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Pressure Washer Pump Oil, 25 Things You Should Know

Are you struggling with your pressure washer’s diminished pump performance and shortened lifespan? It’s time you focus on the lifeblood of your equipment – pressure washer pump oil! Learn about the significance of using proper pump oil and how it protects your investment and ensures optimal cleaning results.

Pressure washer pump oil:

Maintaining a pressure washer’s pump oil is crucial for efficient cleaning and prolonging its lifespan. There are various types of pump oil, like non-detergent oil, synthetic oil, and manufacturer-recommended oil, each with different benefits. Regularly checking and changing pump oil is essential, with most manufacturers recommending oil changes every 50-100 hours of use or once a year.

Discover the essentials of pressure washer pump oil as we delve into its importance, various types, and recommended maintenance practices. Learn how to ensure your pressure washer operates smoothly and prolongs the life of your equipment.


Pressure Washer Pump Lubricant Oil

A well-maintained pressure washer is essential for efficient cleaning tasks, whether for personal use or a professional cleaning business. One of the critical aspects of maintaining a pressure washer is ensuring the pump oil is of the highest quality and regularly checked.

Types of Pump Oil

Several types of pressure washer pump oil can be utilized for different purposes. To ensure the longevity and proper functioning of your pressure washer, it’s essential to choose the right pump oil. Here is an overview of the most common types of pump oils for pressure washers:

1. Non-Detergent Oil

Non-detergent oils are popular for pressure washer pumps because they provide adequate lubrication without any unnecessary additives.

These oils are designed for low pressure and high-temperature applications, ensuring your pump stays well-lubricated and doesn’t suffer excessive wear.

2. Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oils are known for their high resistance to heat and oxidation, ensuring that the pump stays properly lubricated even under extreme conditions. These oils provide unmatched wear protection and can extend the life of your pressure washer pump.

3. Manufacturer-Recommended Oil

Many pressure washer manufacturers specify a particular oil type for their pumps. It’s crucial to refer to your pressure washer’s user manual to determine the ideal type of oil for your specific model. Using the wrong oil can lead to poor performance and even damage to the pump.

How to Check and Change Your Pressure Washer Pump Oil

Regular maintenance of your pressure washer pump oil is integral for maintaining its efficiency and prolonging its lifespan. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to check and change the pump oil:

– Step 1: Check the Oil Level

Before starting any maintenance work, ensure that your pressure washer is turned off and disconnected from the power supply. Locate the oil sight glass or dipstick on your pump, and take a look at the oil level. If the level appears low, you will need to add more oil to the pump.

– Step 2: Drain the Old Oil

Locate the oil drain plug at the bottom of your pressure washer pump to drain the old oil. Place a drain pan underneath the plug to catch the oil, and use a wrench to loosen and remove the plug. Allow the oil to drain completely from the pump.

– Step 3: Fill With Fresh Oil

Once the old oil has drained, use a funnel to add fresh pressure washer pump oil into the pump. Using the right amount of oil for your specific pressure washer model is crucial – refer to the user manual to determine the appropriate oil capacity.

Keep an eye on the oil sight glass or dipstick while filling to ensure you’re using the correct amount.

– Step 4: Replace the Oil Drain Plug

Once the pump has been filled with fresh oil, replace and tighten the oil drain plug using a wrench. Double-check that the plug is secure to prevent any oil leaks.

– Step 5: Check for Leaks

Before using your pressure washer, ensure there are no leaks around the oil drain plug or the pump itself. If you notice any leaks, tighten the plug further or check the pump for any damage.

Expert Recommendations

To ensure the proper functioning and longevity of your pressure washer pump, here are some expert recommendations:

  1. Check the pump oil level regularly: Make it a habit to inspect the oil level before each use of your pressure washer. This will help you identify any issues with the pump oil early on and prevent potential damage to the pump.
  2. Use the appropriate type of oil: Always refer to your pressure washer’s user manual to determine the ideal oil type for your pump. Using the wrong oil can lead to poor performance and damage.
  3. Change the pump oil as recommended: Most manufacturers recommend changing the pressure washer pump oil every 50-100 hours of use or at least once a year. Regular oil changes are essential for maintaining the efficiency and longevity of your pump.
  4. Get professional help if needed: If you’re unsure about any step in the process, seek help from a professional who is experienced with pressure washers. They can guide and ensure your pressure washer pump is properly maintained.

