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Electric Pressure Washer Troubleshooting & How-to Guide

Electric Pressure Washer Troubleshooting & How-to Guide

Electric pressure washers are a game-changer when cleaning many different types of surfaces. They are easy to use, but they are also easy to maintain. However, they may break down from time to time. Keep reading to learn how to troubleshoot an electric pressure washer.

How to Use an Electric Pressure Washer

Wash siding, concrete floors, decks, and even your car faster and easier. Electric pressure washers will clean almost anything outdoors, and they work so quickly and dramatically that they’re fun. Learn how to use one safely and efficiently.

Which Nozzle is Best for Your Job?

While the size of the pressure washer’s engine determines the machine’s overall power, the nozzle you choose determines the angle of the water stream. The angle is important because it affects what the water stream can do. A narrow-angle spray is more powerful than a large-angle spray.

Nozzle Color Coding

Luckily, pressure washer nozzles are universally color-coded.

Red Nozzles

A red tip is the narrowest angle—zero degrees. This tip creates a water stream that can do a lot of damage, so be careful. Don’t use a red-tipped nozzle up close on any surface.

Yellow Nozzles

Yellow tips create a spray with a 15-degree angle. Reach for this nozzle when you need to pressure wash concrete around your house.

Green Nozzles

A green tip produces a 25-degree spray. This works well for all-purpose household pressure washing. This is the nozzle to use if it’s time to wash your car or clean mildew that’s accumulated on your patio furniture or deck.

White Nozzles

Perhaps the most user-friendly nozzle, a white tip produces a 40-degree spray. Use the white tip if you’re planning an exterior home cleaning day. A white-tipped nozzle is suitable for windows and siding.

Black Nozzles

Producing a spray angle of 65 degrees, a black nozzle is the gentlest. However, this spray is so light that it typically won’t remove dirt or stains. So instead, use this nozzle when you need to wet a surface.

Pressure Washer Tips: Operating procedures

  • Clean any debris from the inlet filter.
  • Connect any accessories (like this chemical injector).
  • Run water through the washer for one minute to prime the system and remove any air.
  • Squeeze the spray wand trigger to bleed water pressure.

All pressure washers seem intimidating the first time you use them. Have the rental center or tool retailer instruct you on its use, and follow these pressure washer tips and guidelines:

Water supply

Ensure your water supply can deliver the gallons per minute specified for your machine. For example, if your pressure washer needs 2-1/2 GPM, how long does it take your garden hose to fill a 5-gallon pail. The garden hose must be 50 ft. long or less and have a 3/4-in. Inside diameter, with standard 3/4-in. Hose fittings for connecting to the washer’s inlet.

To ensure that water circulates unobstructed through the system, check the water inlet filter or screen and clean it of debris. Also, make sure the garden and pressure hoses are kink-free.

Before starting the washer, water is imperative to flow through the washer and out the spray wand. Follow these steps:

Tighten all hose connections so no air can enter the lines.

Set the spray wand to a low- or no-pressure setting to prevent recoil, or kickback, when the washer is started. Electric washers and gas washers with variable nozzles should be on low-pressure, wide fan settings. Gas washers with individual nozzle tips should have their nozzle tip removed.

Completely turn on the water faucet at the house. Squeeze the spray wand trigger to prime the pump and purge air from the system.

If it’s a gas unit, steady it when pulling the starter cord by bracing your foot against a wheel. Let the washer run for a minute to warm up. To avoid damaging the pump: Never run a washer longer than three to five minutes (depending on the model) while the trigger is off.

With the washer running and the trigger locked “off,” adjust pressure and spray settings, or insert nozzle tips in the spray wand. Now the washer is ready to use.

Power cleaning techniques

Wash siding to prepare it for painting. Begin with the wand’s nozzle four ft. from the house and slowly move it closer until you achieve the desired cleaning effect. Next, grip the spray wand with two hands, direct the water stream at a 45-degree angle to the siding, and constantly move the water stream.

Pressure washing removes dirt and grime, but it isn’t designed to strip paint or kill mildew on siding or decks. First, test the pressure setting and spray pattern on an inconspicuous place for the best cleaning results without damaging any surfaces. When washing house siding, follow these rules:

Lay tarps around the house perimeter to protect plants and collect paint chips blown off during washing. Houses built before 1977 may have lead paint chips that will have to be collected and properly disposed of at a hazardous waste facility.

Don’t hold the spray wand “head on” to the siding. This drives dirt into the surface rather than washing it away. Instead, hold the wand at a 45-degree angle to the siding and at a distance that yields the best cleaning results without gouging wood or denting metal or vinyl.

Work small areas at a time. To prevent streaks, start washing from the bottom and work up. For even cleaning, use long, overlapping strokes. Rinse the siding by working from the top down.

Avoid driving water up behind the siding by keeping the spray stream level. Instead, use an extension spray wand for reaching higher places. Be careful when using a lance extension. The “kickback” can throw it into contact with power lines.

Don’t spray windows. The high pressure can break them.

Cleaning with detergents

Clean cars and other items with an accessory brush and detergent. First rinse the area with water, then switch to a detergent wash and finish with a rinse.

Detergents and accessory brushes increase cleaning effectiveness while reducing cleaning time. When renting or buying a pressure washer, inquire what accessories and detergents are available for it. To prevent damage to the internal parts, never run bleach in the machine or use detergents not designated for use in pressure washers.

Detergents can only be run through pressure washers using a wide spray pattern. In addition, electric power washers require a low-pressure setting on the spray wand. Follow your machine’s instructions for using detergents, diluting the detergent and (if necessary) hooking up a chemical injector.

First, loosen the dirt with plain water under high pressure using a medium spray pattern for the best cleaning results. Next, apply the detergent using a wide nozzle setting and let the detergent sit a few minutes to penetrate the dirt.

Keep the surface wet to avoid possible discoloration or damage by the detergent. Finish by resetting the nozzle to a medium pattern (or changing the nozzle) and rinsing with plain water. Finally, switch detergents by draining the first detergent from the pressure washer, rinsing the system with plain water, and introducing the next detergent.

WARNING

  • Pressure washers deliver extreme pressure and can cause serious injuries if misused. For safety, follow these guidelines:
  • Don’t point the pressure washer at people or pets or put your hand in front of the nozzle. The pressurized water stream could penetrate your skin or cause serious cuts.
  • Wear safety glasses when operating the washer.
  • Don’t use pressure washers while working from ladders. Once you squeeze the trigger, the powerful recoil on the spray wand can throw you off balance and off the ladder.
  • Maintain a minimum 6-ft. distance when spraying water around power lines, electrical masts or outlets.
  • Before uncoupling hoses, stop the machine, turn the water faucet off and squeeze the spray wand trigger to release all water pressure in the system.
  • Engage the safety lock on the trigger when you’re not actually washing and when changing nozzle tips.

Pressure and Volume Controls

The power of a particular model is determined by the pressure it develops, in pounds per square inch, and the amount of water it sprays, in gallons per minute. The more power the machine develops, the more likely it is to have a control that regulates pressure.

