How to Fix Pressure Washer Pump Leaking Oil

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Pressure washers are very useful outdoor tools, so when something goes wrong it can be frustrating. If you see oil leaking from the pump, what do you do? Is it a sign of serious damage or something you can fix? To make things easier, this guide has all the information you need to know the answer.

Pressure washer pumps leak oil due to broken gaskets, pistons or seals. A worn out or faulty seal will not only leak oil but water as well. In these cases the best solution is to replace the seals immediately.

How to Repair Pressure Washer Pump Oil Leaks

There are many reasons why a pressure washer pump may leak oil, but the solution is quite straightforward. The following steps will show you how to replace the seal.

Before starting, we assume you have already purchased a replacement kit and have the necessary wrenches and tools on hand. You must only buy replacement parts recommended by the pressure washer manufacturer. So if you have a Simpson Cleaning CM61083 pressure washer, the pump has to be compatible with it.

Step 1. Take the pump apart.

Unscrew the pressure washer cover bolts. Lift the cover off and you will see the pump casing. Unfasten the bolts and screws holding the housing in place. Carefully set aside the screws and bolts for the cover and pump housing.

Step 2. Remove the plunger

Disconnect the plunger carefully. Now you have to take the casing apart. Just pound it with a hammer and that should be enough.

Step 3. Install the new oil seal kit

Refer to the oil kit instructions for specific steps. Usually the first thing you have to do is remove the screws at the rear of the pump.

The seals are encased in a brass ring. Take the ring off and remove the seals. Replace them with the new ones from your kit.

Step 4. Reassemble the pump

Once the new seals are in place, put the screws and bolts back in place. Use the reverse order which you took them apart. That is how it works with most pressure washers including the 2700 PSI A-iPower APW2700C.

Fill the pump with new oil, careful not to overfill it. Turn the pressure washer on and everything should come out fine.

Why is My Pressure Washer Pump Leaking Oil?

If you see oil dripping from your pressure washer, the normal assumption is something must have broken. That is possible, but not always the case.

It is true that most leaks occur at the crankcase and pump junction. There is usually a problem with the piston rods, crankcase or other worn out parts. In this case a fix is necessary.

Too much oil. But first you have to make sure that it is a leak. If you put too much oil, it will flow out of the pump. This does not mean it is leaking. Rather oil is overflowing because there is too much of it.

If there is too much oil, the solution is to let it run out. Or you can empty the tank and refill it, making sure the right amount is poured in this time.

Broken seal. If milky oil seeps out of the pump, it is evidence of a damaged seal. If the leak is around the seams, the outset seal is broken. Either way you have to replace these parts.

There are many reasons why seals break, the most common being wear and tear. Seals and other pump components also get damaged from lack of maintenance.

By learning how to diagnose a pressure washer pump, you can take preventive steps or replace them if required. It makes things that much easier in maintaining pressure washers.

How to Diagnose Pressure Washer Oil Leaks

Regular maintenance is necessary to prevent sudden oil or water leaks. Check the pump every few weeks or after a particularly heavy use. At the very least, inspect the pump every six months.

If there is damage, check if the pressure washer is still under warranty. If so, bring it to the repair center and they will fix it free of charge. Do not open or tinker with the washer because it might void the warranty. If the warranty has passed, you can fix the leak easily enough.

Inspect the pump. See if there is too much oil. If there is, remove the excess or refill the pump with the correct amount. If the oil level is correct, inspect the seas, pistons, plunger and other parts. Note which parts are worn out and damaged.

Buy a replacement. There are pressure washer pump seal kits available. You can also purchase replacements for the pistons and any other parts.

Before you purchase, check the owner’s manual or manufacturer website so you can get the right parts. Use the model number of your pressure washer to find compatible seals and other parts. Remove the damaged seal and install the new one as described in the section above.

How to Prevent Pump Oil Leaks

At some point you will have to replace the seal or other parts due to wear and tear. This is normal and to be expected. But good practice and maintenance will make the pump, seal and other parts last longer.

Use only manufacturer recommended products. The owner’s manual lists the type of oil you can use, as well as what replacement parts to get. You must only use the products suggested by the manufacturer.

Using another product may damage the pressure washer. If you use another type of oil for instance, the washer might not run properly. This applies to seals, gaskets, crankcases and other parts too.

Image Credit: Mark Schellhase

Lubrication. Pressure washer pumps have to be lubricated to stay in shape. You should check your owner’s manual if it recommends any specific product. Pressure washers should only be used in the right weather conditions. The temperature must not be too hot or cold. If it is too hot for instance, the seals will expand and result in fitting issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my pressure washer pump oil white?

The reason is water has somehow gotten into the oil gasket. Either the gasket is damaged or high humidity is causing the leak. A damaged oil seal or plunger can also cause this. The solution is to replace the damaged part.

What happens if there is too much oil in the pressure washer pump?

The oil will spill over, which can be confused with a leaking pump. The oil could spread throughout the pump and cause damage. This can be avoided by filling the pump with the correct amount, usually 5 oz.

What type of oil should my pressure washer use?

Majority of pressure pumps use non-detergent 30W oil, while others work with all-purpose engine oil. You should consult the manual or the official manufacturer for what kind of oil to use. In general, non-detergent oils are going to be sufficient.

How do I know if the oil pressure level is correct?

Some of the newer pressure washers have a clear window to the oil so you can easily tell. Another option is to take the cap off and check.

When do I replace pressure washer oil?

The general rule is to change oil every 50-60 hours, but it also depends on how often you use the pressure washer. Or better yet, replace the oil at the end of winter or start of spring.

Also keep in mind that you must always remove the oil if you will not use the pressure washer for a long time. Unused oil thickens and becomes viscous, spreading throughout the engine. This will cause all kinds of problems so avoid this common mistake.

Is it safe to use synthetic oil with my pressure washer?

Yes, most pressure washers will run fine with synthetic oil. Just to be safe you must always use non-detergent oil.

Can I use 10W40 oil in a pressure washer?

10W40 is used on high load equipment so it works well with pressure washers. You may want to check the owner’s manual first but it is likely safe.