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Using pressure washer from a stand alone water tank?

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Posted October 19, 2015 - 11:28 AM

Has anyone ever done this? I know professionals have trailers with water tanks and usually a gas pressure washer on it when doing portable cleaning.

I need to do some washing away from the house, but do not have access to a good water supply, both in quantity and pressure wise. I have a 300 gal tote, was thinking of loading it on my trailer hauling water in, then using a small 12V pump to feed my pressure washer as it needs 20 or 25 PSI min to work properly. I thought about using 110v pump with shutoff, I would have to have electric for my pressure washer which is not a problem so I can use either pump.



Think it would work?

#2 MH81 ONLINE  


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Posted October 19, 2015 - 11:39 AM

Check your manual to make certain it doesn't require an inlet pressure.
Even having the tank water level at 5 feet above the pump inlet will give you about 2 lbs pressure, but I think the electric one we used to have warned against low pressure damaging the pump thru cavitation.
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#3 48willys OFFLINE  


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Posted October 19, 2015 - 11:47 AM

As long as the pump can supply the gpm that the pressure washer needs it should work. I got a 3000 psi gas powered one that I run off  a tank with no pump and it works great, but they did offer a suction kit for it, so it must be set up so it does not need pressure. I noticed some RV pumps are set up to supply a set psi and are auto off and on, one of those might work well for you.

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#4 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted October 19, 2015 - 12:04 PM

I did this once without issue.  I have a 275 gallon tote that was on the back of the truck.  I got my pressure washer out and hooked the feed hose right to the tank.  It worked fine with no issues.  I used a gas powered pressure washer though and I'm not sure if that would make a difference or not.

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#5 kellerman88 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 19, 2015 - 12:05 PM

We do something similar to this at camp to knock off the moss and whatnot (especially the whatnot). Only difference being we drop a pump down in the well. Probably wanna keep a close eye on your water supply. No reason it shouldn't work. 

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Posted October 19, 2015 - 12:50 PM

Thanks for replies. I figured it would work, but just checking.

I read real quickly when I unboxed my pressure washer stated "20 psi" so I got to check if that's the minimal pressure it needs. I know my other electric PW had issues when the well pressure dropped and it would shut off until pressure built back up.

I have a small 12V pump already, but it doesn't have pressure shutoff. I had thought of an RV one, but since I had this one, was going to use it. I do need a 110V one for inside my basement to fill my fish tanks upstairs so figured it could do double duty for this using quick disconnects.

#7 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  



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Posted October 19, 2015 - 12:59 PM

We did this at the mine.

I put a small 110v pump in the supply line. Basically I turned it on then started the washer. It had no pressure switch.
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#8 UncleWillie OFFLINE  


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Posted October 19, 2015 - 03:15 PM

Since our well varies its pressure so much when the pump kicks off I have an 8- gallon tank that I use as a "buffer". NO extra pump I just hook a short hose between the two and stick the garden hose in the top of the tank. Never had a problem with it not providing sufficient feed to the pump.

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#9 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted October 19, 2015 - 07:58 PM

With a full tote of water and drawn from the bottom of the tote, I think it would work fine. Gravity is stronger than some give credit for.

I wouldn't try it sucking thru the fill opening on top though.  Even if you do use a pump of some kind between tank and sprayer, still pull off the bottom. At the very least gravity will help you "self prime".

I was looking at doing just this at my parents' summer cottage as I forgot to drain the well pump last year and it froze/cracked. so I was gonna haul a tote full of water out there to power wash the moss that likes to grow on the north side (14X60 mobile home trailer)

Edited by dodge trucker, October 19, 2015 - 08:01 PM.

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Posted October 20, 2015 - 07:55 AM

My tote has a nice valve with a 2" opening. I plan to reduce it down to a garden hose then add in line pump. I would like to get washing done this fall, but a lot of stuff on the books that HAS to be done before winter....

and my son owns a Ford so it constantly needs repaired so I stay busy  :poke:  :rolling:  :rolling:

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#11 Jazz OFFLINE  

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Posted October 21, 2015 - 05:38 AM

You may want to use the largest garden hose possible. I use a tote at camp but we have it 20 feet up on cedar poles with a 2" line to the camp. Get significant water pressure but still not what I get at our home in the city. 

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Edited by Jazz, October 21, 2015 - 05:47 AM.