High Pressure Pumps: Troubleshooting Common Issues and Solutions


High pressure pumps are specifically engineered to deliver vast amounts of water and other fluids at immense force making them reliable, behind-the-scenes workhorses in many applications. While efficiency is a key factor, several other considerations are equally important. These include the pump’s durability, compatibility with various fluids, quiet operation, compact size, and ability to deliver optimal flow and pressure rates.


However, what happens when your choice of pump starts malfunctioning, showing signs of wear and tear, or the oil starts leaking? At Bestline Manufacturing, we understand the importance of high pressure pumps in day-to-day operations and would like to share some tips for overcoming common pump issues and why these fault-finding checks are vital.


What Happens if High Pressure Pumps Lose Pressure?


Several reasons contribute to your pump losing pressure. Some of them include:

High Pressure pumps


  • Water supply – Adequate water supply is essential to the efficacy of your pump. Should it be insufficient, it can cause cavitation and ultimately pump failure. The fault may be the incoming line, which needs to be inspected for obstructions or restrictions. Alternatively, verifying the supply line pressure may be necessary. Should the fault lie with the line size, it should be increased.
  • Nozzle attachments – A worn nozzle or incorrectly sized nozzle produces less resistance which equates to lower pressure. Make sure that nozzles are regularly checked and replaced with the correct orifice for the application.
  • Worn seals – In plunger pumps, seal wear occurs due to the continuous reciprocating movement which in turn leads to lower flow and system pressure. Inspect and, if needed, replace worn seals
  • Pressure gauge – Common causes of gauge failure include over-pressurisation and pressure spikes within the system, and replacement of the gauge is critical. Inaccurate gauge readings can lead to a misinterpretation of the system’s operating condition, resulting in improper maintenance practices.


What to Do if There Are Oil and Water Leaks

  1. Water leaks

Worn seals and/or O-rings as well as cracked plungers need to be replaced immediately. O-rings are important as they separate the internal area of the pump and the external pump. When the seals and rings are worn, fluids leak internally or externally. Pressure spikes or thermal shock can cause plungers to crack which degrades performance affecting pressure and flow. Cracks in a plunger create a pathway for pumped fluids to seep in and pass through seals resulting in leaks.


  1. Oil leaks

Lubricant is used to keep the drive-end crankcase operational and worn oil seals, loose oil drainplugs, damaged oil-sight gauges and overfilled oil levels all contribute to the possible failure of the pump’s system. Regularly check oil seals for wear and tear, and make sure that drain plugs and gauges are tightly fitted. Always ensure that the volume of oil is as per the specifications of the pump model as overfilling can result in spillage or a buildup of internal pressure.


Each component of high pressure pumps is engineered to work harmoniously with the other and should one fail and not be attended to, it can lead to the operational failure of the entire pumping system.


Powering Efficiency and Durability in High-Pressure Applications


From pulsation problems to premature seal failure and knocking noises, Bestline Manufacturing commits to servicing and repairing all models of Cat Pumps as well as other high pressure pumps. As the exclusive distributor of Cat Pumps in Southern Africa, we are confident in the exceptional quality and reliability of their high pressure pumps, guaranteeing their long-lasting performance. Contact us and we will gladly supply you with the right-sized piston or plunger pump based on your specific high-pressure application.