Pressure Washer Pump: Key Features to Look for

Are you considering getting a pressure washer pump but don’t know which features to look for? Let us guide you through the key elements and make the right choice. You need to know what’s important and how to choose the best pump for your needs.

In this article, we will discuss all the essential details related to pressure washer pumps.


Pressure washers are one of the handiest tools that homeowners have in their arsenals. With them, they can quickly and easily remove dirt and grime from almost any surface, making the job of cleaning a breeze. And while pressure washers come in different shapes and sizes, the most important component of any pressure washer is its pump. A quality pump will ensure that your machine has enough power to get through tough tasks like removing grease or grime from driveways and decks.

This guide will provide an overview of what to look for in a good pressure washer pump so that you can be sure you’re buying the best one for your needs. We’ll cover things like the different types of pumps available, the features to look for, and how to install and maintain your new pump once it arrives. With this guide, you’ll be sure to find the perfect pressure washer pump for you so that you can get back out there and tackle those tough cleaning jobs with ease!

Explanation of a pressure washer pump

A pressure washer pump is the heart of any power washer system, designed to transform a relatively low-pressure stream of water into a powerful jet with upwards of 3,000 PSI. Pressure washer pumps are usually consist of several components like crankcase, connecting rod assembly and cylinder liner that help increase the pressure applied to the water stream.

The most popular pressure washer pumps use an axial cam design which offers both cost effectiveness and long-lasting performance. Axial cam is a term used to describe a kind of motion control attaching rod that has circular blades on its end which turn in a set pattern giving the pump consistent power for better engine efficiency when regulating its speed and output.

Pressure washer pumps should also feature thermal relief as many users make use of large amount of high pressure output during their cleaning process resulting in high temperatures during operation which can cause damages to important parts like plungers if not properly monitored. Most pumps offer thermal relief valves that help protect important parts from high temperatures during extended usage periods.

Additional features to look for when choosing the right type of pump includes number and size of cylinder plungers, engine power rating offered by different makes and models, plunger material construction and brass head material durability used to increase machine life expectancy among other similar features found in different types of commercial grade power washers available in the market today.

Importance of selecting the right pressure washer pump for your needs

Selecting the right pressure washer pump is critical to ensure you get the best performance from your machine. Pumps come in a range of different sizes and types, and knowing what you need is key to finding the right one. Here we will discuss the key features of pressure washer pumps to consider when making your choice.

The size of the pump, usually measured in gallons per minute (gpm), should be chosen based on how much water output your project needs. If you intend to work with larger areas such as driveways, sidewalks, or roofs then you will require a higher gpm for greater water flow and power. Smaller pumps are typically suited for personal use around garden spaces such as patios and decks or cars, applying light cleaning around small surfaces.

The type of pump used is also important. There are three main categories – electric powered, gas powered and direct drive – all offering their own advantages and disadvantages based on application requirements. Electric pumps are generally easier to use than gas operated units but these tend to offer greater power output so may be better suited for larger projects requiring more output volume or lower water pressure needs (such as using soap). Direct drive pumps offer more durability but less portability than electric versions since it’s attached directly to a motor rather than an external tank – however this type offers quieter operation so may be preferable depending on your project size/location.

In addition to size and type, there are other features of pressure washer pumps that can help you optimize performance specific to your individual needs – from adjustable nozzles for precise control over water flow rate (the higher the rating on any given nozzle, the finer/faster the spray)s quick-connect fittings for easily changing out hoses; various types of valve systems which allow users the ability to regulate both water flow rate and maximum pressure outflow; up-floating checks; oil level sight glasses; check valves; fluctuating speed mechanisms; stainless steel hardware; chemical injectors; safety relief valves; mesh screens etc.. All are designed to improve user experience by increasing maneuverability/ efficiency while providing maximum flexibility when it comes time to perform maintenance or repairs if necessary. When selecting any specific feature(s) always check manufacturer descriptions carefully in order ensure they match your application requirements beforehand!

Types of Pressure Washer Pumps

When shopping for a pressure washer pump, it’s important to consider the type of pump that best suits your needs as well as the features offered by each. Pressure washers typically use either a piston, or axial-piston, pump or a triplex reciprocating pump.

Piston or axial-piston pumps feature a single piston that moves in and out of the cylinder, creating one pulse per revolution. These types of pumps are usually quieter and more efficient than the triplex reciprocating variety and are often found on electric pressure washers. They have fewer moving parts than other pumps, which makes them less likely to wear out quickly but may limit their maximum pressure output.

Triplex reciprocating pumps use three pistons that move in and out of the cylinder simultaneously—creating three distinct pulses each time they turn—which results in higher velocity pressures and more uniform power output than piston or axial-piston designs. This type of pump is typically found on larger gas-powered pressure washers and is superb for difficult applications due to its increased power output capability. It also contains more moving components so it can require frequent maintenance.

