There are many parts to a pressure washer, especially if you plan on investing in the more complex gas-powered pressure washer. If you want to make the most out of your money for the pressure washer, you are going to want to have a good idea of how long all of the parts will last, and this includes the pressure washer pump.
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How long does a pressure washer last
A standard pressure washer pump will typically last for about 60 to 100 hours of use depending on a few different factors. These factors can include how much pressure you are using with the washer, the quality and materials of the pump, and how well the pump is cared for.
Extremely high-end pumps that are taken care of properly can last upwards of 500 hours, by comparison. As for how long this can last for a standard household, it is generally believed that people who own pressure washers will use them for about 50 hours each year.
Protecting Your Pressure Washer Pump From Damage
Now that you have a good idea of how long your pressure pump should be lasting you, you will want to know what to be on the lookout for when making sure that everything is working as intended. There are three common ways that your pressure washer pump can become damaged and will have its lifespan shortened considerably.
The most common problem that people will come across with their pressure washer pumps is going to be cavitation. As the name might suggest, cavitation is somewhat similar to what happens when you get a cavity in your tooth. In this scenario, bubbles will form somewhere along the line between the water intake and the nozzle that lets the water out.
No bubbles allowed
The bubbles are not supposed to be there, and due to the extremely high pressure inside of the pressure washer’s pump, those bubbles will begin to press against the surface of the pump. These pumps are not designed to function with water that is bubbling for any reason, meaning that you need to be mindful of where you are getting your water intake from.
When those bubbles press against the insides of the water pump, they will begin to form cavities. As time passes and you continue using the bubbling water inside the water pump, those cavities will increase in size and depth, leading to severe long-term damage on the inside of the water pump. More often than not, the damage is going to happen fast and it will be noticeable, as it will essentially be wearing down on the wall of the water pump.
Overheating is a big problem if it should last long
The second most common problem with pressure washer pumps will come from overheating. Because of the nature of pressure washers, all of the parts within the water are designed to operate both under pressure and under heat. There are some situations that can lead to there being more water than the internal mechanisms of the machine can handle.
A good example of this is when you release the trigger of the wand before you turn the machine off. The water inside of the hose has to go somewhere, as it cannot just sit inside the hose and remain at the same high pressure. When this happens, most pressure washers will shift into a mode known as bypass.
In bypass mode, water will be directed toward a circular path that will ensure that everything inside the pressure washer remains at a high pressure, ready to be used when you pull the trigger on the wand. If you leave the machine running too long in this state, the water that is continuously cycling will only become hotter and hotter, with the pressure still remaining on high. As one can imagine, this will lead to overheating, which causes widespread damage across the whole pressure washer, but because this all happens within the pump, the pump gets the brunt of the damage.
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Can the Wrong Settings Damage a Water Pump?
It is incredibly important that you make sure that you have all of the correct settings in place on your pressure washer. If you do not have the proper settings put into place, especially on the unloader valve, you can cause immediate and irreparable damage to the water pump, shortening its lifespan almost immediately.
What Causes Cavitation?
As mentioned earlier, the main culprit of cavitation is going to be bubbles in the water. In a working pressure washer, there should not be any bubbles in the water, so to fix the cavitation, you will need to fix the root cause of the bubbles. Bubbles can occur when there are problems with the hose connections, filters, and clogged fittings.
How Can You Avoid Overheating?
To make sure that you avoid the possibility of overheating your pressure washer, you are going to want to make sure that you always, always turn the machine off when you are not actively using it. Bypass mode can be useful when you need to release the trigger for a short amount of time, but it is not something that should be relied on heavily, as it can cause long-term damage.