A pressure washer is one of man's greatest invention when it comes to efficient cleaning. It works by pressurizing water and expelling it at great speeds to clean and remove even the toughest dirt. It has four basic components - pressure pump, motor, hose, and gun. Although these four components are all important for the unit to function properly, it is the pressure pump that is the most important as it is responsible for generating the pressure needed for cleaning.
High pressure pumps are designed mostly for commercial and industrial applications. Depending on their model, they may come with the capability to have their flow rate, pressure, and valve adjusted to suit the preference of the operator. When using a high pressure pump, it is important that you know what you are doing as these are very powerful equipments and are intended to work on the manufacturer's specification. Simply put, you need to understand them before using them for any of your jobs.
The pressure pump in a pressure washer sits at its core. To generate pressure, the pressure pump needs to be spun by a motor. Depending on its configuration, a pressure pump can be powered by a motor either by belt drive or direct drive. Each configuration has its own strong points as well as significant weak points.
Belt Drive - a belt drive operates through a belt and pulley system. The main advantage of using a belt drive is that since the motor is not directly connected to the pressure pump, the pressure pump receives lesser vibration as the belt and pulley acts as shock absorbers. This, according to many experts, makes it last longer. The main disadvantage to this type of system, however, is that there is a lot of lost energy due to the reduced efficiency of the belts and pulleys.
Direct Drive - a direct drive operates with a shaft directly connected between the motor and the pressure pump. The main advantage in using a direct drive configuration is that more compact designs can be made due to the direct link between the motor and pressure pump. Also, since there are less moving parts, the unit is likely to be less expensive than that of a belt drive configuration. The main disadvantage to this type of system though is that it is more prone to wear and tear as the pump spins at the same speed the motor does and that the vibration of the motor is directly absorbed by the pump.