Why Do Pressure Washer Pumps Fail – [ Quick Fix – DIY ]

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A pressure washer is a convenient tool for cleaning. It perfectly removes all sorts of molds, grimes, dirt, graffiti, and other stubborn debris. But how can you remove unwanted dirt if your pressure washer pump suddenly stops working? Though you may find some damaged parts, other causes should be kept in mind too.

Want to know why your amazing pressure washer failed? Then you are on the right track. We will give you essential information that will solve all your problems. You don’t need to take a pressure washer to a repair shop every week. There are some problems that you can quickly solve by yourself, if you’ve bought a budget pressure washer.

Why Do Pressure Washer Pumps Fail?

With time, pressure washers are prone to wear off & could impact the PSI’s of pressure washer too. That’s why knowing these problems is necessary if you want to prolong your pressure washer’s life. Let’s find out the causes regarding pressure washer’s failure.

Engine Problem

The leading cause of pressure washers that enables them to stop working is the dirty air filter. It restricts the air from reaching the carburetor, which affects the whole system. Due to this reason, the pressure washer stops. While the second cause might be the pressure washer ran out of oil or fuel. The other reason is that maybe your pressure washer is confined in an area where air cannot reach to cool the pressure’s engine.

Keeping these in mind, make sure to schedule weekly maintenance for your power washer. Make sure to clean the air filtration system occasionally. Also, keep your eye on the fuel from time to time whenever you turn it on. Likewise, make sure to cool the engine for 30 minutes whenever it gets hot. If you do not follow these guidelines, your pressure washer will stop working.


Often you will find water leakage from the pressure washer. One of the reasons is that seals might be worn off, which can, in turn, create drainage. The inlet water couple that is used to seal might get a break or wear off over time.

You can’t forget about the internal pistol seals that are used inside the pump. This piston pressurizes the water to come out of the nozzle. But if these pistons get break, it can result in water drainage. Likewise, oil leakage is also common. If the seal is broken, it will let the oil escape. Moreover, pumps can also wear off over time. This broken pump results in letting the water escape in large amounts.

In these cases, you need to ensure that pistons, internal seals, and outer seals are in good condition. If they are broken or worn out, you need to replace them with newer ones. All in all, keep a yearly check on them. Moreover, you can call the company’s customer service for additional information.

Low Pressure

Many causes can result in low pressure. The first one is the cracked, worn-out, or clogged nozzle. Hence, more water will flow through the holes, which results in lowering the pressure. As a result, you need to get a brand new and proper size nozzle. Moreover, belt slippage is another common phenomenon that can cause low pressure. Hence you can either fix it by tightening it or replacing it with a newer one.

Another reason for low pressure is due to debris accumulated in the valves, or maybe the air is leaking from the plumage system. That’s why clean the dirty valve and seal the internal source, which causes pressure to lose.

Likewise, the incorrect hose can also lose pressure. Make sure to buy the exact size-hose for your medal. Hose vary in diameter and typically comes in widths around ¼  to ⅜.” If the hose is bigger, even by an inch, it can cause pressure loss. For additional help, you can take help from the manual.

Excessive Noise

Another common phenomenon you might come across is chattering noise in the pressure washer. A pump can get break or damage in the long run. This is mainly due to broken bearing, valves, or rods that connect the pump. The pump thrusts water to come out, so it can get damaged. In this case, a pump results in producing loud noise.

To troubleshoot this problem, you can either replace or install a new pump. Pump repairing kits are also available in the market that will help in holding the parts together. Further, the valve in the pump washer diverts the flow of the water. In the long run, the valve can get weary when it is exposed to direct sunlight or due to dust. Due to uncontrollable water flow, it can cause a banging sound in the valve.

In case of a damaged valve, you can fix it with the help of a repair kit. You can solve this issue by removing the debris accumulated in the valves—thoroughly cleaning and polishing the valve to work better.

Safety Precautions

  • Never point the spray at anyone. Intense bursts of water spray can lead to severe wounds.
  • If you face some electric problems with the pressure washer, make sure to contact a qualified electrician.
  • Make sure to wear safety gears that can protect you from injuries.
  • Avoid using gas-powered pressure washers in a confined place. They emit carbon monoxide, a deadly poison gas that heavily affects breathing and can cause nausea or headache.
  • Before using a pressure washer, always be aware of all the necessary hazards.
  • Store your equipment in a cool place with a ventilated area. Make sure to avoid pressure washers from direct sunlight exposure.
  • If you see any damage or cracks, make sure to contact the repairing shop.

Related Guide: Fixing Oil & Water leaks in Pressure Washer

Final Verdict

All in all, pressure washers are prone to wear off with time. Whenever you detect any defect, make sure to repair it on time. A pressure washer is the best equipment to clean all unwelcome stains, grime, and mold. But what is used for this equipment when it suddenly stops functioning? Most of the maintenance can be done at home quickly by reading the necessary guidelines. Make your environment healthy with this cutie pie!


1. What causes a pressure washer pump to go bad?

Here are two possibilities for what might be causing the problem. The piston rod seals on the pressure washer may be worn out. The O-shaped rings on the plunger retainer may also be worn out. Replace these parts as soon as possible.

2. How do I know if my pressure washer pump is bad?

You can hear sputtering noises emanating from the engine due to increased pressure in the pump. Because the engine has to work overtime to start the pump, there is an increased risk of it exploding.

3. Do pressure washer pumps wear out?

Properly maintained and used, pressure washer pumps typically last between five and ten years. Budget pumps may only last a few months. You should be careful of overheating, cavitation, and incorrect unloader valve settings, which can all damage your pump.

4. What are the symptoms of a bad unloader valve?

An unloader valve failure can lead to the following issues: If the pump is powered by gasoline or diesel, the motor will stop anytime the operator stops using it.

5. Do pressure washers overheat?

Overuse can cause difficulties, but there is little risk of overheating. Electric pressure washers cannot overheat in the same way as gas-powered ones. A gas-powered pressure washer may overheat if the motor is running but no water is being sprayed.

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