By following these expert recommendations, you can ensure that your pressure washer pump stays in optimal condition and lasts for years, making your cleaning tasks much more efficient and enjoyable.

What Type of Oil Should Be Used in a Pressure Washer Pump?

A pressure washer is essential in maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of various surfaces. To ensure the longevity and efficient operation of your pressure washer pump, it is crucial to use the appropriate type of oil.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Oil for a Pressure Washer Pump

When choosing the oil for your pressure washer, it is important to consider the following factors:

– Compatibility

Ensure that the oil you select is compatible with your pressure washer pump. While most pumps can use general-purpose, non-detergent oils, some models may have specific requirements. Consult your pump’s owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance.

– Viscosity

Viscosity is a measure of an oil’s resistance to flow. Thicker oils have higher viscosity and provide better lubrication, but they can also cause increased friction and may be difficult to pour.

In general, you should choose an oil with a viscosity appropriate for your pressure washer’s operating temperature range.

– Additives

Some oils contain additives that provide additional benefits, like rust and corrosion protection or increased anti-wear properties. Look for oils with additives designed to specifically benefit pressure washer pumps.

– Quality

Choose a high-quality oil from a reputable brandlower quality oils can lead to increased wear, shortened pump life, and reduced efficiency.

Types of Oils for Pressure Washer Pumps

Several types of oils are available for pressure washer pumps, each with advantages and disadvantages.

– Non-Detergent Oils

Non-detergent oils are the most common type used in pressure washer pumps. They provide sufficient lubrication for most applications while being less expensive than other options. However, they may not offer the same level of protection as oils with specific additives.

– Synthetic Oils

Synthetic oils are made from artificially synthesized compounds rather than natural crude oil. They offer several benefits over non-synthetic oils, including increased lubrication, longer life, and better performance at extreme temperatures.

However, synthetic oils are often more expensive than non-detergent oils.

– Semi-Synthetic Oils

Semi-synthetic oils are a blend of synthetic and non-synthetic oils, offering a balance of performance and cost. They provide better protection than non-detergent oils while being more affordable than full synthetic options.

– Detergent Oils

Detergent oils are designed to help remove contaminants from the engine’s internal components. However, they are generally not recommended for pressure washer pumps, as they can create foam and may cause problems with the pump’s seals.

Recommended Oils for Pressure Washer Pumps

Based on compatibility, viscosity, additive content, and quality, the following oils are recommended for use in pressure washer pumps:

– General-Purpose Non-Detergent Oils (SAE 30)

If your pressure washer pump does not have specific oil requirements, an affordable and widely available option is a general-purpose non-detergent SAE 30 oil. These oils provide adequate lubrication and are suitable for most applications.

– Synthetic Oils (SAE 15W-40 or SAE 10W-30)

If you’re looking for better performance and protection for your pressure washer pump, I recommend going for a full synthetic oil. SAE 15W-40 and SAE 10W-30 are common choices that provide increased lubrication and better temperature performance.

– Semi-Synthetic Oils (SAE 15W-40 or SAE 10W-30)

If you prefer a balance of cost and performance, a semi-synthetic oil like SAE 15W-40 or SAE 10W-30 is suitable. These oils offer better protection than non-detergent options while being more affordable than fully synthetic alternatives.


Choosing the right oil for your pressure washer pump is essential for maintaining its performance and longevity. Consider factors such as compatibility, viscosity, additives, and quality when making your choice.

Non-detergent, synthetic, and semi-synthetic oils are all viable options, with synthetic and semi-synthetic oils offering better protection and performance.

