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Step 5
How to Make Snow with Your DIY Snowmaker

1a) Wait for Cold Temps

The first step, of course, is to wait for cold enough temps. As a general rule, 27° F (-2.8° C) is when you can start making snow.

photo of thermometer

1b) Setup Snowmaker

Next, using whatever stand system you'd like, setup your snowmaker in the place you like to make snow. Your snow will fall in a pile about 20' (6.0m) long and 8' (2.5m) wide.

photo of snowmaker setup

1c) Setup Air Compressor

If it's electric, plug in your air compressor to power outlet. If it's gas powered, make sure the gas tank is full. Connect your air hose to the compressor and be sure your 1/4" FPT (Female) Quick Connect Body is attached to the end of the hose that will attach to the snowmaker.

photo of air compressor setup

1d) Setup Pressure Washer

If it's electric, plug in your pressure washer to power outlet. If it's gas powered, make sure the gas tank is full. Connect one end of a garden hose to your water source and the other end to your pressure washer. Connect one of the pressure washer hose to the pressure washer and make sure the other end has the 1/4" MPT (Male) Quick Connect Plug + 22mm Adapter x 1/4" FPT (Female) assembly connected to the end of the hose that will attach to the snowmaker.

photo of pressure washer setup

Starting Up
2a) Close the Valve

When the valve is perpendicular to the body of the valve (or horizontal), the valve is closed.

photo of closed valve

Starting Up
2b) Connect Air Hose

Connect the air hose to the snowmaker below the valve.

photo of connecting air hose

Starting Up
2c) Turn on Air Compressor

Turn on the air compressor. You can actually open the regulator all the way up because the snowmaker will naturally regulate the pressure.

photo of turning on air compressor

Starting Up
2d) Connect Pressure Washer Hose

Connect the pressure washer hose to the snowmaker above the valve.

photo of conneting pressure washer hose

Starting Up
2e) Turn on Water & Pressure Washer

First turn on the water spigot where the garden hose is attached. Once water is flowing through the nozzles of your snowmaker, turn on the pressure washer. Turning on your pressure washer without water running through it can damage it.

photo of turning on water and pressure washer

Starting Up
2f) Open the Valve a Tiny Bit

Now, slowly open the valve until just a tiny bit of water comes down and mixes with the air. A light mist will come out of the bottom nozzle. If there are any large drops "spitting" out with the mist, close the valve a tiny bit until the spitting stops and only mist is coming out.

photo of opening the valve

Making Snow
3a) You're Making Snow

That's it! If it's cold enough, you should be making snow now. By and large, the biggest issue people have is not waiting for it to be cold enough. If you are just making ice, wait until the temp drops 2° F (1° C) and try again.

photo of making snow

Making Snow
3b) Keep an Eye on Things

Keep a close eye on your snowmaker to be sure that your air compressor and pressure washer is still running and things are going smoothing.

photo of snowmaking

Making Snow
3c) Adjust Valve if Needed

At about 10 minutes into your session, check on the valve to make sure the mist coming from the bottom nozzle is still the way it was when you started. If it isn't, readjust the valve until it is.

photo of adjusting valve

Shutting Down
4a) Close the Valve

Remember, the closed position is when the handle is perpendicular to the valve body.

photo of closing the valve

Shutting Down
4b) Turn off Pressure Washer & Water

Turn off your pressure washer and unplug it if it is electric. Turn off water at spigot.

photo of turning off pressure washer

Shutting Down
4c) Disconnect All Water Hoses

Disconnect both sides of the garden hose from the spigot and pressure washer and both sides of the pressure washer hose from the snowmaker and pressure washer.

photo of disconnecting water hoses

Shutting Down
4d) Open the Valve

Open the valve and wait about 10 seconds for the air to blow the water out of your snowmaker.

photo of opening the valve all the way

Shutting Down
4e) Clear Water from Hoses

Clear water from your water lines by reattaching the pressure washer hose to the snowmaker and letting the air push the water out of the hose. Once it's clear, put the other end of the pressure washer hose up to one end of the garden hose and let the air push the water out of that hose as well.

photo of clearing water from hoses

Shutting Down
4f) Turn off Air Compressor

Turn off your air compressor and unplug it if it is electic.

photo of turning off air compressor

Shutting Down
4g) Bring it All Inside

It doesn't need to be your living room, just somewhere warm (above freezing) like a garage, basement, or heated shed.

photo of equipment in warm room

5) Repeat

Do the same thing tomorrow :)

photo of more snowmaking
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