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Need some Pressure washer advice


MikeO's Avatar
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06-29-07, 10:01 AM   #1  
Need some Pressure washer advice

I'm about to purchase a pressure washer. Among others, one of the main reasons I need this is to pressure was a cabin at a location where there is no running water or electricity. I've read up on how to do this, and I've looked at a number of different washers. I can't afford a belt driven model, so I've settled on (I think) a Northstar 5.5 hp 2750 psi unit with a Honda GX engine and a CAT3dx pump. That's the easy part. The hard part is what do I do about drawing water into the pressure washer. There seem to be two schools of thought: 1. Using 55 gallon drums (which I have), install a spigot at the bottom of the drum with a high pressure ball valve on it. Keep this about 3-4 feet above the level of the washer, and install a hose that goes from the spigot to the water intake on the pressure washer.

Or,

2. Using a 55-gallong drum, draw the water into the washer by way of a clear water pump (which I'd have to run off of a generator (not a problem). The drum wouldn't have to be set up higher with this option.

I'm not sure which way to go. It's not a question of $$, its more about what will work best and NOT cause damage to the washer. Two different customer service reps at Northstar gave me different opinions.

Can anyone help? I'll go with the consensus.

Thank you!

Mike

 
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GregH's Avatar
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06-29-07, 10:13 AM   #2  
I have successfully used a drum with a tap on the bottom and the washer at the same level on the bed of a truck.

One thing to keep in mind is that at 2750 psi you could damage the siding.
When you dial the pressure down you will be reducing your flow rate which makes the lack of head less of a problem.

You will know right away if the pump will be damaged if you were to hear cavitation and have a loss of pressure.


GregH.........HVAC/R Tech

 
MikeO's Avatar
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06-29-07, 10:22 AM   #3  
GregH,
I think I know what you mean, but I'm not sure. I know the 2750 washer is very powerful, but what do you mean by "lack of head"? (sorry!)
Thanks

 
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06-29-07, 11:19 AM   #4  
Here is my explanition of HEAD. When the water source is level with the intake the pressure is zero. When the water source is elevated the pressure is increased. Another way is the flow is slight at the same level but if you raise the source the flow is faster or harder. Head is the pressure created without the use of a pump. This is how water towers work. If the pumps quit (power outage) thay can bypass the pumps and still have pressure in the lines due to the force created by the height of the tank. So the higher the tank the more pressure (or Head) you will have without a pump.
Hope I did not over-explain and confuse you.

 
MikeO's Avatar
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06-29-07, 12:05 PM   #5  
Thanks! That makes perfect sense. I just never heard that term used before (not for that, anyway!). So, it sounds like I should be okay using a drum water supply with a bottom tap as long as i keep it elevated. Probably the best thing for me to do is to make sure the flow out of the drum into a 5-gallon pail is fast enough (the pressure washer manual says it needs to be faster than 100 seconds for this particular model).

Thanks!

 
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06-29-07, 01:00 PM   #6  
A ca mode is a Head and uses head pressure to operate

 
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