Always consult your pump’s owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer to ensure the oil you select is appropriate for your specific model.

Type of Oil
Non-detergent pump oil
Recommended oil for most pressure washer pumps. This oil does not contain additives that can harm the pump’s seals and bearings.
SAE 30 oil
A suitable alternative if non-detergent pump oil is unavailable. This oil is often used for small engines and compressors.
Synthetic oil
Synthetic oils such as 5W-30 or 10W-30 can be used for pressure washer pumps that operate in colder climates or for heavy-duty use.
Manufacturer’s recommended oil
Always consult the pressure washer pump’s owner’s manual to determine which oil is specifically recommended by the manufacturer.

Is it Suitable to Utilize 10W30 Oil in a Pressure Washer Pump?

Thanks to their powerful cleaning capabilities, pressure washers have become an essential tool for many homeowners and professionals. However, regular maintenance is necessary to ensure your pressure washer is running optimally.

One crucial aspect of pressure washer maintenance is using the appropriate oil in the pump. The question is, can you use 10W30 oil in a pressure washer pump?

Understanding 10W30 Oil

10W30 is a multi-viscosity motor oil that is designed to perform well under various temperature conditions. The “10W” denotes the oil’s viscosity rating when cold (winter), while “30” indicates its viscosity at normal operating temperatures.

It is widely used in automotive engines and offers some advantages over single-viscosity oils, such as improved cold-weather cranking and increased protection at higher temperatures.

Pressure Washer Pump Oil: Is 10W30 Suitable?

According to many manufacturers, using 10W30 oil in a pressure washer pump is not recommended. There are specific oils designed for pressure washer pumps, such as SAE30, a single viscosity oil, or specific pressure washer pump oil, usually a 20W50 or 30W oil.

However, some professionals and experienced users believe using 10W30 in certain cases is possible, with some conditions and precautions.

– Assessing the Pump Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Before making any decisions, it is essential to follow the recommendations of the pressure washer pump manufacturer.

These guidelines are determined based on the technical specifications and requirements of the pump, and deviating from them could potentially void the warranty or cause damage to the pump.

Always consult the user manual or contact the manufacturer to understand the specific oil requirements of your pressure washer pump.

– Temperature Considerations

If your pressure washer pump manufacturer states that 10W30 oil can be used, it is essential to consider the temperature conditions you will be operating the pressure washer in.

Using 10W30 oil may be appropriate if you use the pressure washer in colder temperatures, as it offers better viscosity at low temperatures than SAE30 oil.

However, it is worth noting that using 10W30 oil in warmer climates or high ambient temperatures may result in decreased pump performance, as this oil is not as efficient in heat dissipation as SAE30 or pressure washer pump-specific oils.

– Change Frequency Consideration

When using 10W30 oil in a pressure washer pump, be prepared to change the oil more frequently than you would with a pump-specific oil or SAE30.

This is because the higher viscosity index and other additives found in engine oils like 10W30 may not provide the same efficiency, protection, and longevity level for the pressure washer pump.

Expert Recommendations

As a pressure washer professional, I recommend:

  1. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions for your specific pressure washer pump model. This ensures your pump operates optimally and avoids potential issues that may arise from using the wrong oil.
  2. If 10W30 oil is approved by the manufacturer for use in your pressure washer pump, ensure it is high-quality, non-detergent oil. Avoid using the lowest-priced products, as they may not offer adequate protection for your pump.
  3. Keep an eye on the oil level of your pressure washer pump, especially if using 10W30 oil. Prevent potential damage by changing oil more frequently than the manufacturer’s guidelines suggest.
  4. Consider the ambient temperatures for your pressure washer operation. If you routinely use your pressure washer in colder climates, 10W30 oil may be suitable.


While 10W30 oil may be used in some pressure washer pumps, always consult the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that using this oil will not harm your pump or void the warranty.

Consider factors such as temperature conditions and the required oil change frequency when deciding whether to use 10W30 oil in your pressure washer pump.

