Pressure Washer Pump Types: The Different Variables and How to Choose

What pressure washer pump type do you have? If you don’t know, it might be time for an upgrade. There are three different pressure washer pumps available: wobble pumps, triplex pumps, and axial cam pumps.

We’ll go through these pressure washer pump types, explaining what distinguishes them and the primary advantages and disadvantages.

You’ll be familiar with the many types and their benefits by the conclusion.

Are Pressure Washer Pumps Universally Compatible

Not all pressure washer pumps are compatible with every pressure washer out there. So you’ll need to make sure that your pressure washer model is compatible with the pressure washer pump you’re buying.

However, there are some general guidelines to follow when picking out a pressure washer pump.

Always double-check the pump’s size against your pressure washer to ensure they’re compatible. You must also verify the PSI and GPM to ensure you’re getting good results thanks to varying requirements.

Pressure Washer Pump Types

Pressure Washer Pump Types

The three most frequently found pressure washer pump types are wobble pumps, triplex pumps, and axial cam pumps. We’ll go through what they are, their benefits and drawbacks, and a handy table with extra information.

Wobble Pump

A wobble pump is a low-cost option that employs a wobble plate. The wobble plate is connected to a driving shaft, which drives the pistons back and forth. It results in excellent suction because of the force generated by the movement of the spring and water. However, because it must push both water and springs, the pump is only around 70 percent efficient.

Usually, these pumps are tightly closed when they are produced because of their intricate components. In addition, it restricts the supply of these pumps for repair since they have tiny parts in difficult-to-reach areas.

They have a similar lifespan to axial cam pumps, ranging from 200 to 400 hours (3 hours per week for 2-3 years).


Maximum Pressure (PSI): Below 2500

Maximum Flow Rate (GPM): Below 2.0

Compatible Pressure Washer Type: Low-flow electric pressure washers

Pump Efficiency: 70 percent

Lifespan: 2-3 years when used 3 hours/week


  • No seals are sliding back and forth on the piston.
  • They can self-prime.
  • They can go dry
  • They may generate high pressures.
  • They have a high torque.


  • They are hard to repair because of their small parts.
  • Low water flow.
  • Their lifespan is limited, at around 200-400 hours.

Triplex Pumps

A triplex pump is a high-performance option that utilizes three pistons. These pumps are around 90 percent efficient and can handle more water and pressure than a wobble pump.

They are also easier to repair because of their modular design. However, triplex pumps are also more expensive because of the intricate parts.

A crankshaft and connecting rods drive a three-way pump to drive position action pistons, much like a car engine. With each stroke, they suck in and expel water.

The valves are readily available, and little to no maintenance is required. When you need to make repairs, it’s simply because the replacement valves are conveniently accessible. Overall, these will endure for approximately ten years.


Maximum Pressure (PSI): 3000 and above

Maximum Flow Rate (GPM): 3.0

Compatible Pressure Washer Type: Professional level washers

Lifespan: 10 years

Pump Efficiency: 90 percent


  • It can run cool and extend the appliance’s life because of its lower operating speed.
  • Very efficient.
  • You may use it for high-pressure cleaners and low-pressure ones.
  • Easy to repair
  • The seals are immobile.


  • Compared with triplex pumps, wobble pumps are expensive
  • Sealed systems make the pumps unsuitable for hot water
  • Material is steel- instead of aluminum- making them heavier than some other options.

Axial Cam Pumps

These are also known as swash plate pumps, which are named as such because of their distinctive shape. They’re medium-level pumps, which is to say they’re better than the wobble pump but not as good as the triplex pump.

These pumps typically only have two valves. Instead, the pistons pump the water directly from one to another, compact and lightweight because of their simple design.

They have a lifespan of around 500 to 800 hours (3 hours per week for 5-8 years).


  • Maximum Pressure (PSI): less than 3500
  • Maximum Flow Rate (GPM): 2.5
  • Compatible Pressure Washer Type: Gas pressure washers below 3500 PSI
  • Lifespan: 500 to 800 hours (3 hours per week for 5-8 years)
  • Pump Efficiency: 70-90 percent


  • It is a good travel companion. Small, light, and compact.
  • Longer life and more efficient than a wobble.
  • You may also control the water’s direction on your own.
  • They are Self-priming


  • They are not as durable as triplex pumps.
  • Excess vibration may occur.

Which one is right for you

Which one is right for you

Here are some consequences of selecting a particular type of pump.

Wobble Pump Pros: very cheap, reasonably easy to replace if something goes wrong, can run on low-quality fuel.

Wobble Pump Cons: short lifespan, high noise levels, some models are not very energy efficient

Triplex Pump Pros: outstanding efficiency and strong output, can be used for both low and high-pressure washers, relatively cheap in the long term

Triplex Pump Cons: expensive in the short term, difficult to repair, cannot run for too long at low pressure, or it will overheat.

