Pressure Washer Pumps — When to Repair or Replace

Posted on: March 7th, 2022 by McHenry PCS

Pressure Washer Pump Maintenance

When the pressure washer pump breaks, how do you know whether it’s time to replace it or repair it? What are the pros and cons of repairing vs. replacement, and what are the signs of severe irreparable damage? Take a moment to review signs that it’s time to repair or replace a pressure washer pump so you can avoid dreaded downtime.

1. Pressure Washer Pump Age and Usage

The first thing to consider when a pump goes down is how old it is? Have you gotten many years and hours of use from the pump? If so, it may be time to replace it. However, if it is a newer pump, repair might be best. A good rule of thumb is if the repair costs more than 50% the value of a replacement pump, it is likely time to replace it.

2. Leaking Pumps

If the pump is leaking, the cause may be minor and easy to repair. Check the seals, packings, and O-rings for wear. These can easily be replaced, saving you the cost of a new pump. However, major leaks such as the ones caused by cracked or damaged plungers, can lead to pump failures. Plungers can be repaired or replaced, but the cost should be considered.

3. Oil Contamination

Pressure Washer Oil

Any motor that is frequently exposed to water is prone to contamination of the oil with water. Unfortunately, contaminated oil can lead to crankcase failures. This is why it is important to maintain your pressure washer and its pump on a regular basis. If you check and change the pump oil regularly, you can catch this problem early. Pump oil that is colored white, gray, or milky may have been contaminated with water. Discolored oil should be changed immediately.

4. The Crankshaft and Connecting Rods

If you notice a pressure drop and the plungers can be wiggled easily, the pump is worn and ready to be replaced. The moving parts should be stable and solid for the pump to work properly. If anything is loose or sloppy or if the pressure drops to nothing or has a pulsing action, it is time to replace the pump.

5. Heat Damage

Repeated heavy use of a pressure washer can cause heat damage over time. Extra hard use can cause pump meltdown. The internal parts get so hot, they actually melt and bind up the pump. This kind of damage requires the pump to be replaced.

6. Pump Head Scoring

If the brass pump head gets scored, worn, or washed out, it is time to replace the entire pump. A pump head must remain smooth in order to seal correctly. It won’t last much longer in a damaged state, and brass pump heads are expensive parts to replace. When the pump head is damaged, replace the entire pump so you can get back to work.

7. Expert Service, Repair and Replacement

If your pressure washer pump is out of warranty, you may want to replace some parts yourself. Order them from McHenry for fast delivery right to your door.

If you aren’t confident in your skills in maintaining, repairing, or replacing a pressure washer pump, leave it to the experts. Trained technicians from McHenry will make your repair efficiently using manufacturer’s recommended techniques. Call us for on-site repair or bring your pressure washer to us for the service it needs.

When your pressure washer breaks down, McHenry can get you back up and running quickly. To learn more about our pressure washer pump repair services, please contact us.