It’s usually a knob that is attached to the water output port, and you reduce pressure by turning it clockwise. Dialing back the pressure also reduces the volume of the spray to turn a powerful sprayer into one that you can safely use to clean around windows and other fragile surfaces.

Spray Tips

Pressure washers come supplied with a selection of tips, and using the right tip is as important as selecting the proper pressure. The tip controls the width of the spray pattern, and a narrow pattern is potentially destructive, especially if the pressure is dialed up.

Tips are usually color-coded, with red denoting a zero-degree tip, which you should use sparingly. The widest aperture is usually about 45 degrees and colored white; it’s best for cleaning siding. In between are green and sometimes blue for scrubbing decking and concrete. The tip usually snaps or screws onto the end of the wand.

Tip Distance

Although it isn’t an adjustment you make to the machine, the distance you hold the tip from the surface you’re cleaning is important. You should maintain a 12-inch distance for general cleaning, but you may find it necessary to reduce that to get debris out from cracks or scrub the black coating off of decking boards.

When using a wide tip, you can safely hold the wand closer to the surface, but you shouldn’t hold it any closer than 2 inches no matter which tip you’re using. The high-pressure spray can damage wood, break plastic or glass and chip concrete.

Cleaning with Detergent

Some power washers come with a feature that allows you to feed detergent into the spray, and when you’re using this feature, you may need to adjust the pressure to its lowest setting. These machines sometimes come with a special nozzle that you have to install when using the detergent function.

After spraying the detergent mixture, you usually let it work for a few minutes, turn up the pressure or change the nozzle and power wash at a higher pressure. Consult your owner’s manual if you aren’t sure how to use this feature.

How to use a pressure washer

Here are some simple steps to follow for your first pressure washer use:

Operate the unit in a wide-open space, not indoors. Make sure that there are no people or animals nearby as they can be harmed by this device! Get familiar with how to operate it and what all of the parts do. Read through instructions before you turn it on.

  • Fill the pressure washer with water. Make sure to use cold water as it will be better for the environment and won’t harm plants or animals.
  • Attach a hose to the pressure washer, then attach the other end of that hose to your water source (a garden hose connection, faucet, etc).
  • Determine what type of nozzle you want to use. The options are generally determined by how dirty the surface is that you’re cleaning (i.e., light-duty vs heavy duty). You’ll need to decide if you want an adjustable pattern sprayer, rotary powerhead, or in some cases hydro force units could be necessary too.
  • Attach the hose end to your pressure washer and turn it on at its lowest setting, letting the water run down and over the surface you’re cleaning. Then, gradually increase pressure to the desired pressure needed.
  • The types of motions you should do with the movement of the pressure washer depends on what type of nozzle you’re using. For example, for rotary powerheads, you’ll want to use the left and right motions while for an adjustable pattern sprayer, it’s best to go back and forth or up and down depending on what pressure is needed.
  • The distance away from the object you are spraying is also something to consider. For example, if you’re using a pressure washer to clean your car, it’s best to be close and do more back-and-forth-type motions. On other things you’re spraying with your pressure washer, you’ll want to be farther away from the object, such as a house or fence, and use less pressure.

What types of detergent can I use in a pressure washer?

  • Dish soap is a great option to deodorize items that are hard to remove odors from such as laundry or garbage cans. You need to mix the dish soap with water and fill your pressure washer with this mixture. Or if your pressure washer comes with a soap bottle, fill the bottle with soap and use the foam attachment.
  • For lighter duty jobs, you can use just plain detergent instead of a more powerful substance like Dawn or degreaser which could damage certain surfaces or materials. You’ll want to follow the instructions on labels for dilution ratios as well when adding any type of detergent.
  • For tough jobs, you’ll want to find a solution with degreasing qualities such as Dawn or dish soap mixed in water. This will break down stains and grease very easily without damaging the surface.
  • Bleach can also be mixed with water in your pressure washer so you’re able to clean tough stains on concrete oil spills.

Note: check your pressure washer manual before you use any type of soap or cleaner to make sure this won’t ruin your unit.

Why is my electric pressure washer not working?

The table below show causes and solutions for this problem.

  • Electric outlet is faulty – Check main fuse, check plug
  • The pressure washer is not plugged in – Plug in
  • Faulty motor- repair the washer

How do I reset my electric pressure washer?

To reset the pressure washer, you can unplug it and let it reboot before you plug it back on. Alternatively, you can press the reset button and hold it down for a few seconds.

An electric pressure washer not turning on

Below are some reasons why your pressure washer is not turning on;

Note: Switch off the power source before initiating the repair procedure, you must unplug the device from the power source. 

Check the device properly before troubleshooting the issue, check the device and check if it is indeed broken. In some cases, a pressure washer does not get damaged, just get clogged. In such a situation, check the nozzle and make sure that there is water in the water supply line. Inspect leaks and if the electric pressure washer is broken, follow the further steps.

Check o-rings

The pressure hose couplers have o-rings. If these rings are damaged, replace them. If these are deteriorated, use a screwdriver or an ice pick, puncture o-rings, pull them using nose pliers and remove them.

 Install new o-rings

Buy a set of O-rings and replace the old ones with the new sets. Push the new set with screwdrivers and check with fingers whether these are securely placed or not.

Open water pump

By removing screws, open the fill cap on the water pump. Inspect the oil level and check if it is just above the inside parts of the water pump. If the oil level is not enough, refill it up to the proper level. 

If the pump is not working properly, remove it from the pressure washer and replace the deteriorated seals and o-rings.

Check the fuse

If you have done all the repairs and replacements and your electric pressure washer is still not working, it may have something to do with the fuse. First, inspect the fuse if it is blown or not. Then, replace the blown fuse with a new one and test the device again.

Seek professional help

If your pressure washer emits a burning smell, the internal parts of it may have been damaged. In this case, you need a professional to repair it.

How to Fix a Broken Electric Pressure Washer

Follow these steps to fix your broken electric pressure washer;

Step 1 – Turn off the Power Source

Unplug the device from the power source before initiating the repair. this will reduce the risk of getting electrocuted when troubleshooting and working on the pressure washer.

Step 2 – Check if the Device is Really Broken

Troubleshoot the device first to find out if it is indeed broken. In some instances, the pressure washer may not be broken but clogged. Check the nozzle if it is clogged or not. Make sure that there is water on the water supply line. Check for leaks as well as it may lower the water pressure. If the electric pressure washer is indeed broken, proceed to the following steps.

Step 3 – Check the O-rings

The pressure hose couplers have O-rings that may be damaged. Check the O-rings to determine if they need replacing. If the O-rings have deteriorated, use a screwdriver or an ice pick to puncture and remove the old O-rings. Pull the O-rings using long nose pliers.

Step 4 – Install New O-rings

Purchase a set of new O-rings from a supply store and replace the old ones with the new set. Use a screwdriver to push the new set in place and use a finger to check if they are secured in place.

