The popularity of pressure washers have become more widespread as they are no longer exclusively used in the commercial and industrial sectors, but they are now being used in the residential sectors as well.  Despite their popularity, most households are still not aware that the pressure pump is the heart of any pressure washer.

When it comes to pressure washers, often it is easy to forget when comparing different models that the quality of the pump is just as important as the quality of the motor or engine.  Since the pump is responsible for generating the cleaning power that makes the pressure washer useful, it only makes sense that you acquire a unit that has a reliable pressure washer pump.

There are two main types of pressure pumps highly suitable for homeowners – the Axial Cam pump and the Triplex pump.  The Axial Cam pump is the most popular.  You can choose from branded names that are more powerful and more reliable, or you can choose from non-branded ones that are designed to last only 60-100 hours.  This is why they are often referred to as ‘one season wonders’ as you will be lucky if they do last you one season.  The Triplex pump is more heavy duty and mostly seen on higher quality pressure washers.  Triplex pumps are made of higher quality materials which is why they have a longer life expectancy, making them more expensive.  Due to their higher price tag, they are mostly used by professional cleaning contractors or knowledgeable homeowners.  In comparison to Axial Cam pumps, Triplex pumps are also more efficient.

Changing the Pump Oil

It is always said that the pressure pump is the heart of the pressure washer.  This makes it particularly important to take care of the pump so that you can get the most out of your investment.  The best preventive maintenance with your pressure washer pump is always ensuring that it has good lubrication.

If you purchased your pressure washer unit new, it is recommended that you change the pressure pump’s oil after 15-20 hours of first usage, or after 3 months, whichever comes first.  Once you’ve done that, you will need to change oil at least every 200 hours or once a year.  However, if you use your pressure washer unit frequently and cannot keep track on how much time you have used it, changing its oil regularly will help ensure that the pump is well lubricated.

Some pressure pumps have a sight glass, a window like hole where you can see the oil level.  Most of the times, the window will have lines or indicators to how much you need to fill the pump.  When changing the pump oil, it is adamant that you do not overfill the reservoir with pump oil.  If the pump oil is seems thick or milky, it is proper that you change it immediately.  Always refer to your user’s manual regarding the type of pump oil you should use on your pressure washer unit.

Never ever use engine oil or motor oil on your pressure pump as this quickly damage your pressure pump.  Make sure to use only pump oil recommended by your unit’s manufacturer.  Most pressure pump oils are non-detergent and non-foaming and they contain rust inhibitors.

Pump Replacement

It is a common fact that the heart of a pressure washer unit is the pump.  With regular maintenance, including the changing of the oil, axial cam or triplex pressure washer pumps that have a brand name should typically provide you several years of dependable service.

Unfortunately, like any other equipment that is always used, pumps will eventually break down or wear out.  Since pump repairs generally involve at least a few hours of labor as well as it also involves the cost of various replacement parts, pump repairs are quite expensive.

If you are one of those who are mechanically knowledgeable and possess the right tools, you can actually fix your pressure washer pump by yourself.

For most homeowners, do-it-yourself pressure washer pump repair as well as the selection and buying of replacement parts is not applicable as they are not truly experienced in this aspect.  It is best to leave it to the more knowledgeable ones just to make sure that you do not buy anything that will not be of help to fixing your broken pressure washer pump.  For typical homeowners who do not have any experience in fixing a broken pressure washer pump, it is advised that they just replace the pump!  As a matter of fact, many axial cam pressure washer pumps can be easily and quickly removed by means of just unbolting it.

Most professionals agree that since most brand-new pressure washer pumps that are suited for residential pressure washer units typically cost between $150 up to $250, it is much better to buy a new pump rather than spend money for pump repairs.  Moreover, you can actually replace the pump all by yourself!

Closing Thoughts

Always remember that you actually have lots of choices if you would like to avail a new pressure washer pump.  Just because of the fact that your pressure washer unit came with a specific brand (Comet, Cat, AR, General, etc.) does not mean that you have to stick with that brand.  Pressure washer pumps, unlike other appliances, still work perfectly even if the other parts or accessories you get are of different brands.  You can compare prices and select the brand you would like.

Do not forget that the quickest and cheapest way to protect your pressure washer pump is to change your pump oil every 200 hours.

Last but not least, never ever buy a pressure washer unit with a generic or no-name axial cam pump.  This is because no-name pumps are not very reliable and they typically perform poorly.  Always stick to buying a brand name pump that has a good reputation for long life and reliability.  Thus, stay away from those who are offering you a pressure washer pump that has no specific information about what brand it is, as most likely it is a no-name pump or a generic one.