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Selecting A Replacement Pump For your Pressure Washer
Pump repair can be a challenge, particularly if you are not experienced at rebuilding. These jobs can take hours to do and usually require a number of various replacement parts. If you are mechanically inclined and have the right tools, you can buy parts and repair kits from us and repair your own pump. Once you have done it, you will never shy away from servicing your own equipment. If the thought of trying to decide which parts need replacement and which ones don't scares you a little, you might consider the easy alternative - a brand new pump!
Unbolt your old pump and bolt the new one on. That's about all there is to it! Why put hundreds of dollars into parts & labor to fix a worn-out pump when you can just remove the old pump and bolt-on a brand new one yourself for a few dollars more?
One thing we cannot do is troubleshoot and diagnose mechanical problems for you. That job belongs to a professional mechanic, not one of our power wash Specialists. Without having the equipment in our shop, we are not willing to offer a guess about what might be wrong with your equipment. If you need help diagnosing the problem, we recommend that you take the equipment to a qualified dealership for service. An alternative would be to visit the web site of the pump manufacturer, where you will often find troubleshooting tips. One last solution - and we think the easiest - is to simply replace the troubelsome pump and unloader with new ones.
NOTE: We always recommend buying a new unloader when you replace the pump. Unloaders are your safety valve, and they wear out regularly. Most folks don’t consider the unloader as a ‘wear’ part, but it really is. The main element of an unloader is a spring-loaded valve, and operating that valve wears out the spring. We will be happy to recommend an unloader that is matched to your new pump.
There are a lot of choices to make when you consider a new pump. Just because your equipment came with one brand doesn't mean you have to stick with that brand. This is the time when you can custom-tailor your equipment to your specific needs.
There are several good top-level brands to choose from: General (Interpump), Cat, AR, and Comet.
We have experienced great service from all of these brands, but we recommend either the General or AR triplex pumps or Comet axial designs. We have found that these often represent the highest overall value (comparing service life and price) for your dollar. Of course, your personal experience might make you lean to another brand that has given you good service in the past.
The next question: How do you size your pump properly? There are some pretty simple calculations you can use to determine the proper pump for your engine size. The easiest one for most contractors to use is simply to multiply your engine horsepower rating by 1100. This will give you the Cleaning Units (CU's, which is another way of stating GPM x PSI) your engine is rated to deliver.
Manufacturers, through more complex engineering calculations than the simple one I have presented here, have been stretching this calculation to the limits over the years. This lets them offer higher GPM and PSI per horsepower than the calculations seem to indicate. In the worst case scenario that means your 3000 PSI machine might only deliver a ‘real world’ 2700 PSI, but no one seems to care about that very much.
What this tells you, as you think about replacing your pump, is that you might take the same approach and grab the largest pump your engine will theoretically handle. On the other hand, you could gain more efficiency from your pump (and extend the life of your engine a little) and save a little money by choosing a pump a little closer to the calculated ability of your engine.
If you have an 11 HP engine, for example, it will handle 12,100 Cleaning Units (HP x 1100 = CU's) according to the formula. That means it is rated to deliver 3 GPM @ 4000 PSI or 4 GPM @ 3000 PSI or 3.5 GPM @ 3500 PSI. The perfect match for this 11 HP engine might be a General EZ 3040G, which puts out 12,000 CU’s at 4.0 GPM and 3000 PSI. It is very little stretch for this same 11 HP engine to push a Comet ZWD4030G, which delivers 4.0 GPM @ 3200 PSI. This is close enough to the 11 HP rating that it should work just fine for you.
Our selections for this online store have been limited to the common replacement pumps we deal with all the time. There are hundreds of other pumps available that we do not list here. If you can't find what you want, please call us. We'd love to help you.
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