|Home Snowmaking Requirements
|All of our snowmakers make REAL SNOW just like the ones you see at ski resorts. Since they make real snow,
they have specific requirements in order for them to work. If you are new to home snowmaking, this is definitely
a page you will want to read. We will explain the different requirements that you have to provide in order to
make real snow with one of our snowmakers. The basic ingredients you need to make snow are cold weather,
an air compressor, a pressure washer (or garden hose), and of course a snowmaker.
If you ever have any questions about home snowmaking or what is required to make snow, please feel free to
contact us and we would be happy to assist you.
Home snowmaking requires cold weather in order to allow the water to freeze and form snow as it falls to the ground.
Even if you live in a warm area, chances are you will at least get a night or two a year to make snow. We have lots of
customers who have been able to successfully make snow in areas such Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Northern
Florida. In fact, one of our customers in Alabama was able to make 18" to 24" of snow over a large area in just two
nights of snowmaking during a cold snap!
Snowmaking goes by the wetbulb temperature, which is the temperature with the humidity level factored in. Generally
speaking you need a wetbulb temperature of 28ºF or less to make snow with a snowmaker that runs off of a garden
hose and a wetbulb temperature of 27ºF or less to make snow with a snowmaker that runs off of a pressure washer or
snowmaking pump. You can find wetbulb temperature calculators online by searching for "wet bulb calculator" on any
major search engine. The calculator will calculate your wetbulb temperature based on your temperature and humidity
Typically any time the temperature hits 30ºF you can make snow with a snowmaker that runs off of a garden hose. When
the temperature hits 28ºF you can typically make snow with a snowmaker that runs off of a pressure washer or
snowmaking pump. If the humidity level is VERY LOW it is possible to make snow above freezing (32ºF or 0ºC).
You will need an air compressor to make snow in conjunction with your snowmaker. The compressed air
super cools the water to make it freeze quickly. Almost any household size air compressor will work with our
home snow makers. We recommend getting a compressor with at least 6cfm@90psi or more. This way you
have more than enough air to run a snowmaker.
Compressed Air Requirements for Our Snowmakers:
4cfm@90psi or more for any snowmaker that runs off of a garden hose
5cfm@90psi or more for any snowmaker that runs off of a pressure washer/snowmaking pump
If you already have an air compressor, you should be able to find the CFM rating of your compressor at 40
and 90psi. This information should be labeled somewhere on the compressor or tank.
The size of your compressor tank and it's orientation (vertical or horizontal) is irrelevant for snowmaking.
The CFM level of your compressor is the only thing that matters for snowmaking. It does not matter if your
compressor pump is oil-lubed or oil-less. However oil-lubed compressors tend to be quieter than oil-less air
compressors. Belt driven air compressors tend to be MUCH quieter than direct drive compressors. Electric
air compressors tend to be easier to manage compared to gas compressors because you do not have to
worry about filing the gas tank every few hours.
Do not worry about operating your compressor in cold weather. Heat is what kills air compressors. By using
your air compressor in cold temperatures, it will help to keep your motor and pump cool. This will help
prolong the life of your motor and pump. Running your compressor continuously for snowmaking is actually
better than when your compressor cycles (turns on to make more air then turns off) when you run an air
tool. If your compressor is not rated for 100% continuous duty use we recommend giving it a break every
No matter what type of snowmaker you purchase, you will need to have a garden hose. We recommend
getting a high quality rubber garden hose. Rubber garden hoses tend to last longer since they are usually
"commercial grade". They are also much easier to work with in cold temperatures since they remain
flexible. This makes wrapping the hose up a breeze when you are done making snow.
Try to stay away from cheap plastic garden hoses, like those made from PVC. They don't tend to last long
and are difficult to maneuver and wrap up in cold temperatures. Try to get the biggest diameter hose you
can, as this will help to prevent freeze ups. 5/8" and 3/4" diameter garden hoses are highly recommended
to prevent freeze ups.
Just like garden hoses, rubber air hoses work best as they remain flexible in cold temperatures and are
easy to wrap up when you are finished making snow. Stay away from 1/4" diameter air hoses because
they tend to freeze quickly. Most people are not aware that an air hose can freeze. Air hoses have a
tendency to freeze because your air compressor creates moisture (water) as it makes compressed air.
Some of this moisture will try and exit the compressor tank through the air hose. Since the air hose is cold
from being outside, the moisture inside the air hose may eventually freeze before it escapes. For this
reason we recommend going with either a 3/8" or 1/2" diameter air hose or larger. We also recommend
keeping a spare air hose just in case you experience a freeze up.
To keep hose freeze ups to a minimum, always run the shortest length of hose possible.
|Pressure Washer or Snowmaking Pump
If you are looking to make a lot of snow or are looking to cover a large area with snow, you will want to
purchase a high pressure snowmaker. These types of snowmakers require a pressure washer or
A pressure washer will be your least expensive option and these can be purchased either online or at any
home improvement store if you do not already have one. Pressure washers are available with either a gas
or electric motor. Gas driven pressure washers are the loudest, but are ideal for making snow in remote
areas where you do not have access to electric. Gas pressure washers also usually flow more water than
electric pressure washers and therefore will allow you to make more snow. Electric pressure washers are
the quietest making them ideal for making snow late at night. Since the motor is powered by electric, you
don't have to worry about refilling a fuel tank with gas every few hours.
If you purchase an electric pressure washer you will likely need to buy another pressure washer hose to
attach your pressure washer to your snowmaker. This is because electric pressure washers typically come
with a hose that is only good for the cleaning lance that came with your pressure washer. You will need to
buy a pressure washer hose that has two 22mm ends on it. These pressure washer hoses are inexpensive
and should only cost $20 to $30 at any home improvement store.
A snowmaking pump will cost much more than a pressure washer, but has many benefits. Since they are
designed specifically for making snow, snowmaking pumps will allow your snowmaker to run as efficiently
as possible. They also keep evaporation issues to a minimum since they operate at a much lower pressure
than pressure washers do. All of our snowmaking pumps were designed for continuous duty use and can
withstand running nonstop for hours at a time. Hands down our snowmaking pumps will outlast any
pressure washer you can buy in the home improvement stores, mainly because we only use the highest
quality motors and pumps. With our largest 7gpm home snowmaking pump, you can really crank out the
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WE ARE THE HOME SNOWMAKING EXPERTS!
Entire Contents Copyright 2005-2014 SnowStorm Snowmaking, LLC
|2013 - 2014
"When Mother Nature Fails, Make Snow!"
WE ARE THE HOME SNOWMAKING EXPERTS!
|Snowmaker "AKA" Snowgun, Snow Machine
The final thing you need in order to make real snow is the actual snowmaker! This is what you purchase
from us in order to combine the compressed air and water in a specific ratio to make real snow.
There are several types of snowmakers and many different processes to make snow. Snowmakers that
utilize high pressure water from a pressure washer or snowmaking pump are the most efficient and cover
large areas. Garden hose snowmakers follow an inefficient snowmaking process and don't really produce
a lot of snow. However, they do work extremely well in marginal conditions and are good for "touch up" jobs.
Only you can decide which type of snowmaker is right for you. However in almost all cases, a high
pressure snowmaker is best suited for 95% of our customers home snowmaking needs.