Step 5 – Open the Water Pump

Open the fill cap on the water pump by removing the screws. Check if the oil level is just above the inside parts of the water pump. If the water pump does not have enough oil, refill it until it reaches the proper level.

If the pump is not working properly, have it removed from the pressure washer and replace any deteriorated seals and o-rings.

Step 6 – Check the Fuse

If certain repairs and replacements have been done and the electric pressure washer still does not work, it may have something to do with the fuse. Check the fuse if it is blown or not. Replace the blown fuse with a new one and test the device again.

Step 7 – Seek Professional Help

If the pressure washer emits a burning smell, the internal parts of the washer may have been damaged by a sudden surge of electricity. If this is the case, a professional needs to check the pressure washer.

Electric pressure washer running but no pressure

The most common reason for a pressure washer not building pressure is that it is not getting enough water. This can be due to a hose problem, leakage, or blockage. Another reason can be air can get trapped inside the pressure washer pump or a problem with the nozzle. Less common is a problem with the pump or the engine.

Low pressure and Pulsating

Pulsating low pressure feels like a hard vibration of a spray gun during pressure washing, also known as cavitation. This pulsating low pressure mainly occurs due to a pump malfunction. The cylinder of your pump does not produce enough pressure and misfires, resulting in a decrease in pressure.

Solution: Check the pump

You can diagnose the problem in the pump by first checking the head of the pump. If there is no visible damage, then check the valve of your machine for any dirt blockage. Also, check the inline filter because with time, dirt and debris gather inside the inline filter, and they increase to a significant level after a couple of washings. As a result, your pressure washer runs with very low pressure.

After clearing the dirt and debris from the pump valve, move towards the seals and check for any excessive wear. Then inspect the piston seals and if there is any water leakage. If there is, it means that your seals are damaged, which is the reason for the low pressure.

Unsteady low pressure

Unsteady low pressure is basically the water coming out of the nozzle with the pressure lower than normal. The pressure may also suddenly change from low to high. This unsteady low pressure can be due to some fault with the water intake system or when air gets trapped in the intake line.

Solution: Check the pump inlet

In order to diagnose the reason behind this low water pressure, first, you need to check for any air leakage. To do this, make sure that your water source is supplying enough water for the pump inlet to be completely immersed below the water level. Also, ensure that there is no air entering the intake line from the chemical injector and that it is closed completely.

Check the hose points for any cracks by giving them a firm shake. Weak or cracked hose barbs will bend or break. Then inspect the suction lines for any cracks or heat damage. Finally, remove the feed line from the water source and attach it to the garden hose. The hose pressure will reveal any leaks, so you do not need to run the pressure washer.

Steady low pressure

Steady low pressure basically happens when a pressure washer is producing a lower pressure than usual. There can be many reasons behind this problem, and you can diagnose them by following the steps below mentioned.

Solution: Straighten Intake lines

Pump starvation is one of the main reasons behind low water pressure from the machine’s outlet. Ensure that the intake lines are not kinked or clogged and supply enough water to the pump. Also, if your hose is damaged, it will not produce enough GPM for the pressure washer to run at normal pressure.

Solution: Replace loose belt

If the belt of your machine is loose or slipping, then it results in a decrease in the pressure of water. You can fix this problem by tightening or replacing the belt.

Why doesn’t my pressure washer have any pressure?

In general, a damaged pump, engine problem, and motor malfunction are the most common reasons behind your pressure washer having no pressure. Besides these problems, using hot water in a cold water pump or a loosened or damaged spark plug can also lead to no pressure in your pressure washer.

If your pressure washer produces low or minimum pressure, then it could mean that some components of your pressure washer are not working correctly. Instead of hiring an expert, you can troubleshoot your machine yourself.

Hot water in a cold water pump

Another reason for the missing pressure in your pressure washer can be pump damage. There are pressure washers that can be used with cold water only. If these pressure washer pumps are exposed to hot water, it can damage the pump, which causes low pressure in your washer. If this is the case, probably replacing the pressure washer pump is the only solution.

Motor malfunction

In an electric pressure washer, the electric motor is the source that powers the pump works that generate the high water pressure. If your motor malfunctions, the pressure washer ends up losing pressure. To check that the motor of your electric pressure washer is working fine, push the trigger a couple of times. If your pressure washer produces high and low pressure, then your motor is fine.

How do you fix low pressure on a pressure washer?

The first step for fixing the low pressure of your pressure washer is changing its oil and cleaning the filter. If the pressure of your washer has still not increased, then check the water supply hose and adjust the unloader valve to your desired pressure. Many times the nozzle of the pressure washer is worn out, which causes low pressure. You can fix this problem by replacing the nozzle of your pressure washer.

Maintain your pressure washer

The first solution to fixing the low pressure on your pressure washer is to maintain it properly. Each machine needs maintenance to make it last longer. This applies both to gas and electric pressure washers. Gas pressure washers require a lot more maintenance than their electric cousin.

To fix the low pressure of your washer, you should give proper attention to the maintenance of your engine and pump and for gas pressure washers also the engine. Check and change the oil at regular intervals. The filter of your pressure washer can catch a lot of dust particles during cleaning. This can result over time in lower pressure. Check and clean the inlet filter of your washer regularly. Also, check if the nozzle you use wear and tear. If you have an additional one, use that one and see if there is a difference.

Fix the hose

If your pressure washer is still producing low pressure after checking and changing the oil, filters and cleaning the nozzle, the next step is to check the hose and the water supply going into the machine. Most pressure washers need at least a water supply of 0.9 gallons per minute.

According to most experts, the recommended diameter of the supply hose should be ¾ inches to maintain the correct pressure. If the washer’s pressure is still low with a ¾ inch diameter hose, check for any blockage in the hose. Disconnect the hose from the inlet valve, and check if the supply is sufficient. Also, remove dust and debris from the inside of the inlet filter.

Replace the nozzle

Another solution to fix low pressure is to replace the nozzle at the end of the trigger wand. Sometimes, the nozzle becomes worn and this results in a unusual spraying pattern of water. This worn out nozzle can also be the cause of the low pressure because of the holes in it that widen with time. As these holes widen, more water flows through the nozzle and decreases the pressure of the water. Nozzles will wear over time with regular use, and will need to be replaced. It is recommended that you have a number of nozzles on hand. This allows you to easily change the nozzle if you see any decrease in pressure, and to test other nozzles to check if the pressure is decreased due to the nozzle or not.

Adjust the unloader valve

The main function of the unloader valve is to divert the water flow from the pump towards the bypass. This unloader valve can sometimes be the reason for low water pressure.

If replacing the nozzle did not make a difference, we have to check the unloader valve. Adjust it in small steps to increase the pressure of the pressure washer. To ensure a safe pressure, connect a pressure gauge when adjusting the unloader valve. During the unloader valve adjustment, ensure that the machine is running and pull the trigger to allow a flow of water through the machine. If adjusting did not help, the valve could be broken. In that case, it needs to be replaced.

