How to Troubleshoot a Surging Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are not infallible. They can develop issues that make them work sporadically or inefficiently, particularly if they are used a great deal. Troubleshooting a pressure washer, whether it is the surge power or a clogged nozzle, is something every car wash owner has to become accustomed to in their daily routine. One good tip to remember before troubleshooting a surging pressure washer, is to have a trusted source for OEM pump parts in case spare parts need to be ordered.

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Surging Pressure Washer Troubleshooting Tips

If when the trigger is pulled, the pressure starts out strong, and then deteriorates, the problem is with the surge. This can be confirmed when the trigger is released and the pressure builds back up to a normal level. It is telling the operator that the water supply does not meet the pump’s recommended flow rate. Check that the water supply and inlet screen are unrestricted. Check to see if the water supply does meet the necessary flow rate. If not, discontinue using the pump, because it will suck air, causing cavitation that can damage the pump’s parts. If the water supply is acceptable, check for leaks around the supply fittings.

When the trigger is depressed and nothing happens at all, it is likely the nozzle is clogged. To prevent this from happening, clean it regularly. Always disconnect the spray wand before cleaning it. A small wire, such as one from a paper clip, is good for clearing the nozzle. Then use water to flush it backward. Reconnect it and start up the pressure washer. If any of these measures fail, professional repairs may be needed, unless the problem can be determined and the cat pump parts list can be used to order replacements.

Make sure you know how to troubleshoot your pumps so that your pressure washing is consistent, powerful, and safe!

NOTE: This blog post was updated on 5/28/2021 with new helpful links and buttons to help customers find pump replacement parts for pressure washers.

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