Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Make Your High-Pressure Pump Station Last Longer by Using the 80/80 Rule

CarWash Collegeā„¢ Tip of the Month

August 31, 2012

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p align="justify"> In an effort to maximize High-Pressure Equipment, many operators will max out the pressure & volume that their support pump is capable of. For example, the frequently used Wanner H25 pump is rated to pump 20gpm at 1000psi. While it is acceptable to demand this maximum volume & pressure from this pump, there are several items to consider, such as:

  1. Volume: Are you using fresh water, or reclaim water?

    Most high-pressure applications are the single highest consumer of water in your tunnel. In order to reduce fresh water consumption costs, many will use their reclaim water in their high-pressure applications. Be mindful though, as reclaim water will have particles in it that will reem your nozzle tip orifices prematurely (the amount and severity that the nozzles wear depends heavily upon the reclaim water quality). If you've maxed out the volume on your pump from day one, as the tip orifices open up due to wear, you'll quickly go beyond the volume capacity of your pump, causing premature wear and/or failure of your pump.

  2. Pressure: What style nozzle are you using?

    Many manufacturers provide zero degree, or zero degree aerated nozzles in order to provide maximum water distance & impingement while reducing required pressure. Usually, the use of this style of nozzle instead of a fan-jet meg style or turbo style nozzle will allow the pressure setting on the high-pressure pump to be reduced from the maximum setting without losing the necessary impingement for effective cleaning.

Ideally, we can achieve effective cleaning without having to max out our volume or pressure capacities. By reducing the volume required to approximately 80% of the pumps capacity, we can greatly extend the life of the pump. For example, if we had an H25 Single Pumping Station to support a set of Spinners which have 10 nozzles, we could size the tips at 1.79gpm each (or Size 04). At 800psi, this would equate to 17.9gpm total usage:

  • 17.9gpm is 89.5% of the 20gpm volume capacity of the pump
  • 800psi is 80% of 1000psi pressure capacity of the pump

Following this rule along with the manufacturer's recommended maintence will help ensure a long life from your pump and increase your return on investment.


Bryan Hage has been a guest instructor at CarWash College since its inception in 2006 and is the National Accounts Manager for Sonny's The CarWash Factory. Prior to joining Sonny's in 2004, Bryan spent seven years in car wash operations concentrating on recruiting and training for the largest full service car wash chain in the US. Bryan can be reached a BHage@Sonnysdirect.com.

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