Pressure Washer Pumps – The Heart Of Your Washer
There are many types of pressure washer pumps out there. The pump is the heart of any power washing system. There are three types of pumps, direct drive, belt driven, and gearbox driven. The gearbox version is simply a variant of the direct drive version with gears to adjust the ratios to fit existing motors, be it gas powered or electric units. For this discussion, we’ll stick to belt driven systems and direct drive systems. When choosing a pump, you should always keep in mind that there are two specifications you need to know. The flow rate of the pump and the rated pressure. The higher the flow, the higher the volume of water coming out of the nozzles. This is important depending on application as the more water that is available, the faster a cleaning job will be. The other important specification is the output pressure. Again, the pressure required depends on the job to be done. Most consumer applications can be satisfied with 2,000 PSI or less. Industrial pumps can go past 10,000 PSI. Always select the proper pump for your application.
Direct drive pressure washer pumps mount directly to the engine/motor. The drive shaft of the engine/motor is directly driving the pump. The advantage to having this arrangement is that there are fewer parts involved in the drive and a lower initial system cost. The disadvantages include increased thermal wear due to heat from the engine/motor being transferred to the pump and increased vibration/noise.
Belt driven pressure washer pumps are more expensive. There are more components in the drive assembly. You also have to replace the belts every so often. The advantages are many. Having the engine separated by the belt means a lot less vibration transmitted to the pump. This contributes to longer pump life. The separation also means that the pump is exposed to less heat. Less heat means longer pump life. Last, but not least, the pump runs at half the speed or less than a direct drive unit. This also means longer life for your pump. Experts agree that although the belt driven system might cost more initially, the longer life of the pump means savings in the long term.
Gas Powered Pressure Washers Go Everywhere
If you want mobility and freedom from the electrical service, then gas powered pressure washers are for you. These units are great where you may not have access to an electrical outlet or if your electricity is not reliable. Some units have batteries, some don’t and the burners typically come in 12 volt or 120 volt units. Many manufacturers claim that the 120 volt burners are better and more reliable than their 12 volt counterparts. Some use generators that generate 120 volts to power the burners so that they can use a regular 120 VAC oil burner. If you are going to frequently start and stop your pressure washer, then look for a unit that does not have a battery for ignition. Frequent starts and stops can eventually wear the battery down so keep this in mind when selecting a unit.
There are two basic mounting styles that gas powered pressure washers come in. The first style is the portable style on wheels. This style has everything you need including a water tank. You can just roll the unit right up to the job and start working. It is very convenient for jobs where you can’t just drive a truck up to where you need the washer. The water tank, pump and other components are mounted on a powder coated frame and ride on little tires so you can easily roll the unit around. These are intended for outdoor use only.
Skid mounted pressure washers are mounted to either a truck or a skid. The water tank is mounted alongside the unit. Skid mounted gas powered pressure washers have larger tanks and can do larger jobs than their wheeled counterparts. The downside is that you must have room to bring the truck or skid to the place where you need the pressure washer reviews. In industrial environments this is usually not an issue. These pressure washers are often mounted on a trailer so that they can be wheeled to the job and left there until they are needed elsewhere. They are powered by gasoline and the water is heated by diesel in their most common configuration.