Connecting a pressure washer to a water supply is an important step to get right. Having the proper water supply setup will ensure your pressure washer operates efficiently and effectively. In this guide, we will walk through the complete process step-by-step to connect your pressure washer to a water supply.
How Do You Supply Water To A Pressure Washer?
There are a few main ways to supply water to a pressure washer:
Connect to a Garden Hose
The most common method is to connect the pressure washer to an outdoor hose bib or spigot using a garden hose. Most pressure washers will include a quick connect adapter to attach to the end of the garden hose. This provides a direct water supply from your home or business’s water lines.
Use a Water Tank
Portable pressure washer models can utilize a water tank to hold the water supply. The tank is filled manually and then connected to the inlet on the pressure washer. Water tanks allow for mobility without requiring access to a water line. Tank sizes vary but commonly range from 5 to 15 gallons.
Connect to Secondary Water Source
Some pressure washers can connect to secondary water sources beyond the typical spigot. For example, pumps can draw water from pools, wells, or ponds. This requires a pump capable of pushing the water into the pressure washer. Care should be taken to filter and clear the secondary water source before use.
Connect Through a Water Pump
In remote locations without direct water access, a water pump can supply the pressure washer. This setup uses a transfer pump to move water from a tank or container into the pressure washer. The pump needs to be rated for the gallons per minute the pressure washer requires.
Step-By-Step Guide: Connecting Pressure Washer to Garden Hose
For most homeowners, connecting a pressure washer to an exterior garden hose faucet is the preferred setup. Follow these steps to properly connect:
Step 1: Inspect Garden Hose
Examine your garden hose for any leaks, cracks, or defects. Look closely at all fittings and seals. Defective hoses can burst under the high pressure of a pressure washer. Replace the hose if any wear or damage is found.
Step 2: Install Hose Connectors
Attach a female hose connector to the faucet end of the hose, and a male connector to the pressure washer end. Make sure all fittings are tightened securely. Leaks will reduce inlet water pressure.
Step 3: Connect Hose to Faucet
Attach the female hose connector to the exterior faucet or spigot. Turn the connector to tighten it onto the faucet. Be careful not to overtighten.
Step 4: Turn on Water Supply
Slowly turn on the water at the faucet. Check for leaks at the faucet connection before proceeding. Leaks must be fixed before using pressure washer.
Step 5: Uncoil Hose
Uncoil the garden hose fully and extend it to the pressure washer location. Avoid kinks that will restrict water flow.
Step 6: Connect Hose to Pressure Washer
Attach the male hose connector to the water inlet on the pressure washer. Turn the connector to tighten it securely.
Step 7: Turn on Pressure Washer
With the hose connected, turn on the pressure washer. Water should flow through the inlet to confirm the connection is working properly.
Step 8: Flush Debris
Run the pressure washer for 30 seconds to flush out any debris in the hose before washing. This ensures clean water will flow through the system.
The pressure washer is now connected and ready for operation! Be sure to check for leaks throughout the process. With this garden hose setup, you can easily move the pressure washer to clean different areas.
Connecting Pressure Washer to Direct Water Supply Line
For heavy-duty pressure washing applications, a direct connection to a water supply line provides higher water flow. This is typical for commercial use. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Obtain Necessary Adapters
You will need the correct adapter to connect the pressure washer to the water supply line. Common options include garden hose adapters, quick connect fittings, or threaded fittings.
Step 2: Turn Off Main Water Supply
Locate the main shutoff valve for the water supply line. Turn this off to prevent water flow while connecting.
Step 3: Disconnect Existing Plumbing
If any existing plumbing is connected, disconnect it from the supply line. The pressure washer inlet will replace this fitting.
Step 4: Install Adapter
Attach the necessary adapter fitting to the supply line. Use plumber’s tape on threaded fittings. Tighten the adapter completely using proper wrenches.
