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Old 02-07-2012, 10:17 AM   #1
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275 Gallon Water Tank w/3000 psi Pressure Washer?

Hi All,

Venturing into a mobile detailing set up and was curious to know a couple things when assembling a mobile water tank set up. While I plan to install an in-line filter, do I need a transfer/booster pump to feed a Craftsman 3000psi pressure washer?

I was looking into a Wayne 1/2 HP (1450 GPH) Portable Transfer Pump @ Home Depot for $125 that runs on either AC or DC power, but wasn't sure if it was a necessity to feed the pressure washer? or will gravity be enough?

Thanks in advance.

-Art
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:47 PM   #2
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Re: 275 Gallon Water Tank w/3000 psi Pressure Washer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by art72 View Post
Hi All,

Venturing into a mobile detailing set up and was curious to know a couple things when assembling a mobile water tank set up. While I plan to install an in-line filter, do I need a transfer/booster pump to feed a Craftsman 3000psi pressure washer?

I was looking into a Wayne 1/2 HP (1450 GPH) Portable Transfer Pump @ Home Depot for $125 that runs on either AC or DC power, but wasn't sure if it was a necessity to feed the pressure washer? or will gravity be enough?

Thanks in advance.

-Art
That is a hell of a tank size. What are you putting it on? My friends all used 200-300 sized tanks and it put a toll on their suspension and gas mileage. It still works though and you will never have to worry to fill for a looong time.

I have always been an electric PW guy and its not until now that I am about to shell out $1,800 on a proffesional model. There is a local detail shop in my area and I have been doing a lot of research with the gas pw users. Here is what I found.

You will be fine with a gravity feed but on the long run it will take a toll on the pump, especially if you are using the cheaper gas models or running the water too low on the tank. I would get an OnDemand pump from Shurflo or Flojet that has a PSI rating of 40-60 psi and a proper GPM. Look at the water requirements of your PW and try to get a pump that is over the required GPM. The thing about these pumps is unlike the Wayne transfer pump they only pull water out of your tank when it is needed and then they stop when you stop pulling the trigger. The wayne pump just keeps going so it might overheat if it doesn't have a switch off feature.

You might be fine using the Wayne if you are going to run a bypass from the unloader into the tank since there will be pressure running through it. I would check your pump on the PW or manual and see if you can add a bypass.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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Re: 275 Gallon Water Tank w/3000 psi Pressure Washer?

And remember that gas pressure washers use the water going thru them to cool the pump. You can do considerable damage to internal pump parts if you leave the engine running while u soap up a car, etc. Most non pro gas pressure washers will tell you in the manual that you should not leave it running for more than a certain amount of time without cycling water thru it.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #4
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Re: 275 Gallon Water Tank w/3000 psi Pressure Washer?

You want to make sure you are constantly running water through the pump if you dont have a bypass to the tank. Not sure what kind of pump you have but if you buy a consumer pressure washer and the pump goes out they will almost cost as much as buying a whole new unit. Thats where they get ya.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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Re: 275 Gallon Water Tank w/3000 psi Pressure Washer?

Have a consumer unit I bought 5 years ago and the pump finally died. I bought this pressure washer for the motor... Honda... Quiet, smooth running... Just like their generators, keep up the maintenance on them and they will last forever. So, when the pump went, I bought a commercial grade CAT pump.... Some of the best pumps made
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:36 PM   #6
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Re: 275 Gallon Water Tank w/3000 psi Pressure Washer?

Thanks Guys!

Yeah I am generally a fan of Honda motors myself, unfortunately both my Generator and my PW are both Briggs & Stratton... but the price was right on a budget.

For the record, I am running out of a full-size 3/4 ton extended cargo van. While I don't plan top off the water tank unless necessary, I think the van can handle the 2000-2,200 lbs of water... if/when I need it to.

If I do go with a on-demand pump, I was hoping to run it off either DC power or with a power inverter and the flip of a switch...as opposed to using the generator, so I won't need to fire up the generator after the vacuuming is done. Less of course, it's a full detail and polish job too.

Just trying to figure out the best practice for feeding the washer without having to keep shutting it down and firing it back up during standard car washes.

Seems some say 'gravity' is enough, but I would like to keep water cycling through it, especially if I do any work for dealers that'll give me 10-15 cars at a time. Already been lining up prospects for Mon - Wed, and then scoping out a 'stationary' location (*no water) for weekends with a high traffic volume.

I've used plenty of commercial grade pressure washers doing construction over the years, but having to supply the water is a whole new ball game for me.

