Getting Into Business

« Back to Home

Tips For Spotting Two Common Pressure Washer Problems

Posted on

If you're new to pressure washer use, you may not know the most common problems that can be encountered with these machines. Before you rent a pressure washer for your job, there are several things that you should know. Here are a couple of the most important issues that you need to avoid with your pressure washer and tips to avoid them.


Overheating occurs as a result of the gun sitting in by-pass for too long. By-pass, or running the machine without the gun trigger being pressed, is a normal state, but shouldn't be allowed to happen for more than about 30 seconds at a time.

You might think you can just cool things off by activating the trigger again. However, if the machine has been in by-pass long enough for the pump to start to heat up, activating the jet can actually cause a thermal shock inside the machine. When you activate the jet, it will send that cold water from the tank back over the pistons, which have been heated due to the by-pass. The sudden difference in the temperatures will cause shock, potentially damaging the system.

If you're going to be moving the pressure washer, or you're distracted by something and let go of the trigger, you should turn off the machine.


Cavitation is caused by low water levels or insufficient water supply. When your pressure washer is drawing less water per minute than what it is rated for, it will cause wear on the pump. If you're not sure how your pump is running, you can test it. One sign of cavitation that you should watch for is physical surging of the water pressure in the gun handle. You'll feel the handle twitch as the pressure level changes.

You can test the flow of the pressure washer by filling a five or ten gallon bucket using the supply hose. Time how long it takes for the bucket to fill. That tells you how many gallons per minute the pump is cycling. If it's not at least running at the pump's rated volume, that's a sign that you need to have the pump inspected and serviced.

These are two of the most common issues you can experience with your pressure washer. Understanding them helps you to not only identify if they do happen, but also avoid them altogether. For more information, talk with a local pressure washer service center, such as Ben's Cleaner Sales, today.