Common Pressure Washer Problems

14 November 2019

Anyone who owns a pressure washer here in Land O´Lakes knows that it will eventually need maintenance. When you regularly pressure wash portions of your home, problems can typically develop when you turn it on after you have had the unit for several years. While it is a handy tool to clean your home or business, it will only do so when it operates properly. The following are some of the most common problems that you will encounter that will require pressure washer repair.

Low Pressure

If your power washer will not spray water at a sufficient PSI, the first thing you should do is check the machine's water supply. Most pressure washers need a continual supply of about four liters per minute for normal operation. if the water supply is below this level, check for kinks or blockages in the hose. If you find none, detach the hose and examine the water inlet valve and look for debris in this area that could restrict water flow. Also, make sure to check that your water source has a sufficient supply of water. Sources such as wells can vary in the amount of water pressure that they can provide.

Some pressure washers have a pressure regulator instead of an unloader valve. If yours has one, check to see if the regulator is worn out.

Another common cause of low water pressure is an incorrect or a worn nozzle, if you are not using the recommended nozzle for the job at hand. Worn nozzles cause a gradual loss in water pressure over time as the holes that release the water widen microscopically after every use. Replace old nozzles and wands when you feel the pressure has begun to diminish.

Other problems that can cause low water pressure include:

  • Improperly set engine RPM (the number of full turns the pressure washer engine makes each minute)
  • A broken or worn plunger
  • A belt that has begun to slip
  • Installing the wrong size hose on your unit

The Pressure Washer is Leaking

Pessure washers have a number of seals, all of which can fail and necessitate pressure washer repair in Land O´Lakes. Seals are distributed throughout a pressure washing unit and any one of them can fail when you turn it on. Leaks usually take at least a season to develop, so if you have had your pressure washer for one year, begin checking the seals every six months to ensure that they are not worn out or cracked and quickly replace those that are compromised. Make sure that you check your seals at least twice per year and replace the ones that appear to be worn out. Note that oil leaks are also common. The most common ones experiencing problems are:

  • Inlet seals
  • Piston seals
  • Outlet seals

Worn packing or and broken or scored plungers can also cause leaks. This often occurs are heavy and frequent pressure washing here in Land O´Lakes. The high humidity and heat that we experience in Florida can also cause your pressure washer to start leaking. The expansion and contraction caused by humidity changes are especially hard on pressure washers and can cause oil and water to mix.

The Pressure Washer Won't Start

Your pressure washer has fuel and oil in it, yet it won't start. Several reasons can cause your pressure washer to refuse to work and you'll need to go through them one by one to determine what the cause is.

Primer Pump

If you haven't used the pressure washer in a few months, you will need to prime the engine about six to seven times on the first start-up and drop down to two to three times. You should be able to get a good start after three to four pulls. If you don't, or if the engine starts and then sputters, get the pump checked.

Insufficient Electric Supply

Many power washers run on electricity. If your electric pressure washer won't start, check your power supply. Older buildings may only be wried for a 60 amp supply. If you have several appliances running at the same time as the pressure washer, you may not have enough current to start your unit. Take some of the load off your system and try again. You may also want to check your electrical panel and make sure that everything is in good working order.

Other possible reasons

If you haven't used your gas pressure washer in a while and it won't start, the reason could be as simple as the gas has gone bad. Drain the gas tank and place new gas in it and try starting it again.

Try these other solutions if your unit still won't start:

  • Spark Plug. Inspect it for signs of wear or damage such as a cracked insulator, a burned or damaged electrode or heavy carbon buildup. Use a spark plug tester to determine if yours is defective
  • Carburetor. When fuel is left in the pressure for long periods, the carburetor may develop buildup that needs to be cleaned.
  • Ignition coils send voltage to the spark plug. Before inspecting this part, make sure your spark plus is working properly
  • Damaged flywheel key. This small part fits into the crankshaft and engages with the flywheel. This part is a failsafe that helps protect your engine by breaking in half when the pressure washer hits a hard object. Replacing it will do the trick.

Edwin's Pressure Washing Land O Lakes Can Do the Job

Other problems such as a pressure washer that runs roughly, pulses or suddenly shuts off can necessitate repair and delay cleaning. Whether you have a one-time job because your pressure washing unit isn't working or you want regular services, our staff can take care of all of your needs. Contact us today at 1-813-841-5024 or use our convenient online form to get your free quote.