How to Troubleshoot a Karcher Power Washer

Written by david clair
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How to Troubleshoot a Karcher Power Washer
If no power is obtained from a GFCI outlet, press the reset button. (socket image by Mat Hayward from

Karcher high-pressure power washers can be either gas powered or electric. Each model of Karcher pressure washers connects to a household garden hose for a water supply and has a reservoir for detergent additives. For the pressure washer to work effectively, there must be a suitable amount of water pressure and a reliable power source. Various situations can lead to issues that prevent the power washer from performing. Troubleshooting these issues will help identify the root of the problem and provide a solution in most cases.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    Pressure issues

  1. 1

    Check the connected garden hose for kinks, clogs or leaks. Straighten any kinks and clear any blockage. Replace the hose if leaks are present.

  2. 2

    Open the water source tap completely to allow maximum water pressure.

  3. 3

    Check the filter for clogs or blockage. Remove the filter. Rinse the filter in warm tap water.

  4. 4

    Inspect the discharge nozzle for blockage. Blow out or remove any obstructions with a small wire or needle.

  5. 5

    Check the gun, hose and spray wand for calcification in the form of white build-up. Run distilled vinegar through the detergent suction tube to remove calcification deposits.

  6. 6

    Inspect the unit for any water leaks. Make sure all fittings are tightly secured.

    Other Issues

  1. 1

    If the motor will not start, make sure the unit is plugged into a working socket if it is an electric model. Try a different outlet if needed. If plugged into a GFCI outlet, press the reset button.

  2. 2

    If the motor will not start on a gas-powered model, check the gas tank. Make sure the tank is full. If not, fill it with fresh gasoline.

  3. 3

    If the detergent is not feeding through, check the detergent suction tube filter. Remove the filter. Run warm tap water through the filter to remove clogs or debris.

  4. 4

    If oil leaks are occurring, the oil seals are worn. Contact Karcher customer support for assistance.

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