How to Repair a Power Washer

Written by troy pankey
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How to Repair a Power Washer
(Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Pressure washers consist of two main parts: a water pump and an engine or motor. Whether the pressure washer has an electric motor or a gasoline-powered engine, both sometimes require repair. Likewise, while water pumps won’t require repair nearly as often as an engine, on rare occasions they still need repair. What’s more likely to need repair on a pressure washer set-up are the pressure washer hoses or the quick connect couplers on them, or any of a number of other minor repairs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Long nose needle nose pliers
  • Ice pick
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Cross tip screwdriver
  • Adjustable channel-lock pliers
  • Air compressor
  • Pump oil

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  1. 1

    Inspect the o-rings in both the pressure washer hose quick connect couplers and the end-of-the-wand quick connect coupler for deterioration. Use your finger to feel the o-ring for noteworthy deterioration.

  2. 2

    Use an ice pick or a screwdriver with a very small, thin flat head to stick the o-ring, so as to puncture it and pull it out of the groove in which it functions. Use long nose needle nose pliers to grasp the dislodged o-ring and finish pulling it out from within the quick connect coupler.

  3. 3

    Push a new o-ring one half at a time into the quick connect coupler, using a small flat head screwdriver to work it piece by piece into the groove where it functions. Use your finger to ensure the o-ring is fully seated in its groove in the quick connect coupler.

  1. 1

    Use a water solubilising fuel additive to disperse water in the tank, carburettor and fuel lines of the pressure washer, if the pressure washer doesn’t start. Follow the instructions on the particular container of water solubilising fuel additive for the size of the fuel tank on your pressure washer.

  2. 2

    Check to see if the metal spark plug hook, which is what fits over the top of the spark plug on most models of pressure washer engines, is tightly gripping or fitting onto the spark plug pin, if the engine isn’t starting, rattling, running unevenly or stalling. Use (insulated) channel-lock pliers to gently but firmly tighten it around the spark plug pin, if it isn’t.

  3. 3

    Check the air filter cartridge and, if equipped with one, the air filter pre-cleaner to see if it needs cleaning, if the engine won’t start, is running unevenly, vibrating or stalling. Use an air compressor and hose with fitting to blow the dirt out of the air filter and pre-cleaner, or vigorously shake and tap the air filter cartridge and gently wash the air filter pre-cleaner, and return them to their proper places once cleaned.

  1. 1

    Check the sight glass on the side of the water pump--if it is the make that uses sight glasses--before starting the pressure washer to see if the pump oil is at the proper level. Use the proper water pump oil to fill the water pump with oil to its proper level, if the oil is low.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the water pump fill cap and do a cold oil check. Fill the water pump with pump oil, if the oil level is below where it should be: just above the internal water pump parts.

  3. 3

    Check the water pump oil for cloudy oil, if the water pump is not working properly. Remove the water pump from the pressure washer and have the seals and/or o-rings replaced and the pump repacked, at the least.

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