaning and maintenance. The included detergent cup is very handy and a set of AA batteries allows you to activate a front trigger to pump anything from bleach to detergent into the jet stream for an even more effective hosing experience. We used it to attack some mold on our vinyl fence.
While turning on and then activating the Briggs & Stratton electric motor with any the nozzle’s three power settings did indeed increase the pressure, it didn’t turn the hose into a pressure washer. Rather, it gave it the extra oomph needed to accomplish tasks that our standard garden hose just weren’t up to. To get an idea of what was happening, we did a very quick measurement of the unassisted pressure vs. the Briggs & Stratton pump-assisted stream. Without the motor, our nozzle, in high pressure mode, sent a stream about 35 feet with an angle of around 5 degrees above plane. Turning on the electric pump, that stream went another 10 feet. That’s a 28% increase in power, though your water pressure, angle of use and any manner of other factors will affect your own real-world performance. Still, it’s not bad – and the Briggs & Stratton motor is nearly silent.
Is this a professional tool? No, but it’s one that most pros would do well to have around the house. It’s also one that your spouse is certain to love using. Completely self-contained, the Amplifi truly is easy to take out and use whenever it’s needed. In fact, about the only thing we didn’t like was that it didn’t come with its own hose. There is also no mechanism to retract the hose back into the storage container – you have to self-coil it yourself. It would be all that much easier to use and handy if either of those features were present. For $200 this would be a nice upgrade down the line. Still, this is a cool accessory and one that we think will find a lot of adoption in the market, particularly since it is available at Lowe’s and also online.