Your pressure washer is a hard-working machine, and like all machines, it needs some care and maintenance every now and then.
If you want your pressure washer to keep working hard at its peak performance month after month, year after year. A big part of that will be the maintenance of its moving parts, and these parts need to be lubricated to minimize friction in the motor and the pump. But you can’t use the same type of oil for both of these two parts. So getting the best pressure washer pump oil is important in keeping your pressure washer pump alive and well.
I’ll take you through the most popular products that you can find on the market today, I’ll also let you know all the important facts to ensure that you get the right type of oil for your pressure washer pump.
Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil for Pressure Washer Pump 15-Ounce
Mag 1 60694-6PK Pressure Washer Pump Oil – 1 Quart Pack of 6
Best Pressure Washer Pump Oil Reviews
- Genuine Briggs & Stratton 6033 Synthetic Pump Accessory 15 Oz
If you want a big brand name synthetic oil that comes are what I think is a reasonable price, then look no further than this, the Briggs & Stratton 6033 Synthetic oil for pressure washer pumps.
The viscosity of this synthetic oil is labeled as SAE75W90, but it’s using the gear oil SAE system. So if your pressure washer requires an oil rated SAE 10W40 then this is the oil for you, I highly recommend it, it’s a cracking oil.
Being rated SAE 10W 40, it’s likely a good fit for any pressure washer pump that has been rated for use with a 10W40 oil viscosity. Make sure to double-check the label to see if this oil is good for your washer’s pump. It is, however, the ideal choice for use in a Briggs & Stratton brand of pressure washers.
When it comes to the packaging of this oil, it comes in a sturdy black plastic bottle. This is a resealable bottle that has a see-through graduated section so you can accurately track how much oil you’ve poured and how much is left in the bottle.
You get 15 fluid ounces of oil in this bottle.
- Formulated with advanced additive technology to protect your pump under extreme conditions
- Reduces friction and wear at start-up
- Helps prevent thermal breakdown
Generac is another top-rated pressure washer brand, and Generac has produced its own original 6656 pressure washer pump oil.
This is a very high-quality oil that comes at a rather low price. Which is great as you get 20 fluid ounces of oil in this bottle.
The oil is packaged in your typical black plastic bottle with a slit of transparent plastic on the side with volume labels, so you know how much oil is in the bottle at any given them. This makes it easy to pour out exactly as much as you need and also know how much is left.
This is an SAE 30 oil, which has been specifically formulated for use in pressure washer pumps. If you want your pressure washer pump to run smoothly, this will ensure that there is no excessive friction, protecting your power washer from damage.
If your power washer needs an SAE 30 rated oil, and if it’s a unit made by Generac, then I can highly recommend this oil.
You can find more information about the performance and safety of this product here.
- Genuine Simpson Premium Oil
- 1 Pint 475 mL bottle
If your pressure washer is one of the Simpson brand of power washer, Then I highly recommend that you use their own brand of power washer pump oil.
However, as long as the specifications of this oil fit your pressure washer, then you can certainly use this high-quality oil in other pressure washers that are made by other manufacturers.
This Genuine Simpson oil comes in a regular black plastic bottle, and it holds 16 fl oz of oil.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t have any see-through graduated section that will help you to know how much you’ve poured or how much oil is left in the bottle.
However, as this is a 16-ounce bottle, it’s not difficult to work out how much is left.
This oil is a Simpson recommended premium oil that’s rated to SAE 15W40. It doesn’t foam up and contains absolutely no detergents, making it perfect for use in any power washer pump that requires that viscosity rating.
It’s especially recommended for Simpson brand pressure washers, though you can use this with any other pressure washer brand, as long as the viscosity matches your pump requirements.
- Can be used on all pressure washers that have Comet, General, AR and Cat pumps.
Here’s a popular oil that is produced by CAT. Which is a well-established power washer pump manufacturer. Unsurprisingly this is a very high-quality oil that comes at an affordable price.
