While pressure washers are comprised of many different components, the pump can be considered the “heart” of the unit. If this mechanism fails to function properly, the entire machine could suffer from a loss of pressure or even a complete breakdown.
The Notion of Pressure in Relation to the Pump
It is first a good idea to appreciate how “pressure” is defined in relation to a pump. In this case, we are referring to the amount of water that is able to flow through a nozzle within a specific period of time (such as a minute).
It, therefore, stands to reason that a greater flow rate will equate to a higher amount of pressure. The intention of a pump is to achieve such a flow rate and to modify it based upon the commands of the user.
The Internal Mechanics of a Pressure Washer Pump
The majority of pumps utilised within typical power washers rely upon a series of valves and cylinders configured in a specific way. Pistons within the cylinders will be activated in order to suck water into an intake valve.
On the upstroke of a piston, water is expelled through what is known as an outflow valve. These valves work in a single direction and they are designed so that no water can reenter the system.
Valves are also able to detect differences in pressure on either side through the use of a spring mechanism. When the pressure is higher than the strength of the spring, the valve will open. During the upstroke, the valve will likewise be held closed.
In the event that the user presses on the trigger of the pressure washer gun, this signals the pump to increase the level of water pressure. Water is then directed through the valves and cylinders mentioned above in order to generate the right level of cleaning power.
This basic principle is the same whether referring to hot water pressure washers or more powerful variants designed for commercial and industrial requirements. Therefore, the pump plays an undeniably critical role in their functionality.