Electric pressure washer keeps turning on and off

Follow the steps below to fix an electric pressure washer that keeps repeatedly turning on and off;

Step 1: Preparation before repair

Before repairing your electric pressure washer, make sure all of its connections are fully dry and off the wet ground. Make sure your hands and feet are dry. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and sturdy boots.

Never touch any electrical plug with your wet hands. Make sure your kids and pets are away. When you buy replacement parts to replace the damaged components of your electric pressure washer, select only the approved spare parts.

First of all, you must check its water inlet screen. It is located near the connection to the garden hose. If the water inlet screen of your electric pressure washer is dusty, clean it at once and if it is broken, you must replace it with a new one. You can check here for water inlet screens.

If your electric pressure washer has an inline screen attached to its wand extension, check it to find out if it is clogged. Also, clean it with water on a regular basis. You must also replace it when it gets damaged.

Now, carefully inspect and lubricate the spray tip, spray gun, and the wand extension of your electric pressure washer. You must be sure that all the connections, especially the connection to the high-pressure hose are safe and secure. You must also check the spray gun trigger and its lock, if they are both out of order, replace both of them at once. Check here for a spray gun trigger.

You must then very carefully examine the high-pressure hose for any bulges, cracks, cuts, holes, gaps, or leaks. You must carefully and closely follow the manufacturer’s replacement instructions to replace the high-pressure hose if you find any kind of damage in it. Always buy an approved one. Check here for a high-pressure hose.

Next, very carefully check the detergent siphoning tube of your electric pressure washer. If you find it fully clogged, then clean it out properly. If the detergent system of your electric pressure washer is equipped with a filter, check it out also to learn its condition. Check here for a new Detergent Siphoning tube.

Before connecting the garden hose to your electric pressure washer, flush it out completely. Now, look at your adjustable or interchangeable nozzles, clear out the clogs if you find any. Check the O-rings in the high-pressure hose, spray gun, and water inlet of your electric pressure washer, replace them if necessary. Check here for high-pressure O-rings.

Step 2: Check the power cable and wall plug

Check the extension cord that you use with your pressure washer. Maybe there is a loose connection or a broken cable fault. You can use another household item like a lamp to check if everything is ok. Move all parts of the cable to make sure that there is no part that has a broken cable fault.

If the cable is ok, check the wall plug. Make sure that there is no fault when you move the cable and plug. If the pressure washer has a removable connector check it as well.

If your machine uses a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) Plug check if is working. They often break down. If you get a green light on the plug and on the pressure washer machine it should be ok. Check here for a GFCI plug.

Step 3: Check the unloader valve

Your electric pressure washer’s unloader valve is the mechanism that can divert the flow of the water in your pump system into a loop as soon as you let go of the pressure washer’s trigger. The unloader valve lets the water to stay under pressure when it is not flowing out of its nozzle. It will not allow the pressure to build too high inside the pump.

The structure of the unloader valve lets the water to keep moving inside your pump system. The next time you pull its trigger, the spray has a consistent pressure. The stalling of the engine of your electric pressure washer may be because of the bad unloader valve, which is due to the pressure inside the pump becoming greater than your engine’s power to rotate your pump.

If your electric pressure washer is turning on and off, a bad unloader valve is probably the reason. In almost all of the latest models, it is located on the top of the electric pressure washer’s pump system. Most times, it has a black handle on top of it.

When the piston in the unloader valve fails to shift to divert the flow of the water while it is not coming out of its nozzle, the pressure inside your pump system will be allowed to develop to the point where it is dangerous so the engine of your electric pressure washer will turn off. To solve this irritating problem, you must carefully inspect and immediately replace the old unloader valve with a new one. Check here for unloader valves.

Electric pressure washer won’t start

When an electric pressure washer won’t start, there’s usually a problem with power. Most of them are easy to fix, but some require you to open your electrical panel. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you may want to contact an electrician.

The outlet has no power.

Plug the power cord into a different outlet. If that one works, there’s a problem with the first outlet. You may be able to reset it (if it’s a GFCI outlet), otherwise it should be replaced. If the second outlet also didn’t work, there’s a problem with the circuit. Open your electrical panel and look for a tripped breaker. Flip the breaker OFF, then ON.

The GFCI on the power cord tripped.

Plug the power cord into a working outlet. Press the reset button on the GFCI. If it won’t reset, check the power cord for damage. If it’s damaged, it should be replaced. If not, there may be a fault in the circuit. Contact an electrician.

The thermal overload on the motor tripped.

Wait a few minutes for the motor to cool down. Press the overload reset button. If it won’t reset, wait a little longer and try again. If it still won’t reset after it’s cool, the motor should be replaced. Contact the manufacturer about warranty.

The circuit isn’t powerful enough.

Connect a multimeter to the outlet you want to use. Test the amperage. If the reading is below the required amperage of the motor, the circuit needs more power (or you need a less powerful pressure washer). Contact an electrician.

Electric pressure washer won’t start with water on

Here are the main reasons why your pressure washer won’t start with water on;

1. Connected To The Wrong Type Of Outlet

One reason the pressure washer won’t start is that the outlet doesn’t provide enough power. Most pressure washers require 12 to 14 amps of power. Not all outlets can provide that amount. The result is an engine that doesn’t start or sputters.

Solution: Find The Right Outlet

Look for an outlet that uses three prongs. These outlets deliver higher power than those with only two prongs. Once it has enough power, the pressure washer will start.

2. Faulty Capacitor

You can tell if the capacitor on your pressure washer is going bad by listening to the motor. If the engine doesn’t start but you can hear a humming sound, then it’s a failed capacitor. Without it, the engine won’t start.

Solution: Replace The Capacitor

You can test the capacitor to see if it’s working. If not, then replace it. Once you have a new capacitor in place, the engine can start.

3. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Trips The Circuit Breaker

All electric power washers use grounding to keep the unit and the user safe. The problem with the grounding is that it can trip your circuit breaker. Since a pressure washer requires a large amount of power to work, you may blow a circuit if you have other appliances running, too. A tripped circuit means you can’t get power to your pressure washer. It won’t start even if you have the water on.

Solution: Reduce Power Usage In The Home

To avoid the pressure washer tripping the circuit breaker, you need to ration your power usage. Any time you intend to use the washer, turn off the other appliances in your home. Wait to run the dishwasher or washing machine. With fewer high-powered appliances in use, your pressure washer won’t trip the circuit breaker and can start.

4. You’re Using The Wrong Extension Cord

Electric pressure washers work most effectively on extension cords shorter than 25 feet. Anything longer than that won’t be able to deliver enough power to the washer. It can make the engine fail to start.

Solution: Switch To A 12-Gauge Wire Extension Cord

If you need a longer extension cord, then it needs to be a 12-gauge wire cord at the very least. The 12-gauge can handle delivering the power a pressure washer needs over a long distance. With the right extension cord attached to it, the pressure washer will start.