This CAT product is a petroleum-based oil that’s been graded on the hydraulic ISO scale. This comes in at ISO 68. Which, when converted to the SAE scale is equal to SAE 20W. It’s slightly thicker than the typical SAE 10W30 oil that you’ll find used in the majority of pressure washers.
As such, I highly recommend that you oil use this oil if your pump label or user manual specifically states that ISO 68 or SAE 20W can be used.
In general, this is suitable for any pressure washer that uses a General, AR, Comet, or a CAT pump.
The quality of this oil shows in it’s carefully chosen additives. These have been chosen to protect your pump from wear, oxidation, and corrosion. And it doesn’t contain any detergents. If you need to know more about its safety and performance rating, check here.
The packaging of this oil is like most others, it comes in your typical blast plastic bottle, and on the side, you’ll find that it has two-graduated sight strip, this will ensure that you use up the 21 fluid ounces inside this bottle without wasting a drop.
- Keeps pressure washer running smoothly
- For use with all MI-T-M units and with most other units
- Available in a one pint size
Mi-T-M is another brand that produces pressure washers, and while it’s at it, it produces its own brand of pump oil. This is a natural, petroleum-based bottle of pump oil that your pressure washer pump is going to love.
If you want a happy pump, this is the oil for it.
The oil comes in a hard plastic black bottle, which holds 16 fluid ounces. On the side is a see-through graduated strip. This ensures that there is minimal waste and will mean that you use your oil in a precise and calculated manner, always being aware of how much you’ve poured in and how much you have left.
This oil, the AW-4085-0016, is a specially formatted pressure washer pump oil. The viscosity of this oil isn’t mentioned on the button, but if you look at its corresponding material safety data sheet, you’ll see that it states this the viscosity of this petroleum-based hydraulic oils cSt 9.2 at 100 degrees Celsius, this translates to SAE 15W20 oil viscosity.
The additives which come with this ensure that your pump is maintained in a gentle fashion, as this oil has EP protection, oxidation and corrosion resistance as well as moisture dispersion,
- Made by an OEM supplier
- 30 weight
This is an oil from General Pump called Series 100, which is an oil that is a specially formulated pressure washer pump oil.
If you want a high-quality pump oil that you can pick up In bulk this, I recommend this. I think it’s a cracking deal, you get 6 bottles each containing 16 fluid ounces of oil.
This hydraulic oil comes in a standard black plastic bottle which has a see-through slit on the side. This slit allows you to see how much oil you’ve poured and how much is left in the bottle, ensuring precision when you refill your power washer pump. As this comes in a pack of six, knowing how much is left in each bottle is quite handy.
This is a natural petroleum-based oil. Which is highly recommended for use in General Pump products that have at least 25 BHP. Its viscosity measures 100 cSt at 40 degrees Celsius, which roughly translates to SAE 30. This means it can be used in most pressure washer pumps on the market.
You can find more information here.
- Resists foaming and aeration
- Protects against rust
- Helps prevent sludge
If you want a really good deal, then I can recommend this MAG 1 power washer pump oil, it comes in a pack of six at what I think is an incredible price for the volume of oil you get. This is a fairly high-quality pump oil that will keep your pump incredibly happy without overheating.
This is a natural oil that is made out of petroleum. It has a viscosity which is rated to SAE 30W. This is the viscosity that you’ll find in most commercially available pressure washer models. The oil is enriched with additives, which keep your pressure washer pump well-maintained.
These additives also prevent foaming and aeration, it will protect your pump against oxidation and rust, and helps prevent the formation of sludge.
This deal is great, in my opinion. You get six one-quart bottles. So you get a total of 1 ½ gallons of pump oil. This will keep your pump well-lubricated for years. The oil itself comes in a sturdy bottle that has a nice ergonomic design so you can grasp it with ease.
You can find the oils performance information here.
Why Does a Pressure Washer Pump Need Oil?
Whether you are a professional or a handyman who washes cars, machinery, or buildings daily, or if you are a homeowner who uses their pressure washer to clean their homes vinyl siding once or twice a year.
You want the investment you made in your pressure washer to last you a long time.
