Pressure washer water source

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Old 06-04-19, 01:31 PM
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Pressure washer water source

I need to pressure wash a wooden footbridge over a stream which is located out in the woods way out away from a regular piped-in water source. The natural stream right there with plenty of water if I could just figure out a good way to use that as a source for the water. Probably/maybe hook up some kind of pump I suppose to pump the water to the pressure washer. It's a 3200 psi pressure washer that uses maximum 2.8 gallons per minute. And there's no electrical source out there to plug in any kind of pump. So, I'm open to any suggestions how to make this work out. Any comments/advice appreciated.
 
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Old 06-04-19, 02:12 PM
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There are battery and engine operated pumps, just need to make sure you get one that will deliver the required amount of water so you don't burn up the pressure washer's pump. I suspect you'd also want a screen for the pump's intake.

The more I think about it, I doubt there are any battery operated pumps that would give the required gpm.
 
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Old 06-04-19, 02:50 PM
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Okay I checked with the equipment rental place. They have an engine driven pump that just might work. They said it is a "2-inch". I might give it a try.
There's a removable/cleanable metal mesh screen that comes with the pressure washer that stays inserted in its pump intake.
 
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Old 06-04-19, 04:26 PM
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Here's a picture of the engine driven pump they have for rent. It would come with 25-foot inlet hose. But as far as the discharge I'd want to be able to hook a garden size hose to it somehow that would then connect to my pressure washer. So not sure how I'd be able to accomplish that. any comments/ideas appreciated.

 
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Old 06-04-19, 06:40 PM
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Thread moved to gas powered outdoor equipment forum.

No....... that is way to big. I don't think you could throttle that down low enough.
Did you tell the equipment rental place what you were going to use the pump for ?

You need a small pump. The link is just an example and even then it may be too powerful.
Gas powered pump
 
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Old 06-04-19, 07:24 PM
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Did you tell the equipment rental place what you were going to use the pump for ?
Yes.
And I don't think they rent a small pump size as per the example posted. They didn't mention such. If I wanted a pump like that example I'd have to buy it, from somewhere. Heck.

Oh and thanks PJ for moving the thread to the more appropriate forum.
 
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Old 06-04-19, 08:06 PM
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I didn't figure they rented a smaller gas powered pump. I was just curious if they actually said that pump was good for what you are doing.

Ultimately you could use that 2" pump but you'd need to make an adapter to go 3/4". On top of that..... I'd imagine a gauge would be required and a way to bleed off too high pressure from that pump.
 
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Old 06-04-19, 08:23 PM
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https://www.amazon.com/PowerSmart-PS...-15&th=1&psc=1

Plus

https://www.waterpumpsdirect.com/Sim...ump/p5554.html

All in for about $160. This was only just a quick search.....No idea on the quality but gives you an idea of what's out there.
 
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Old 06-04-19, 10:23 PM
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I'd connect the pressure washer to a tank (maybe a drum) and have pump fill the drum and let the drum overflow back into the creek. Plumb the pressure washer to the drum with extra large fittings to help with volume since there won't be much pressure. All you need for a pump is 5 gpm or so to be oversize for most any common pressure washer.
 
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Old 06-04-19, 11:53 PM
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I was just curious if they actually said that pump was good for what you are doing.
They said they couldn't tell me if their 2" pump would be good for what I am doing, and stated they would question whether if the intake hose was running uphill on much of a slope toward the pressure washer if it would provide enough pressure to the pressure washer. That's what they said. But I would tend to agree instead with Pete here that that pump is probably way overkill for the situation. I thought about the idea of an adapter too, to connect the discharge from that pump to the regular garden hose which would then feed the pressure washer, which I suppose might be feasible but then to have to install a gauge to monitor and bleed off whatever would be too high pressure would be more involved/complicated then I'm prepared to deal with. So I'll probably nix the idea of using that 2" pump after all.
 
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Old 06-05-19, 12:04 AM
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Regarding post #9, I'm open to that suggestion, however:
I'd connect the pressure washer to a tank (maybe a drum) and have pump fill the drum and let the drum overflow back into the creek.
I'm not clear what you mean by connect the pressure washer to a tank/drum. Connect it how, specifically? And what kind/size pump?
Plumb the pressure washer to the drum with extra large fittings to help with volume since there won't be much pressure.
By plumb the pressure washer to the drum, do you mean with a hose? Maybe a 1" size hose with larger fittings? Still even with that I don't understand how there would be much if any pressure from the drum/tank.
 
  #12  
Old 06-05-19, 12:39 PM
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At the bottom of the drum or tank you plumb in a spigot that you can connect a hose that then goes to the pressure washer inlet. The water pump then pumps water from the creek to the drum (which must be above the pressure washer inlet, the higher the better in order to get a little gravity pressure) and the creek water keeps the drum full and any excess water then just flows out of the drum back to the ground.

My brother uses one of those giant cubes with metal tube framework as his pressure washer supply out in the woods. I think it's a 500 gallon or something, but it's semitransparent plastic so you know your water level, and it holds enough that you get decent pressure out of it, he runs better than a 3000 psi hotsy pressure washer off it to clean logging equipment.
 
