Like any other machine accessory, a pressure washer pump can break down in lots of ways, and it’s more common than you can imagine. It can be caused by leaving the pump running without pressure relief. It can also get cracked in storage during the off-season, or it can be it has suffered from wear and tear. The fact is, pressure washer pumps do burn out and breakdown from time to time.
But that doesn’t mean you can throw out the whole pressure washer and get a new one. A pressure washer is an investment that can drain your pockets. So, instead of throwing it away, you can decide to replace your broken down pump. And the best part is, this post is here to show you how you can replace your old, worn-out, or broken pressure washer pump. Read along!
Steps on how to replace a pressure washer pump
Let us go through the simple ways you can take down the broken-down pump from your pressure washer and replace it with a better model.
Step 1: Choose the Right Replacement Pump
Before you can get your hands dirty with all the opening, you should get the right replacement pump. And you know what, you cannot pick any pressure washer replacement model you come across as it won’t fit. You have to make sure the model you’re using is compatible with your pressure washer model.
You have to determine if the pressure washer you’re using a triplex pump or an axial pump. The axial type is relatively cheaper. It produces enough PSI for use in residential applications. However, the axial pump does not last long. Why? The axial cam pumps are connected with the pressure washer engine directly. That means they do run at the same speed as the unit’s engine.
Triplex pumps, on the other hand, are quite robust and highly resilient. They feature three pistons and plungers designed to create more PSI compared to the axial pumps. What’s more, they use high-quality components and accessories such as bearings for extended durability.
If your pressure washer was a budget model designed for residential use, you could use an axial pump. But if you’re replacing a pump of a professional-grade pressure washer, I would suggest you get a triplex pump.
Another criteria you may want to use to find the right replacement pump for your pressure washer is the GPM and PSI rating. The GPM or rather gallons per minute rating indicates the amount of water the pressure washer pump can move in a minute. It should be the same as the previous model.
The operating pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI) gives you an estimate of the pressure the pump produces, and it should also match with that of the old pump. Getting a pressure washer pump with a higher GPM or PSI than the machine rating could damage other components of the pressure washer or even become a hazard to the operator.
Step 2: Disconnect any hose attached to the pump
After you have received the best pressure washer pump replacement to use, it’s time to put the old pump down. But before you can do this, you need to disconnect all the hoses connected to the pump and place the unit on a clean, firm, and level surface. If you have an electric model, you will also unplug the unit from the power supply. If you’re using a fuel model, disconnect the spark plug wire to keep yourself safe.
Step 3: Unscrew and remove the old pump
On this step, you should start by spraying penetrating oil along the pump flange top groove and joints where the pump flange connects to the pressure washer engine. When done, you can remove the mounting bolts and the washers that hold the pump assembly with the right size socket.
After this, it’s time to loosen driveshaft screws with an Allen wrench. While doing so, you have to align the screws with access holes inside the drive shaft cover. How do you do it? Pull the starting cord gently for an inch or two and rotate the shaft.
You can now take out the worn-out pump from the engine face and the crankshaft. If the pump doesn’t slide off easily from the crankshaft, you can use a large flathead screwdriver and place it in the space between the mounting flange slots on either side and pry it loose on the alternate side. Remember to use gentle force.
If you’re still having issues removing the old pump, you can insert two threaded screws into the pump flange’s special holes near the mounting bolts. The holes allow the screws to get threaded only in the pump flange while pushing against the engine’s face, thus exerting force toward the unit’s pump.
Step 4: Transferring components to the new pump
Most of the time, new pumps come complete with everything needed for a complete functioning. However, that isn’t the case all the time. You might come across a model that requires you to transfer some components from the old unit to the new pump like the thermal release valve.
Step 5: Assembling the new pump
The next step is to put together the machine with the introduction of the new pump. An axial pump is easy to setup. All you need is to make sure the key tightening the pump to the axial camp fits appropriately. For the triplex, you have to follow the user manual’s guidelines or do the vice versa of what you did to remove it. Remember to insert back the spark plug wire when done for the gas-fueled model.
Step 6: Bleeding the pressure washer
You just installed a new pressure pump. That means some air got inside the pressure washer. You need to get all out through bleeding the machine. And to do that, you need to run pressure-less water through the inlet and flow freely via the outlet. That will take all the air out, and you can operate the unit now.
How to replace a pressure washer pump isn’t rocket science. It’s an easy DIY process for any handy-person ready to get his or her hands dirty. As you might have read above, the steps are straightforward. Heed the first step and ensure you buy something long-lasting. Don’t just pick any model because it fits in your budget.