Can Pressure Washers Make Snow? (Yes, Here’s How)

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Do you want to experience real snow in your backyard? Well, you can make snow yourself. You just need a pressure washer, water and cold weather to do it. So the answer to the question is yes, a pressure washer can generate snow. I will show you step by step how it is done and what you will need.

To make snow, a pressure washer has to be rated at least 1 GPM and 1000 PSI. The temperature has to be 37-32 F (2.7-0 C). Turn on the pressure washer, put a snow nozzle on, and open the valve a bit so air mixes with the water. If it is cold enough, the spray nozzle will produce snow.

What You Will Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Snow nozzle
  • Water
  • Cold weather

Step 1: Choose a Pressure Washer

The pressure washer has to be 1000 PSI minimum. More important is the volume of water going through it. A pressure washer with 1 GPM can produce an inch of snow every hour over a 12 ft. x 25 in. Area. If it is 2 GPM, it will generate 2 inches of snow per hour, also over the same area.

There are a lot of pressure washers, but for making snow I prefer the Simpson CM61083. With this you can make a lot of snow quickly and consistently.

Step 2. Wait for the Right Weather

The colder the temperature, the easier it is to make snow. Ideally you should wait until it is 27 F (-2.8 C), but it is possible to do this at 37 F. This is possible because water coming out of a pressurized tube increases volume and cools down.

Once the temperature is cold enough, get your pressure washer ready.

Step 3. Prepare the Pressure Washer

If you have a gas pressure washer, fill it with fuel. If you own a PowRyte Electric Pressure Washer, plug it into the power source. Make sure the cord is long enough if you plan to move the pressure washer around.

Connect a snow nozzle or any pressure washer nozzle you have that produces a fine mist. You also have to optimize the air by opening the valve a little. Keep adjusting until you find the right level.

Step 4. Make Snow

Position the spray nozzle at a 45 degree angle and squeeze the trigger. If it is cold enough, the pressure washer will produce snow.

Why is My Pressure Washer Not Making Snow?

If snow doesn’t form, the temperature is not cold enough. You might also want to check the PSI and GPM settings if they are correct. If you just finished pressure washing windows, you have to readjust the setting for snow.

If the weather is not cold enough, snow will not materialize. As pointed out earlier, the ideal is 32-27 F. Though pressure washers can can produce snow at higher temperature, it takes longer.

Now if the weather is near or at 27 F but you don’t see snow, there could be a problem with your pressure washer. Check the fittings and connections. If it is loose this will prevent snow from forming.

How to Make Snow Quickly with a Pressure Washer

Timing is of the essence. Wait until it is cold, otherwise making snow will be difficult if not impossible. This requires patience but it is worth it. Once your pressure washer has made snow, it will last a while.

Use the right nozzle. You have four options:

  • Snow cannon: too costly for most
  • Garden mister: it can work but has a low yield
  • Fine mist nozzle: produces a fine mist of water, but if cold enough will turn into snow
  • Snow nozzle: these are compatible with popular pressure washers. You just plug it on the same way as any spray nozzle.

A snow nozzle and fine mist nozzle are the best options. The finer the mist, the greater the water surface gets.

Use cold water. If possible, get water from a river or stream.. it is often colder than water from a faucet. Water from streams and rivers also have nucleating agents that accelerate snow formation.

Try boiling water. Yes I did say try the coldest water you can find. But if it is 25 F (32 C) or lower, boiling water is better suited for making snow. Just put boiling water in a pan, go outside and throw the water in the air. It will become snow.

Aside from a pressure washer, you can use an air compressor or a snow maker. You can even use all three of them together. You need to have the right fittings for all of them to make this work.

While you can connect a pressure washer to a snow making tool, it is not necessary. With just a pressure washer, water and the right temperature, you can get it done.

Can a Pressure Washer Alone Make Snow?

Yes, as shown here it is possible. You can also connect a pressure washer with a snow making tool,, but a pressure alone is going to work.

The key to making any successful DIY snow is the temperature. If it is 28 degrees F your chances of success is high. Cold weather is the ideal setting for snow. So the temperature climbs, the harder it gets for snowflakes to form.

Once the temperature is right, the pressure washer and water do the rest. Once you plug a fine mist or snow nozzle to a pressure washer, the pressure and the cold will turn water into snow. While you are making snow, this is real snow nevertheless, made from real water.

What Pressure Washer Type is Best to Make Snow?

Any type of pressure washer will do. Some prefer gas and other electric. There are pros and cons to both. But in general either will get the job done.

Gas pressure washers are powerful and work well in cold conditions. High end models are rated at 3-4 GPM (or higher) which is the ideal for making snow.

Electric pressure washers have improved a lot. Now they are not that far behind gas in terms of capacity. For snow making the most vital are GPM and PSI. The truth is either type can provide the PSI and GPM you need.

How to Make Lots of Snow with a Pressure Washer

The simple answer is use a pressure washer with a high GPM. Or you can use multiple pressure washers.

In general, 1 GPM pressure washers can give you an inch of snow per hour on a 12 ft. x 25 inch space. If you have a 2 GPM pressure washer, that would be 2 inches of snow per hour on the same area. And so on.

If you want to make more snow and faster too, get a higher GPM model or use several pressure washers. How many depends on how much snow you want. With the 1 GPM sample given here, you can estimate how many you will need.

Is it Safe to Use a Pressure Washer to Make Snow?

Yes. You are not doing anything beyond a pressure washer’s capabilities. Three are compatible snow and fine mist nozzles, and these power tools can run in cold weather.

Snow is basically a byproduct of the weather condition. If the temperature wasn’t that cold, water would come out of it. The fact that snow comes out of the nozzle is not going to damage the pressure washer.

How Long Can a Pressure Washer Produce Snow?

You can run the pressure washer as long as you would if it was spraying water. The cold weather works in its favor because it minimizes the risk of motor overheating.

The key is to make sure there is a constant water supply and low temperature. If the temperature climbs, you will slowly see water come out of the nozzle instead of snow.