Home Snowmaking

kappcity06kappcity06 advanced
edited November 2016 in NELSAP Forum Posts: 152
Okay, So I'm building a home snow maker. I'm in the very preliminary stages right now, just pricing out the parts and pieces I need.

I'm going with the SG2 combo 

Does anyone have any experience they would like to share? I remember ages ago ont he old site they had a few threads but some fresh thoughts would be great.

I'm going to buy the nozzle kit from the website and source all the fittings and hardware from Home Depot. I am in the process of scouring Criagslist for the compressor and pressure washer.

Now I am not expecting to be able to coat my lawn in 2 feet of fresh pow but rather be able to put enough stuff down to be able to slide from a trail edge to the front door or my place.

The first thing I was looking at was the pressure washer. The site specifies the GPM and pressure required. There is a range. Is there a benefit from having something on the higher end? Is there a benefit for using a gas powered vs electric unit aside from the obvious?


My heart bleeds for winter.

Comments

  • obienickobienick expert
    edited November 2016 Posts: 853
    There are easier guns to make for your first time. I would recommend going for a simple Tee gun.  All you need is an end cap that you drill a small hole in vs. buying expensive nozzles or a pressure washer and some connectors. I'd recommend putting a check valve on the air line. Also never use a non-external water source (i.e. don't hook a hose up to your sink). Outside faucets have special designs to prevent contamination of your potable water at home.
  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    edited November 2016 Posts: 501

    Okay, So I'm building a home snow maker. I'm in the very preliminary stages right now, just pricing out the parts and pieces I need.


    I'm going with the SG2 combo 

    Does anyone have any experience they would like to share? I remember ages ago ont he old site they had a few threads but some fresh thoughts would be great.

    I'm going to buy the nozzle kit from the website and source all the fittings and hardware from Home Depot. I am in the process of scouring Criagslist for the compressor and pressure washer.

    Now I am not expecting to be able to coat my lawn in 2 feet of fresh pow but rather be able to put enough stuff down to be able to slide from a trail edge to the front door or my place.

    The first thing I was looking at was the pressure washer. The site specifies the GPM and pressure required. There is a range. Is there a benefit from having something on the higher end? Is there a benefit for using a gas powered vs electric unit aside from the obvious?


    Higher the pressure, easier the nucleation with less air. They want you to use a pressure washer because with the available CFM and air pressure in home air compressors that's what you will need to make snow. Also domestic water is usually warmer. Go with higher if your fittings and hoses will support it.

    If you move up into an industrial compressor at 150 PSI and 50+ CFM you can get away with a standard water pump and make more volume.

    No difference with pressure washers in regards to electric vs gas besides fuel vs electric price and if you don't have electric where you're making snow obviously gas is the only choice.
  • kappcity06kappcity06 advanced
    Posts: 152
    very good stuff so far

    as with difficulty in building, i like a challenge...if this fails then at least I have a pressure washer and compressor for the summer. Although I may also make the T gun you posted about for the fun of it.

    And yes I am using an outdoor faucet and since im making snow near the house I'm thinking I be able to get an extension cord long enough to power the compressor.
    My heart bleeds for winter.
  • I built that gun and the T gun. In my experience external mix produces so much more snow and is where I would go first. Karcher pressure washer (they are indestructible) and whatever compressor that has the most CFM with the least noise! (no need for a tank) Proof is in the pictures. Enjoy your own personal winter!
    DSC00763.jpg
    2592 x 1944 - 1M
    100_1134.jpg
    2304 x 1728 - 899K
    100_1212.jpg
    2304 x 1728 - 533K
    100_1195.jpg
    2304 x 1728 - 568K
    100_0356.jpg
    2304 x 1728 - 2M
  • casual_weekdaycasual_weekday intermediate
    Posts: 57
    Compressors and pressure washers on the high end wont have to work as hard to push the needed air and water. Higher powered equipment will usually be better since the cold will decrease performance.
    Ski it or die trying
  • shprideshpride intermediate
    Posts: 55

    I built that gun and the T gun. In my experience external mix produces so much more snow and is where I would go first. Karcher pressure washer (they are indestructible) and whatever compressor that has the most CFM with the least noise! (no need for a tank) Proof is in the pictures. Enjoy your own personal winter!

