20 Common Pressure Washer Problems & Repairing Techniques

Best Electric Pressure Washer

Sometimes even the best pressure washers can break down. This can be extremely frustrating especially if your pressure washer breaks down while in use. Sometimes the problems are minor and can be fixed at home in just a few minutes, but other times the problems are too complicated to fix at home. In this case, you need to take your pressure washer to service centers that specialize in pressure washer repair. We have compiled a list of common problems that affect most pressure washers.

Our professionals have also included ways to troubleshoot your pressure washer to determine the cause of the problem to so you can fix it.

We guided you earlier, with the pressure washer buying guide and suggested the Electric Power Washers in the market. Now, this article will help you tackle some of the common problems that occur in a pressure washer in a day to day use and some pressure washer repairing techniques.

20 Common Pressure Washer Repairs

Pressure Related Problems

1. Low pressure: If you are experiencing low pressure, it means that there’s insufficient water inlet or you are not using the correct size nozzles. To fix this, use the correct size nozzles. Low pressure might be caused by a kinked or blocked hose. Un-kink and unblock the garden hose for maximum water flow.

2. No pressure: If there’s no pressure at all in your washer, check whether the pump inlet valve and un-loader valve are faulty. If the inlet valve and un-loader valve are clogged, try to clean them but if that does not work, simply replace them with new valves.

3. Pulsating pressure: If you are experiencing a variation in water pressure, it is likely that your pump is faulty or has sucked up too much air. If it has sucked up too much air, dispel the air by squeezing the trigger when the machine is turned off.

4. Spiking pressure: This is caused by a poorly calibrated un-loader valve. Simply adjust the un-loader valve as instructed in the washer’s manual to get normal pressure.

5. Pressure drops: This problem is caused by a blocked nozzle. Simply unblock the nozzles using a sharp needle.

6. Pressure washer not cleaning surfaces: This probably means you are using a wrong nozzle. Try using a high-pressure nozzle to get maximum pressure.

Water Leakage Problems

7. Pump leakage: If your pump is leaking it means one of two things. Either the pressure seals in your pump are broken or damaged or the thermal valve is activated. If the seals are broken, simply replace them and if the thermal valve has been activated, simply switch off the washer and wait for it to cool down before you use it again.

8. Garden hose leaking: Simply tighten the garden hose to prevent it from leaking.

9. Spray wand or connections leaking: It is possible the O-rings inside the hose connections are broken. If this is the case, replace the O-rings or replace the spray wand.

Gas Powered Pressure Washer Problems

10. The engine will not ignite: If your washer’s engine does not ignite, it means it has no gas. Simply add the gas to ignite. It could also mean the spark plugs are faulty in which case you should replace them.

11. Engine stalls while in use: A dirty oil filter or low oil level may cause a running engine to stall. Simply install a new air filter and increase the oil to correct this problem.

12. The engine is producing insufficient power: If your engine is not running at the correct RPMs, it could produce insufficient power. If this is the case, detach the pump and calibrate the RPMs to match the engine specifications.

13. Oil leakage: Replace the worn out seals that are causing the oil to spill.

14. Water is mixing with oil: This means the pistons are either worn out or broken. When water mixes with oil in the engine, it causes the engine to knock, so it’s advisable to replace the engine (under warranty) or simply buy a new pressure washer.

Electric Pressure Washer Problems

15. Washer won’t ignite: If the connections are inserted properly, but the motor will not start, it means the motor might be faulty so you need to replace it.

16. Motor stalls while in use: This happens whenever you’re experiencing low/fluctuating voltage. Correct the problem before the voltage damages your pressure washer.

Other common problems

17. Faulty detergent injector: If the detergent injector is not working properly, it is possible the soap inlet filter, or the soap inlet valve are clogged. If the soap inlet filter is clogged, remove it and flush it with water to unclog it. If the soap inlet valve is clogged, use a sharp needle to un-stick the ball valve. Also, check whether the detergent solution is too dense to pass through the detergent injector pump.

18. Pressure fluctuations: If the pressure is fluctuating, check the unloader valve. It is possible that the unloader valve is broken or not properly installed. Replace or install it properly and remove dirt if any.

19. Excess noise: It can be due to no oil present in the engine or pump. Check for that and add some oil to the machine. Sometimes it makes noise because of water intake is blocked. Check for that and clear it or replace it accordingly.

20. Oil Leakage: This one is quite common. And this is due to loose bolts or due to damaged seals. Look for loose bolts/fittings and tighten them properly. If you see any seal broken claim your warranty, do not try to open it.

How to fix 6 General Pressure Washer Problems

pressure washer repairYou just bought a new pressure washer but it stopped working after a few weeks. Don’t panic. It’s not a big deal. Here are some common problems which occur while using a pressure washer and some real quick tips and tricks to handle those problems.

