Unaddressed Power Washer question?

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6/16/2020 1:21 PM

There been a few power washer threads and I have not found this answer. Who makes a power wash unit which is self priming? In other words I would like to stick a hose in a tank or barrel of water in my trailer. Anybody have one that works that way? All the offerings from the big box stores say they will not work that way, need to be hooked up to a pressurized water supply.

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I was G before the "moto drive" to Vital

6/16/2020 1:34 PM

GIwasB4 wrote:

There been a few power washer threads and I have not found this answer. Who makes a power wash unit which is self priming? In other words I would like to stick a hose in a tank or barrel of water in my trailer. Anybody have one that works that way? All the offerings from the big box stores say they will not work that way, need to be hooked up to a pressurized water supply.

We just drilled a hole close to the bottom of our tank and installed a tap. With the tank up in the truck, the gravity has been enough to supply the pressure washer. Standard Briggs & Stratton Costco special pressure washer.

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6/16/2020 2:04 PM

I've seen a battery powered down like that you just throw a hose in somewhere. Saw it on TV not sure the brand.

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6/16/2020 2:14 PM

Once you get the air out it gravity will feed most gas powered units. As said above just tap it at the bottom. I have used a small 35 gallon tank from Tractor Supply. Went to lowes and got some fittings and was able to rig up a tap for a regular hose with a valve.

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6/16/2020 2:43 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/16/2020 2:49 PM

I was going to recommend one of the AR Blue Industrial pressure washers. You would just need a generator as they are 120v. But, they do require a pressurized water source (e.g. hose). If you have 12v power supply, you could hook up a simple RV water pump in-between your tank and the pressure washer.

Bosch makes a line of pressure washers with an optional "self-priming" kit.

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6/16/2020 2:48 PM

sgrimmxdad wrote:

Once you get the air out it gravity will feed most gas powered units. As said above just tap it at the bottom. I have used a small 35 gallon tank from Tractor Supply. Went to lowes and got some fittings and was able to rig up a tap for a regular hose with a valve.

Yep== At the races we use a Honda powered Ryobi unit from Home Depot that is just gravity fed from a plastic barrel that has a fitting at the bottom. Been doing it that way for 3 or 4 years with zero issues.

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6/16/2020 3:10 PM

Hah! It came around again!

I think some people would be surprised at how many pressure washers won't work unless you have them hooked to pressure. Like, 20+ psi of water system pressure. Likely higher end ones will, but a lot of box store ones won't. And our new 6hp Kohler powered Simoniz won't. I ended up getting a small 1" gas powered pump to feed ours when in the woods. Will find other uses for it also

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HAF

6/16/2020 4:43 PM

I have never ever in my entire existence used a pressure washer that didn’t work with gravity feed... or just starting a siphon to get the flow, then hook the hose up to the Pwasher. Cheap electric ones, cheap gas ones, expensive gas ones, it works because science!

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6/16/2020 4:56 PM

RCMXracing wrote:

I have never ever in my entire existence used a pressure washer that didn’t work with gravity feed... or just starting a siphon to get the flow, then hook the hose up to the Pwasher. Cheap electric ones, cheap gas ones, expensive gas ones, it works because science!

^^ Electric and gas always worked from a 55 gal barrel for me.

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6/16/2020 5:31 PM

GIwasB4 wrote:

There been a few power washer threads and I have not found this answer. Who makes a power wash unit which is self priming? In other words I would like to stick a hose in a tank or barrel of water in my trailer. Anybody have one that works that way? All the offerings from the big box stores say they will not work that way, need to be hooked up to a pressurized water supply.

https://www.worx.com/lawn-garden/portable-power-cleaners/hydroshot-tools.html?___store=worx

Believe this is close to what you are looking for, the 20V version doesn’t seem to pull a ton of pressure but I think the 40V version does like 450psi
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6/16/2020 6:15 PM

The worx powershot 40v I had worked OK for sand or dry dirt but forget about it if it’s mud or moist dirt that Sticks and packs onto the fenders. It works better fed by a hose with pressure, but Gravity fed from a tank It’s pressure leaves a bit to be desired . It’s Convenience is unmatched though.

All of my Ryobi gas units Bought From Home Depot worked with A gravity fed tank. That is until recently when I bought a new pump for the Honda/ryobi washer I have. Hooked it up to my 25 gallon tank like I always have for years and no dice. I removed a plastic filter on the Pumps inlet to improve flow but it still did not work. Would really like to know how to get this pump to work with a gravity fed source.

