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Pressure Washer Pump Types and Features

Apart from GPM and PSI, your choice of pump matters as well.  Below are common differences and options for pressure washers.
 

Option 1 – Triplex, Wobble, or Axial Type Pumps

There are three primary pressure washer pump designs: axial, wobble, and triplex design pumps.  Axial and wobble pumps are built with less heavy-duty components. Axial and wobble pumps usually have less repair components.

 

Wobble Type

Wobble pressure washer pumps are the most affordable. However, they are also known to be the lightest duty washer pumps.   You can generally expect a wobble pressure washer pump to last for 200-400 hours.  A wobble pump is less efficient compared to the others because the pump has to work to overcome water and the two springs.  Wobble pumps typically are not repairable.

Axial Type

Axial pumps are a step above the Wobble type, with the improvement in design and longevity as well as greater flexibility in GPM output and PSI.  Axial pumps are the standard for the residential to prosumer pumps. An axial pump will generally last 2-3 times longer than the Wobble pump, which means you can expect 500 to 800 hours more usage.
 
While Axial pumps are better built than wobble pumps, they still experience more friction than a Triplex type pump.

 

Triplex Pumps

Triplex pumps are more sustainable compared to Axial and Wobble pumps.  They also offer the most flexibility when it comes to GPM output and PSI, allowing higher PSI and GPM configurations. They are also repairable. A Triplex pump can easily last 10 times longer than an axial pump.  The triplex pump works by a crankshaft driving pistons to draw in and push out water. 

 

 

Others to Consider: The Unloader that is offered on the Pressure washer


The unloader on a pressure washer allows you to have no pressure at the gun when you release the handle, when you let go of a trigger the water is diverted through the unloader and circulated back to the pump killing any pressure at the pressure washer gun.
There are a variety of different unloader designs. One significant feature that some pressure washers offer are an adjustable unloader. An adjustable unloader can be helpful if you’re considering the ability to reduce the pressure your washer uses, which can be important when trying to prevent damage to softer surfaces (washing a deck with a 4400 PSI washer might be too much pressure). If your pressure washer doesn’t offer an adjustable unloader, there are low cost options that go after the pressure washer gun, but they’re not always as effective.
There are also internal and external unloaders. An external unloader is placed after the pump while an internal unloader is built into the pump. While external unloaders can be easily removed, repaired or replaced, internal unloaders may need some effort to open the washer up and repair. An external unloader is the best because unloaders can often be an item that will fail over time.

 

 

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