Like any other type of machinery, your pressure washer requires regular maintenance to keep it working well, and an important part of that maintenance is oiling your pump.
The reason for this is quite simple, the inner parts of your pressure washer pump need to move at incredible speeds. As these parts move, they touch one another, movement creates friction between these parts. Friction creates heat, and the longer or faster the parts move, the higher the chances are of overheating.
Excess heat will quickly cause damage to parts of the pump, some will suffer because of the material they are made with not being able to withstand the heat (for example, rubber seals can melt), and others will expand, causing more friction or worse. Also, at higher temperatures, water changes its characteristics, which your pressure washer pump isn’t designed to handle.
To prevent the build-up of friction, you need to introduce lubricant between the moving parts. Lubrication helps the parts slide next to each other, making it easier for parts to move and drastically reduces and, in some cases, almost completely nullifies friction. This is what prevents overheating and ensures that your pressure washer lives a long and very happy life.
1. Which Type of Pressure Washer Pumps Needs Oil Changes?
Whether you should change your oil or not depends entirely on the type of pressure washer pump that your pressure cleaner uses. There are three types of pressure washer pump that are commonly found in commercially available models, and there is only one of them that actually requires oil changes.
1.1. Axial Cam and Wobble Plate Pumps
If you have a pressure washer puts out a PSI lower than 2500 pounds per square inch or uses a water flow weaker than 2 gallons per minute (GPM), the chances are that it uses a wobble plate or an axial cam pump. These two pumps are the lower-rated pressure washer pumps and are “factory-sealed”, this means that you don’t need to do any oil changes. These are cheap to make, so cheap top replace, so when it stops working, the manufacturer’s plan is to just replace it.
However, do note that you can’t just go by the PSI and GPM rating alone, as it’s not a foolproof way of working out your pressure washers pump type. IF you have a gas pressure washer, which has its components exposed, then you can determine the type by just looking at it. If you own a model that is covered in a plastic casing, then you will need to check your washer’s specifications in your user manual or via the manufacturer’s website to work out what type of pump it uses.
1.2. Triplex Pumps
Whether you own gas or an electric-powered pressure washer makes no difference. Triplex pumps can be found in every type of washer because of their excellent power and durability. This type of pump uses three pistons to pump water out at a consistent high pressure. Because of their very unique construction, these are easy to recognize.
Replacing a triplex power washer pump can be expensive, the reason for this is that they have an intricate design. On the other hand, these have a virtually unlimited lifespan, though they can fail or break due to overheating. Because of this, you need to ensure that regular maintenance takes place, oil changes make all the difference in the longevity of your pressure washer.
Pressure Washer Pump Oil Buying Guide
Getting the right pressure washer pump oil isn’t difficult, but using the wrong oil, well, that can cause irreparable damage to the pump of your pressure washer. The end result of using the wrong type of oil well, that’s going to result in a pressure washer pump replacement.
It’s because of this that you should find out what the best type of oil is for your pressure washer. Then make sure that you get that very specific type of oil. Here’s some essential information that you need to know before you go oil shopping.
1. Manufacturer Recommendation
The first thing you should check is what the manufacturer of your pressure washer recommends you to use as an oil.
Before even attempting an oil change, I make sure to check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website to ensure that I have the proper type of oil.
Some manufacturers make and sell their own replacements oils, which have been developed to match the design of the pumps they use in their pressure washers. Others will simply recommend an oil that works well with the pump.
Never skip this step, there are many different oils out there, and the wrong type can cause fatal damage to your pressure washer pump, this will result in very costly replacements. So taking five minutes to check the manual is well worth your time.
2. Non-Detergent Oil
One of the most important distinctions between regular motor oil and oil designed for use in pressure washer pumps is that your regular engine oil often contains detergents. The role of these detergents is to pick up the contaminants as it flows through the engine, bringing them back to the oil filter. This means that the engine is kept clean.
However, pressure washer pumps don’t have an oil filter. As such, this pressure is just dangerous, you don’t want these contaminants flowing through your pump over and over again, they’ll quickly cause the pump to wear out.