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6/16/2020 6:57 PM

I used a 12 volt pump hooked to the barrel

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6/16/2020 7:45 PM

Its not about pressure its about gpm supplied to the unit. Your unit will require between 2-4 gpm. Depending on your setup if its less it can starve the unit of water. You can use larger hose to increase gpm.

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6/16/2020 8:13 PM

GIwasB4 wrote:

There been a few power washer threads and I have not found this answer. Who makes a power wash unit which is self priming? In other words I would like to stick a hose in a tank or barrel of water in my trailer. Anybody have one that works that way? All the offerings from the big box stores say they will not work that way, need to be hooked up to a pressurized water supply.

RedRider28 wrote: https://www.worx.com/lawn-garden/portable-power-cleaners/hydroshot-tools.html?___store=worx

Believe this is close to what you are looking for, the 20V version doesn’t seem to pull a ton of pressure but I think the 40V version does like 450psi

Don't waste your money..... Batt life isn't much, pressure is damn near equal to a strong, drunken piss.......

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6/17/2020 6:33 AM

sgrimmxdad wrote:

Once you get the air out it gravity will feed most gas powered units. As said above just tap it at the bottom. I have used a small 35 gallon tank from Tractor Supply. Went to lowes and got some fittings and was able to rig up a tap for a regular hose with a valve.

OldPro277 wrote:

Yep== At the races we use a Honda powered Ryobi unit from Home Depot that is just gravity fed from a plastic barrel that has a fitting at the bottom. Been doing it that way for 3 or 4 years with zero issues.

Have you noticed a drop in PSI from a hose hookup to the gravity fed barrel? I received an email reply from Ryobi that all of they're models require a pressurized water supply.

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I was G before the "moto drive" to Vital

6/17/2020 7:11 AM

It works best if you drop the hose into the barrel, put your thumb over the end that hooks to the pressure washer, pull out the covered end and hook it up to the pressure washer, have the pressure washer lower than the barrel if possible.

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6/17/2020 7:13 AM

GIwasB4 wrote:

There been a few power washer threads and I have not found this answer. Who makes a power wash unit which is self priming? In other words I would like to stick a hose in a tank or barrel of water in my trailer. Anybody have one that works that way? All the offerings from the big box stores say they will not work that way, need to be hooked up to a pressurized water supply.

Don't think your going to find one that "self primes". You will always have to get the siphon effect going one way or another.

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6/17/2020 7:48 AM

sgrimmxdad wrote:

Once you get the air out it gravity will feed most gas powered units. As said above just tap it at the bottom. I have used a small 35 gallon tank from Tractor Supply. Went to lowes and got some fittings and was able to rig up a tap for a regular hose with a valve.

OldPro277 wrote:

Yep== At the races we use a Honda powered Ryobi unit from Home Depot that is just gravity fed from a plastic barrel that has a fitting at the bottom. Been doing it that way for 3 or 4 years with zero issues.

GIwasB4 wrote:

Have you noticed a drop in PSI from a hose hookup to the gravity fed barrel? I received an email reply from Ryobi that all of they're models require a pressurized water supply.

As HondaMan said above, We have always had the water barrel elevated (on a trailer,back of the Outlaw or bed of truck )and has always worked well. I cant say for certain that it had the EXACT same pressure and performance as hose-fed, but we couldn't tell any difference.

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6/17/2020 8:05 AM

Been siphoning water out of barrels to wash bikes my entire life. I've never noticed a difference in output pressure. I actually had no idea that the mfg's recommend a pressurized water source.

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6/17/2020 10:47 AM

sgrimmxdad wrote:

Once you get the air out it gravity will feed most gas powered units. As said above just tap it at the bottom. I have used a small 35 gallon tank from Tractor Supply. Went to lowes and got some fittings and was able to rig up a tap for a regular hose with a valve.

OldPro277 wrote:

Yep== At the races we use a Honda powered Ryobi unit from Home Depot that is just gravity fed from a plastic barrel that has a fitting at the bottom. Been doing it that way for 3 or 4 years with zero issues.

GIwasB4 wrote:

Have you noticed a drop in PSI from a hose hookup to the gravity fed barrel? I received an email reply from Ryobi that all of they're models require a pressurized water supply.

There would be no difference in output pressure because of water supply (inlet) pressure. That is what the pump does on the power washer, boosts pressure.

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"Hope is not a strategy"

6/17/2020 11:06 AM

You do not need a pressure source, the nozzle on the pressure washer creates the pressure.

