How High-Pressure Water Pumps Work


A water pump moves water by displacing it via mechanical or physical action. High-pressure water pumps perform this function, but releases the water at very high pressure.


  • High-pressure water pumps, also referred to as pressure washers, contain interior motors which generate energy used to drive water through pipes or other channels at an accelerated speed. The water forces its way through a nozzle, or enclosed device that controls the water’s direction as it exits. The nozzle’s size, typically much smaller than the size of the channel, results in considerable pressure, enabling the water to exit the nozzle’s outlet with considerable force and speed. A gun-style, trigger switch attached to the nozzle allows the operator to manage the speed, pressure and spray diameter of the water.

Chemical Injections

  • Some types of high-pressure water pumps allow the injection of chemical detergents into the water stream for added cleaning capabilities. A downstream injector allows the detergent to be injected after the water exits the pump. Upstream injectors inject the detergent chemicals prior to the water entering the pump.


  • Common applications for high-pressure pumps include residential and commercial exterior wall cleaning. High-pressure pumps are also used to remove dust, mud, dirt, grime and other sediment from various objects and surfaces such as patios, driveways and cars.

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  • Photo Credit pump image by Aleksander Nordaas from
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