You should always look for oils that have the designation “ND”, this stands for Non-Detergent. These also tend to contain anti-foaming and anti-aerating additives. This prevents the formation of bubbles inside of the pump. Foam bubbles will cause serious damage in the form of cavitation.
Oils that contain detergents can foam up, which won’t cause any harm to your regular car engine, but will be deadly for your pressure washer pump.
When you start looking for a pump oil, you’ll notice that they have a specific system of codes on the label. For example, you’ll see something like SAE 10W-30. I’ll take you through what this means, as it’s all about the viscosity.
The simplest and this isn’t an accurate way to describe it, but it works, is the viscosity of the oil is basically how thick an oil is.
Take this example, peanut butter is thicker than syrup, and syrup is thicker than water. However, that thickness changes depending on the temperature. The warmer peanut butter gets, the more it’ll flow as it get’s “thinner” when it’s hot. While it’s rock-solid when taken straight out of the refrigerator.
This is, in essence, what the SAE designation tells you about the viscosity of the oil. It tells you how easy it will flow through your pump. There are two numbers separated by the letter W, What this gives you is the viscosity in both hot and cold environments.
So SAE10W-30 means that in winter (W), the viscosity is 10, and it rises up to 30 in warmer temperatures. The higher the number, the “thinner” the oil is.
When you move into hydraulic oils, these will be graded on an ISO scale, that still tells you the same information. ISO 32 translations to SAE 10W, SAW 20 is basically the same as ISO46 and 68. ISO 100 is equivalent to SAE 30. Though when it comes to gear oil, the stuff used in a car’s gearbox, for example, things can get a little confusing. SAE 75W-90 gear oil is roughly the same viscosity as SAE 10W-40 engine oil, the distinction between the different oil types plays an important role.
The majority of pressure washer pumps will use SAE 10W-30 or SAW 10W-40 oil. Though you should check the manufacturer’s pump oil recommendation, it’s also advisable not to use your pressure washer on freezing cold winter days and also on the hottest days of the year.
Most oils used in pressure washer pumps are enriched with various additives, which make them even more beneficial in keeping your pump in tip-top condition. The most common additives that you’ll find in pressure washer pumps are anti-rust additives, these prevent corrosion. You’ll also find anti-foaming and anti-aeration additives, these control the amount of air in the pump. I’ve mentioned before, but pump oils cannot contain detergents that you’ll find regular car engine oil because your pump doesn’t come with a filter.
How to Change Pressure Washer Pump Oil?
Keeping regular maintenance of your pressure washer pump oil changes will ensure that your pump lasts a long time and works with no issues. It’s a simple task and shouldn’t take you longer than an hour. This includes unmounted and remounting of the pump back onto the frame.
1. When to Change Pump Oil
The first time you should change the oil in your new pressure washer is after it’s first 50 hours of use. After that, then it should happen every 3 months, or 100 hours of work, whichever comes sooner.
Most triplex pumps include a sight glass. This is usually a circle with a dot, and this shows you how much oil the pump should contain.
If you notice that the oil level is below this dot, then you need to top the oil up. Still, I find it’s safer and ensures the longevity of your pump if you drain the oil and replace with new oil, rather than adding a small amount to top it up.
If your pressure washer pump doesn’t have a sight glass, check to see if it has a dipstick which follows the same principle, or check if your user manual recommends a particular amount of oil that you should pour into your pump.
You should also change the oil if you notice a leak (after detecting and repairing the cause of the leak), or if you notice the oil has a milky color.
2. What You Need to Change Pump Oil
- An oil catch can – This Is a tray or bowl to drain the oil into
- A Wrench – to loosen up the bolts needed to access the pump, though this isn’t required if your pump has a plastic access knob
- A funnel – To avoid spilling the oil when you pour it in
- The correct pressure washer pump oil
3. Steps to Changing Pump Oil
- Firstly, Remove the pump assembly (this is usually connected to the motor) and set it down onto your workstation.