You need a source of water that is preferably higher than your pressure washer so it flows. Flow is all you need. Atmospheric pressure is more than enough to allow your pressure washer to work. I would put a valve on the side of your tank and hook your hose up that way. Going out of the top will require the pump to pull a vacuum - why you asked about a self priming washer. Dont limit what you can buy when you can just put a valve on the side of the tank.

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6/17/2020 3:41 PM

Thank you everyone! Helped me decide to pull the trigger. Hope I don't get Newmann'ed for that statement.

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I was G before the "moto drive" to Vital

6/17/2020 4:41 PM

kb228 wrote:

You do not need a pressure source, the nozzle on the pressure washer creates the pressure.

You need a source of water that is preferably higher than your pressure washer so it flows. Flow is all you need. Atmospheric pressure is more than enough to allow your pressure washer to work. I would put a valve on the side of your tank and hook your hose up that way. Going out of the top will require the pump to pull a vacuum - why you asked about a self priming washer. Dont limit what you can buy when you can just put a valve on the side of the tank.

This is not universally correct.

Some pressure washers definitely need pressurized feed. If one thinks they all don't, they just haven't experienced it yet. Take it from those of us who have been there with it. I think it has to do with spring loaded check valves in the inlet side of the pump, that need a certain amount of pressure on them before the check opens and water can get through the pump. They are not all the same.

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HAF

6/17/2020 5:06 PM

Well an elevated tank will have considersble water pressure if you connect the hose to bottom of barrell. Think beer bong.

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6/18/2020 9:27 AM

resetjet wrote:

Well an elevated tank will have considersble water pressure if you connect the hose to bottom of barrell. Think beer bong.

No it won't.

You only get 0.4psi per foot of elevation. Unless you really jack it up there. Even 10 feet up is only 4psi.

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HAF

6/18/2020 10:22 AM

resetjet wrote:

Well an elevated tank will have considersble water pressure if you connect the hose to bottom of barrell. Think beer bong.

ns503 wrote:

No it won't.

You only get 0.4psi per foot of elevation. Unless you really jack it up there. Even 10 feet up is only 4psi.

You're not factoring in how big the tank is. A Gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs. 55 G barrel x 8.34 = 458.7lbs.

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6/19/2020 4:01 AM

resetjet wrote:

Well an elevated tank will have considersble water pressure if you connect the hose to bottom of barrell. Think beer bong.

ns503 wrote:

No it won't.

You only get 0.4psi per foot of elevation. Unless you really jack it up there. Even 10 feet up is only 4psi.

CivBars wrote:

You're not factoring in how big the tank is. A Gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs. 55 G barrel x 8.34 = 458.7lbs.

That has no factor in the equation.

If you had a garden hose hooked to the bottom of a 5' high 50 gallon barrel, and another one hooked to the bottom of a 5' high 5000 gallon tank, each full - it would take the same pressure from your thumb to stop water coming out the end of the hose.

Physics & all that.

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HAF

6/19/2020 4:48 AM

resetjet wrote:

Well an elevated tank will have considersble water pressure if you connect the hose to bottom of barrell. Think beer bong.

ns503 wrote:

No it won't.

You only get 0.4psi per foot of elevation. Unless you really jack it up there. Even 10 feet up is only 4psi.

You dont have 4psi. Atmospheric pressure is 14.7psi absolute pressure. Thats 0 psi gauge pressure.

The 14psia doesnt include factoring in the weight of the water itself. The pressure will increase from there. P=h times the specific weight of the water. So whatever that calculation is divided by the area in square inches of your valve opening will give you your pressure.

If we assume pressure coming out of the tank is 20psig, its actually got 34.7 pounds of force per square inch when you consider the atmospheric pressure. Assuming you have a 1/2” id hose, you take the 34.7psia x .196in.sq. and you get 7.3 pounds of force acting on the check valves in the pressure washer. I dont know of any little check valves that would require that much force. Id also imagine the vacuum at the pump inlet would also help open the check valve.

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6/19/2020 5:42 AM

resetjet wrote:

Well an elevated tank will have considersble water pressure if you connect the hose to bottom of barrell. Think beer bong.

ns503 wrote:

No it won't.

You only get 0.4psi per foot of elevation. Unless you really jack it up there. Even 10 feet up is only 4psi.

Yes it will trust me. I have scientific proof. We built a beer bong in college that would hold and entire six pack. Even with a 1” hose with two outlets it would about blow your cheeks out. “Double trouble”. It was nicknamed.

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6/19/2020 7:57 AM

This is all getting pretty complicated but i can attest that simply flooding the washer with gravity fed water hose has worked for me! Up in the bed of the truck of course.

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