Pressure Cleaner Pumps, Nozzles & Detergent
Belt vs. Direct, Wobble, Axial, Camshaft
The water pump is really the heart of the pressure cleaner system. The main difference between belt drive and direct drive pumps is that belt drive pumps run at a lower RPM and are more insulated from engine or motor vibration, and therefore may extend the pump life. Direct drive pumps are directly mounted to the engine or motor, which eliminates the extra cost of gearbox, pulleys, belts, etc. Expect to pay a price premium for belt drives giving the same psi, GPM, pump brand, and horsepower. However there is little actual difference in the pumps.
The basic pump models are the wobble, axial, and the camshaft. The wobble pump has lower performance and efficiency (70% efficient) due to piston spring resistance on each stroke (pistons must push against the pressure in the pump PLUS the resistance from the springs). The axial pump is similar to the wobble, but features a larger oil reservoir and larger bearings to allow the pump to run cooler to extend life. The axial pump also has larger cylinders, which enable it to generate higher psi and GPM ratings than a standard wobble. Although performance is improved, the axial still is effected by piston spring resistance that translates in to lower performance and efficiency versus a camshaft pump.
The camshaft pump offers many benefits over the "wobble" and "axial-style" pumps. Due to the use of connecting rods and positive action pistons (like a car engine), a camshaft pump is much more efficient (85% efficient) than an axial-style pump, which must overcome spring tension and friction to generate pressure. Another benefit of this design is that a camshaft pump generates much less heat and therefore runs cooler than an axial-style pump, and heat is the number one cause of failure in a high-pressure pump. For this reason, a camshaft pump can easily provide 1,000 hours or more of operation before needing any maintenance, whereas an wobble or axial-style pump typically has a life span of 200-600 hours, after which the pump often can not be repaired economically. Also, when a camshaft pump does require maintenance, the easily accessible pump head, replaceable cartridge-type valves, and ceramic piston sleeves makes repair quick and easy.
Tips on Proper Spraying Techniques
Operator error is the leading cause of user dissatisfaction when it comes to power tools, and pressure washers are no exception. There are three ways to control the cleaning power of your pressure washer:
1) Adjust the throttle on the gas engine to control speed. Some units also may have a regulator knob on the pump that can adjust the pressure (if so equipped).
2) Adjust the spray pattern at the nozzle. Choose the widest pattern possible for spraying when starting the job and adjust the pattern to a narrower angle until you find a suitable pattern. Remember to temper power with coverage ability when spraying.
3) Finally, the easiest way to regulate the cleaning power of your pressure washer is distance from the surface you are cleaning. Begin several feet from the surface and slowly move closer, adjusting the spray pattern as necessary. Hold the nozzle a uniform distance from the surface to ensure that no part of surface is cleaner that another.
Nozzles and Tips:
Many units feature nozzles with a variable spray pattern (0-40 degree angle), while others have individual quick connect tips with a pre-set spray angle. The size of the nozzle influences both pressure and flow rate. The spray angle of the nozzle also plays an important role. The wider the spray angle, the lower its ability to cut through dirt.
Detergents can dramatically reduce cleaning time and assist in the removal of tough stains, grease, bugs and dirt.
Be aware the EPA prohibits point source discharge of pollutants without a permit. While this may not be an issue on the job site when using only water, if you are cleaning equipment with detergents in shop or storage yard on a continuing basis, you should check on obtaining a permit and/or installing a waste water recover system.
text courtesy of BAR Group P/L
Quality Pumps & Irrigation co.
103 Olsen Avenue Labrador QLD 4215
Ph: 1300 912 396