- Detect all the bolts you’ll need to remove. Typically there will be a drain bold and a top access bolt. Though some pumps only come with one.
- Remove the top access bolt so that the air pressure within the pump is relieved.
- Set up the oil catch can so that it is underneath the pump’s oil drain access. Open the drain access bolt and let the oil flow out, shift the pump about changing its position to ensure all the oil drains out.
- Replace the drain bolt back into the pump and tighten it up.
- Get your funnel and pour the pump oil through the top access. The oil reservoir shouldn’t be completely full. If your pump comes with a sight glass, make sure that the level matches the dot. If it doesn’t, check the user manual to find the specific amount that you should pour in. Most pumps need around 12 fluid ounces of oil to work properly. Make sure that you pour enough oil in and also make sure that you don’t overfill the reservoir.
- Replace the top access bolt and tighten it up.
- Mount the pump or pump and motor assembly back onto your pressure washer, ensuring you’ve cleaned up any spillages beforehand.
FAQ About Pressure Washer Pump Oils
1. How should I dispose of used pump oil?
The best way to get rid of oil is by recycling it. This saves valuable resources. Oil doesn’t wear out, it just needs to be clean using professional tools to be ready for use again. In fact, according to the EPA, to produce around 2.5 quarts of lubricating oil, you need one gallon of used oil or as much as 42 gallons of crude oil. So for the environment, it really makes sense to recycle the oil.
After you’ve drained your oil into an oil catch can, pour it into an empty, clean bottle, then bring it to a recycling center. Most local car mechanic shops and recycling centers will accept it. If you don’t have one that’s nearby, then you can try a Jiffy Lube or similar. If you are really struggling, you can check with your large local supermarket as some will accept used oil.
If you are still struggling, contain your local dump to check if they will accept used oil as many do. However, this is the least eco-friendly as a lot of the oil will just end up in the soil and local bodies of water, which will cause serious harm to the local wildlife in your area.
2. What is the difference between synthetic and natural oil?
While searching for pressure washer pump oil, you may have come across a choice. Whether to use conventional natural oil or synthetic oil. Look using either of these oils in your pressure washer pump is fine. There are some differences between them, however.
Synthetic oil is much harder to produce, but the quality and overall purity is much higher. That’s because the manufacturer has complete control over every aspect of the product right down to its molecular level.
Generally, synthetic oils tend to provide a better performance and have a longer durability, meaning it doesn’t need changing as often. However, because of how difficult it is to produce, it comes with a higher price tag. The choice between which one you want to use is entirely up to you. If you keep a regular oil change schedule, then conventional oil will work just as well as synthetic.
Best Pressure Washer Pump Oil Comparison Chart
|PRODUCT NAME||VISCOSITY||BOTTLE SIZE|
|Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil for Pressure Washer Pump 15-Ounce||SAE 10W40||15|
|Generac 6656 Pressure Washer Pump Oil SAE 30 20-Ounce||SAE 30||20|
|Simpson 7106737 Pressure Washer Pump Oil 1 Pint||SAE 15W40||16|
|CAT Pumps Pressure Washer Pump Oil 21 Oz||ISO 68||21|
|Mi T M AW-4085-0016 Power Washer Pump Oil||SAE 15W20||16|
|General Pump 758-115 Pressure Washer Pump Oil Black||SAE 30 (100 Cst)||16|
|Mag 1 60694-6PK Pressure Washer Pump Oil||SAE 30W||32|
That’s it that’s all the important information that you need to know about choosing the best pressure washer pump oil.
Ensuring that you follow a regular maintenance schedule is what will keep your pressure washer pump going for a long time. This is how you keep your machine at its peak performance.
Changing the oil is only one of the important tasks that you need to do to ensure your pressure washer works perfectly, but it is a simple task and as I’ve shown above, with a little bit of time, a bottle of high-quality oil and a few tools, the job is done quickly and easily.
Hopefully, I’ve managed to answer all of the questions you may have had in my pressure washer buyers guide and that you found a great oil for your pressure washer in my reviews.
If you have any questions, then please leave me a comment below.