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Old 06-05-19, 01:36 PM
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Ok thanks Notabiker (post #12 here). I get the idea completely now. Will just need to get set up properly with a drum/tank as described, and of course an appropriate sized engine driven pump.
 
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Old 06-05-19, 10:53 PM
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You can use the 2" pump if that's what's available, there will just be a lot of overflow back into the creek.
 
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Old 06-06-19, 12:24 AM
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Seems like the challenge for me then is gonna be obtaining a big enough tank/drum (not sure how many gallons would be big enough to provide sufficient pressure) and of which a spigot can be plumbed in and then also having it placed up high enough above the pressure washer to provide gravity pressure.
 
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Old 06-06-19, 10:38 AM
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The spigot can be installed at the bottom, it doesn't have to be higher than the pressure washer, only the water level in the drum does. You can find plastic 55 gallon drums on craigslist and facebook marketplace usually in the $15 range.
 
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Old 06-06-19, 11:07 AM
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If I do obtain a plastic 55 gal drum it likely won't have a spigot already on the bottom so what's a good way to go about installing the proper type spigot I'll need in the bottom of the drum?
 
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Old 06-06-19, 12:23 PM
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Drill a hole the same size as the threads on the hose bib and then have a nut or female fitting on the other side with a washer to more or less keep it leak free.
 
  #19  
Old 06-06-19, 01:22 PM
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You all are WAY overthinking this.

The power washer has a pump inside it. If you want to test it, fill up a 5 gallon bucket with water and stick the inlet to the power washer into the bucket. Turn it on.

Does it spray?

If it does, all you'll need to do is filter the water. You could use a swimming pool skimmer with a sock. Heck, you could probably use a wiffle-ball with the hose inlet jammed into it with a sock or a stocking wrapped around it.

I know my el-cheapo power washer will suck right out of a bucket. I bet yours will too.
 
  #20  
Old 06-06-19, 09:11 PM
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How big a footbridge? How big a job are you looking at?
Just what are you cleaning up? How far away is the water?

The suggestion to pump water to some kind of drum seems like a good way to go. My first thought here is to use a plastic trash can, or two or more of them as a tank. You put it on higher ground if you can, and plumb them together - cut holes and install (cheap plastic) fittings so when filling you only have to direct water to the 1st 'tank'. This will also let the 2 or 3 or more 'tanks' all drain(?) to whichever one your pressure washer is connected to.

 
  #21  
Old 06-07-19, 07:57 AM
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I could try to do as az-guy suggested, post 19 here. I'd be happy if that worked, but doesn't there usually have to be a certain minimum amount of water pressure provided to the pressure washer for it work? Think it even says something about it in the manual.

How big a footbridge? How big a job are you looking at?
Just what are you cleaning up? How far away is the water?
The footbridge is maybe 40-45 feet long, six-feet wide, with railings both sides, all built of cedar lumber which I want to pressure wash off all the old blackish/greenish algae stain/discoloration etc as a prep for possible staining. The water would be from the stream below it, maybe 15-20 feet from the bottom of the bridge which crosses over it.
 

Last edited by sgull; 06-07-19 at 08:25 AM.
  #22  
Old 06-07-19, 11:19 AM
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No, az-guy, the pressure washer doesn't pump water in. It needs available water. It can develop a small amount of suction but that will starve the pump, it's not designed for that application and won't function long like that if you could ever get it to at all. The water needs to be readily available at the pump and not have to try to "suck" the water it needs or pump failure will result. That's why you need a reservoir.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 11:38 AM
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I notice in the manual it says "the minimum requirements for a water supply are 20 psi and 5 gallons per minute".

It also happens to say "if your water source is a well, the garden hose length can only be 30 ft". I'm uncertain about about how that information (regarding a well) might apply, if at all, in my situation.

I was thinking if maybe I could install one of these at the bottom of a big plastic trash can kept filled with water, that could work out: https://www.amazon.com/RAINPAL-RBS00...gateway&sr=8-1
 
  #24  
Old 06-07-19, 12:58 PM
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With those barrels you be lucky to get 2psi if they are on the same elevation as the pw.

Are you against a portable power unit and a pump? Sure would be easier than monkeying with some kind of contraption that will be a one time use and/or storage headache.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 02:01 PM
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With those barrels you be lucky to get 2psi if they are on the same elevation as the pw.
With what/which barrels?

Are you against a portable power unit and a pump?
Not against it, just don't have it and don't particularly wanna spend much/any money to rent or buy such.

According to cheese, if a spigot is installed at the bottom of a drum or tank, the drum or tank doesn't have to be higher than the pressure washer, only the water level in the drum does. That's why thinking of maybe installing a spigot at the bottom of a big plastic trash can, keeping the can full of water and keeping the water level in the drum above the level of the pressure washer and hoping that should work. That trash can and the spigot would be the only "contraption" I'd have to "monkey" with.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 04:59 PM
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You get 1/2 psi/foot elevation, 3'-4' barrels, equals less than 2psi. Towards what cheese was saying, using barrels the pw will most likely run away from the water and cavitate damaging the pump. Even if the barrels were 20' higher than the pw you'd only get 10psi and you stated it needed 20 psi minimum. How are you planning on keeping the barrel full of water?