5. Clogged Air Line

Failing to prime your pressure washer can cause the air line to clog. A clog can also form at any time. With a clog in the air line, the pressure washer won’t start as a safety precaution. Prime the washer to get it working again.

Solution: Prime The Air Line

Attach the inlet to a water source. Then double-check that the pressure washer is in its off mode. Pull the trigger and let water and air pass through it. This process can move air through the tube and trigger to get rid of clogs. You can prevent clogs by cleaning the nozzle with vinegar and a needle.

6. Blown Fuse

The final reason your electric pressure washer won’t start even if the water is on is due to a blown fuse. Older pressure washers wear down over time. If one of its fuses blows or becomes damaged, then the engine won’t start.

Solution: Replace The Fuse

All you need to do to fix the problem is replace the fuse. Consult the pressure washer’s manual to buy the right kind of fuse for your washer. With a new fuse installed, the engine can start.

Pressure Washer Won’t Start

If your pressure washer won’t start, this guide will walk you through how to get it running. It could be a mechanical problem (like the carburetor is clogged) or just a matter of incorrect setup (like there’s no power), but either way, we’ll show you all the possible causes and how to fix them.

Sometimes, a pressure washer won’t start because of a simple setup problem. Review the steps below to make sure you’re setting up correctly. If you’re doing everything right and it’s still not starting, keep reading to see other problems.

  • Set your pressure washer on a flat surface.
  • Connect your garden hose to the pump’s water inlet.
  • Connect the high pressure hose to the pump’s water outlet.
  • Connect the other end of the high pressure hose to the spray gun.
  • Select a nozzle and connect it to the tip of the spray gun.
  • Turn on your water supply (the garden hose).
  • Hold the trigger on the spray gun until water flow is consistent.

For electric, all you need to do is plug in the power cord and press the power button.

Below are some reasons why your electric pressure washer wont start;

The spark plug is fouled.

Remove the spark plug wire to expose the spark plug. Use a socket wrench to remove the spark plug from the engine. Check the condition of the electrode (the tip). If it’s dirty, it should be cleaned with a soft wire brush, or you can replace it with a new one for about $5.

The carburetor is clogged.

Remove the air filter to expose the carburetor. Detach the fuel line, throttle linkage and anything else connected to the carburetor (varies by engine). Remove the carburetor from the engine. Use a socket wrench to remove the bowl. Check the condition of everything. If it’s dirty, it should be disassembled and cleaned with a carb cleaner, or you can replace it with a new one for about $25.

The ignition coil is bad.

Remove the starter housing to expose the ignition coil. Disconnect the wiring harness and connect an ignition coil tester. Try to start the engine. If you can’t see a strong spark in the tester, the ignition coil should be replaced. A new one is about $20.

The battery is dead.

Remove the positive terminal from the battery. Connect a multimeter to the battery. Test the voltage. If the reading is below the recommended voltage for your battery, it should be charged, or you can replace it with a new one for about $40.

Electric pressure washer won’t start

When an electric pressure washer won’t start, there’s usually a problem with power. Most of them are easy to fix, but some require you to open your electrical panel. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, you may want to contact an electrician.

The outlet has no power.

Plug the power cord into a different outlet. If that one works, there’s a problem with the first outlet. You may be able to reset it (if it’s a GFCI outlet), otherwise it should be replaced. If the second outlet also didn’t work, there’s a problem with the circuit. Open your electrical panel and look for a tripped breaker. Flip the breaker OFF, then ON.

The GFCI on the power cord tripped.

Plug the power cord into a working outlet. Press the reset button on the GFCI. If it won’t reset, check the power cord for damage. If it’s damaged, it should be replaced. If not, there may be a fault in the circuit. Contact an electrician.

The thermal overload on the motor tripped.

Wait a few minutes for the motor to cool down. Press the overload reset button. If it won’t reset, wait a little longer and try again. If it still won’t reset after it’s cool, the motor should be replaced. Contact the manufacturer about warranty.

The circuit isn’t powerful enough.

Connect a multi-meter to the outlet you want to use. Test the amperage. If the reading is below the required amperage of the motor, the circuit needs more power (or you need a less powerful pressure washer). Contact an electrician.

Electric pressure washer motor keeps running when trigger released

These are the reasons why your pressure washer is not turning off;

Unloader Valve

If you are unable to shut off the pressure from the wand, there may be an issue with the unloader valve that is stopping it from switching into bypass mode when the trigger wand is released.

The unloader valve is designed to respond to the spike in pressure created when the trigger wand is released, and to divert the flow of water coming from the pump to bypass the pressure hose and flow back into the intake end of the pump. If the unloader valve fails to switch into bypass mode, water may continue to flow out of the trigger wand.

This may also cause damage to the wand. If you are unable to shut off the pressure from your power washer, stop the engine and discontinue use immediately. The unloader valve should be removed and possibly replaced if found to be malfunctioning. The inability to stop the flow of high-pressure water from the wand can be dangerous and should be fixed before continuing to use the machine.

Trigger Wand

 If you cannot shut off the water from the trigger wand and there are no known issues with the unloader valve, there is likely an issue with the wand itself. The trigger wand has a mechanism inside of it so that when the trigger is released, the flow of water is blocked. The spike in pressure created prompts the unloader valve to switch into bypass mode.

If the seal that stops the flow of water through the wand is broken, water may continuously flow from the nozzle, as the unloader valve will not switch into bypass mode as it should. If you suspect your trigger wand is causing this issue, it should be replaced. Trigger wands can wear over time from the pressure they withstand, but should last for around 250 hours of operation.

If bleach is regularly used in the power washer, this can cause internal parts of the wand to dry and crack, leading it to leak much more quickly. Any issues with the trigger wand should be addressed immediately, as the ability to shut off the flow of high-pressure water from the nozzle is very important and could be dangerous if lost.

Electric pressure washer not staying on

An electric pressure washer comes with a water sensor. This sensor is responsible for turning the engine on whenever it senses water moving. Usually, this sensor shouldn’t have any problem working when you turn the machine on.

If, however, you turn the pressure washer on, then it works for just a few minutes then stops, then there is a problem with the unloader valve. It probably could have failed.

Whenever the unloader valve fails, it doesn’t recirculate water back to the pump inlet. That’s why the pressure washer’s engine turns on then off after a couple of minutes.

That results in a lot of pressure building up within your electric pressure washer. The engine will thus have difficulties running the pump hence cutting out. You, therefore, need to check the valves regularly.

Steps You Need to Take to Stop Your Pressure Washer Cutting Out

Step 1

Makes sure your hands are dry. Also, check whether its connections are dry and off any wet ground. You can now put on your rubber gloves.

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Step 2

Unplug the electric pressure washer from the power supply. You don’t want any power accidents as you work.

Step 3

Check for any clogging in the air filter. Clogging might lead to a buildup of pressure in the washer causing it to cut out. If it isn’t clogged, then proceed to the next step.

Step 4

Check if the unloader valve is in good condition. As we have already said, a defective unloader valve is undoubtedly the culprit if your machine keeps cutting out.

