How Do You Troubleshoot Pressure Washer Problems?


Pressure washing is fun and way too much effective than scrubbing for the whole day. But, things are interesting until you get grounded by a pressure washer fault.

In most of the cases, the manufacturer manual should get you covered. But, in reality, no one wishes to get engaged in pressure washer troubleshooting. No worries, I have got you covered. If by any chance our old pressure washer is exhibiting many of the issues found below, then maybe it is time for you to get a new one and let the old one rest.

Whatever kind the pressure washer is, you are going to face these 5 common problems (hopefully). Let’s check them out.

Water Pressure Problems

  • The most common fault people face is the low pressure of the water jet. In most of the cases, lack of inlet supply water is the cause. Check the water supply. If the hose is clogged, unclog it. Use a healthy diameter of hose pipe.
  • Using an incorrect nozzle can end up with a similar result. Ensure the use of correct pressure washer nozzle.
  • Check the inlet water filter for any kind of debris.
  • From low pressure, it can lead to no pressure. This can be due to a damaged unloader valve. To get through this, adjust the valve and check for any damaged seals.
  • Another common problem is pulsing pressure. You get high then low pressure due to this reason. A damaged pump can lead to this problem. But the common reason behind this is air in the pump. You need to turn off the pump and release all the pressure. Check if the needle is clogged or not. Finally, you may need to change the pump if it is damaged.
  • Unloader valve problem can end up with pressure related issues. Check the unloader valve if nothing works.

Water Leaking

  • If you see water leaking from the pump check the seal first. Replace the seal regarding the condition of it. Another possible cause is loose bolts which can be resolved by just tightening them.
  • Thermal valve activates when the pump gets too hot. If this is the case, wait 5-10 minutes, let it cool down and start over.
  • Replace or properly fit the garden hose supply connection if this is the leakage place.
  • Leakage from spray wand can be caused either by an o-ring fault or improper connection. Replace them.

Electric Pressure Washer Problems

  • Why do so many people complains that the machine does not start? Please check the breaker of main supply or check whether it is properly plugged in or not. If this is not the case you might need to check the warranty paper.
  • Low voltage is another issue. Check the range.

Gas Pressure Washer Problems

  • Please stop working so hard if the machine does not start. The machine might be out of gas. You can do a few other things to be sure. Move the choke to the correct position, squeeze the trigger gun to release trapped pressure or replace the faulty spark plug.
  • Check engine oil and filter oil level.
  • Any oil leakage from the engine is a definitive indication of the broken seal. Please check and replace if needed.

Chemical/Detergent and Noise Related Problems

  • Detergent mixture thickness is important for a proper wash. Dilute with water if the thickness is too much.
  • Remove any kind of debris that is blocking the soap inlet valve.
  • Always use the black colored soap nozzle.
  • Pressure washer generates noise in three cases. If there is no water supply, if there is not engine oil or there is no oil in the pump. All of the scenarios are a victim of extreme friction. So do take care of this issues.

Now, you have gone through the possible causes and troubleshooting tips. To run these test you need some essential tools in the garage. Here’s a list of tools that can save your day.

  • Hex/Allen Keys
  • Screwdrivers
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Wrenches
  • Sockets and Ratchet
  • Hammer
  • Utility Knife
  • A carry case

My friend, who lives just over a few blocks from my house use a pressure washer around his house. But never had any tool for troubleshooting at home.

What do you expect to happen with him? Definitely, a broken party. Do you want to be like him or you learn to troubleshoot like a pro?

Final Thought

We plan for a month to pressure wash a driveway or siding or even our cars. This is just not ethical that pressure washer gives up in the middle of the washing. In addition to that, if you have nothing to fix the washer on the spot, you are grounded.

But, these situations can be turned only by having some simple knowledge and a set of tools in your garage.

You do not have to be a genius for this. If you actually face this kind of problems what you can do on the first place, is to check out the user manual. Most of the manufacturer has everything covered in that manual. Or you can check the lists on this article step by step.