In theory stanstr would work (if the barrel were significantly higher than the pw and the feed to the pw didn't restrict water flow too much, doubt 3/4" would be adequate), in practice it would be a pretty big hassle. I understand your desire to minimize cost, I think your in for a let down with the barrel operation.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 05:22 PM
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I think your in for a let down
Yeah. I'm already there.
 
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Old 06-07-19, 06:54 PM
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That's why I suggested a larger size plumbing to compensate for the low pressure. As long as you get a flow of over 5 gallons per minute from it, you should be able to supply the pump. Set it up and see if you fill a 5 gallon bucket in a minute or not. If not, make the plumbing large enough that you do. only neck it down at the point where it connects to the pressure washer. Try a very short 3/4" hose and see if it will provide the required flow. If not, make it bigger. If the pump shows any sign of cavitating, stop and re-engineer. People use IBC totes to supply pressure washers pretty often. It can work.
 
  #29  
Old 06-11-19, 10:51 PM
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I keep reading here to use a spigot to connect a hose. You do not need a spigot! A spigot will work, but it is a valve that you can turn off, like a faucet. It's more than you need and pricier too.

My earlier post above included the three trash cans plumbed together with hoses between them. Use Hose Barb fittings to plumb them together. Get plastic ones, they're cheaper.

Get a hose barb to fit the inside diameter of some old garden hose. Make sure the barb fits really snug. You may want to use a hose clamp. Cut a hole for the threaded portion to fit through. Put the fitting in place with a nut to hold it in place. Then push a length of hose on the fitting.
 
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Old 06-11-19, 11:34 PM
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The minimum requirements for the water supply, according to the manual for the pressure washer, are 20 psi and 5 gallons per minute. Think the three trash cans plumbed together with hoses between them as per StanStr suggestion (post #20 here) should provide this?
 
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Old 06-11-19, 11:50 PM
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I keep reading here to use a spigot to connect a hose. You do not need a spigot! A spigot will work, but it is a valve that you can turn off, like a faucet. It's more than you need and pricier too.

My earlier post above included the three trash cans plumbed together with hoses between them. Use Hose Barb fittings to plumb them together. Get plastic ones, they're cheaper.

Get a hose barb to fit the inside diameter of some old garden hose. Make sure the barb fits really snug. You may want to use a hose clamp. Cut a hole for the threaded portion to fit through. Put the fitting in place with a nut to hold it in place. Then push a length of hose on the fitting.

 
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Old 06-12-19, 12:09 AM
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The minimum requirements for the water supply, according to the manual for the pressure washer, are 20 psi and 5 gallons per minute. Think the three trash cans plumbed together with hoses between should provide this?

I guess maybe if the hoses were big enough in diameter (3/4" minimum I suppose) and the trash cans were significantly higher than the pressure washer. Not sure though how significantly that would be.
 
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Old 06-12-19, 12:34 PM
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You don't need three. Three won't be any different than one. You probably won't have the 20 psi but if you have ample flow, it will probably work fine.
 
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Old 06-12-19, 12:48 PM
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If say I did use just one trash can and had it elevated a ways (not sure how much) above the level of the pressure washer (with water level in can also kept above level of pressure washer), if I can keep the water level in the can at least halfway or maybe three-quarters full all the time should that probably provide adequate flow? Also if not the recommended 20 psi in the manual am I not risking damage to the pressure washer?
 
  #35  
Old 06-12-19, 08:13 PM
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It works! I did a test/trial run. I scrounged up a couple of hose barb fittings in my old junk, metal ones but otherwise pretty much the same as what StanStr posted in post #29 here. Installed one down by the bottom of a big 'ol plastic trash can we had sitting around, and the other at the end of the 4' long chunk of old 3/4" garden hose I also scrounged. Put the trash can up on a couple of saw horses and put the pressure washer right there below. Hooked up the hose between the trash can and the pressure washer and filled up the trash can with water. Fired up the pressure washer, skeptical it would work very well. But it worked like a charm. And the pressure washer didn't even "cavitate" or anything. Operated fine, with no issues. Quite obviously was adequate ample flow with this setup. As long as I keep the trash can reasonably full of water i can pressure wash like this with no problem. Thanks!
 

Last edited by sgull; 06-12-19 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:50 PM
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Great, just make sure you keep the trash can full, let it overflow but not on to the pressure washer, and you should be in business.
 
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Old 06-12-19, 10:59 PM
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Yep, got it. Will be in business. Thanks again.
 
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Old 06-13-19, 06:28 AM
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For others' reference, a common way to use an oversized pump is to build in a bypass discharge circuit. You can use the gas pump with 2" outlet, but plumb up a 2" tee adapter with two outputs and a pressure gauge. One output goes to your pressure washer, the other output goes through a ball valve and back to the stream. You fire up the pump then adjust the position of the bypass ball valve which discharges part of the excess flow back to the stream until you maintain the desired pressure at the manifold. This method keeps both machines operating without starving or over pressuring.
 
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