April 9, 2018

Direct Drive vs. Belt Drive Pressure Washers

We get this question a lot. If you’re on the market for a new pressure washer then it is certainly a good question to ask. My first response is always, “What will you be using the equipment for? And how often?” Are you going to use the machine daily, weekly or monthly? Will it be used for multiple hours at a time? These are key factors to determining the best purchase for your needs. Here are some need-to-know differences of Direct Drive and Belt Drive units:

Direct Drive machines are more compact, and will cost less up front, but if you plan to use the regularly then it might not be the best option for you. The pump on a Direct Drive pressure washer has a hollow shaft that slides directly onto the drive shaft of the motor or engine. Therefore, the pump will be turning at the same RPM’s as the motor (typically 3450 RPM for a gas engine, or 1725-3450 for electric motors) which reduces the life of the pump, especially from heavy use. The vibration from the motor is also transferring directly to the pump which causes more “wear and tear” over time. These units are ideal for occasional use, so if you plan to use your washer daily, or even weekly, then saving a few hundred dollars up front will not pay off in the end.

Belt Drive pressure washers are setup so that the pump and motor or engine is mounted to a pulley system that is driven by one or more belts. This allows the pump to turn at a much lower RPM which keeps the pump cooler and extends its lifespan. This system helps isolate the pump from the heat of the engine or motor, and the belts and pulleys help absorb the vibration from the motor which reduces pump fatigue. Belt drive pumps also have a larger oil capacity which helps to keep the pump cooler. These units are designed for heavy, everyday use. The initial cost is higher, but you will save time and money down the road if you intend to use your washer regularly.

Still have questions? Call or stop by: 843-556-6506 / 834 Dupont Rd. Charleston, SC


Energen Carolina specializes in Pressure Washer Machine Sales, Service & Supplies. We also offer off-site servicing & low-rate delivery to most parts of SC. Stop by our newly updated showroom to find the perfect machine to fit your needs!

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