Is your pressure washer losing pressure a few seconds after you pull its trigger? For people who own a pressure washer know that this is quite common to observe a pulsating water pressure which at the same time is frustrating as well. If it does not deliver the force it is supposed to, you will feel like your energy is drained with no apparent output.
There might be several reasons to pressure washer pulses when pulling the trigger. Most of them are under control and can be fixed without much ado. However, I recommend replacing your pressure washer with a new one if it is under warranty. I will discuss a few common reasons you can identify when you find your power washer losing pressure. I will also help you fix most if not all, pressure issues.
Table of Contents
What is a pressure washer?
To start with, I will explain to you how a pressure washer works. It is a cleaning device with a built-in motor to create a high-pressure water stream. This stream helps clean dirt, grease, and grime on concrete, wood, and metal surfaces. The engine built inside the pressure washer can be powered by electricity, gas, or diesel, depending on the type you have purchased. There may be several reasons that a pressure washer might backfire once triggered. We will discuss most common troubleshooting common pressure washer problems.
Nine reasons – Why is your pressure washer losing pressure?
1. Low Water Supply
Pressure washers need a constant flow of water to maintain the deliverance of pressure it is supposed to do. So, the first and foremost thing when your power washer loses pressure is to check the water supply at the back end. Ensure the water supply to your pressure washer is adequate to maintain the force it needs to deliver. The water supply may also be affected due to bends or cuts in the hose. If so, I recommend repairing or replacing your pressure washer hose.
Learn How to repair pressure washer hose. However, there are pressure washers designed for low water pressure that can minimize the water pressure pulsating issue. Let’s find the best pressure washer for low water pressure.
2. Clogged Nozzles
Another common reason your pressure washer is losing pressure is a clogged nozzle. Nozzles get clogged with dirt, debris, and mineral deposits over time and cause your power washer to surge. Besides this, the pulsating spray nozzles may be old enough to deliver optimal pressure. Hence, it blocks the flow of water and reduces the strain. If the nozzle is not worn out, a simple method is to remove it and soak it in a cleaning solution for a while.
3. Worn Pump
The pump serves as the heart of a pressure washer. It controls the water supply in a pressure washer like the heart controls blood. A worn-out pump means the water supply is inadequate, eventually impacting the cleaning pressure. If you have realized that the water supply is adequate, then the following leading reason why your water pressure pulsates is a worn-out pump. It is better to replace a pump that has worn off for a while.
4. Low Oil
Pressure washers also need oil to function, just like any other engine. When the pressure washer is low on oil, the motor slows down its performance, and you will experience your pressure losing pressure immediately. However, remember that only gas-pressure washers use oil to run the engine. Electric pressure washers solely depend on electricity to run their engine. Hence, only gas-powered pressure washers fall victim to common oil issues. If your electric pressure washer keeps losing pressure, you should look for reasons other than this.
5. Damaged Unloader Valve
A pressure washer unloader valve is responsible for regulating the water pressure inside your pressure washer’s pump. It is located close to the water inlet. When it’s faulty, you’ll notice your pressure washer pulsing. If your pressure washer starts losing pressure, it may be one of the suspects. You will have to examine if the unloader valve is damaged carefully. Replace your unloader valve if you observe your water pressure pulsing; refer to the pressure washer’s user manual, or consult a professional to adjust or replace the unloader valve.
6. Air Leakage
Leakages are major and prevalent reasons that will cause your pressure washer to lose pressure immediately after being triggered. The leakages cause air to build up inside hoses, fittings, and seals, eventually causing pressure loss. Therefore, it is imperative to find any damaged hose, or seals, fit them, and fix them accordingly.
A hose that leaks is a primary reason why your pressure washer keeps losing pressure. Regularly check your hose for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice any, it’s best to replace the hose promptly. Using a high-quality, durable hose can prevent frequent replacements.
7. Slipping belt
A belt-driven pressure washer sometimes falls victim to losing fitted belts. When there is a lack of belt fitting, your pressure washer surges when not spraying; hence, belt fitting in a pressure washer should be regularly examined. When you find a loose belt, try to tighten the belt and fix the issue immediately. If the belt fitting is worn out, you should replace it entirely before it causes further damage.
8. Worn or Damaged Valves or plungers
The valves of your pressure washer serve as an inlet and outlet for water inside the engine. The purpose of the inlet valve is to let the water enter and pressure it down into the pressure washer. The outlet valve then discharges the water through the system. These valves can wear out over time, causing no pressure on the pressure washer.
A plunger is responsible for pushing down the water towards the outlet valve. However, it must be addressed while examining a pressure washer losing pressure. Check the plunger for any damages and replace it if necessary.
9. Incompatible Hose
Pressure washers are power equipment that highly responds to the compatibility of their parts and accessories. In case you experience your pressure washer losing pressure, check whether the pressure washer hose you have installed is compatible with the pressure washer or not. Sometimes, high-pressure hoses lead to pressure loss in a pressure washer. In such a case, it is high time to change and install a pressure washer hose most compatible with your pressure washer. A minor change in the diameter of the pressure hose can cause a significant pressure loss.
Frequently asked questions – FAQs.
1. Why does my pressure washer loses pressure after a few seconds?
Pressure washers might lose pressure after a few seconds for several reasons; a few of them are discussed in detail above in the post. Kindly refer to them and carefully examine your pressure washer for them.
2. Why is my pressure washer surging?
A problem with the unloader valve or a pressure regulator may cause the water pressure surging.
3. How often should I replace the pump on my pressure washer?
It depends on how frequently you use your pressure washer. Generally, pumps can last several years, but if you notice a significant pressure loss, it may be time to replace the pump.
4. Can a clogged nozzle damage my pressure washer?
Yes, a clogged nozzle can be a significant cause of damaging your pressure washer
5. I have a new pressure washer with no pressure; what should I do?
If you have a “new pressure washer no pressure” issue, I recommend replacing it immediately.
6. How to fix a power washer with no pressure or how do you fix low pressure on a pressure washer?
When your pressure washer has a low pressure power washer issue, the solution depends upon the type of issue itself. If the problem is severe, replacing it is better than fixing it. However, in many cases, it is easier to identify the issue and set it accordingly, as discussed in the post above.
7. Why is my Ryobi pressure washer pulsing?
Most likely, your Ryobi electric pressure washer pulsating is due to a clogged nozzle, faulty unloader valve, or air in the system.