In later models of pressure washers, the unloader valve is at the top of the machine’s pumping system. The valve usually has a black handle.

If the unloader valve has an issue, its piston doesn’t shift in time to divert the water flow when it’s not coming out of the nozzle. The pressure inside the pump will thus increase to a point where the engine will turn off or cut out.

To eliminate the problem, you’ll have to replace the bad unloader valve with a better/newer valve.

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Bonus Tips to Help Fix the Issue

If everything is okay with your pressure washer, but it still turns on then cuts out, resetting the machine might get it working again.

With the power off, press the spray gun’s trigger to generate a steady stream of water before turning on the machine.

Pressure can build up inside the electric pressure washer whenever you turn it on but forget to press the release nozzle immediately. Such a situation might cause the appliance to turn off after some time.

Pressing the release nozzle will enable you to solve the issue. When you press it, it causes the pressure switch to disengage, turning on the pump.

Note: You should make a point of regularly checking your unloader valve. In this way, you will avoid any issues catching you by surprise. Therefore, check regularly and replace bad unloader valves, if any.

Before attempting to do any repairs, make sure you go through the manufacturer’s manual. Most times the manual will offer you quick troubleshooting actions for your electric pressure washer

Why is my electric pressure washer not building up pressure?

Below is a summary of common pressure problems and possible solutions;

Water Pressure Problems
ProblemCauseHow to Fix
Low pressureInsufficient inlet water supplyUnkink garden hose, ensure full water pressure coming from tap, use large enough diameter garden hose (see manual)
Blocked inlet water filterRemove garden hose connection and remove debris
None or incorrect nozzleEnsure correct nozzle being used
No pressureDamaged unloader valveAdjust unloader screw, check for damaged seals/springs
Damaged pump inlet valves/manifoldDisassemble pump and replace/clean components of inlet manifold
Pulsing pressure (high then low)Damaged pump inlet valves/manifoldDisassemble pump and replace/clean components of inlet manifold
Faulty pumpReplace pump
Pump sucking airTurn off machine (but not water supply) and release pressure by squeezing trigger gun
Obstructed nozzle, water inlet filter or gun/spray wandUse needle to clear nozzle, fresh water to flush water inlet and vinegar to clear any deposits in gun/wand
Spiking pressurePoorly calibrated unloader valveAdjust unloader to proper pressure as per manual
Pressure drops after a few seconds useNozzle blockedClear nozzle with needle
Issues with unloader valveRemove unloader and clean/repair
Pressure washer isn’t cleaning the surfaceUsing wrong nozzleSwitch to higher pressure spray nozzle
Water Leaking
ProblemCauseHow to Fix
Water leaking from pumpSeals broken, cracked or wornReturn and replace under warranty
Loose bolts on pump assemblyTighten bolts to ensure pump casing properly sealed together
Thermal valve activatedWait 5 minutes before using (it will de-activate once cool enough)
Water leaking from garden hose connectionBroken or improper connectionConnect properly
Broken rubber washerReplace
Water leaking from spray wand or connectionsBroken O-ring inside hose connectionReplace O-ring or return hose for new
Not properly connectedConnect properly
Electric Pressure Washer Problems
ProblemCauseHow to Fix
Machine won’t startElectric outlet is faultyCheck main fuse, check plug
Not plugged inPlug in
Faulty motorReturn under warranty
Motor stops running while in useLow voltageCheck voltage is within motor specified range
Other Common Problems
ProblemCauseHow to Fix
Chemical/detergent injector not workingUsing wrong nozzleInsert black soaping nozzle on wand
Soap tube inlet filter clogged (hose end that sits in soap bottle)Flush with fresh water
Soap inlet valve is clogged or blocked (pump side of tube)Remove hose and use small Allen key to push through hole to remove debris/unstick the ball valve
Detergent mixture is too thickAdd more water to dilute
Irregular bypass causing pressure fluctuations (sometimes) after useWorn or broken unloader valve seals, springs or other componentsRemove and replace
Unloader valve not properly installedRemove and install correctly, properly seating the valve at the bottom of the pump housing
Water leaking from unloader valveReplace worn or broken seals and re-install unloader valve to specification
Dirt in unloaderRemove and clean
Excessive noiseWater intake is blockedCheck and clean or replace
Not enough oil in engineCheck and add oil
Not enough oil in pumpDisassemble and check (if possible) and add oil, otherwise return under warranty
Oil leaking from pumpLoose bolts/fittingCheck and tighten
Damaged parts like seals or pistonsIf comfortable disassemble to check, clean and replace, otherwise return under warranty

Can An Electric Pressure Washer Overheat?

Yes. Pressure washers overheat, and it is not a good thing. With this, the next question that comes to mind is what causes overheating in power washers? Well, based on our experience, it can happen because of the following reasons:

  • Hot water: When pumping hot water into pressure washers designed to use cold water.
  • A mechanical problem in the heating system may result in excessive heat build-up in the unit.
  • Failure to pump enough water into the unit. You should pump water into a pressure washing unit as per GPM requirements. Always check the pump rating for directions.
  • Time: Leaving your power washing running for more than five minutes is likely to cause overheating, something that causes damage to the pump.
  • Wrong use: Other causes of overheating in pressure washers are, improperly installed burner nozzle and wrongly set unloader.
  • Thermostat: In some cases, a thermostat in pressure washers may develop problems, resulting in unprecedented overheating. They don’t overheat but they can have problems from overuse. An electric pressure washer cannot overheat in the most common way a gas-powered pressure washer can. The danger of a gas-powered pressure washer overheating is when the motor is running and water is not being sprayed. The water overheats in the pump with the motor continuously running. Electric pressure washers overheat from ambient temperature and extended use.

How to keep the pump on your pressure washer from overheating?

There are two basic types of water pumps in pressure washers. They both do basically the same thing by pressurizing water that then can be forced through the nozzle for excellent cleaning power. Water can’t be compressed like air so it makes for an efficient cleaning tool. Electric pressure washers stop the motor from over pressurizing water in the pump with a cutoff switch. When you are not pulling the trigger on the wand, the motor is not running.

Electric pressure washers have an added benefit over gas-powered pressure washers by stopping the motor from running when you are not spraying water. The way electric pressure washers can overheat is by continued use. When you are doing a large job on a hot day, the continued use can cause the pump and motor to heat up without a break.

How Do I Know If My Pressure Washer Is Too Hot?

If the power washer seems to not be working properly, it could be too hot. If you have been running it for a long time without a break on a hot day and the washer starts to cavitate, sputter because of air bubbles, or not perform as well, it might be time to take a quick break and look at a few things.

  • Stop spraying and turn off the power washer.
  • You can CAREFULLY feel the motor and pump to see how hot it might be.
  • If the power washer had been sitting in the sun, move it into the shade for a little while.
  • If you can use the power washer with the unit in the shade, that will help as well.
  • Make sure your hose is still supplying enough water.

Why Does My Electric Pressure Washer Keep Cutting Out?

