How to Use a Pressure Washer Without an Outside Tap

using a pressure washer without a tap

A pressure washer uses a high-pressure spray of water to blast dirt and grime off of outside surfaces. The sheer force of the water can remove stubborn ground-in dirt, old paint that is chipping away, grime and even chewing gum.

Typically, one can simply attach a pressure washer feed hose to the garden tap. However, if you do not have an outside tap does that mean you will not be able to use a pressure washer?

Thankfully, there are several ways to use a pressure washer to get all your outside surfaces clean, even without an outside tap. The following sections will cover these methods:

Use a Bucket

A bucket is an easy and quick way of using a pressure washer if you do not have an outside tap. With pressure washers such as the Karcher K4 you can attached a filtered suction hose to the machine and pop the other end into a large water container.

However, if you have a lot of cleaning to do, simply putting one end of the feed hose into a small bucket full of water will not cut it.

A pressure washer will empty out a full bucket of water in a short span of time, so you will certainly need a fair few refills. This also means you have to carry buckets of water with you everywhere, which can be quite cumbersome.

Besides, a simple bucket of water is unlikely to be able to withstand the suction of a pressure washer. You could, perhaps, consider an additional accessory suction hose specifically designed for use with a bucket but it still does not solve the problems mentioned above.

Use a Barrel

A barrel is a more efficient way of using a pressure washer than a bucket. For starters, you will have greater quantities of water to work with. You can also leave a barrel outside to collect rainwater, also allowing you to use water judiciously.

A water barrel may also have a tap that is compatible with a pressure washer. It is also a heavier and more steady object than a bucket, so the barrel should be able to withstand the pressure of suction better than a bucket.

However, in the case of both a bucket and a barrel, you should consider putting a filter in the hose so that it does not pull in any impurities that may be in the water. If foreign objects enter the pressure washer, it may damage the pump and affect its efficiency.

Use a Different Tap

Even if you do not have an outside tap, there is nothing stopping you from using an inside tap, provided you have a hose that is long enough and the correct fitting for the tap. If there is a bathroom window through which you can pull water from the outside, consider using that.

Even if a hose has to run through your house, it is not such a big compromise. After all, how often will you need to wash the car or outside surfaces in a month?

If you have a hose reel long enough to use an inside tap (consider investing in one if you don’t), also, you can borrow the washing machine water feed by simply unscrewing the hose that feeds water to the washing machine and screwing on the garden hose, most often the threading is the same. Before doing this, made sure you close off the water valve.

A washing machine tap tends to have a similar size and thread as an outdoor pipe. You can even consider purchasing a two-way tap connector so that you can use the tap for your pressure washer without disconnecting the washing machine.

Use a Portable Pressure Washer

Using a portable pressure washer seems to simply be the best solution. You do not have to worry about refilling buckets or barrels of water. A portable pressure washer comes with its own container, into which you can fill water.

You also do not have to worry about having a long enough hose as the container will simply go with you as you move since it is conveniently mounted on wheels. A portable pressure washer is the best solution for those who would like to get a long-term solution but cannot install an outdoor tap.

For example, if you live in an apartment complex or are renting, you may not be able to make structural changes like installing an outdoor tap—a portable pressure washer is a great solution.

However, the catch here is that the container will still have only a finite amount of water. A running indoor tap attached to a long hose is the best solution to keeping the tank filled, though you can also do a few rounds back and forth to refill the tank.

Install an Outside Tap

outside garden tap

Finally, if the solutions described above still seem too cumbersome, then consider installing an outdoor tap. If you are a homeowner and have the luxury of doing this, it is well worth the contacting a good plumber to have one installed. You’ll find more uses for the outside tap than just for the pressure washer – think watering plants, filling an inflatable hot tub or paddling pool, and a cooling sprinkler in summer.

You can use the same tap to water your garden or even clean your car. An outside tap also does not need to be beautified the way you may need to for a water source inside the house.

Even if the pipes are exposed, it is not so big a deal. Therefore, getting an outside tap is also less of a hassle. If this solution is feasible for you, you can even go ahead and do this even before trying all the above solutions.

Let’s Wrap This Up

If you have ever used a pressure washer or even if you have seen it being used by someone else, you are familiar with the satisfaction of seeing a surface looking sparkling new after a good washing session.

A pressure washer may seem like it is using a lot of water, but on the contrary, it ends up using less water as the pressure manages to dislodge grime, dirt or other things in far less time.

Even if you use a pail and bucket, you may not be able to remove dirt that has been stuck for months. But with the same amount of water, a pressure washer should be able to do it within a few minutes.

If you have a front yard or a driveway, you know that keeping it clean can be quite a task given that the area comes in contact with all the elements. A pressure washer can be your best friend if you take keeping the outside areas of your home looking as good as new.