1. Pressure Washer Won’t Start

pressure washer no on
Here are some of the reasons why your gas-powered pressure washer won’t start:

  • Worn out spark plugs: If the spark plug is damaged or has accumulated heavy carbon build up at its electrode, it is time to replace it. You can also use a spark plug tester to establish if the spark plug is defective. If it doesn’t produce a spark, you should replace it.
  • Clogged carburetor: If fuel is left in a washer for a long time, some of its components evaporate leaving a denser substance behind, which clogs the carburetor and keeps the engine from igniting. Use a carburetor cleaner to eliminate the clogged fuel substances.
  • Defective ignition coil: An ignition coil is defective if it keeps sending voltage to the plugs while the engine is still running. Use a tester to determine if the ignition coil is defective and then replace it if it’s indeed defective.
  • Sheered flywheel key: A flywheel key is a small piece of metal that’s mounted on the crankshaft and is used to turn the flywheel. Remove the flywheel from the engine and inspect it to see if the flywheel key is broken. If it’s broken, then it’s time to replace it.

2. Pressure Washer Runs Rough

rough runningHere are some of the common reasons why your pressure washer runs rough;

  • Clogged carburetor: You need to clean the carburetor with a carburetor cleaner. If this does not work, try rebuilding the carburetor or replacing it with a new carburetor.
  • Clogged fuel filter: You need to drain the left-over fuel in the tank and replace the fuel filter to get a smoother operation.
  • Clogged gas cap: When the gas cap is clogged, it does not allow air into the gas tank, and that causes a massive buildup of pressure. When this pressure exceeds the pressure in the engine area, the engine will run poorly. Unclog the gas cap or replace it to get a smoothly running engine.
  • Clogged air filter: Simply replace a clogged air filter to allow enough air into the engine.

3. Pressure Washer Starts Then Stalls

start and stallsHere are some of the reasons why your carburetor stalls when in use;

  • Clogged carburetor: Try cleaning the carburetor. If this does not work, try rebuilding it or replacing the carburetor.
  • Clogged fuel filter: Try cleaning the fuel filter to supply the engine with enough fuel. If this does not work, try replacing it.
  • Clogged air filter: If your air filter is clogged, it might cause the engine to stall. But since you cannot clean it, the only solution is to replace it with a new filter.
  • Clogged spark arrestor: A clogged spark arrestor can cause an engine to stall so remove it and clean it with a brush. You can also replace it if cleaning fails.

4. Pressure Washer Leaking Water

Three potential problems could cause your pressure washer to start leaking water. They are:

  • Leaky pump assembly: If you have an old pressure washer, it may be time to replace the pump assembly but if your washer is relatively new, simply replace the pump seals to prevent water from leaking.
  • Leaky pump: A pump leaks as a result of wear in the pump seals which lets water seep out. You can sort this problem by replacing the pump seal or buying a new pump altogether if your washer is old.
  • Thermal release valve: This valve operates by allowing hot water to exit the washer if the water becomes excessively hot. So when you let your pressure washer to run idle, it generates heat which in turn heats the water inside the pump. When this happens, the thermal release valve opens to dispel the excessively hot water.

5. Pressure Washer Soap Injector Not Working

A chemical injection kit contains the mechanism that injects chemicals/detergent into the water to produce a soapy solution. When it is not working, you need to replace it with a new soap injector.

6. Pressure Washer Has No Pressure

Pressure Washer No PressureIf your pressure washer has lost all its pressure, it means there could be two potential problems. They are:

  • Faulty pump assembly: If your pump assembly is faulty, the washer will struggle to produce any pressure. Therefore, you need to rebuild the pressure assembly to ensure that no pressure is being lost due to the damaged or worn out seals. These seals help maintain the high-pressure levels within the pump, and if they are damaged or worn out, they let some of the pressure escape.
  • Faulty pump: If your pump is faulty, it means it will struggle to produce enough pressure. If the pump has a fixable problem, you don’t need to replace it, but if the problem is unfixable, it may be time to replace it.

Instructions How To Correct The Tricky Issues

Here are four sure ways to fix the tricky issues you’re having with your pressure washer at home. These steps should take you 10 minutes or less to complete.

  • #Check water supply: Simply open the water supply valve to ensure it is not clogged or blocked. If clogged, unblock it to ensure there’s enough water flow in the pump.
  • #Check hose for kinks: It can be frustrating to set up your pressure washer correctly only to realize much later on, that the problem lies within the inlet hose. If the inlet hose has kinks, it will not deliver water to the pressure and you’ll end up feeling frustrated. Therefore, always check for kinks in the hose to ensure this does not happen to you.
  • #Release air from a system: When a lot of air has been built up in the pump, it may prevent your pressure washer from operating at optimal levels. To make sure that air does not build up in the pressure washer always make sure the garden hose is turned on and is connected to the washer. This helps eliminate all the air that had built up in the washer’s pump.
  • #Ensure correct nozzle and nozzle not clogged: Nozzles collect debris over time which might lead to a decreased water flow and increased pressure within the system. When this occurs, use a needle to clear the passageway of the nozzles to remove any debris for maximum water flow within the system.

Final Words

As you can see, it is easy to troubleshoot and diagnose the issues in your pressure washer. Luckily, most problems are easy to fix even for people who are not handy with tools. Whenever you experience a minor problem with your pressure washer, simply revert to this pressure washer repair guide to diagnose the problem before taking it to a service center or repair store.

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