    Awesome pictures! You should turn the guns on hill of rocks. Looks like those would be fun to ski

  • sottosotto novice
    edited November 2016 Posts: 5
    Save youthe money on the nozzle kit and get them from another source. The nozzle typically run under $5 each. Lots of good information at snowguns.com If you have a pump and air compressor I would skip the t/y gun and go for an internal mix style gun like the Snow @ home plans. If you have the money available in would get a cat pump from ebay or Craig's list,t hey are bullet proof. You can usually find a used one for around $100 or so. A pressure washer will work, but they aren't build to hold up to continuous use over time.

    This is my setup here:

    photo 20151019_085441_zpswd10hkul.jpg

    photo FB_IMG_1445383428189_zps3ahn8tay.jpg

    [
  • mtsnow123mtsnow123 advanced
    Posts: 295
    Question: Any idea how much it costs to build that pile? (i.e. fuel if using, electric, water) I'm sure if you have a deep well that may not be an issue, but ball park cost for just water/air? (not including air compressor or pump, and parts)
  • skipro77skipro77 intermediate
    Posts: 47

    I built that gun and the T gun. In my experience external mix produces so much more snow and is where I would go first. Karcher pressure washer (they are indestructible) and whatever compressor that has the most CFM with the least noise! (no need for a tank) Proof is in the pictures. Enjoy your own personal winter!

    Very nice.  Now you just need a groomer.
  • bousquet19bousquet19 advanced
    Posts: 220

    I built that gun and the T gun. In my experience external mix produces so much more snow and is where I would go first. Karcher pressure washer (they are indestructible) and whatever compressor that has the most CFM with the least noise! (no need for a tank) Proof is in the pictures. Enjoy your own personal winter!

    Hi beenthereskiedthat,

    Welcome to Snowjournal!  Looks like you're into some hardcore snow activity that we can all appreciate.  Hope you'll introduce yourself some more and join in the conversations.  This is a fun, helpful and laid-back group.

    Woody
  • Thanks Woody. I used to post on the old snowjournal long long time ago (ismrider). I mostly lurk but I'll jump in here and there. Second snowguns.com although last I heard new accounts for the forum weren't getting activated or something.
  • slopefillersslopefillers novice
    Posts: 17
    Now this is a thread I can get behind! In a former life I was a half-hearted SNOWatHOME competitor to put myself through college. Shut it down probably a decade ago but still make snow for fun each fall (pic below from last year, not cold enough this year).

    image

    Lots of options for those nozzles. I try to keep a list of all sources and parts lists here these days if it helps anyone:

    Re: T vs combo guns (multiple nozzles), you'll make probably 10x as much snow with an combo style gun.

    Re; pressure washer / air compressor quality. Snowmaking is inherently bad for pressure washers and air compressors. Even contractor grade machines usually aren't meant to run non-stop for that long without stopping in that cold of weather. I've burned through expensive compressors in a season and cheap compressors in a season. So my philosophy has always been buy cheap (harbor freight is your friend) and just resign yourself to the fact it's not gonna last a decade.

    An $50-$80 pressure washer (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Campbell-Hausfeld-1-900-PSI-1-6-GPM-Elec-Pressure-Washer-w-Reel-PW183501AV-New-/201704261083?hash=item2ef682c5db:g:yPkAAOSwcLxYEjkK) + $100 air compress (http://www.harborfreight.com/8-gal-2-hp-125-psi-oil-lube-air-compressor-69667.html, will go on sale every couple months for <$100) + ~$50 in parts (http://www.snsnowmaking.com/2011/step1-snowmaker-parts.php) and for roughly $250 you're up and running making 2-3" of snow an hour if you don't move the gun.
  • bobbuttsbobbutts intermediate
    Posts: 95
    I made that gun, not hard to assemble and works well.  One reason to go with Gas is that if you run a compressor and washer at once it is too much for one circuit.  You'll need to plug in to different branches of your elec system if you are going all electric.
    If you are using a low end pressure washer you may want to remove the top nozzle.  I had better results with that.
  • lysikjakelysikjake intermediate
    Posts: 37
    Stay away from snow at home. You can build your own gun that works better than theirs. I did it. Was able to make snow at 27 wb and 1:1 air/water ratio.
Sign In or Register to comment.