5.5 gpm Pressure washer question

My question is can you run a 5.5 gpm from a hose or is that too much for a reg. house to push out that much? I guess my really curiosity is how big of machine can you run off of a garden hose without having a dedicated tank? :confused:

I would doubt I’d be able/wouldn’t want to risk running that straight from the faucet at most properties around here. But supplies here often have pretty poor flow - your area may be better. Even a small buffer tank and a hudson float valve would take care of your problem for not too many $ :slight_smile:

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We wash jobs that put out less than three gallons a minute from the outside spigot. I don’t know of any reliable way to determine what the flow of a house is going to be. May I assume that you really don’t want to go to a buffer tank set up just yet?

I guess i will have to fill up a bucket and time it :slight_smile:

I was kind of kidding when I asked how you would determine the flow of a house water supply. Most of our sales occur on the phone and we show up with enough water to get busy, refilling as we wash.

It would be difficult if we only washed houses that we tested first and were judged to have adequate flow.

I really doubt that we would find many that flow the 18 gpm that we sometimes use. (Most of our house washes are single man now at 8gpm)

Yep, that’s good advice right there.

Like Cameron said get a small buffer tank and problem solved.

And hopefully you’ll never run into a house that uses a well as a water source. If you’re working out in the country it’s always a good idea to ask… running a pump dry can do serious damage. (well pump AND your pressure washer pump).

A 50 gallon buffer tank would work wonders and prevent a lot of headaches.

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I’m glad you mentioned this Micah. We have lots of wells here. I’m on a well. Never heard this before. Thanks for the info.

Settle down boys. This talk of well water calamities is not true.

Well water is what we fill our truck tanks with every night. Well water is on well more than half of our jobs, pardon the pun.

Well pumps are water cooled. It is true that if you ran one for an extended period of time with no water for cooling, you could potentially cause some problems. They are not going to be ruined by one incident of running dry. Neither are they going to be ruined by running dry for an hour. Probably not even an overnight dry run would kill one. Plus, a well is not a pool, it is a stream. Even when you think the well is dry (because it won’t build pressure), there is still water being introduced to help cool the pump.

If a well pump is on such a poor water source that it could pump the well dry, then it will probably be equipped with a low pressure switch. That is, if the system pressure falls below 20 psi, the power to the pump is shut off automatically. Just like Michael showed us how to protect our PW pump from a no water situation.

People know when they have a low yield well. They often ask us if we can bring our own water. Yes, gladly. Like every thing else we do, there is a unit cost price guide to refer to. I searched for a while to find an 18gvw truck so that we could haul 750 gallons with us when needed.

Part of my conversation often involves “we refill our tanks from your spigot”. “We never hook any pumps or machines to your house, so there is no possibility of any damage occurring from our washing your house”.

Get educated, don’t get scared.

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Tim, with all due respect, your experience with wells in your service area may be different across the country.

Here, wells are uncommon, but we do see them a few times a year. Usually when a homeowner has one here, it’s old. They had it before city water became available to them. They still use the well to water gardens and such, or sometimes strictly for drinking water. Usually one or two spigots outside will be from the well. It’s best to use a spigot that is connected to city water, but it would be easy for a person to overlook this - especially if they don’t know.

Because the majority of the pumps are older, they don’t have the overheat protection systems that newer pumps have. When there’s not enough cold water flowing thru the motor it overheats, sometimes even melting the wiring.

My bad.

I didn’t realize that the question was only directed to people familiar with the water situation in Aberdeen, North Carolina.