Overview of different types of pressure washer pumps

When considering the purchase of a pressure washer, one of the most important components you should consider is the pump. The pump drives the water through your hose and turns it into the high-pressure water that is used for cleaning. It is essential to choose a pump that will meet your needs as there are different types of pressure washer pumps available, each suited for different applications.

To make an informed decision about which pressure washer pump to buy, here is an overview of the types available on the market.

Triplex Pump The triplex pump is one of the most common types of pumps used in pressure washers and offers great performance with durability that can exceed even commercial grade machines. It consists of three plungers and three corresponding sets of valves within a single housing, providing consistent high-pressure output over extended periods. This type of pump requires very minimal maintenance as it has only two moving parts – reducing downtime and repair costs over time.

Axial Cam Pump An axial cam pump runs with fewer moving parts than other types and provides a smooth operation due to its radial design. Operating more efficiently than other pumps, it also produces less noise under load conditions and does not require priming before use due to its self-priming feature – perfect for applications where frequent changes in flow rate are required or where priming time may be restricted or not possible at all. Axial cam pumps are typically used in residential grade machines but can also be found in light industrial equipment with increasing popularity amongst professionals because they are incredibly lightweight and easy to install or maintain if required.

Gear Pump A gear pump works by having two rotating gears that mesh together with rotor plates, trapping fluid between them as they rotate to form high-pressure output streams. Gear pumps are mostly used in larger equipment such as commercial purposes as their design offers excellent flow control with no pulsation, though this comes at slightly higher cost when compared to triplex or axial designs. Their strong construction performance also makes gear pumps ideal for heavy duty operations requiring consistent output over long periods without breakdowns in performance or losing efficiency too significantly overtime due to wear or tear from repeated use on tougher jobs.

III. Key Features of Pressure Washer Pumps

When shopping for a pressure washer pump, it’s important to consider several key factors. This guide provides an overview of the features that are most commonly found and what they mean so you can make a more educated decision when selecting the right pressure washer pump for your needs.

Speed: Pressure washer pumps come in two speeds–high and low. Generally, high-speed pumps will provide a greater level of cleaning power as they are better equipped to break-up dirt and debris deposits.

Pressure: Pressure washer pumps come in different pressures depending on how powerful you need your pump to be. Pumps typically range from 1,000 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) up to 4,000 PSI or higher for more demanding jobs. It’s important to note that with any pressure washer pump the pressure output is dependent on the flow rate of your unit; higher-flow units produce more pressure then lower-flow units.

Flow Rate: A pressure washer’s water flow rate indicates how much water is being distributed each minute—measured typically in gallons per minute (GPM). Higher GPM will result in greater amounts of cleaning power and faster cleaning time but may reduce the lifespan of your pump over time if used heavily or when using particularly difficult surfaces such as concrete or brickwork.

High Quality Seals: As with any water pumping situation, it’s important that all seals used throughout the system have been constructed with premium materials that can withstand extreme changes in temperature and intense cycling without failing. A quality seal not only ensures proper functioning of your system but also helps prevent leaks from forming which can cause rusting on internal components thereby damaging them beyond repair over time.

Pressure capacity and flow rate

Pressure washers come in a variety of types and models. Understanding which features to look for will help you select the right pressure washer for your specific needs. When shopping for a pressure washer pump, some key features to consider are its pressure capacity and flow rate.

The pressure capacity indicates how much pressure the pump can output when operating at its highest performance. This measure is usually given in pounds per square inch (PSI). The higher the numbers, the more powerful the washer is capable of being with more efficient cleaning performance. Generally, lighter-duty applications are handled adequately by machines with pressures between 1000 and 2000 PSI, while tougher jobs require devices with higher capacities up to 3000 and 4000 PSI.

Flow rate measures how much water can be dispensed by a machine within a predetermined amount of time. This is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). The stronger the GPM is, the faster it can clean an area. A higher GPM means that less time is spent waiting for it to do its job thoroughly and efficiently. For general applications such as cleaning decks or driveways, look for machines with between 2 and 3 GPM; serious applications may need up to 4 or 5 GPM.

Material construction and durability

When choosing a pump for your pressure washer, consider the material construction and durability of the product. The most common materials used to construct pressure washer pumps are brass, aluminum, and stainless steel. Each offers its own benefits and drawbacks. Understanding the differences of each material type can help you make an informed decision based on your unique needs.

Brass- Made from an alloy of copper and zinc, brass is often used to increase durability and minimize wear on components. It has excellent corrosion resistance which makes it ideal for outdoor use since exposure to the elements can be a concern. However, brass pumps are generally heavier than other types which often compromises performance in some applications.

Aluminum- Though not as strong as brass or steel, aluminum is very lightweight and is not prone to rust or corrosion when exposed to different elements. It also provides good heat transfer properties which helps keep heat regulating components cool and running efficiently making it well suited for smaller scale projects that require less power output from work tools and equipment.

