01 Sep Stop Buying Pressure Washers!
Stop Buying Pressure Washers When What You Need is a Better Pump
Let’s face it, it seems that most pressure washers only last so long. The reason is that most screenprinters buy non-industrial type pressure washers at the local hardware store. These pressure washers are not meant to be run all day. They are occasional use only, such as cleaning the car on Saturday or cleaning the patio before your next party.
You need to learn that the responsibility for your choices are is yours alone. The manufacturers of the brand, such as Briggs & Stratton, Generac, Honda, Husqvarna, and Karcher to name a few, are not to blame. They did not intend that the device would be used 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. They build a device to satisfy the needs of the homeowner — not an industrial use — such as screenprinting. You should expect that a home-use device will not last long before the pump stops working.
You do not, however, need to throw away the pressure washer, just because the pump ceased to work. In most cities, there are shops that can repair the pump for far less than replacing the entire pressure unit. However, this may prove to be costly in the long run, because you will still have a home-use pump that cannot possibly keep up with your industrial use.
What you really need is an industrial replacement pump. Replacement high-pressure pumps are available that will fit into your existing pressure washer and convert it to an industrial use pressure washer.
What to Look For
First, when you purchase a pressure washer, you should be looking for longevity in terms of return on investment, versus price. Don’t be swayed into buying the least expensive unit on the shelf because you do not expect it to last long.
The weakest link in the chain of most pressure washers is usually the pump itself. Assure that the pump is made of high-quality parts. Look for a brass head and fittings versus inexpensive plastic molded parts. Brass parts will guarantee a longer-lasting unit and provide a better return on your investment.
Next, you want a motor that can deliver the power you need in the developing and reclaiming processes. Tests have been conducted in the past by the manufacturers of screenprinting emulsions and in third-party research to prove that a stencil that is properly cross-hardened during exposure can endure 3000 Psi without problems. And, that a stencil developed using 3,000 Psi is superior to one produced with less pressure.
Look for a pressure washer with a motor capable of producing 3000 Psi pressure and a maximum water flow of 2.4 GPM. You will also want a unit that has a 3/4″ horizontal shaft and an engine producing up to 6.5 HP.
Next, you need to consider if you will be using the pressure washer with chemicals, such as detergents. If so you will need a chemical injection system and a reliable thermal relief valve.
When your home-use pressure washer bites the dust and dies, you will be better off replacing just the pump. If your pressure washer meets the requirements listed above, a proper replacement pump will bolt directly onto the existing engine, as long as it is compatible. Just check for compatibility before purchasing the replacement pump to be sure.
Search for a reasonably priced replacement pump but be sure that it has the industrial-grade components to keep it functioning perfectly for many years to come.
Look at the pressure control value to assure that it uses a high-grade spring. The spring is often exposed which makes it easy to observe. If it is not exposed, there may be a reason why the manufacturer chose not to show it. An inexpensive spring can lead to a shorter life-span for the pump.
Most industrial pumps are filled with oil before being shipped. You should look for a fitting that allows this oil to be replaced occasionally and assure enhanced operation over time.
You will want to have a stainless steel mesh insert in the inlet to prevent debris in the water from damaging the pump. It is a good idea to clean this mesh insert during regular maintenance to keep a uniform water intake.
Installing an industrial replacement pump into a home-use unit should take no more than 15-minutes. It requires tools that are found in the most basic shop toolbox. The flange on the replacement pump fits directly onto the existing motor and requires only tightening the bolts.
Whether you need a replacement pump because your existing pump has ceased working, or you want to upgrade to a better pump, be sure that you understand what you want is an industrial unit with an outstanding return on investment. You do not want to be replacing your pressure washer every few years. By spending a few dollars more to replace only the pump with the best industrial unit, you will end with a unit that will serve you well for years to come.