Can You Use a Pressure Washer with a Water Tank?

Pressure washers are very useful, but they use a lot of water, and you may not want to connect your regular garden hose up to it whenever you want to use your pressure washer. So can you buy a water tank and use it with your pressure washer?

You absolutely can use a water tank with a pressure washer. In fact, it is typically better for you to use a water tank to supply the water to your pressure washer rather than using another water source such as a garden hose or a rain barrel.

Does it Work with a Gas and Electric Pressure Washer?

You can use a water tank with both a gas and electric pressure washer. Luckily, it does not matter if your pressure washer is powered by a gas engine or an electric motor; you run a pressure washer off a water tank in the same way. Every pressure washer has a pump that will put pressure on the water and force it out of the spray wand, no matter what the water source is. However, the type of spray nozzle that you use is important when it comes to cleaning. The type of spray nozzle will depend on how clean you want a surface to be.

Where Does the Water Tank Need to Be?

In order for the water to flow easily into the pressure washer, the tank needs to be level or a little higher than the pressure washer. This makes it so that the water can flow into the pressure washer, thanks to the help of gravity. Many people do not realize that they need to do this when using a water tank, and they tend to end up having problems when using their pressure washer. The water tank can provide you with constant running water through the pressure washer. You do not necessarily need to do this if you are using a garden hose to feed water into your pressure washer, although it may be a good idea to keep the hose level with the pressure washer.

Pressure washers may be directly fed from a tank without using a pump to push the water from the vessel to the machine. It’s always best to locate the pressure washer as close to the water source as possible, and lengthen the high pressure hose to reach the cleaning location. If you put your pressure washer too far away from the water source, it may take longer for you to clean what you want to clean because it will take longer for the pressure washer to pump the water through the system.

If you start the engine of a pressure washer without running water through its system beforehand, then you might damage the gaskets, seals, and other components of the pump. If you damage or break the pump and cause it to fail, or cause any of the other components to break, it can be very expensive to fix your pressure washer, and you may need to buy another one.

Can I Use a Rain Barrel?

A pressure-washer can only operate from a rain barrel until it draws down to two-thirds full. At this point, gravity is not sufficient to supply the water needed for the machine, and the motor will begin to break down because of the lack of water. If you choose to supply your pressure washer water with a rain barrel, use the largest and fullest rain barrel available to you in order to ensure that you do not run low on water. Make sure to keep an eye on the water level of the rain barrel, and switch the rain barrel that is connected your pressure washer if you think that the water level is too low.

Can You Gravity Feed Water to a Pressure Washer?

Some pressure washers will work when they have a gravity fed water source, but most won’t. Low quality pressure washers especially will not work when their water supply has no pressure of its own. Many Low quality pressure washers need at least 20 psi from the water source in order to work.

High quality pressure washers may work with a gravity fed water source, but it depends on how high quality the pressure washer is. The high quality pressure washers will work well if the water source also has a water pump because they will not have to work as hard to pressurize the water.

How Large Does the Water Tank Need to Be?

The water tank must be a 100 gallon capacity or more if you want to connect it to your pressure washer. The water tank also must be elevated above the level of the pump, and the pressure washer pump must be positioned close to the water tank, no more than 5 ft. away. The water supply line that connects the water source and the pressure washer must be at least 2″ diameter, but the larger it is, the better your pressure washer will work.

How to Connect the Water Tank

It is important that you set up your pressure washer properly so that you’ll get the right water pressure out of the pump.

Here’s how you do it:

First, look for the banjo fitting on the tank. Connect a threaded to the fitting. Then, connect an inline to the PVC. Secure it with Teflon tape. Next, connect the ball valve and barb connector. Finally, you can attach the hose.

If the hose does not come with a barb connector, you can buy one from the store. It’s important that the barb is clamped properly so that the water won’t leak from the hose.

Now, you can connect the hose to the pressure washer feed line. You can usually find its inlet beside the inlet for the garden hose.

It will not take you more than 8 minutes to connect the pressure washer to the water tank. Attaching the fittings, valves, and tubes together is pretty easy, so you can do it with minimal to no assistance.

Shown below is a video showing how to connect a pressure washer to a water tank:

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