So I went out yesterday to pressure wash the driveway and discovered that the pump casting had developed a significant crack, pretty much beyond simple weld repair. I can buy a new, identical pressure washer for $300. I can buy a new pump for $150, the existing B&S 6.5 HP engine is about 8 years old and probably has less than 100 hours on it so it’s still in great shape, and the rest of the unit (hose, wand and frame) is also.
The decision is saving $150 (always nice) versus paying 50% of new cost to end up with a rebuilt unit (not usually a good choice). I go through this same decision every few years when I have to decide about replacing worn out parts on my stainless gas grill, since they’re so expensive relative to the cost and benefit of just getting a new one.
The B&S engine, has it been well maintained with oil changes? Knowing of you it may be a stupid question, but that would be my decider.
Time is money. How long will it take you to fix?
To counter, how much value do you place on what you may learn new by repairing it yourself?
Oddly, I’m in about the same position right now with my pressure washer. I went to use it a week ago and it blew out some sort of seal or something because water came spraying out of places in the pump it isn’t supposed to. I rolled it back into the barn and put it on my list of stuff to look at later. When it’s a little cooler outside. I suspect I’ll be revisiting this thread when I diagnose what my problem is.
That’s kind of what drove me toward a replace versus repair option on the pump itself; taking the pump apart to weld repair the casting (a crack at the seam of a casting, which I could chase forever) and then trying to reassemble it just didn’t seem like an effective option.
I’m going to pull the pump off tonight (to Chuck’s point, for educational purposes with no risk if something goes wrong), I think that will tell me what I need to know about the difficulty in putting a new one back on.
Well I pulled the old pump off in about a half hour, 5 bolts (4 were hard to get to, of course, but not too bad) and a set screw. Still undecided on what to do.
Consumer Reports has a guideline on Repair or Replace when it comes to appliances, which kind of applies here.
I regret that I can only paraphrase it, since I don’t subscribe any more.
Basically, you depreciate the item according to its lifetime. Let’s say at your rate of usage the washer will last 20 years. 8/20 is 40% of its value is gone, so it is worth (.60 x $300) or $180.
You’re going to spend $150 to repair a $180 item?
I have doubt the pump can be welded - it is likely an aluminum casting, and that’s not a trivial weld to get right.
Can you sell the engine? If you can get $75 or $100 for it, does that change the equation?
Keep the old hose and wand as a spare - or use it and keep the brand new one as the spare.
Another game-changer: Can you find the pump cheaper somewhere? eBay and the interweb are miraculous, poke around a little and see what you get.
Last comment: try to figure out why it broke, so you can try to avoid it next time.