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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Just For Fun Off Topic Forum

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 08-30-2006, 11:34 Post: 133807
BillMullens

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 Pressure washer question

Tractor Pointers;

I have borrowed a friend's pressure washer and have a question about the water supply. It is not covered in the manuals that came with it. Do you have to use a pressurized (i.e. garden hose) water supply, or will the pump draw water from a barrel? Or perhaps a little gravity flow from a barrel. The pump specs say inlet pressure should be "flooded to 75 psi". I'm thinking that means if the pump is primed and the inlet hose will flow the required amount (depends on the model of pump, but given as 3-4 gpm) the pump will pull in water on its own.

The pressure washer is a nice one, 4000 psi CAT pump and Honda engine. The owner of it doesn't know if it is safe for the pump or not.

I need to clean up the tractor up at the farm, no water supply up there. Tractor is too big and heavy for my trailer.

Thanks,
Bill






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 08-30-2006, 11:45 Post: 133808
kwschumm



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 Pressure washer question

I'm pretty sure they require a pressurized supply. The supply must also be sufficent to deliver the amount of water required by the washer. High flow washers will take IIRC around 4 GPM, lesser washers require 3 gpm or so.






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 08-30-2006, 12:05 Post: 133809
kwschumm



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 Pressure washer question

Mea Culpa, I'm wrong. The mobile auto detail guys use tanks all the time. Here's a link to a kit that a company sells but there's not much to it.






Link:   Water tank kit 

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 08-30-2006, 13:06 Post: 133813
Murf



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 Pressure washer question

Bill, I suspect the term ""flooded to 75 psi" is a result of literally translating something from an Asian language into English with no regard for grammar.

I believe they mean it must be supplied with water, at a pressure of up to 75 psi. The inlet pressure has nothing to do with outlet pressure.

The volume of water is the only crtitical factor, if the pump output is 4 gpm, then you must be able to supply that much to it, or it will cavitate.

We routinely supply ours with either a trash pump or tank. If it's a tank feed we keep the tank up on the truck and put the pressure washer on the ground behind it to allow the head of water to help gravity a little.

BTW, unless you have a big tank, don't get fussy about getting stuff perfectly clean, a decent sized pressure washer can go through a lot of water fast!!

Best of luck.






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 08-30-2006, 13:20 Post: 133814
BillMullens

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 Pressure washer question

Thanks, guys.

What I'm wondering is will the pump intake "suck" the (for instance) 4 gpm if it is available, or would the gravity flow need to be 4 gpm naturally?

I would just leave the 55-gallon barrel on the pickup, have the outlet at the bottom of the barrel, and have the pressure washer on the ground and downhill...maybe 4 vertical feet difference.

If the hose between the pump and the barrel doesn't collapse, and the pump is primed, I don't see why it wouldn't just draw as much water as it needs, within reason.

But then I don't know that much about pumps.

Bill






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 08-30-2006, 14:05 Post: 133816
Murf



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 Pressure washer question

Sounds like a simple enough question.

Put the barrel in the truck with a 5 gallon (for a margin of safety) under the drain line and see if the pail fills in less than 60 seconds....

Sounds marginally more exciting than watching grass grow. Laughing out loud.

BTW, the intake hose will not be sucked flat or collapse on a pressure washer if you use a garden hose, the plastic or rubber is stiff enough on a hose of that diameter to prevent it. But you do need to be carefull that it is not kinked, since there will be no pressure to the water to force itself past it.

If you're concerened about it, you can always rig up an air line to pressurize the water tank to help push the water to the pump, or elevate the tank higher, water weighs 8.34 pounds, so every foot you can raise it will be a big help.

est of luck.






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 08-30-2006, 15:38 Post: 133822
kwschumm



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 Pressure washer question

Bill, I don't know if this will help or not but out of curiousity I emailed pressurewashersdirect with this question and here is their response:


Thanks for your email. Unfortunately, we do not offer "Mobile" Pressure Washers which are typically considered Commercial Grades with self feeding pumps to feed from wells, tanks, lakes, etc. The only pressure washers that we carry, that offer you the "option" to draw water from a standing source such as a well, tank, lake, etc., would be Karcher. Their pumps are designed to be able to pull water, however, an accessory is required. The unit itself requires at least 45 PSI intake as it stands. The accessory that is required is a suction hose, which I'm sorry to say we do not offer currently on our website. You will need to order that part directly thru Karcher or one of their other distributors that sell Karcher Parts & Accessories. Before deciding to purchase however, I suggest you call Karcher directly and get specifics on how this system works and if it will meet your needs. You can reach them at 1-800-537-4129. All other pressure washer brands require at least 45 PSI intake to operate.






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 08-30-2006, 19:38 Post: 133827
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 Pressure washer question

Interesting info Ken - that would have been my answer - that you need a pressurized source.






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 08-30-2006, 19:55 Post: 133829
earthwrks

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 Pressure washer question

None of the pressure washers I have (up to 3000 psi) can suck water at all. The pistons are ceramic inside the pump, and the owner's manual says to never run the pump without having water pressure first. Otherwise, the pistons will crack since they're not being cooled and more importantly, lubricated by the water. I have a Jenny-brand steam cleaner that has a reciprocating piston pump that doesn't use all that much water since it first fills up a reservoir. I thought I could run a garden hose from a caged/palletized, 375-gallon, square, plastic tank sitting on its pallet on the ground. Wrong. It barely dribbled out and wouldn't even supply the homeowner-style 6hp pressure washer. Cavitation, or more accurately starvation wasa problem.

I ended up lifting it 10 feet with the bobcat to get enough head pressure/volume to supply---and even then it wasn't quite adequate. I checked around and a lot of guys use a small electric air compressor, pump-type tire pump or even a pump-type chemical sprayer to pressurize the tank and the subsequent flow.

After all, 4 gpm, if you think about it, is a lot of water especially under 45 psi coming from the tap, let alone from a tank or drum with no pressure.






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 08-30-2006, 20:39 Post: 133831
BillMullens

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 Pressure washer question

I'll set the barrel up and check the flow. If it was mine, I'd just try it; I think I can tell when the pump is cavitating when using it. But since it's not mine, and damage to the pump is what I'm trying to avoid, I just want to be sure first.

The air pressurizing idea had occurred to me, but I don't have electricity at the farm, and I think I'd need my air compressor to pressurize the barrel (as it empties).

I guess I could just tram the tractor about 5 miles to the nearest car wash. That's just not as interesting.

I'll post the results after this weekend.

Thanks,
Bill






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