Pressure washers need constant maintenance because their engines are small and designed in a way that needs a constant change of pump oil. If the pressure washer is working regularly, then the pump oil should be changed frequently. Pressure washer pump oil is specially formulated for small engines and is a necessity. If you want to carry on the pressure cleaning without any problems, you should change the pump oil because it is the lubrication engine needs. You should change the oil at least every three months when using it frequently. Without this simple task, you risk damaging the water pump. Before heading towards when to change the pump oil, let’s gather some points on why should you change it. Luckily, changing pressure washer pump oil only takes a few minutes. You just need to ensure that you have the right oil.
As with the mechanical components in your car or truck, the pressure washer pump needs oil for lubrication. Oil helps lubricate parts, reducing friction and wear. When you avoid oil changes, you shorten the service life.
By reducing friction, lubrication helps reduce heat. As metal parts heat up, they expand, increasing the risk of cracking and other damage.
Over time, the oil begins to break down. It also becomes contaminated with dirt and debris, limiting the effectiveness of the oil for lubricating the pump.
Protecting the pump also helps avoid the need to replace it. In some cases, replacing or repairing the pump may cost more than the value of the pressure washer.
The manufacturer’s warranty may provide another reason to change the oil. Some pressure washer warranties require this maintenance task. Skipping it can void the warranty.
Not all pressure washers require oil changes. Many residential-use machines come with sealed pumps.
Manufacturers fill the oil and seal the pump, eliminating the need for maintenance. If the part breaks or leaks, you simply replace it.
If you are not sure whether your pump requires oil changes, check the user manual. It should include a section on the topic. This section should also recommend how often the oil needs changing.
The typical recommendation is to change the oil after every 200 to 250 hours of use or every three months. If you only use the machine infrequently, you should still change the oil at least once per year.
You can also inspect the pressure washer pump. If the pump requires an occasional oil change, it should contain a drain and a lid or fill plug.
What kind of oil does a pressure washer use? Instead of the detergent motor oil commonly used in engines, you should non-detergent pump oil.
Modern engines use detergent oils to help keep contaminants from sticking to surfaces. The dirt and debris then pass through an oil filter.
Using detergent motor oil in a mechanical system without a filter causes the oil to become dirty very quickly. The contaminants build up in the oil, turning it to black sludge.
Before the use of oil filters, engines and other mechanical systems used non-detergent oil. This oil allows contaminants to stick to the sidewalls of the components instead of building up in the oil.
Most manufacturers recommend non-detergent oils designed specifically for pressure washer pumps. These products typically include “pump oil” directly on the label. However, some people prefer to simply use all-purpose motor oil.
If choosing an all-purpose motor oil, ensure that you use a non-detergent oil. These products should include “non-detergent” or “ND” on the label.
The pressure washer oil type that you use may also depend on the climate. All-purpose motor oils contain various designations describing the viscosity of the oil at different temperatures. The label may include “SAE 30” or “SAE 5W-30”.
SAE stands for Society of Automotive Engineers. The “W” stands for winter. The numbers represent the viscosity of the oil.
The viscosity is the ability of a liquid to resist flow. With a high viscosity, the oil resists flow and remains thick and syrupy. With low viscosity, the oil flows more easily.
Most pumps work fine with SAE 30 non-detergent oil. However, colder temperatures can cause the oil to remain thick, requiring a lower viscosity. SAE 30 oil works best in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in a region where temperatures drop below 40 degrees, you may benefit from a multi-viscosity oil such as an SAE 5W-30 or 10W-40 oil.
During the winter, the oil performs as an SAE 5 or SAE 10 oil. In normal temperatures, the oil performs as an SAE 30 or SAE 40 oil.
The next consideration is synthetic oil versus conventional oil. Both types of oil undergo a refinement process that includes the addition of additives. However, synthetic oil includes additional refinement.
With synthetic oils, manufacturers can control the purity and molecular size of each ingredient, resulting in oils that provide better performance.
Conventional oils tend to break down faster, allowing contaminants to potentially damage the pump. With fewer impurities, synthetic oil offers longer-lasting protection.
Unfortunately, synthetic oil also costs more due to the additional refinement and inclusion of additives. If you maintain a regular oil change schedule, you should not need to worry about the buildup of debris.
Overall, the choice between conventional and synthetic depends on your own preferences. Synthetic oil performs better but costs more.
So which oil should you use? The top recommendations come down to the following:
While these three options should work in any pump, always check the user manual for the manufacturer’s recommended pressure washer pump oil.
Changing the oil in your pressure washer pump is a relatively easy task. You just need a wrench, a pan, a rag, and oil.
You may also want to perform this task when changing the oil in the engine. The engine typically needs an oil change after every 100 hours of operation or every six months. Every other time that you change the oil in the engine, it should be time to perform the same task with the pump.
Depending on the model, follow these oil change pressure washer steps. First, you need to purge contaminants from the pump. Connect the pressure washer for use and turn on the water supply.
Start the engine and spray the trigger to produce a steady stream of water. Continue holding for about two minutes.
After flushing the system, turn off the washer and disconnect it from the water supply. Place a pan or bucket under the pump oil drain plug.
If changing the engine oil, drain the fuel and oil from the engine.
Remove the oil cap from the water pump. Depending on the model, you may need an Allen wrench to remove the cap.
With the cap removed, remove the drain plug and tilt the pressure washer. Drain the oil into the pan or bucket until the oil stops draining.
Follow the directions in the user manual to determine how much oil to add to the pump. Premeasured bottles are also available.
Reattach the drain plug and pour oil into the pump. Replace the oil cap and wipe up excess oil with a rag. The pressure washer is now ready for use.
An oil change pump, or fuel transfer pump, provides a way to extract oil and fuel from mechanical systems.
Some pumps are simple siphons with hand-powered pumps while others feature electric motors to help pump the oil or fuel. With either option, you insert a hose from the pump into the water pump or oil tank. You then insert the drainage hose into a bucket or pan.
If you do not use your pressure washer for an extended period, the oil and fuel continue to break down. This leads to buildup around the pump, engine, and other components.
Before putting your pressure washer into storage, consider using an oil change pump or fuel transfer pump to thoroughly remove the oil and fuel. The pump also allows you to remove more of the oil when performing an oil change.
Along with basic oil pumps, you can find pump saver oil. These products may come with their own pumps or require manual pouring. As with a fuel stabilizer, the use of a pump saver oil helps protect the washer during storage.
Several different pressure washer pump oil brands produce quality oils suitable for use in almost any pressure washer. The most trusted names include:
Briggs & Stratton manufacturers several high-quality synthetic oils including the 6033 Synthetic 75W-90 Pump Oil. This synthetic oil performs well at any temperature but costs a little more compared to other options.
Mi-T-M and CAT Pumps both offer affordable conventional oil designed specifically for pressure washer pumps. While these products are for specific water pumps, they should work with almost any brand.
Mag 1 sells a non-detergent SAE 30W oil with anti-foaming and anti-aeration additives. It protects against rust and provides the best choice for those on a tight budget.
Just remember to check the recommendations in your pressure washer user manual before purchasing pump oil.
Last update on 2019-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API