At some point you're going to have to replace the o-rings in a pressure washer nozzle since rubber o-rings eventually deteriorate. What's more, it's beneficial to know beforehand how to replace o-rings so you can avoid wasting too much time and injuring yourself, as many persons are prone to do when changing them. Not changing o-rings in a timely manner means continual messy water leaks that almost certainly trickle back down onto you while you're pressure washing, loss of maximum water pressure, and unnecessary water use and costs.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Flat tip screwdriver (1.4mm or less by 4 inches)
- Ice pick
- Straight long-nose needle nose pliers (long-neck, 5 inches)
- Table-top vice grip
Place the pressure washer nozzle into a tabletop vice grip, with the nozzle placed in such a way so as to make it easy for you to get at the o-ring and work on the pressure washer nozzle. Finish tightening the tabletop vice grip, once you've best positioned the pressure washer nozzle.
Plunge the screwdriver or ice pick into the o-ring with the intent of sticking it into the o-ring. Carefully, slowly, and precisely pull out the o-ring from within the recess in which it functions toward the middle of the pressure washer nozzle. (Completely pull out the o-ring, if at all possible.)
Use the long-nose needle nose pliers to reach the o-ring and finish pulling it out from the pressure washer nozzle. Continue pulling out the pieces of o-ring if it has deteriorated and can be removed only piece by piece.
Insert the new o-ring into the pressure washer nozzle, one half at a time. (It's impossible, due to the difference in circumference size between the pressure washer nozzle opening and the recess in which the o-ring functions to put the entire o-ring in at one time.) Use the screwdriver or ice pick to work the o-ring one piece at a time into the recess in which it functions.
Use your finger to feel around the o-ring once you've inserted it to make sure it is completely seated all the way into the recess.
Tips and warnings
- If the o-ring is on the outside of the pressure washer nozzle, simply roll it out of its recess, and off the plug of the pressure washer nozzle, and roll a new o-ring onto the plug and into the recess. Use a small flat head screwdriver, if necessary, to get it started out of its recess, and then continue rolling it off of the pressure washer nozzle.
- If you don't have acess to a tabletop vice grip, you can firmly grasp the pressure washer nozzle in your hand and use the same tools to replace the o-ring. However, be very careful you don't stick yourself, particularly your hand or abdomen, when trying to stick the o-ring with either the screwdriver or ice pick. (O-rings can be problematic to replace.)
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