Electric pressure washers have an automatic shut off switch attached to the pump. When the pump is pressurized and no water is flowing, the switch stops the motor from pumping more water into it. Compared to a gas-powered pressure washer, this prevents the water pump from overheating by having the same water sitting in the pump with the motor continuously running and warming up.

If your pressure washer is cutting out, the likely culprit is air in the pump. When air is present in the pump, it can compress and prevents the water from being pressurized. You may have had an air bubble in your hose that finally reached the pump and is causing the problem.

To fix this, turn off the pressure washer and run through your startup process again. It is important to spray water through the system prior to turning it on to get any of the remaining air in the pump or hose.

An electric pressure washer can overheat, but not in the same way that a gas unit will. Electric pressure washers automatically shut down the motor when the wand trigger is closed. The main culprit that will cause your pressure washer to overheat is running it too long in direct sunlight on a hot day. Your pressure washer can get overworked just like a person can.

Pressure Washer Dos and Don’ts

Pressure washers make big cleaning jobs that look impossible much more manageable. They are safe for a wide range of structures but effective at cleaning even stubborn areas of dirt and debris. To get the most out of any kind of pressure washer, however, you must keep in mind some basic safety tips. These include some basics dos and don’ts of operation. If you plan on using a pressure washer for cleaning a building structure or outdoor space, then these tips will help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.

DO Test the Power of the Pressure Washer Before You Use It

Pressure washers can be extremely powerful and operate with much more force than anticipated. For example, did you know that the force of the water coming from the nozzle is usually strong enough to cut your skin? Many people underestimate the force of the pressure washer and end up struggling to control it when they first turn it on. Before you begin to use the pressure washer to clean, test it out on the lowest setting and slowly ramp up the settings until you reach the level you plan to use to clean. This will help you get better control of the wand.

DON’T Point the Nozzle Towards People or Animals

You should always make sure that you’ve got plenty of space to use the pressure washer without the nozzle pointing anywhere near people or animals. If a person or pet walks into the zone in which you’re operating the washer, turn it off until they have left the area. Spraying people and pets with the pressure washer can cause serious injuries. So, be very mindful of the direction in which the nozzle is spraying. This applies even when you’re testing it on lower settings.

DON’T Let the Machine Run Too Long Without Pulling the Trigger

Pressure washers operate under pressure, and that pressure needs to be released by pulling the trigger. If you let the machine run for two minutes or longer without spraying water, then you could damage the pump.

DO Perform a Spot Test Before Using the Pressure Washer on the Surface You’re Cleaning

Sometimes, nozzles on pressure washers get clogged or damaged. When this occurs, the stream of water will not come out evenly, and it could cause damage to the surface. Similarly, the pressure may be too great for the surface you’re cleaning, which can lead to etching. A spot test in an inconspicuous area will help to ensure that you don’t inadvertently damage the area you want to clean. You should perform this spot test every time you change nozzle tips.

DON’T Pressure Wash Windows

Pressure washing windows can break the glass in older windows. Newer windows that are double or triple-paned may stand up to pressure. Even still, pressure washing can still break the seal on the window. This will allow air to get in and out of the home and may cause your windows to leak. It’s best to clean around windows and then come back to clean the glass by hand if you’re pressure washing a building.

DO Wear Proper Safety Equipment

When you’re operating a pressure washer, it’s important to wear safety goggle to protect your eyes. Gloves may also help you secure a tight grip on the wand without getting blisters. Wearing long sleeves and pants will protect your skin from the spray. Some people also prefer to wear a mask to cover their faces. You should always wear non-slip shoes, and if you are pressuring washing on a roof, you should be anchored.

How long can you run an electric pressure washer?

It really depends on your current climate and model of the pressure washer. Keep in mind if you are cleaning something with a long hose, the hose is out in the sun and heating up over a long distance, the cold water coming from your house is warming up even prior to getting to your pressure washer. Leaving the pressure washer sitting in the sun will warm up the motor and other components, on a hot day, this can cause damage even to the best quality equipment.

You should not run a pressure washer (except professional equipment) for more than five minutes. While the duration may vary from model to model, it should be between 3 and 5 minutes. Leaving your pressure washer running for more than five minutes can result in overheating.

We bet you don’t want to end up spending so much money repairing a grounded machine because of carelessness. While some situations such as receiving a phone call in the middle of a cleaning routine are unavoidable, the fact that they will distract your attention means you should not use a pressure washer in by-pass. Shut down the unit before attending to anything else lest the pump gets damaged.

Most importantly, take note of the gallons per unit rating (GPM) of your pressure washer to ensure there is sufficient flow of water through the unit. If, for example, the unit has a pump rating of 5 gallons per minute, ensure water supply is 5.0 GMP or more.

Anything less will result in cavitations, a phenomenon where a trigger gun develops a pressure surge. In worse conditions, permanent damage to the pressure washer may occur. The catch is that these machines need constant water supply to work efficiently. While water is not a lubricant, ensuring there is enough flow through a pressure washing unit guards against overheating.

Common Pressure-Washer Parts To Fix “No Or Low Pressure”

Below are the main reasons why your electric pressure washer has low pressure;

Wrong Hose Type

If your power washer is not spraying water at high pressure, the first and most obvious thing to check is the water supply going into the machine. Most washers require a continuous water supply of about 4L per minute to operate normally. Many pressure washer manufacturers recommend using a ¾” diameter hose instead of the much more common 5/8″ diameter hose to supply water to the pressure washer.

Check for any kinks or blockages in your hose. If there are none, detach the hose from the inlet valve on the washer and check to see if the water output is sufficient and that there is no debris caught in the inlet filter screen that may be restricting the flow of water into the washer. Some water sources, like a well, can vary in their output over long periods of time.

It is important to ensure that the water supply going into the washer is sufficient before moving on to investigate any problems internal to the power washer.

Unloader Valve

The unloader valves main function is to divert the flow of water in the pump into bypass when water is not being sprayed from the nozzle. The unloader valve can also be adjusted to increase or decrease the pressure of water coming out of the nozzle. The exact process to increase or decrease pressure will depend on the type of unloader you have (flow-actuated or pressure-actuated).

If you are experiencing a gradual loss of pressure in your machine, check to see if the nozzles on the trigger-wand are worn and need to be replaced first before adjusting the unloader valve. Adjustment of the unloader valve should be done in small increments to prevent pressure from building too high.

It is also recommended to attach a pressure gauge to the unloader when adjusting so you are able to monitor the changes in pressure and keep it within a safe range for operation.

This is a delicate adjustment that can cause damage to the unloader and related components if performed unnecessarily or improperly. It is important to check other related components if experiencing issues with low water pressure first before adjusting the unloader valve to increase the flow of water.

The unloader valve should always be adjusted with the machine running and the trigger wand pulled, so water is allowed to flow through the system. If adjustments to the unloader valve do not normalize the water pressure, the unloader valve may be broken and in need of repair or replacing.

