How to Use a Pressure Washer Without an Outside Tap

One of the most useful pieces of equipment you can have in your home is a pressure washer. These are great for washing cars, cleaning decks and patios, stripping paint from woodwork, or just about any other dirty job around the house that needs to be done. Pressure washers use water under high pressure to quickly remove dirt and grime without scrubbing. If you don’t have an outdoor tap then it might seem like there’s no way to get water into the machine but this isn’t true! There are many ways to fill up a pressure washer when not near an outdoor faucet.

In this article we’re going to look at the top ways to use a pressure washer without an outside tap and breakdown exactly how to go about them so you start using your pressure washer today!

Pressure Washer Without an Outside Tap

The bucket method

In this method you’ll need a large bucket and something to siphon the water from. In most cases, it’s best to use a hose with an adjustable spray nozzle so that you can adjust how much water is being siphoned at once.

– Find a clean container that holds no chemicals or other dangerous substances which could contaminate your pressure washer water.

– Attach the hose to the bucket and place it at a downward angle so that gravity can do its job. If you have an adjustable spray nozzle on your hose then set this to start out with a very light stream of water, just enough for it to trickle down into the container below without splashing or spilling over.

– Place the pressure washer near to the bucket and turn it on to its highest setting.

– Hold the container below the machine and begin siphoning water into it. You will need to adjust the stream of water coming out of the hose so that more or less is going into the bucket, depending on how quickly you want it to fill.

– When the bucket is about half full, stop siphoning and allow it to fill up. Once this has happened move onto the next step.

It takes time and effort to transport heavy buckets back and forth, particularly with full buckets of water. Only use the bucket approach for smaller, minor outdoor tasks like cleaning a barbecue. One way that you can speed this up though is by using an outdoor water butt, water barrels or water tank if you have them.

Additionally, reducing the water pressure can be helpful in this instance as it while give you a longer period of time before needing to reload. However, make sure you still enough pressure when pressure washing to get the job done.

The water pump method

In some pressure washers there will be a small built in reservoir which you can use for filling them with water without an outside tap. This works by pumping out all of the water from the machine and then sucking fresh water in from a container.

– Find an appropriate container which can hold enough water to completely submerge the pressure washer’s pump (usually around 0.75 gallons/three litres). It is best if this is a clean, chemical free container.

– Place the pressure washer near to the container and turn it on to its highest setting.

– Submerge the pump in the container of water and wait for the machine to start sucking up water. Once it does, continue to fill up the container with water until it’s full.

– When the container is full, stop filling and move onto the next step.

This method is quick and easy but can be a little noisy. The water pump method also doesn’t work on all pressure washers so check your machine’s manual before trying it.

The garden hose method

This is the most common way to use a pressure washer without an outside tap as almost everyone has access to a garden hose.

Connect the pressure washer to a garden hose and turn it on. If you have an adjustable spray nozzle then set this to start with a very light stream of water, just enough for it to trickle down into the machine without splashing or spilling over

– Place your container where you intend to fill up (a driveway is usually best) and connect another garden hose to it.

– Turn your garden water on and start filling up the pressure washer using a slow but steady stream of water from both hoses at once. This will create a siphoning effect which helps draw in more water over time without having to wait for gravity’s help with every bucket full that is filled.

– Once you have filled up the pressure washer, move it to a safe place and turn it off.

This is the most common and easiest way to fill your pressure washer without an outdoor tap but can take some time if you have a large container. If you’re in a hurry then try one of the other methods listed here.

Use an indoor tap

When you don’t have access to a tap, using an indoor tap is a simple and straightforward alternative. There are many different types of tap adapters to choose from, depending on the sort of tap in your home. Tap adapters come in a variety of styles.

Some screw directly onto the tap, while others have a hose that you can attach to your pressure washer. They are normally pretty easy to setup and can typically done so in the follow way:

  • Attach the appropriate tap adapter to your indoor tap.
  • Connect the pressure washer’s hose to the adapter.
  • Turn on the water and plug in the pressure washer.
  • Pressure wash away!

Another way of utilising an indoor tap that make be close to your back door, is to use the washing machine tap. These are often located in the utility room or garage and are easy to spot as they have a large diameter. They also tend to be connected to the mains water supply which is perfect for a pressure washer.

To use a washing machine tap:

-Shut off the power to your washing machine.

-Locate the washing machine’s water supply valves and turn them on. The valves are usually located behind the washing machine.

-Attach the pressure washer’s hose to the tap.

-Turn on the water and plug in the pressure washer.

-Get pressure washing!


Before we wrap up, we thought we’d have a look at some of the top questions surrounding pressure washers and how to use them without an outside tap.

How do you use a pressure washer hose?

A pressure washer hose is a high-pressure hose that connects the pressure washer to the water source. A suction hose is also required to connect the pressure washer to the water source. It’s also worth considering adding an additional filter alongside whichever hose you use as it can help prevent damage to your pressure washer pump by things from your garden getting sucked up by accident.

What are the best pressure washers?

Some of the best pressure washers on the market comes from the brands Karcher, Bosch and Nilfisk.

What is a portable pressure washer?

A portable pressure washer is a small, handheld device that uses high-pressure water to clean surfaces. They are ideal for cleaning small areas and are easy to store and transport.

Portable pressure washers are particularly helpful for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, such as the tops of cars or the underside of a deck.

What is the difference between a pressure washer and a power washer?

A pressure washer is a machine that uses high-pressure water to clean surfaces. A power washer is a type of pressure washer that also uses heat to increase the cleaning power. Power washers are typically used for tougher jobs, such as removing paint or grease.

Final thoughts

Whichever filling method you use, I hope this article has been useful and informative and you know feel you know how to use a pressure washer without an outside tap.

If I could give one tip on using these machines safely then it would be to always read the manufacturer’s instructions beforehand. Stay safe and happy washing!