Common Pressure Washer Problems (And How to Fix Them)

Power washing is by-far the most effective and proficient way to clean the outside of your home or business. It helps to ensure your exterior is safeguarded against dirt, grime, car exhaust, smoke, pollution, and other issues that can lead to it being discolored, soiled or damaged. 

Like any piece of equipment, power washers can sometimes break down or stop working properly. Troubleshooting these issues can be a pain if you don’t know what you are looking for, so keep reading to learn the most common types of ways power washers can break and how to fix them to keep them useful for projects big and small. 

Gas Pressure Washer Issues

Let’s start off with gas pressure washer issues first. These washers are more powerful than their electric counterparts so they are seen more with commercial use.

1. Pressure Washer Not Starting

If your pressure washer isn’t starting up, there could be a few issues with it, such as:

  • No Gas. To remedy, check the gas levels on the pressure washer and fill up if empty or low.
  • Choke In Wrong Position. Make sure to check the user manual and move the choke to the recommended position.
  • Pressure Build-Up. There could be pressure build-up in the gas pressure washer so squeeze the trigger gun to release built-up pressure in the system.
  • Disconnected Spark Plug Wire. Reconnect spark plug if it is disconnected and the washer should start right up. 
  • Faulty Spark Plug. If reconnecting the spark plug doesn’t work, it may be faulty. Buy a new one, install and the washer should turn on.

2. Engine Stops While In Use

The pressure washer starts up, but dies during use, you could have:

  • Low Oil Level. Gas pressure washers automatically shut off when the oil gets too low, so check the oil and fill if needed.
  • Dirty Air Filter. Clean the air filter if it is dirty or replace with a new one if too far gone.

3. Oil Leaking From Engine

If oil starts to leak from the washer, you could be dealing with:

  • Worn Out Seals. If oil is leaking from the engine, that is most likely due to worn seals. Replace the seals if possible. 

Electric Power Washer Issues

If you go to rent a power washer for any home improvements or smaller jobs, you will be using an electric washer. Here are some of the issues that can come up when using an electric power washer.

1. Low Water Pressure

This is one of the most common for electric washers. Here’s what could be going wrong if you are having low pressure issues:

  • Bad Water Supply. If you aren’t getting enough water, fixing low pressure is quite simple. Check your hose for kinks and go to the water source to make sure it is turned on all the way. Always check and make sure you are using the right kind of hose for spraying. 
  • Blocked Water Filter. Remove all debris from the hose to get better water pressure if it is blocked.
  • Wrong Nozzle. Check the instruction manual to make sure you have the right nozzle attached. 
  • Chemical Injector Valve Open. If the chemical injector valve is left open and there’s no detergent in the pickup tube, then it can suck in air from the detergent line. This leads to low water pressure so put the tube into detergent or just close the injector valve. 
  • Dual Lance Valve Open. Keep all valves closed during use to avoid low water pressure.
  • Leaking Seals In Pump Manifold. If you have leaky seals in your pump manifold, replace them immediately to get better water pressure.

2. Water Leaking From Pump or Hoses

Leaking water can be a common issue, let’s look at what could be wrong and how to troubleshoot if you find out your washer is leaking:

  • Broken Seals. The seals could be cracked, worn, or broken if the washer is leaking water. Replace seals to stop leaks.
  • Thermal Valve Activated. When you activate the thermal valve, it can sometimes cause the washer to leak. Turn off the washer, wait 5 minutes and let it cool down to prevent leakage. 
  • Hose Connection Issue. If your hose has a broken or bad connection, it could cause the leak. Check the hoses and connect if detached. 
  • Broken Rubber Washer. If the rubber washer is worn out or broken, replace it to resolve the leak. 

Tips To Help Maintain Pressure Washer:

  • Check for clogs regularly 
  • Rinse out detergent
  • Keep pressure washer clean
  • Replace O-rings
  • Clear out remaining water before storage

Need a Pressure Washer for Your Next Job?

At Elephant Construction Solutions, our quality equipment serves professionals and hobbyists alike with high-quality tools and accessories that you’ll need to get the job done right. Located in the Rio Grande Valley, we offer many different options for rent, such as: construction equipment, power tools, power equipment, and concrete breakers as well as other machinery, including air compressors, power generators, and even scaffolding.

Reach out to us at Elephant Construction Solutions to get a free quote for any tools or machinery you may need for your next job or project. Whether it’s as simple as a pressure washer, as important as scaffolding, or as small as a nail gun, we have the best in high quality products you are looking for.


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