• Piston Pumps
  • Diaphragm Pumps
  • The role of the unloader

    The triggergun and unloader valve are the two main components of the most common safetysystem for high pressure cleaning equipment.

    Essentially, depressing the trigger allows water to flow out of the systemthrough the nozzle under pressure while releasing the trigger diverts waterflow back to the pump. The pump, however, continues to run.

    The gun, with the unloader valve, forms a valve system which gives theoperator immediate control of water flow or, in some types of systems,pressure. Water flow can be turned on or off by depressing or leasing thetrigger, or in 'dump gun' systems, system pressure can be drasticallyreduced to safe levels.

    Today,a number of automatic systems have been developed which allow for complete pumpand power shutoff when the trigger gun is released. However,none of thesesystems are used as widely as the unloader.

  • Winterizing the pump

    It is agiven that when water freezes it expands, if the pump is full of a freezingfluid you may cause some irreversible damage. Broken plungers, damaged packingsand ruptured manifolds to mention a few.

    Thereare three ways to protect your pump.

    Storeit in a warm area. Blow out the fluid with compressed air (30 - 70 PSI) andCirculate a mixture of 50% antifreeze and 50% water through it.

    Oneword of caution make sure you are not breaking any EPA regulations. If you useyour pressure washer in areas of the country that get below freezing make sureit is thawed out and free from slush before running.

    Thewinterizing information listed above is only for the pump; the rest of thesystem must also be protected.

    1.      Alwayscheck with the equipment manufacturer for their recommendations on winterizing.

    2.      Downtime costs you profit.

    3.      Neglector I will fix it later can be your worst enemy.

    4.      Fixany and all problems when they occur.

    5.      Keepspare parts on hand.

    6.      Understandwhy the repair was needed.

    7.      Usuallyrepairs are not made until the operation of the equipment has become so badthat it usually does not work.

    8.      Usea professional repair facility, they will repair your equipment the proper wayand save you time and money.

    Thehigh-pressure pump is used in such an array of applications that one mustprotect yourself and company in today's world. Safety issues are very prevalentin today's world, nobody wants to see anyone injured, 'liability' isvery visible. Preventative maintenance can not only reduce the risk of injury;but also cut 'down time', increase profits, decrease costs andincrease the equipment life. Understand your equipment.

    Remember the pump isgenerally one of the most dependable and best-constructed components in ahigh-pressure washer.


  • Troubleshooting

    Thethird list is a troubleshooting list. When it does not work methodically attackthe problem.

    Inspection: When your system has aproblem or as soon as you see something wrong STOP what you are doing and getto the cause of the problem.

    Isolate the Problem: Set up a diagnosticprocedure. Go simple to hard. Logical progression

    Start with Observations: Physicalinspection and observation. Carefully observe the equipment in operation. Tracethe fluid flow.

    Use Some Simple Tools: Eyes, Ears, Nose, Brain?

    Isolate the Problem: 'Remember, problemscan cause problems.'

    Don't Skip any Steps: Start at point'A' and finish at point 'Z'

    Use atroubleshooting guide. They will usually list a problem a cause and a solution.Don't just fix a problem, understand what caused it. If you do not know orcannot figure it out talk to someone that can help you.

    Thesechecklists should be simple and to the point (be inventive).

    Finally you shouldUSE the lists.


  • Regular pump maintenance

    Allmanufacturers have a list for regular maintenance. The pump manufacturers agreethat the oil should be changed after the first 50 hours of operation and thenevery 500 hours or three months which ever comes first. If the equipment isused in very sever conditions the oil may have to be changed sooner.

    Whatoil should I use? Each pump manufacturer offers their own special oil andrecommends that you use it with their product. They have done extensive testingto find the best oil that performs with their pump.

    Thepump internals also have a limited life. Packings, brass retainers andintermediate ring guides, valves and plungers are wear items. You can handle itin two ways, first you can contact the manufacturer and they can give you anestimated life (under their test conditions) and you can look at replacing the componentsaround that time frame, or you can do the second option and run it until itbreaks. The first option is preferred because you will save time and moneydoing a controlled repair at your leisure instead of in the middle of a job.One small bit of advice, use original equipment parts. The life of these partsis also dependent on how the pump is being used and what is being run throughit. Hard water, chemicals, by-pass time, freezing, over heating and filtrationare a few things that can cut part life.

  • Preventative maintenance

    Thenext list you should assemble is your preventative maintenance list. Thisshould include scheduled oil changes (pump and engine), belt inspection,packing and valve changes etc.

  • Regular system maintenance

    Thefirst place to start is by assembling a daily checklist. This list shouldinclude sections covering all the vital components of the equipment: Fluidsystem, pump, engine or motor, burner, hose assembly etc. Each section shouldhave subdivisions, which encompass the components in that section. Use thischecklist as a visual inspection. Most equipment manufacturers have this listavailable. Just ask.


    DailyInspection (i.e. cold water). Start with the inlet side.

    Water Supply: Look for leaks, clean thefilter and make sure there is adequate flow.

    Pump: Look for water leaks around the pump andcheck the oil for proper level and make sure there is no water in the oil.

    Engine: Check the oil level, gas,air filter if clean.

    Drive System: Check the drive belt(s)tension, condition (if your system is driven in this manner), pulley tightness,and the belt guard fits properly. Direct drive ? mounting bolts tightness,Gearbox drive ? mounting bolts tight, oil level, leaks.

    Hose: Is it in good shape, fitting/connectionstight.

    Spray Gun: Proper size for the system,connected properly.

    Lance: Guard in place (secure), good condition.

    Nozzle: In place, proper size.

    Nowstart and test the system under pressure look for leaks, engine runningproperly/, pressure okay?, any vibration?, everything okay?

    The above list isonly a sample. Most equipment manufacturers have specific checklists and theywill vary depending on the type of washer you have. Time is important toeverybody; this inspection will only take five to ten minutes, and can save youtime and money in the long run.