Step 5: Connect Hose
For a garden hose adapter, attach a hose. For other fittings, you may be able to directly attach the pressure washer.
Step 6: Connect Pressure Washer
Connect the loose end to the inlet on the pressure washer. Use the proper connector and tighten completely.
Step 7: Turn on Water Supply
Slowly turn the main water supply back on. Check for leaks at all connections before proceeding.
Step 8: Flush Debris
As before, run the pressure washer briefly to flush out debris before use.
With this setup, the pressure washer now has a direct feed from the home or building’s water supply system. Be sure to consult local codes for requirements on this type of plumbing work. Proper adapter fittings rated for high pressure are essential.
Can I Connect A Pressure Washer To A Water Tank?
Yes, pressure washers can definitely be connected to water tanks instead of relying on a hose and spigot. This is a common method for supplying water on remote worksites or where a water line is not nearby. Here are some tips for connecting a pressure washer to a tank:
- Choose a tank larger than the pressure washer gallon-per-minute rating so it does not run dry. 10-15 gallon tanks are common sizes.
- Position the tank higher than the pressure washer. This allows gravity to feed water down into the pump.
- Secure the tank safely and upright. Tip overs can damage the pump.
- Use a hose rated for the pressure washer PSI to connect from the tank to inlet.
- Allow space for the tank to be refilled easily as needed.
- Optional float valve shutoffs can prevent pump damage if tank runs dry.
- Bleed air out of the supply hose before starting.
The water tank method allows full mobility without requiring access to running water. Just monitor the tank volume and refill as needed. This opens up pressure washing applications away from traditional hoses and spigots.
Will A Pressure Washer Pull Water From A Tank?
Pressure washers are designed to pull water from an external supply rather than holding or pushing water themselves. So the short answer is yes, a pressure washer can successfully pull water from a tank for its operation.
The key requirements are that:
- The tank must be elevated higher than the pressure washer. Water flows down with gravity into the pump.
- The pump needs to be rated for the required gallon-per-minute usage of the pressure washer.
- The inlet hose from tank to pump must be rated for pressure washer PSI levels.
- Air pockets should be bled out of the hose initially for a primed system.
- A float valve can be added to shut off flow when tank runs dry.
As long as these conditions are met, a pressure washer can definitely self-pull the amount of water needed from an external tank. Just monitor water levels and refill before running empty. The tank allows full mobility.
Does A Pressure Washer Need To Be Connected To A Hose To Start?
Pressure washers require a water supply like a hose to be connected prior to starting the motor. This is necessary because the pump needs water to create the pressurized spray. Running the motor without water can rapidly damage pump components from overheating and dry friction.
Do I Turn Water On Before Starting Pressure Washer?
Proper procedure is to always turn on the water supply before starting up the pressure washer motor. This primes the pump and inlet hose, prevents dry running damage, and ensures the pump is not trying to build pressure from a dry start.
Tips for Proper Water Supply Connection
Follow these additional tips for safe and effective pressure washer connection:
- Verify adequate water supply flow rate. Pressure washers require 2-5 gallons per minute flow. Insufficient flow will hinder cleaning performance.
- Minimize hose length for highest pressure. Long hoses or piping runs can cause pressure drop.
- Secure hose connections with safety cables to prevent detachment from water force.
- Place pressure washer below the water supply outlet to prevent siphoning and water flow back.
- Use heat resistant hoses rated for pressure washing use. Do not use standard hoses.
- Install a backflow preventer device as required by local plumbing codes. This prevents reverse contamination of the water supply.
- Inspect and replace filter screens on the water inlet as needed. Clogged debris will reduce flow.
Properly connecting the pressure washer water supply is a critical first step. Following the correct setup procedures and safety checks will allow your pressure washer to operate as designed for years of effective cleaning power. Always refer to the owner’s manual and follow all guidelines when connecting to the water supply.
If you are seeking professional pressure washing around North and Central Georgia, contact Sullins Suds Pressure Washing today!