Soft Wash Pump Buyers Guide

Warmer temperatures mark spring’s arrival and the start of pressure wash season. As you awake from hibernation, you should check your equipment each spring to ensure everything is prepared for action. This includes your soft wash system too! You might discover it’s time for a new soft wash pump during your check. Whether you need to replace a pump or want to offer soft wash as a service to your customers and need to purchase your first pump, this guide will help you select the right soft wash pump to meet your needs.

What is Soft Wash?

Soft wash gently applies a low-pressure stream of chemicals such as bleach, algaecides, surfactants, and other chemicals to safely remove algae, grease, mold, oil, and other contaminants from delicate surfaces high pressure would damage. Fragile surfaces include roofing, brick, tile, stucco, vinyl siding, and more.

Selecting a New Soft Wash Pump

A soft wash pump will have certain characteristics that set it apart from other pumps because soft wash requires harsher chemicals, lower pressure, and higher flow rates than standard pressure washer pumps. Many brands will have pumps specifically engineered and marketed for soft wash applications. Knowing what to look for will help you get the best performance and lifespan out of your pump.

Types of Soft Wash Pumps

There are two types of pumps that soft wash professionals typically use. They include gas-powered air diaphragm and 12-volt pumps. These pumps are all designed for soft wash applications and constructed with components compatible with the harsh chemicals employed by this process.

12V Soft Wash Pumps

These pumps usually feature a demand-style design which means they activate when the soft wash gun trigger is pulled and stop running as the trigger is released. A typical 12-volt soft wash pump requires a marine-grade battery to operate. There are even versions designed and marketed as soft wash bleach pumps. An example of a bleach pump is the Everflo soft wash pump EFSW5500-BOX. It is made with materials that withstand bleach and maximize the pump’s longevity. Another option is the Flojet R8501134A from their VersiJet Series. It is made with some of the same materials as the Everflo but with the Flojet name for about the same cost. These 12-volt soft wash pumps produce low pressure and provide an ideal flow rate for soft wash applications. Additionally, they are often quieter than gas pumps.

Gas Powered Soft Wash Pump

Known for their high volume and flow rates, gas soft wash pumps have become popular in the industry. They can easily move 10  to 12 GPM of fluid to tackle the most demanding soft wash applications. Driven by a gas-powered engine, these pumps offer superior performance compared to their 12-volt counterparts. Soft wash systems using these pumps are often louder since they use a gas engine or motor to power the pump. If you want to add one of these pumps to your soft wash system, the Comet P40 and the Udor Zeta-40P are reliable options. Comet also makes a complete soft wash system for those who want the P40 pump and don’t want to build their system. The P40-GR-CBP includes the Comet P40 soft wash pump and a recoil start Honda GX200 motor. Next, the P40-GR-CBP-E  includes a P40 pump and electric start Honda GX200 motor.

Gas Engine Bans

Before you purchase a gas-powered soft wash pump you need to consider regulations for gas engines. The first state to mandate such rules was California. If you live or take jobs in California we highly recommend you understand and comply with their regulations. Other states have and will likely follow suit over the next few years. It is important to stay current so you don’t break the rules and receive an unwanted fine.

Flow RateRange
4-5 GPM10-15 Feet
8-10 GPM20-30 Feet
15-20 GPM40+ Feet
Note: Range and flow rate are subject to the specifications and type of spray nozzles used.

Recommended Soft Wash Pump Flow Rates

Flow rate determines the distance a fluid stream will travel. The higher the flow rate of your pump the farther fluid will go. This will help you reach higher structures with ease. We recommend 8 to 10 GPM to achieve the best results. Consider the height of the structures you intend to clean when choosing a pump to ensure you have enough range to complete the job.

Recommended Soft Wash Pump Pressure Range

When selecting a soft wash pump, you will want to choose one that produces low pressure. All these pumps must do is guide streams of cleaning solution to surfaces since the chemical not pressure is doing all the hard work. Too much pressure will damage the delicate surface your customer hired you to clean safely. The pressure range we recommend is 300 PSI to 500 PSI.

Material Chemical Compatibility
ChemicalHousingSealsValves
BleachPolypropyleneVitonViton
AlgaecidesPolypropyleneVitonViton
SurfactantsPolypropyleneVitonViton

Choosing Materials

Since soft wash relies on harsh chemicals such as bleach and algaecides, typical pump materials will not last. This is why choosing materials resistant to the chemicals you intend to use is important. Materials most commonly used to make soft wash pumps are polypropylene for the housing and Viton for the seals and valves. Look for these materials when selecting a soft wash pump. If you need more detailed information or are looking to match a specific chemical Aro and Graco both have great chemical compatibility guides.

Noise Level Considerations

If you work in a neighborhood with tightly housed inhabitants, a quieter pump will help reduce noise levels as no one likes to hear loud equipment, especially as more are working from home. You also don’t want to wake people who work night shifts and sleep during the day. There may also be noise restrictions in certain neighborhoods and developments. It is important to be mindful when conducting operations in those areas to maintain compliance and reduce the chances of complaints, which could cause problems such as confrontation with neighbors and fines.

Match the Specifications to Your Soft Wash System

When searching for a replacement pump, check the specifications of your equipment to ensure you get a compatible pump. Whether the specifications are above or below those of your equipment, problems may occur. Some of them are even dangerous. For example, if the pump generates too much pressure, the excessive pressure could burst hoses, nozzles, and other downstream devices with a lower pressure rating than what is being sent through the equipment. Plus, you are wasting energy should the pump be too powerful.

Meet Your Budget

No matter what type, brand, or model of soft wash pump you purchase, it is a large investment. One thing to consider is your budget. Can you afford the price? Is it a wise investment or should you upgrade to one that will last longer? Yes, it is more expensive but regularly replacing or repairing a lower-quality product might cost you just as much, if not more in the long run.

Now that you know what to consider when selecting a soft wash pump, you will be armed with the knowledge to choose a pump that will offer great performance, help you tackle rigorous jobs, and generate profit for your business.

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