How to Choose a Replacement Pressure Washer Pump

If you notice the performance of your pressure washer beginning to fade, it could be due to a worn or aged pump. Whether you use a professional pressure washer with a triplex plunger pump, or you have an axial wobble plate style pump on your entry-level pressure washer, ensuring your pump is in good health is key to overall performance. In the following breakdown we’ll discuss how to replace your pressure washer pump with the right fit!

professional pressure washing unit

Identifying When Your Pressure Washer Pump Needs Replacing

Knowing when to replace your pressure washer pump is pretty straightforward; you just have to keep an eye out for certain signs of aging and wear. If your pump begins to exhibit any of the following symptoms, you might want to start looking for a replacement:

  • Decreased Water Pressure: One of the most obvious signs your pressure washer pump is failing is a drop-off in water pressure. First, check to see if you can clean the nozzle. Replacing old, worn nozzles with a new, proper-sized nozzle would be an ideal first step. Check that the settings on your washer are correct, and all other accessories are in proper working order. If everything checks out but the water pressure is still low, it may be time for a new pump.
  • Unusual Noises or Conspicuous Leaks: If your pressure washer pump begins rattling and whining during usage, or if you happen to find leaks coming from the pump, it’s best to install a replacement before the current pump worsens any further. Both odd noises and leaks can constitute a worn, aged pump.
  • Irregular Pump Cycle: Irregular pump cycling or short cycling is often a dead giveaway that a pump is past its prime. The inconsistent operation, which could be due to air leaks or a faulty pressure switch among other causes, will begin to strain the motor of your pressure washer if a new pump is not introduced. On hot water units a heater coil can be scaled up with lime deposits and cause the unloader to relieve pressure.
  • Age: At some point, any pressure washer pump will begin to fade. The lifespan of your pump depends on the type of pump you have. For example, an axial/wobble plate pump might last 200-300 hours. There are some lower-level axial/wobble plate pumps that typically give 60-100 hours of usage. The commercial style triplex plunger pumps can easily get 300-500 hours when properly maintained. For an Industrial Triplex plunger pump, you can expect over 1000 hours when properly maintained. So, it’s best to identify your pump type and go from there.

Identifying Your Pump

Identifying your pump type is important for multiple reasons. As mentioned in the last section, it can help you determine the lifespan of your pump. Additionally, it can help you find a replacement pump if you decide it’s time to make that swap. A like-for-like replacement pump will keep your pressure washer humming along.

general pressure washer pump

Odds are, your pressure washer pump is going to fall within one of the following 3 types:

  • Wobble/Axial Cam Style
  • Triplex Plunger
  • Piston Pump

If possible, check your owners guide or consider a quick google search by pump model number to determine which pump type you have. If this doesn’t yield any results for you, begin examining the pump yourself. You can reach out to our pump department for assistance, too.

The first thing you’ll want to look at is how the pump attaches to the motor. Does the driveshaft of the motor point directly at the valves? If so, good chance you’re dealing with an axial pump. On the contrary, if the driveshaft runs parallel to the valves, your pressure washer uses a triplex pump.

There are additional considerations that need to be made including shaft diameter-size, determining if the shaft is solid or hollow, determining if the motor is horizontally or vertically shafted, and inspecting or measuring the bolt pattern to ensure your replacement pump can be installed seamlessly. There are also belt driven pumps on more industrial units. For these pumps, RPM will be determined by the drive pulley sizes.

Our Pressure Washer Department can help sort through some of these questions.

Selecting a Replacement Pump

Given how long your pressure washer pump is going to be with you, it’s important to make the right call on a replacement. What is the right call? That requires a bit of research and insight. For example, your pressure washer may require a triplex plunger pump with a 3500 PSI maximum. Or you might be looking for a hollow shaft pump for your unit. Once you figure out the specifications and characteristics you need, you’re in a great position to start shopping for the perfect pump!

As you’ll find if you begin researching pumps, there’s a host of quality brands to consider. A few prominent players include Comet, General Pump, Giant, AR North America, and CAT Pumps. You can read about features, specifications, fitment, and other need-to-know details by exploring the product pages and various pressure pump categories on the Kleen-Rite site!

Need a Replacement Pump for Your Pressure Washer? Find the Right Fit Today!

If pressure washing is a regular part of your professional or at-home life, then the right pressure washer pump is an absolute must-have. There’s an abundance of options to choose from, with different brands and different pump types vying for your attention. So, we hope this guide serves as a helpful jumping off point. If you have additional questions, our Kleen-Rite pump department will be happy to speak with you!

marty weaver picture

About the Author: Marty Weaver

  • 30 years selling/servicing pressure wash equipment
  • 22 years owning/operating pressure washer servicing company
  • Currently a pressure washer service expert for Kleen-Rite

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