How to Add Water to a Pressure Washer

Lead Image for How to Add Water to a Pressure Washer
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Water hose
Water tank
Drainage location

Pressure washers come in a multitude of designs and can be filled with water in different ways. One of the main ways that water is added to residential models is by hooking it up to a hose bib. The hose supplies a constant supply of water to the pressure washer, and the motor of the pressure washer pushes the supplied water out at a constant high pressure. There are also models that require a tank to be filled for more commercial pressure washer applications. Many car detail services use a tank in the back of a trailer or truck bed in order to carry water for their services. This tank provides water that is pressurized with a compressor.


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Many pressurized tank systems have a drainage tank for dirty water or a double bladder to collect the dirty water within the same tank as the clean water. Make sure to drain this water first before filling up the clean water. Open the drain plug and drain the water into an approved drain water location. Some cities will not allow any water with chemicals, even soap, to be emptied into their drain systems.

Maintain Tank

Before you fill your pressure washer's tank make sure that the tank is free of any need for repairs. A tank that has holes or leaks my not provide water correctly to the pressure washer. You also need to make sure that the tank is free of any debris that can clog the pressure washer. In some cases, it might be necessary to wash out the tank before filling it.

Filling the Tank

Before filling the tank make sure that the drainage hole is plugged, leak-free and secure. Place the hose into the tank and turn on the hose. Watch the water level. There is a recommended full line on most tanks and you should not fill above this line. For traveling power washer tanks there could be excessive splashing or the pressure washer itself will not be able to pressurize correctly.

Add Any Chemicals

Depending on what you are using the pressure washer for you may need to add soap or different chemicals to the tank as well before filling the tank to the full line allow for the addition of these chemicals. It is recommended that you add them after the water so that you do not cause bubbling or foam to overflow the container. It is also important to know that if you are not going to use the whole tank of the solution then only mix what is needed to avoid waste.

By taking care of and maintaining your tank by looking for maintenance issues each time that you fill it you can find small issues before it is necessary to replace the pressure washer tank altogether. If you take steps to prevent any damage to the tank or repair it quickly than your tank is liable to last for many more years than someone who does not maintain their equipment.

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