Pressure washers are great pieces of kit to have around your home, especially if you have a large outdoor space. Even if you just have a driveway or a car, they can be really useful for quick cleans if you’re on a tight schedule.
However, maybe you’ve been thinking about getting one, but have no outside tap to use it and are left wondering if you’d be able to get any use out of a washer.
There are a number of different ways to supply water to a pressure washer that don’t need an outside tap. A wall tap is the easiest, but this doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be able to use a pressure washer at all. A lot of pressure washers have an attachment that let you use them with even a simple bucket of water.
By far the easiest method to use a pressure washer is to hook it up to an outside tap, so if you do have one, no problem!
If it’s possible for you to install an outside tap (or have one installed for you), then this is also the best course of action.
Many people don’t necessarily have this option though, maybe you live in an apartment complex or a condo with no outside taps available and no way to have one fitted.
For those people, the methods listed here may be of help!
Use a bucket of water
This may sound a bit obvious and lacklustre. But it can work!
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as it sounds. You can’t just fill a bucket with water and shove the pressure washer hose inside.
There won’t be enough pressure for the water to get sucked into the system. Moreover, imagine how much water pressure washers use every minute, you’d have to fill the bucket up constantly
There are attachments that some pressure washers come with that allow you to connect the water in the bucket to the washer.
This isn’t a great solution since it requires you to lug buckets around with you and fill them up repeatedly, but it can be a good solution for a quick clean if the job you’re doing is small.
If you do decide to use this method, you definitely need to have some kind of filter on the end of the hose that’s going into the bucket. This will stop loose dirt and debris that has accumulated in the bucket from getting into the washer and potentially causing damage.
This is definitely not a permanent solution, however!
Use a rain barrel
This is a step up from the bucket method. You may live in a climate with lots of rain and have a water barrel already to collect rainwater from your gutters and drainpipes.
These tend to be large enough for the pressure washer to not instantly drain it empty. The pressure won’t be a problem as well since the gravity will be able to supply the pressure washer with the water.
Another great feature of these is that they often already include their own tap at the bottom which is compatible with pressure washer hoses.
This way you can attach your washer directly to the barrel and you’re already set to go, basically like having an outdoor tap already!
You could also use a suction hose attachment (like you would use for a water bucket) and sink this to the bottom of the water barrel. Though again, a filter would be required here to avoid sucking debris into the washer.
These rain barrels are also great for the environment, since you’re just using water that you’ve collected through rainfall. This saves you running a tap for ages in order to clean and means you aren’t wasting any water.
If you live in a drier climate or are unable to fit a barrel to your home then unfortunately this won’t be an option.
Use an indoor tap
Again, this may sound like another lacklustre solution, but if it works it works.
If you have a long enough hose, you can connect it to your bathroom or ktchen tap. Running the hose out a window will make this much easier.
The only thing you’ll need is an adapter to make it possible to connect the hose to your tap.
This is a good solution if possible since it means you don’t have to carry a bucket round with you and you can use the washer pretty much as you would with an outdoor tap.
Portable Pressure Washers
This is an option for if you only need to some light cleaning work.
A portable pressure washer is much less powerful than their heavy duty counterparts and won’t really be able to tackle stubborn cleaning tasks but they can be really useful for small jobs.
Since they come with their own water tank, you don’t need to connect the washer to any external water source. You simply need to fill the tank and you’re ready to go.
This is similar to using a bucket, but in a more “plug and play” kind of way, as it’s like having a built-in bucket that can be used from the get go.
For regular heavier use, though, you’d be best investing in a stronger pressure washer (if you have the means to use it) rather than a portable washer.
If you are interested check out some of the budget pressure washers I reviewed here.
Connect your washer to your washing machine
This is another solution similar to the indoor tap method.
A lot of washing machines will have taps that are the same size and match the threads of an outdoor tap. You can use the pressure washer hooked up to this tap with relative ease.
If you plan on using this as a long-term setup then it would be a great idea to buy a two-way tap connector. If you get one that can essentially split the washing machine tap into two taps, you’ll be able to have two water outputs.
This way, you can have one tap permanently connected to the washing machine (as it was before) and the other is there if you need to use the pressure washer.
Again, this means you need a long hose to be able to reach the washer outside from inside your home. If this is possible though, it could become a permanent solution without impacting your home at all.
So there are options for you if you don’t have an outdoor tap after all and you won’t miss out on the cleaning power offered by a pressure washer.
Some of the solutions are less than attractive, but they will work well if it’s not a regular task.
For washing that is becoming routine, the best advice would be to have an outdoor tap installed (if possible) or then to use an indoor tap, as this will give the best results.
For a more enviro-friendly solution, though, a rainwater barrel is your best bet and you don’t need any extra gear to hook your washer up to it.
All in all though, not having an outside tap doesn’t mean no pressure washer for you, which can only be a bright side.