Mind you, for the price that I am quoting the smaller dealers they'll gladly supply the water. But... if I can do 10-20 car washes per day on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, I'll definitely need the bigger tank and an efficient set-up.

Thanks Rav777... appreciate the advice. I'll be specking out on-demand pumps this week, that was a huge help. I'm guessing they have a 'flow switch' in-line that 'triggers' when you need it.

Ironically, I was a pool plumber for 15 years prior, but this is a bit different, as pools simply re-circulate & filter on a timer...like a fish tank. This is tricky as I don't want to fry my pressure washer, and can't afford the commercial grade units quite yet.

chaotic...Thanks alot, looked up CAT pumps at Northern Tools, should I ever smoke this one...I'll replace it with one of those.

All the Best,

Art
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:25 AM   #7
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Re: 275 Gallon Water Tank w/3000 psi Pressure Washer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by art72 View Post
Thanks Guys!

Yeah I am generally a fan of Honda motors myself, unfortunately both my Generator and my PW are both Briggs & Stratton... but the price was right on a budget.

For the record, I am running out of a full-size 3/4 ton extended cargo van. While I don't plan top off the water tank unless necessary, I think the van can handle the 2000-2,200 lbs of water... if/when I need it to.

If I do go with a on-demand pump, I was hoping to run it off either DC power or with a power inverter and the flip of a switch...as opposed to using the generator, so I won't need to fire up the generator after the vacuuming is done. Less of course, it's a full detail and polish job too.

Just trying to figure out the best practice for feeding the washer without having to keep shutting it down and firing it back up during standard car washes.

Seems some say 'gravity' is enough, but I would like to keep water cycling through it, especially if I do any work for dealers that'll give me 10-15 cars at a time. Already been lining up prospects for Mon - Wed, and then scoping out a 'stationary' location (*no water) for weekends with a high traffic volume.

I've used plenty of commercial grade pressure washers doing construction over the years, but having to supply the water is a whole new ball game for me.

Mind you, for the price that I am quoting the smaller dealers they'll gladly supply the water. But... if I can do 10-20 car washes per day on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, I'll definitely need the bigger tank and an efficient set-up.

Thanks Rav777... appreciate the advice. I'll be specking out on-demand pumps this week, that was a huge help. I'm guessing they have a 'flow switch' in-line that 'triggers' when you need it.

Ironically, I was a pool plumber for 15 years prior, but this is a bit different, as pools simply re-circulate & filter on a timer...like a fish tank. This is tricky as I don't want to fry my pressure washer, and can't afford the commercial grade units quite yet.

chaotic...Thanks alot, looked up CAT pumps at Northern Tools, should I ever smoke this one...I'll replace it with one of those.

All the Best,

Art
Glad I was able to help you. If you get the 12 volt onDemand pump you should be able to run some alligator clips and wires off of your car battery and then relay an on/off switch so you are able to turn it on and off. When you by the pumps they only come with the bare pos and neg wires so some wiring will be needed, still very easy to do.

I agree with you on the gravity feed. Some pressure washers are able to suck the water in no problem but when I spend over $1,000 on a unit I want to make sure plenty of water is going into the unit. Once Ondemand pumps are done pushing water they build pressure until they reach their 40-60 psi preset level. Just make sure you get the right conections to each end.

If you ever do smoke a pump, CAT Pumps and General Pumps are probably some of the most sought after for heavy duty applications.

I will post a large build once I get my new set up going. I detail out of my car but I am finally going to upgrade to a full truck rig and proffesional equipment so I hope the thread will be helpful to anyone thinking of doing a set up.

Good luck with your business!
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:48 AM   #8
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Re: 275 Gallon Water Tank w/3000 psi Pressure Washer?

Thanks Roland!

Best of luck with your new set up. I'm a firm believer; "you're only as sharp as the tools you possess" - so when my experience and money permits, I too will be on the hunt for the commercial grade equipment.

It's killing me cause I already want another $4-$5k in tools... like the MyTee II, Metro Vac N' Blo, PC 7424XP w/Meguiars Kit, and a 7'x14' enclosed tandem axle trailer with a bad ass advertising wrap... but "you gotta let the business pay for itself!"

Plus, I still have a lot to learn as far as the 'professional' detailing goes. I thought I knew a little, but after seeing the techniques Mike displays & the info shared here, there's definitely a science to mastering this trade.

Looking forward to that first satisfied (paying) customer!

-Art
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