Damaged Nozzle

A common cause for lost water pressure is when the nozzle at the end of the trigger-wand becomes worn or plugged. An uncommon spray pattern may be an indication that there is debris blocking the nozzle. Nozzles that are wearing will usually cause a gradual loss in pressure, as opposed to happening suddenly.

This is due to the holes in them that release the water widening over time. As the hole widens and more water is able to flow through, water pressure is lost. Nozzles will wear over time with regular use, and will need to be replaced. It is helpful to have a number of properly functioning nozzles on hand.

This will allow you to easily change out nozzles and control the pressure of the water being expelled, and to quickly test to see if a worn nozzle is causing a pressure-related problem, or if the issue is being caused by the pump or water intake.

High Pressure Hose

If you have recently replaced the high pressure hose on your unit and are noticing a loss in pressure, you may have installed an incorrect hose that is wider than required for your model of washer. Hoses typically come in three widths; 1/4″, 5/16″ & 3/8″.

When replacing the hose on your washer, make sure you buy a hose with the exact same diameter. The diameter of the hoses can look similar, but an extra fraction of an inch can cause a very noticeable loss of pressure during operation. If you are unsure of the proper width of hose for your machine, consult your user manual.

Pressure Regulator

If your washer is losing water pressure and has a regulator installed, the regulator may need to be adjusted to allow more water to flow through it. It may also be worn and losing its ability to keep the water under pressure, in which case it should be replaced altogether.

Some power washers may be equipped with a pressure regulator system in place of an unloader valve. The two serve the same purpose but function differently. An unloader valve has a mechanism in place to ‘trap’ pressure between itself and the nozzle, which relieves the pump of withstanding any back-pressure created when the trigger-wand is released and the flow of water is stopped.

A regulator performs the same task of keeping the pressure and redirecting water flow, but does not stop back flow into the pump. Over time, this can cause problems with the pump, making an unloader the preferable mechanism to have installed.

How to make an electric pressure washer more powerful

In general, there are four ways to make a pressure washer more powerful. Using a different nozzle, changing the pressure regulator or unloader valve, using a different gas type, or tweaking the engine.

Change the nozzle

A pressure washer can be made more powerful by using the correct nozzle. Nozzles determine the angle of the water stream. A wide-angle means that the water is spread over a wider area but has lower pressure. A low angle gives a small spread with a higher pressure. If you want the highest output pressure, use the red 0-degree nozzle.

There are 5 main pressure washer nozzles, each with there own color:

– Red 0-degree nozzle:

A nozzle with a red tip represents the narrowest angle which is 0 degrees. This nozzle creates a water stream with the highest pressure. A red-tip nozzle can do a lot of damage and must be used with care. Do not use the red-tip nozzle close on any surface.

– Yellow 15-degree nozzle:

The yellow tip nozzle creates a water stream at an angle of 15 degrees. Use this nozzle for cleaning concrete surfaces.

– Green 25-degree nozzle:

Green tip nozzles spray water at the surface at an angle of 25 degrees. Use this nozzle to pressure wash your car, clean mildew accumulated on patios or decks, or other household pressure washing jobs.

– White 40-degree nozzle:

A Whitetip nozzle is used to clean windows or sidings with minimal dirt. It produces a water spray of 40 degrees. It is the most user-friendly nozzle and causes less damage.

– Black 65-degree nozzle:

Blacktip nozzles produce a water stream with a 65-degree angle. It is the nozzle with the lowest pressure and does not remove tough stains. It is more used to wet a surface.

Change the pressure regulator and the unloader valve

The pressure washer regulator or unloader valve is what regulates the output pressure in your pressure washer. An unloader valve has a tension spring that can be set to get the maximum output pressure.

The pressure regulator or unloader value is also a safety feature. It ensures that the pressure can not exceed a certain level. Only adjust it when you know what you are doing. Or consult a professional.

Changing the pressure regulator or unloader valve differs from a pressure washer to pressure washer. Check the manufacturers manual for more details:

Step 1: Start the engine

Start the engine if you have a gas pressure washer. Ensure that the engine is running fine.

For an electric pressure washer, put the power cable in the mains. And turn it on.

Step 2: Use a red 0-degree nozzle

Change the nozzle to a red 0-degree nozzle. This is the nozzle that gives the most powerful result.

Step 3: Open the unloader value

Locate the unloader valve. Open the unloader valve by removing the nut at the top. It is often a nylock nut to keep it from accidental loosening. Remove the black plastic pressure adjusting knob. The color and exact method can differ slightly for your model.

After removing the washer and the spring, you should see the top of a threaded piston rod with two locking nuts.

Step 4: Increase the pressure

The next step is to lock the two nuts together with a wrench. Leave a few threads free at the bottom. Now put back the nut and the adjusting knob back.

Use the trigger until you see only water coming out. This way, all air is removed from the pump.

Now use the trigger and check the pressure of the water. If your machine has a pressure gauge, you can use this to check the actual pressure. If you have a separate one, add it in between the spray hose and your machine. If you do not have a gauge, you have to do it visually. This is not easy, and I would not recommend it. Try to judge if the pressure is increasing or not.

To increase the pressure, pull the trigger and tighten down the spring. If you reach the maximum set by the two nuts, and the pressure is still not ok. Please change the setting of the two nuts to give it some more room.

If you notice that the pressure does not increase, it means you have reached the maximum pressure that the engine and pump can give. Try to find this maximum. At this level, the two nuts should be against the bottom, without any thread visible.

If you do not adjust the two nuts correctly, it can mean that you will see a high spike pressure when you let the trigger go. This is not good for your machine. If you notice a big spike, over 10%, it could damage your pump. In this case, you have to set the two nuts lower.

Step 5: Check if everything is working fine.

Check if all works fine and with a higher pressure. If everything is okay, tighten the top of the two nuts. So they will not accidentally move. The pressure washer is now set to maximum pressure.

Use a different fuel

Fill the gas tank on your pressure washer with a higher octane gas. In most pressure washers 87 octane gas is used. This is more economical than using 92 octane gas. But the higher octane gas burns quicker and increases the engine power.

Tweak the engine

If you have an electric pressure washer, there is not much you can tweak. But in case you have a gas pressure washer. You can tweak your engine to give it more power. Small engines like your pressure washer need three things: air, fuel, and a good spark.

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If you do not do regular maintenance, it can mean that your engine is not performing optimally. Checking and cleaning can lead to a nice improvement.

Check the air filter, sparkplug, and oil

The first step is to ensure that you have a clean air filter. This should be part of your regular maintenance. Check the filter, and clean it if needed. Paper air filters have to be replaced. Most other types of filters can be cleaned. First, tap it so the biggest dirt will fall off. Carefully clean it further with a vacuum. Some air filters can also be washed.

Check the sparkplug.

If it is dirty, clean it. If that does not help, replace it. The last thing you should check is the oil. If you did not change it recently, check the color. If it does not look ok, change the oil. And do not forget the oil filter. To ensure that you keep the engine in optimal order, ensure that you give it regular maintenance.