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Info on Pressure Washer Pumps and Bleach

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MoldMan

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I bought my northern Florida house in 2017, and I didn't know it would turn grey and green if I didn't clean it. I just got my dad's old 3100-psi Homelite pressure washer working, and I learned that I can clean the house easily with a mix of pool bleach, water, and detergent. So far, so good.

The people who make cheap pressure washers say bleach will kill their pumps. I don't care, obviously. A pressure washer pump is cheap compared to paying someone $300 for a 3-hour job. I could buy an entire machine every time I clean the house and still come out even, so buying a pump doesn't bother me at all.

I am using bleach regardless of the risk, and after I use it, I shoot pump protector into the machine for whatever good it will do.

I have no idea how long I should expect my pump to last, given that I am using about 2.5% sodium hypochlorite. Can anyone give me a ballpark idea, in hours? I would say I'll be putting maybe 10 hours in every year, cleaning the house and workshop.

I'm thinking maybe I should go ahead and buy a new pump, because I don't want to get stuck in a situation where I've applied bleach to the house and then can't rinse because the pump has died suddenly.

Also, can a pump screwed up by bleach be fixed with a seal kit or something?

Thanks.
 

oldognewtrick

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Why not just spray the cleaner on with a garden sprayer and not run it through the pump? For the cost of replacing the pump I could justify the additional time involved in using a garden sprayer.

As far as guessing how long the pump will last, it would be like guessing, how long is a string.
 

MoldMan

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My house has two stories and 10-foot ceilings, and it sits on a pad about 18" high. No garden sprayer will even come close.

I bought Mold Armor EZ House Wash (basically a disposable garden sprayer), because the ads said it would handle two stories. It's not true. It shoots about 8 feet, and I have very high water pressure.
 

pjones

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Bleach is corrosive so I’m guessing the corrosion you are experiencing occurs during storage. It’s probably corrosion on the cylinder wall that causes the seals to fail, or something similar.

Disclaimer: this thought is an educated guess as to what you are experiencing and is based on little information.

I would suggest if you are looking at replacing seals then you may as well take it apart first and see exactly what is failing so you can get the correct parts the first time out.
 

MoldMan

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Thanks for the reply.

I already know I can't fix the pump it if fails. It's a $300 machine, and the pump is cheap. They don't sell parts to rebuild it. I just thought someone might have an idea how long I can expect it to last before I have to get a new pump.

I guess I should go ahead and buy the new pump.
 

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