Pressure Washer Pump Types: Axial Cam, Triplex, and Wobble

So, you’ve just got yourself a new pressure washer, only to realize the pump it comes with is simply not enough. I mean, I don’t blame you, most manufacturers neglect this rather important factor and usually supply each pressure washer with a mid or below-mid-grade pump.

pressure washer water pump

From a marketing and manufacturing point, I kind of get that. The machine must meet certain price points and pumps can be quite expensive, in some cases more expansive than the entire pressure washer.

Luckily, you get yourself a pretty decent one for a budget price, if you know what you are looking for. The main differentiating factor is the pump type. You can get an axial cam, triplex, or a wobble pump.

Axial Cam vs. Triplex vs. Wobble

But what are the differences between these three types? There are quite several differences, actually. We can talk about the simplicity of the pump, general quality in regard to type, life expectancy, maintenance needs, and more.

So, without further ado, let’s start comparing.

1) Wobble Pumps

First on our stage of fame, we have the Wobble Pumps.

These pumps are the garden gnomes of the pressure washer world: small, often overlooked, but always working diligently to keep your patio looking like the Queen of England could eat her afternoon tea off it.

Wobble pumps are driven by a wobble plate connected to the drive shaft. When the drive shaft turns, the wobble plate pushes pistons to create suction and then discharge the water.

Some things to know about our wobble buddies:

  • Simplicity: They’re like the bachelor uncle who lives in a studio apartment. Not many moving parts, hence, less can go wrong.
  • Life Expectancy: Wobble pumps are usually good for about 300-500 hours. After that, it’s a graceful retirement.
  • Maintenance: Like that same bachelor uncle, they don’t need much maintenance. They are sealed and can’t be repaired once they break down.

Remember, wobble pumps are not meant for daily, heavy-duty usage. If you need to power wash the Eiffel Tower, this might not be your best choice.

2) Axial Cam Pumps

Next, we have the Axial Cam Pumps.

These pumps are like the middle child, trying to impress you with their increased power and efficiency while still being reasonably affordable. They utilize a series of pistons in a circular pattern, and the camshaft runs them.

Here’s what you need to know about axial cam pumps:

  • Efficiency: They’re like that guy at the gym who’s always there when you arrive and still there when you leave. They can handle more workload compared to wobble pumps.
  • Life Expectancy: They typically last about 500-800 hours, which is a bit longer than your favorite TV series.
  • Maintenance: They are rebuildable, meaning if a part wears out, you can replace it. Handy, isn’t it?

If you’re a semi-pro washer, an axial cam pump could be your partner in grime.

3) Triplex Pumps

Finally, we arrive at the Triplex Pumps.

The name might sound like a new superhero team, but it’s just the big brother of the pump family. These pumps are used for commercial and industrial purposes, and they’re built to last.

Triplex pumps work using three plungers, which provides a steady, constant water flow.

Here are some triplex pump facts for your next dinner party:

  • Power: These pumps are like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of pressure washer pumps. They have more power and higher pressure output.
  • Life Expectancy: They can last up to 2,000 hours or more, which is longer than your last diet.
  • Maintenance: Triplex pumps are rebuildable, and the parts are easily replaceable.

Triplex pumps are for those who mean serious business. It’s like bringing a bazooka to a water gunfight. You can clean basically any surface with this kind of power.

In Conclusion

I believe that concludes our comparison guide on the three main pressure washer pump types. Now that you know what you can expect from each pump, you can make your decision with peace of mind.

You can also check my comparison guide on the best quiet pressure washers on the market.

If you think or feel that I’ve forgotten some important point, feel free to leave a comment down below.