Pressure washing at 230ft height?

Hi fellows,

I am your new member from Ghana, West Africa. I run a pressure washing business down here for a couple of commercial properties in the city of Accra.

I intend to add solar panels cleaning and water storage tanks cleaning to my services. There are currently no service providers that do these two jobs, except a patchwork of communal casual laborers who do these with some brushes and mops. Meanwhile, the last population census estimated there are more than 1 million water storage tanks in this city because of intermittent water supply.

For efficiency and profitability, I want to adopt rotary impingement technology to do this job. Gamajet and Aquatools have some nozzles with great potential to get the job done in minutes. Hammelmann of Germany also has some nozzles for that.

Here is the challenge. These water tanks are mostly placed at rooftops to take advantage of gravity for flow. And their heights can be as high as 73 meters from ground! The tallest building in Accra is 73 meters high and has got a dozen of storage tanks at different floors.

We want to clean the tanks with 100 degrees Celsius water without any cleaning agents, so we intend to get hot water pressure washing system to feed the rotary impingement nozzles.

Now, I would want to know the possibility of delivering hot water from ground level to say the 73m height, at flow rates recommended by the nozzle suppliers (Hammelmann says their nozzles need at least 21 litres per minute flow rate of 1500psi). Are there any hot water pressure washing systems that can meet this requirements?

Note: Our source water for washing is in a 8,000 litre truck. Accessing the rooftops are quite tricky, so carrying a pressure washer up there won’t be a good idea. Our best bet would be direct hose from ground level to the top of the building.

I will really appreciate your suggestions. And please pardon me for the lengthy post.

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I really want to help you out, and I know Americans are stereotyped as lazy, with good reason probably, but: I just can’t wrap head around the math to sort out all your liters and what not. With that being said, you’ll have friction going up hill, about 5psi loss for every 10 feet in elevation. Not enough to worry about. I assume a rotary impingement nozzle is a turbo nozzle and it will work fine. Probably not the ideal tool to use, but it will work.

@Innocentbystander, I read a lot about the maths on Quora, but they were mostly theoretical that’s why I am here to get “on the field” opinions. Rotary impingement is not exactly same as turbo nozzle, because they do complete 360 degrees turn from a fixed point. You can check this video demonstration. Cleaning Totes and IBCs - YouTube

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So you want to clean the inside of water tanks??? Not the outside???

Yes, the inside. Check this video Cleaning Totes and IBCs - YouTube

I watched the vid.
Why does the inside need cleaning?

Water supply systems here are quite poor, so the pipelines usually carry unwholesome water into people’s home. Over time there’s sludge and algae buildup at the base and on the walls. When the tanks get agitated by inflow of water, you wouldn’t want to see what comes out of some people’s household taps through their tanks.

Wow. That’s crazy and gross.

Seems like if you can find a way to connect the device inside a tank, you’d be set.

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Exactly. That’s the solution I am looking for. Unfortunately some tanks are really placed high. And as a first mover, it’s better to get every one covered to scare away competition.

Any good 8gpm machine with hot water should do that easily. To be safe I’d use 1/2" pressure hose so you’d have a little less friction loss, and you’d need 250 feet of hose. Make sure you get a machine with a good heater if you really need 100deg C. That’s a reach for many hot water machines.

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Thanks for this input.

Have you considered steam? It is hotter than hot water and will spread around the tank. It cleans great.

If the tanks were plastic they might warp under that much heat, but Idk for sure.

I would think he would need at least 300 right? We are assuming he can park on the side of the building where the tanks are, right next to it. It would be easy to use up that extra length. I personally would carry 400 ft if I were him, but I could be wrong. I also wouldn’t use 1/2 hose if at all possible. Way too heavy, especially in 2 wire going up that high. 250 ft would be around 100 lbs give or take, at least of the 1/2 I’ve used.

@Specialist how are you going to get the hose up there? Could you use a reel of some kind?

@FatFIRE, I think it’s a good idea to make allowance for extra hose from the truck to base of building. 400ft hose is reasonable, wound on reels. The strategy is that, the cleaner will get to the rooftop first with the nozzle head (there are provisions to access most rooftops from the last floor). Once he’s up there, he’ll descend a rope downwards for a team mate to hook the hose unto it, then pull it up.

Haven’t thought about that yet.

That is going to be a workout! Good luck on your project :+1:t2:

Not too much of a workout😁. Dude goes up there with a rope that’s 2x the length of the hose, and a miniature pulley that can easily be fixed on the tank’s opening. He’ll drop the two ends of the rope down, whilst the middle is held up on the pulley. One end of rope is clipped to the water hose, whilst the other end is tied on the electric reel extension drum. As the reel wounds the rope, the hose gets pulled up. Not too hard to do.


Smart solution! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Sounds like a good service to offer. Are you able to get sodium hypochlorite down there? Seems that would be needed as well to kill any bacteria growing in there. I spent 5 weeks in Ghana on a mission trip with my church about 11 years ago, I remember everyone had those tanks on their roof and I wasn’t allowed to drink water from any tap. I was in Accra for a little over a week but spent the majority of the time in Apam. Brings back good memories. I miss the Fanmilk carts everywhere and plantain chips!

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Maybe I should get FedEx to get you some Fanmilk and in a miniature cart! :smile:. Tank cleaning is really a thing, but because there are no cleaners for them, most tanks are very unwholesome in the inside, including the ones on the main pipelines. That’s why nobody would let you drink from them.

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