How to Fix Pressure Washer Problems

Updated February 21, 2017

Pressure washers provide a high-pressure stream of water that can be used to clean surfaces such as driveways and other exterior parts of your home. A pump develops high pressure using water supplied from a garden hose. A spray gun assembly, with nozzle directs the water stream. Problems with pressure washers can be related to the engine, pump and water flow.

Verify that the engine throttle is not in the "Off" position if the engine won't start. Place the choke lever into the "Choke" position, too. If you continue to have problems starting the engine, press the trigger gun, which will relieve backed-up pressure.

Set the nozzle into the "Draw Chemical" or similarly labelled position if the pressure washer isn't pulling chemicals into the water stream. Look for filters and screens on the chemical tank, clean them and turn on any knobs that you find there.

Unclog the nozzle and verify water isn't restricted if the pump runs normally but water flow isn't adequate. Take a wire coat hanger or paper clip, depending on nozzle size, and poke any debris out of the nozzle.

Check that the water supply is on and that fittings are tight. Look for kinks in the water line and straighten any hoses. Look for a high-pressure switch and make sure it's selected as opposed to any low-pressure setting. Try a different nozzle if you continue to experience flow problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire coat hanger
  • Paper clip
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About the Author

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.