Axial Cam Pump Pros: can run on very low-quality fuel, efficient, easy to repair, self-priming

Axial Cam Pump Cons: They are less durable than triplex pumps, with some excess vibration.

So, which pump should you choose? If you’re looking for an affordable option that is easy to replace, the wobble pump is the best choice.

If you’re looking for a more durable, longer-lasting pump that can handle any pressure washer, the triplex is your best bet.

The axial cam pump is a good choice for those who want an efficient and self-priming pump that can run on low-quality fuel.

Keep in mind that all pumps have their benefits and drawbacks, so make sure to choose the best suits your needs.

Pressure Washer Pump Brands

There are many reputable brands when it comes to pressure washer pumps. Here are just a few of them:

Annovi Reverberi (AR)

AR is a pump company located in Italy. They also produce electric motors under the Ravel name. In addition, AR makes pressure washers under the AR Blue Clean brand and sells them under the Black & Decker and Michelin trademarks.

Wobble, Axial Cam, and Triplex Plunger pumps are the three pump types made by AR.

CAT Pumps

CAT Pumps is a company located in the United States. They make plunger, triplex, and diaphragm pumps. They also produce electric generators and engine-powered pumps.

CAT Pumps occupies a large share of the cleaning equipment market and is partnered with other notable brands such as BE, Campbell Hausfeld, DeWalt, Pressure-Pro, Simpson

General Pump

General Pump is also a United States-based company. General produces triplex pumps under several brands such as BE, DeWalt, Easy-Kleen.


Kranzle is a German pump manufacturer that produces Wobble, Axial Cam. In addition, they sell pressure washers, dust extractors, industrial vacuums, and sweepers.


Karcher is a company located in Germany. They are best known for their electric pressure washers, producing Axial Cam triplex plunger pumps.

How To Buy Replacement Pump and Parts

How To Buy Replacement Pump and Parts

There are several excellent locations to get a new pump. The most variety is available from internet merchants like Amazon and RepairClinic. In addition, many pump manufacturers have websites where you can purchase parts and pumps.

When buying a replacement pump, make sure that you get the same type of pump. For instance, if you have a wobble pump, make sure to get a wobble pump. If you are not sure what kind of pump you have, take a picture or take the pump to a store so they can identify it for you.

It is also essential to get the right psi level for your pressure washer. Do not try to go too cheap, or you will end up with a very inefficient pump and possibly break down.

The cost of the replacement pump will also depend on the type of pump you are purchasing. For example, wobble pumps are the cheapest, while triplex and axial cam pumps are more expensive.

Pump Repair

Pump Repair

If you have a problem with your pump, it is usually best to take it to a professional. It will be able to diagnose the problem and repair it quickly. However, suppose you are skilled with tools and feel confident enough to fix the pump yourself. In that case, there are several replacement pump parts and kits available online.

Remember, when repairing a pump, always take your time and be careful. Putting the wrong part back together can lead to worse damage.

Pump Maintenance Tips

Pump Maintenance Tips

Keeping your pump in tip-top shape is the best way to extend its life. Here are some tips for keeping your pump in good condition:

  • Clean the pump after each use. It will help prevent any dirt or grime from building up and causing damage.
  • Lubricate the seals and bearings regularly. It will help them run smoothly and prevent them from wearing out.
  • Replace the pump filters regularly. It will help your pump operate efficiently and prolong its life.

If you properly maintain the pump, it should last for several years. Remember, cleanliness is vital. Any dirt or grime that gets into the pump will wear it out much faster than usual.

Be sure to take care of your pump, and it will take care of you.

Pump Safety Tips

Pump Safety Tips

When using a pressure washer pump, safety is essential. Here are some tips to keep yourself safe:

  • Never run your pump without water. It can cause the pump to overheat and damage internal parts.
  • Always unplug the pump before working on it. It will prevent any accidents while you are fixing them.
  • Be careful when putting the pump back together. Putting the wrong part in can cause damage to your pump.
  • You should also make sure you wear protective gear such as safety glasses and gloves. The pressure from the water can hurt your eyes and damage your skin.
  • Pressure washer pumps are mighty machines. If misused, they can cause serious injury. Always make sure to read the owner’s manual before using the pump.

Wrap Up – Pressure Washer Pump Types

With the appropriate pressure washer pump types for your pressure washer, it will function better than ever. If your pump requires replacement, the wide variety of pumps available will make it easy to find the perfect one for you.

Remember to take care of your pump with proper maintenance, and it will last for years.

Happy washing!

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Last update on 2024-03-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2024-03-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Z Hashan

Z Hashan

I’m Z Hashan, an entrepreneur, but more importantly (well, to me at least), a tool head. I’m passionate about all sorts of machines and how they work – it’s in my blood.

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