Published on September 13th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi


Solve 5 Common Pressure Washer Problem Like a Mechanic [Diagnose in 5 Minutes]

No matter how old or brand new your pressure washer is, you have already faced some issues.

I faced a pressure issue a few months back, which I solved by myself. But, I used to call a mechanic or sent the pressure washer to service a couple of years ago. Because back then I knew nothing about troubleshooting.

This is really important for a pressure washer user to diagnose some common problems at home. No issues, I am going to walk you through with 5 common pressure washer problems in this article.

5 Common Pressure Washer Problems and How to Troubleshoot

Long story short, this is a beginner’s guide. Among the massive pressure washer problems, there are 5 problems that are like normal issues!

Water leakage and pressure problem are the most familiar issues. Let’s face them.

1. Low Pressure or No Pressure

Don’t panic. This can be for a low water supply, blocked inlet water filter, wrong nozzle, damaged unloader valve.

First, check the main water supply. Use a garden water hose that is enough in diameter. Ensure proper water supply. Then, remove the garden hose and check for any debris. Clean it up.

Replace nozzle if it was an incorrect one. If still there is no pressure, be sure you have a damaged unloader valve. Check the seal, adjust the screw.

2. Pulsing Pressure

This is a very common problem with pressure washer. And the common cause is air inside the pump. This happens when there is air in the inlet pipe or you did not purge air.

The solution is to purge air by running the trigger gun but keeping the motor off and water supply running. Check the nozzle is clogged or not. Use a needle to clean the nozzle opening.

Supply pump may suffer a damaged inlet manifold or damaged valve. In this case, there is no other option but to replace them.

Finally, you have a faulty pump, which is going to cost you some bucks.

3. Water Leaking

The only cause of this I ever faced myself is a broken or cracked seal. Or if this is something more serious, it can be a loose bolt on pump assembly.

Replace the seal or send them to warranty. Tighten pump assembly bolts properly. Check if the thermal valve is activated or not. If this is the case wait for 5/6 minutes, the valve will be back on.

This is funny, but people blame the manufacturer without checking the connection. Loose connection is a major issue in water leaking.

Another water leakage area is the pressure wand. The extra dripping water from the wand looks good to me but not a good thing to admire.

However, this issue can be addressed by connecting properly most of the time. By further checking you may find a faulty o ring. Either replace it or get a new one.

4. Machine Won’t Start

If you are running an electric pressure washer in most of the cases, the engine won’t start due to a faulty connection. Check the main fuse, main plug. Check if the voltage is sufficient.

In case of gas pressure washer, check the fuel level of the engine. Engine won’t run empty. I faced a problem earlier with choke position. This is most of the time overlooked. But be careful to keep the choke is correct position as per manual.

Spark plug is an important part in gas pressure washer. Check the wire is properly connected or the spark plug is not faulty.

Worn seals can mix oil and water together, which is never a good one to start the engine. Proper filter and oil level is also essential for gas engine.

5. Chemical or Detergent Injector Not Working

This issue is so common that sometimes people get angry with the pressure washer. I faced this problem couple of times in last two months while pressure washing car. Include other cleaning work around the house and you can face this problem now and then.

The problem is using an inappropriate nozzle. Consider changing the nozzle. Then check the soap inlet valve or soap inlet tube is clogged or not. If you find them blocked, flush them with water properly.

And another cause is, people get too excited and mix detergent mixture with way too much thick soap. Please add more water to dilute it.

Essential Tools For Quick Support

Keeping some essential tools are of great support in quick situations. The tools I mentioned below are enough to disassemble any pressure washer on the market.

  • Allen Key Set
  • Needle-nose Plier
  • Socket and Ratchet Set
  • Wrenches
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Carry Case

Quick Tips

Having the above-mentioned tools are essential if you want to solve basic problems on your own. When you start to maintain a pressure washer, store a small amount of grease. Put some grease on any leaking o ring or gasket. This will someday save the day.

Use the proper nozzle. Different nozzle provides different type of spray effect. Get to know them.

Final Thought

Pressure washer is not rocket science. This is not a crime learning how to troubleshoot a pressure washer. For some very common problems I never call a mechanic unless I am doomed! Keeping some simple tools can be a life saver. Cheers!

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About the Author

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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