12v Soft Wash Build - Ballin on a budget

Here are my thoughts… Would like some feedback
Budget is $600
Can get a hose reel later

$175 - 200 ft kuri tec red 1/2 (Will i regret getting just 200 feet?)
$200 - Northern tool 5.5gpm 150+20 dollar protection plan - take it back every time it fails is my theory here (200 after tax) (I understand there are better pumps but the replacement warranty is just too juicy)
$25 - Build my own Wand/Gun
$100 - 12v Battery (still need a specific brand - recommendations wanted)
$25-50 - miscellaneous fittings/attachments - which ones spefficially did you guys use for your builds?
$15 - Battery box from amazon
Total $540-565

Any suggestions for what hose reel once budget permits? I currently have a general pump 150 feet HP for my pressure washer (wish i had gotten a 250) and a 250 cox reel for my water hose… most likely going to build or buy a bracket to install this unit on top of one of those on the side of my rig in my truck.

What’s your soft wash goal? Is it just for pre/post treating or roofs?

I am DS’ing houses now with great success… mainly just need for roofs/driveways

Tank or proportioner? It’s probably going to cost you more money. At Agri supply they sell 5.5 gpm Delvan pumps for like 140.

1 Like

the tank part is what i am wrestling with…
i use a 4200/4.0gpm PW… don’t really need a buffer tank there but should i do a 100 gallon for this and draw from that for my soft wash mix as well and then also do another 50/100 gallon mix tank for my roof washes?
I can run something smaller for surfactant.

I’m confused. To run a 12v system for cleaning roofs and treating concrete you will need a way to get bleach and water mixed up and running through the pump. There are 2 ways of doing this.

One: have a mix tank, and batch mix when needed.

Two: run a proportioner
To use a proportioner you will need a buffer tank as well as a bleach tank. They are plumbed through mixing valves and a manifold -> pump-> reel and hose.

A tank is much simpler to setup. A proportioner is pretty dope though. I’ve only had mine a couple of weeks and I absolutely love it.


Prob just going to start with a 50 gallon tank and pump bleach into it from my drums of bleach and then fill it the rest of the way with customer’s water is probably the budget way ill start this… thoughts? Probably with a drum pump

1 Like

That’s not the way I did it. I also saved up enough money to drop the coin in exactly what I wanted. I just washed houses and concrete until then. If you send me your email I can send you a video of my rig explains what everything does.

1 Like

Sure man! Appreciate it!

Did you buy or build your proportioner system? I remember you asking a while back about building your own. If you built it, what parts did you use and if you bought it, what and where did you get it

I’m a little off topic here but I would also get a buffer tank for you pressure washer. It’s so much easier than having to be on the trigger the whole time. You can walk back to your trailer, talk to the customer, answer the phone, or be like @Grizz and shoot the customer’s guns and get drunk off of their homemade wine all while leaving your pressure washing running for hours without having to worry about squeezing your gun every 30-60 seconds so your pump doesn’t overheat.


You forgot eat lunch under a shade tree with a customer too.


I started “ballin on a budget” (Btw - that is a very oxymoron statement - LOL).

Did exactly what you are thinking - 12 v pump running to a 50 gal tank. Poured bleach in tank at home and filled with customer water on site. It does work. Do a roof or two and then buy a real buffer tank (I actually already had a 275 tote and did a DYI porportioner so not exactly like what you are suggesting but close).

Your idea will work. Just not the most efficient way to do it. Yes, most will have a buffer tank with a bypass on the unloader for their pressure washer so that you do not have to worry about being on the trigger. I have no idea of your rig set-up or room, but the 275 totes are only like $75 used.


I bought one from Midwest washing. Thank you @Kps0410

1 Like

I built my system just like you and went with batch mixing for approximately 5 times before I decided I would just build my own metering/proportioning system. Batch mixing was not fun at all.

Ordered d.i.y. metering system a couple of days ago. Will be completing hopefully in the next week or so.

The other mistake I made was buying too long and too large of a hose for my 5.5. I bought 250ft of 5/8. I will be replacing it with 175ft of 1/2.

Anyone who runs a larger (air) pump give me a shout if you’d like to buy the 250ft of 5/8 blue flex tech. Used only a handful of times.

It was actually quite enjoyable plumbing and wiring the pump, even with my limited knowledge of both. The most shocking investment of mine was how much a good pair of crimping electrical pliers cost. From watching YouTube I found this to be crucial in correctly wiring the pump. They run about $40. You will be tempted to buy a pair from walmart or autozone for $12. Do not do this. Practice your crimps also.

Good luck!

1 Like

The last set of crimpers I bought are from FTZ.


Here it is. Ready for tanks! Already cut the boards for the middle section to be filled in if and when I’m ready for it.

Please don’t take this the wrong way but that legit looks like picnic table back there. I’m wondering how you could paint it to make it disappear???


It’s ok… I’m getting used to hearing that almost every day… Great marketing tool for potential customers, because people stop and say that’s the biggest picnic table i’ve ever seen and I give them my card, haha…

Picnic tables actually have a really sound design structurally and i used that as a budget-minded way to get myself a skid that will last until our season ends here in another month.

I like it now lol! Keep on keeping on and don’t mind me

1 Like