Remember, proper maintenance and care for your pressure washer pump will go a long way in securing its longevity and optimal performance.

By choosing the right oil and following the recommended guidelines, you can get the most out of your pressure washer and enjoy a clean, well-maintained environment.

Is the Oil Used in Pressure Washer Pumps Identical to Engine Oil?

Pressure washers have become essential tools for many homeowners and professionals in the cleaning industry. Regular maintenance of these machines is crucial to ensure their longevity and optimum performance.

One vital aspect of this maintenance is the oil used in the pressure washer pump and engine.

There is a constant debate about whether pressure washer pump oil is the same as engine oil.

Pressure Washer Pump Oil What Is It?

Before we dive into the different types of oils and their comparisons, let’s first understand the role of oils in pressure washers. Pressure washer pump oil is responsible for lubricating the pump’s moving components, such as pistons and bearings.

This helps to minimize friction, reduce wear and tear, and ensure the smooth operation of the pump.

– Features and Properties of Pressure Washer Pump Oil

Pressure washer pump oil is specifically formulated to cater to the needs of high-pressure pumps. Here are some important features and properties of pump oils:

  1. Viscosity: The viscosity of pump oil should be tailored for the pressure washer pump’s high-speed operation. It must be thin enough to flow smoothly at high pressures and temperatures, avoiding the formation of deposits.
  2. Lubrication Capacity: Pump oil must provide adequate lubrication to the pump’s moving parts, minimizing wear and extending the pump’s life.
  3. Temperature Resistance: Pressure washer pumps generate a lot of heat during operation. The oil should have a high resistance to temperature changes to maintain its lubricating properties.
  4. Anti-corrosion Properties: Pump oil should have anti-corrosion additives that protect the pump’s metal components from rust and corrosion over time.

Engine Oil What Is It?

Engine oil’s primary function is to lubricate and protect the engine’s moving parts, such as gears, bearings, and camshafts. It also helps to cool and clean the engine, ensuring efficient operation and reducing wear and tear.

– Features and Properties of Engine Oil

Now that we know the primary function of engine oil, let’s take a look at some of its key features and properties:

  1. Viscosity: Engine oil should have a balanced viscosity to ensure smooth flow and maintain adequate lubrication across various engine temperatures and pressures.
  2. Lubrication Capacity: Engine oil should have excellent lubrication properties to reduce friction, wear, and tear on engine components.
  3. Thermal Stability: Since engines generate significant heat during operation, engine oil must have excellent thermal stability to protect the engine from excessive heating.
  4. Cleaning and Cooling Abilities: Engine oil should help dissipate heat away from the engine and keep it clean from debris and contaminants.

Comparing Pressure Washer Pump Oil and Engine Oil

Now that we clearly understand the features and properties of pressure washer pump and engine oil, let’s compare their similarities and differences.

– Similarities

  1. Both pump oil and engine oil primarily lubricate the moving parts of their respective machines.
  2. They both contain additives to enhance their performance in specific situations and protect the metal components from corrosion and wear.

– Differences

  1. Pressure washer pump oil is specially formulated for the unique needs of high-pressure pumps, focusing on higher viscosity and temperature requirements.
  2. Engine oil contains additional additives designed to clean and cool the engine, which is unnecessary for pressure washer pumps.
  3. The viscosity of engine oil is typically higher than that of pump oil, making it less suitable for the high-speed operation of pressure washer pumps.

Recommendations: Can Pressure Washer Pump Oil and Engine Oil be Interchanged?

Based on my expertise, we don’t recommend using engine oil as a pressure washer pump oil substitute. The differences in their properties and formulations can affect the performance of the machines and possibly shorten their lifespan.

Pump oil and engine oil are designed for different purposes and should be used in their respective applications to ensure the best performance and protection for your machines.

Always adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil type and change intervals to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your pressure washer and engine.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, pressure washer pump oil and engine oil may have common purposes, such as lubricating moving parts, but their unique features and properties make them suitable for distinctly different applications.

Mixing or interchanging these oils may affect the machines’ performance and lifespan.

