How to Troubleshoot Pressure Washer Problems

Problems with pressure washers tend to be related to low or changing pressure that adversely affects washing. Obstructions in the spray nozzle need to be removed. Low pressure is often caused by kinked hoses or leaks. Simple fixes include replacing O-rings, which can become brittle, break and cause pressure leaks. Troubleshooting revolves around hoses, nozzles and the engine or motor.

Things You'll Need

  • Plumbers wrench
  • Teflon tape
  • Thin wire
  • Replacement hose
  • Duct tape

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Take a look at all the connections between nozzle, wand, hoses and the motor. Remove all the connections and look for broken or severely deteriorating O-rings. They are the rings that provide the seal between the connections. Replace them. If the pressure washer uses Teflon tape between connections, replace the tape and reattach.

Poke a thin piece of wire into the spray nozzle, where dirt can accumulate. Depending on the size of your washer you could use a paper clip, or something a little larger.

Attach a larger diameter water hose to supply water to the pressure washer. The larger the diameter of the supply hose, the greater the water delivery.

Look for any kinked hoses or leaks in the hose. Water accumulation on the ground is a dead giveaway there’s a leak somewhere. Any dripping water, whether it’s from a hose leak or a fittings leak, will reduce pressure. Fix any leaks temporarily, during the job, with duct tape.

Add gasoline if the engine won’t start or it shuts down. If your pressure washer is electrically driven, make sure it’s plugged in.


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