Stainless Steel- This material is a popular choice for high performance pressure washers as it features very high tensile strength combined with superior corrosion resistance while also being lightweight enough that it won’t hinder power or performance when using work tools requiring a higher level of output such as cutting machines or welding equipment. Depending on the grade used, stainless steel pumps varying levels of durability but offer good long term value due to their superior performance when compared with other materials used in similar applications.

Thermal relief valve and pressure relief valve

Two features that are important when evaluating pressure washer pumps are the thermal and pressure relief valves. Both of these valves provide important protection for the pump by regulating pressure and temperature.

The thermal relief valve is designed to open when the internal temperature of the pump exceeds a certain point, usually 100°F (38°C). This allows hot liquid to escape from the pump chamber, preventing damage due to overheating. The valve should close when coolant has been drained away and the temperature returns to a safe level.

The pressure relief valve regulates maximum pressure in the system by automatically opening at a predetermined psi, typically 4000 psi (27.6 MPa). It releases excess pressure safely and prevents damage to components or hoses. When selecting a pump it’s important to make sure it has an adjustable setting so you can set it at an appropriate level based on your needs.

Shaft size and pump mounting

When shopping for a pressure washer pump, one of the key features to look at is the size of the shaft as it needs to match your engine’s crankshaft size. Pressure washer pumps may come with different types of mountings, depending on whether they are horizontal or vertical. Make sure that you check the manual for compatibility between your engine and your chosen pump. Different pumps may require different shaft sizes and mounting styles.

Additionally, some horizontal pumps offer an added feature of being able to be mounted in two configurations (axial or radial). This additional versatility can help make installation much easier.

Once you have figured out the compatible shaft/mount combination for your pressure washer system then it’s time to start comparing prices and features of different pumps.

Oil lubrication and maintenance requirements

The importance of having an adequately oiled pressure washer pump cannot be overstated. This is because it helps protect the pump from corrosive processes, reduce wear-and-tear, and keep its efficiency at optimal levels. Pressure washer pumps come in two different types that use either oil-free of oil-lubricated construction to power the system. It is important to note that an oil-lubricated pump requires frequent lubrication and maintenance in order to maintain its performance and life span.

When using an oil-lubricated pump, DIYers should ensure that they have the right type of motor oil specified by the manufacturer (such as SAE 30 wt motor oil) as well as a suitable container for storing it. Other than proper lubrication, pressure washers should also be regularly checked for any leakage or visible tears on components such as hoses and seals, which could lead to costly repairs or replacement if left unchecked.

To help make maintenance simpler and easier for users, some leading brands now offer services such as automatic shutdowns when the unit reaches operating temperature levels or automatic alert notifications when it is time for routine maintenance checks.

Choosing the Right Pressure Washer Pump for Your Needs

Pressure washer pumps come in a variety of sizes, configurations, and output rates, making choosing the right one for your needs a bit of a challenge. In this section, we’ll look at some of the key features to consider when selecting the right pressure washer pump for your specific needs.

Categories: Pressure washer pumps typically fall into two broad categories; electric or gasoline powered. Electric pumps offer convenience and ease of use with no fumes from gasoline engines. They are generally more affordable but may require restrictions on the length of time they can run as well as distance from an electrical outlet or dedicated power source. Gasoline powered pumps operate more quietly than electric ones and often have more pressure rating options but require additional maintenance and fueling services.

Flow Rates: Flow rate refers to how quickly you can deliver water from your pressure washer pump system at any given time. Most electric models have smaller flow rates than those that use gasoline engines but are adequate for most residential uses such as cleaning decks, sidewalks, driveways and siding. Gasoline units can have a much higher flow rate, making them ideal for commercial applications such as cleaning large vehicles or fleets of equipment. When selecting your model be sure to chose one with sufficient flow rate requirements to meet your needs when taking into consideration nozzle size and job duration.

Durability: When investing in any type of equipment it is essential to consider the durability level required to meet the demands of your job application demands while also been mindful of price point requirements on key components such as seals, bearings and materials used in construction – all features that often contribute directly to the pump’s operational longevity and performance under extreme conditions over extended periods of time.

Care And Maintenance: Like any other piece of equipment associated with outdoor continuous usage it will be important take regular care and maintenance steps to ensure reliable service over an extended period time – this often requires inspections after periods heavy usage or extended idle times paying special attention parts such seals bearings valves gaskets etc – failure perform routine inspections likely reduce lifespan performance pump resulting costly repairs replacement situations


We hope this guide has helped you understand the basics of selecting a pressure washer pump and what key features to consider when making your purchase. With the right knowledge and research, you can easily find a pump that meets your needs and will last for many years to come.

The most important thing is to always review detailed product specifications for each model and compare those specs against your intended use. This will ensure that your choice is suitable for the job you intend it to do. Additionally, take special care when placing an order to ensure that all mounting hardware, seals and gaskets are included so that it is ready to install right out of the box.

Be sure, too, that any pump you purchase comes with a suitable warranty from the manufacturer in case of any problems or unforeseen defects in craftsmanship or materials. This way, you have peace of mind knowing that you are receiving quality equipment at an affordable price!

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