To get the best results and maintain your pressure washer and engine, always use the appropriate oil type and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Is it Necessary to Use Oil in the Pump of Pressure Washers?

A pressure washer is a versatile and essential tool for any homeowner, handyman, or professional cleaner. The high-pressure stream of water can effectively clean decks, driveways, siding, vehicles, and much more.

To maintain and prolong the life of the pressure washer, it is important to understand its components and maintenance requirements. One critical component of a pressure washer is the pump, and one common question is whether or not the pump requires oil.

Different Types of Pressure Washer Pumps

There are primarily three types of pressure washer pumps:

  1. Axial Cam Pump These are the most common type of pumps found in residential pressure washers. They are a bit smaller, lighter, and less expensive than their counterpart – triplex pumps. They have a shorter lifespan of around 300-800 hours, making them more suitable for occasional use.
  2. Triplex Plunger Pump These pumps are designed for heavy-duty and commercial-grade pressure washers. They are more robust and efficient and have a longer life expectancy, ranging from 800 to 5000 hours. Triplex pumps are a bit more expensive but are well suited for more frequent use and professional pressure washing businesses.
  3. Wobble Plate Pump The least common type of pump, wobble plate pumps are primarily found in low-end, entry-level pressure washers. They are not very durable and have a low life expectancy, approximately 200-400 hours, making them suitable for infrequent and smaller cleaning tasks.

Oil Requirements of Pressure Washer Pumps

Both axial cam pumps and triplex plunger pumps require oil for proper lubrication and functioning, while wobble plate pumps are generally oil-free.

– Axial Cam Pumps

The oil needs to be added and maintained at a specific level for axial cam pumps. The oil type and capacity may vary depending on the brand and model of your pressure washer, so it is essential to refer to the user manual for proper guidance.

Most axial cam pumps use a specific type of non-detergent pump oil with a viscosity grade of 30W, although some pumps may use other types or require a specific brand of oil.

– Triplex Plunger Pumps

Triplex plunger pumps also need oil, and similar to axial cam pumps, the type and capacity may vary. It is essential to refer to the user manual for specific information on the oil requirement.

Most triplex pumps use non-detergent pump oil with a viscosity grade of 30W or, in some cases, a specific brand or synthetic oil.

– Wobble Plate Pumps

Wobble plate pumps are sealed and oil-free, which means they do not require oil for lubrication or maintenance. They are designed to be maintenance-free but have a relatively shorter life expectancy.

Oil Maintenance Tips for Pressure Washer Pumps

To keep your pressure washer pump running efficiently and prolong its life, it is essential to follow these simple oil maintenance tips:

– Check Oil Level Regularly

Before using the pressure washer, check the oil level in the pump. Most pumps have a sight glass or dipstick, allowing you to easily check the oil level. Ensure that the oil level is within the specified limits to avoid any damage to the pump.

– Change the Oil Periodically

The oil in the pump should be changed periodically to maintain proper lubrication and reduce wear and tear. The frequency of oil changes depends on the usage and type of pump.

For axial cam pumps, changing the oil after the first 50 hours of use and then every 100 hours or annually, whichever comes first is recommended.

For triplex plunger pumps, changing the oil after the first 50 hours of use and then every 200-500 hours or annually, depending on the usage and brand is advisable.

– Use the Correct Type of Oil

Always use the appropriate type of oil recommended by the manufacturer. Using the wrong oil can cause damage to the pump and may void the warranty.

– Keep the Pump Clean

Regularly clean the pump and pump oil reservoir to prevent dirt and debris from contaminating the oil, which can lead to increased wear and tear.


Proper maintenance, including oiling and lubrication, is vital for pressure washer pumps’ efficient functioning and longevity. Axial cam and triplex plunger pumps require oil, while wobble plate pumps are typically maintenance-free and do not need oil.

Always refer to the user manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the type of oil, capacity, and maintenance schedule. Your pressure washer will provide years of reliable service with proper care and maintenance.