Help with softwash pump setup

I’m trying to finish a softwash pump but having some hiccups. There’s 3 wire. A conjoined red/black wire with plug and a seperate red wire.

I have a small 12v battery that I bought to test the system. I can attach the red wire to the terminal but the black wire within the plug must be held on the negative battery terminal for the test. The red wire in the plug contacts nothing. It seems only the solo red wire and black wire work the pump. Its a 5.5gpm pump but only puts out about 1gpm.

  1. I need to know how to properly wire this (i have a larger 12v battery)
  2. Even if wired correctly Im worried the pump is just busted because its flow is so anemic when I could test it.
  3. I know I need to strip the wires and put connectors for the large battery terminals, I just want to wait until I know where both positive wires are supposed to go to.
  4. I intend to buy a 25-50’ 3/4" garden hose but for testing im using a 100’ 3/4" hose because it’s what I have. Fully unraveled.

Its an Everflo EF5500


I could be wrong but I think this plugs into somewhere over here

Then you use the + and - from that plug circled in red

Here’s mine

Old photo. You can see here I do have the “plug” part plugged in and hooked to the battery. It’s that 2nd red wire throwing me off. It looks like yours is attached to a switch. The wires I bought to connect to the plug part have an on/off switch built in.

you have that wired wrong. The little terminal you have on the battery goes on the pressure switch on the top of the pump. Look at the stock photo of the pump i posted.


This photo is mostly wired right. Now just take the blue circled terminal and plug it in near the top of the pump


Thank you! I’ll try this tomorrow. Dodging hail in Texas today.

It’s wired properly now. However it’s still only putting out maybe 2-2.5 GPM. Even after running several minutes its pushing out some air as well. Even with a small air leak (didnt teflon tape all the fittings yet), it should be roughly 5.5gpm right?

This is how much I filled the bucket up in 1 minute.

Here’s the plumbing. Last picture is air coming out of the hose when filling the bucket.

I took apart the pump to see what is causing such a low flow. I don’t see anything obvious. I’m hoping ya’ll can help. Maybe its perfectly fine and its an air leak.

The only thing I saw is that when water is placed on the valve plate assembly, only 3 of them drain quickly. The other two filled with water don’t drain at all or drain very slowly.

That pump looks fine to me. I would ensure all of your air leaks are eliminated before testing output. When I had air leaks with my setup, I wasn’t getting the output expected. If the air leaks are excessive, the pump has a hard time pulling and priming aka cavitation. I would seal all threaded connections before trying to test.

The separate red wire with the white connector attaches to the pressure switch on top of the pump housing as someone else suggested. On that pump it senses when the gun trigger is released and shuts the pump off. Typically when there is a leak, the pump doesn’t turn off when the trigger is released as pressure isn’t able to build to activate this switch. This is of course assuming that the switch is adjusted correctly.

This is what I’ve found while troubleshooting issues with my systems and hope this helps you.

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There’s your answer. Tape all the fittings then test it

12v pumps are overrated. My 5.5 puts out almost 2 GPM with 100 foot hose. That’s why it collects dust.

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I put the pump back together, taped all the threads and eliminated one of the plastic valves between the tank and the pump, shortened the draw hose a bit, reclamped it, and got a short 5/8" hose to test.

Still only getting about 3gpm. Marginally better over the 2.5 earlier. I’m stumped. Initially when I tested there were very small bubbles in the bucket when filling it with the hose submerged in the water. After removing the prepump plastic valve and taping everything the bubbles went away. However the flow is still weak. Anything I could be missing?

One minute fillup after all adjustments

Shortened the plumbing and tape it all up.

Fully submerged intake with clean filter

New Battery I bought to test the system. If it worked well I would get a marine deep cycle battery. This is fully charged too. 12V is 12V right?

Yours doesn’t flow as advertised either? Could it be a faulty pump? I’m thinking maybe the hose fittings may be too small. I think they’re 3/8. Maybe 1/2" fittings would help.

That plug on the wires is for when you’re using one of the on/off switches that has the matching plug on one end and the battery clamps on the other.

Why did you unplug the 2nd red wire. If you don’t want to use one of the pre-built switches, cut the wire right above where the plug is and, separate the red and black and splice into you incoming power wire.- suggest you use little plug connectors in case you need to replace pump in the field… Don’t touch the 2nd red wire.

with a 5.5 gpm pump at 60 psi you’re only going to get about 3.5-4 gpm. the 5.5 is flow at .like 10psi.
Also, what size is your incoming line. The filter you have on there is made for an injector line. It’s probably restricting your flow a lot.
Also, why do you have on/off valves on either side of punp?

See wiring and filter below. Pressuretek has the filters


2nd wire was unplugged from the box. I didn’t even know about the second plug at the top until the fine folk here pointed it out to me, of which I’m most appreciative. If I can’t figure something out myself or find what I need online, I come here and get help since ya’ll know the nitty gritty stuff that won’t show up on google, youtube or even in the manual.

Good point on the filter. I’ll probably up the hose diameter to 3/4" reinforced vinyl too. This was originally a pesticide pump that I purchased two years ago and swapped out the 1gpm pump for the 5.5. Never got any soft wash jobs so it’s sat in the garage until now. I was copying the design from a youtube video. There were other parts on it meant to hook up to other chemical tanks and the like and I didn’t bother unhooking everything (extra valves) unnecessary until I saw it may be causing air leaks.

I’ve seen videos of people using the same pump getting water over 2 story roofs. However even with a 3’ test hose I was getting 3gpm. I think the plumbing is probably what’s holding up the flow since I’ve ruled out everything else. May have forgotten the filter until you pointed it out, so thanks for that.

With a 5.5 and everything ideal you can get about 35 ft consistently. A 1/2" incoming should be ok for you, just get a better filter.

Regardless of the size pump use 10awg wiring minimum or 8awg for longer runs.
Use 3/4” hose for plumbing.
Use 3/4” metering valves.
Use 5/8” soft wash hose minimum.
These things will maximize flow, distance, and life of the pump (correct wiring and removing friction and flow restrictions).

A 5.5GPM pump will see 2-3gpm actual flow. A 7gpm will see 3-4gpm actual flow.

We’ve gotten a 7gpm unit to shoot 70ft once. Consistently we see 45-50ft on single 5.5/7gpm pumps. Dual 7gpm pumps we see 65ft with and true 7gpm flow.

Dual setup

Single pump setup

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The half inch hose and barb helped alot. Without a gun at the end, it put out 5gpm. Half a gallon per minute shy of the rating. With gun attached I filled up about 4 gallons in 1 minute. Thats running through 100’ of 3/4" outlet hose. I can should about 38" out but the stream is messy. Any gun recommendations appreciated.

@TexasPressureWashing : You said to use 3/4" for the plumbing. Would that give greater inlet flow even if the pump port’s are 1/2"? Couldn’t find a 3/4" barb to 1/2" male npt at lowes so I just got the 1/2" hose and barb. If the bigger one works, i’ll size it up.

Output with no gun attached.

Output with the gun