Pressure Washer Surge?
Pressure washer is surging? Read on for all the info.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, why does my pressure washer surge, just know that there are numerous reasons why your washer does this, and most of them are easy to fix.
If you’re using your pressure washer and it begins to pulsate or surge, there is most certainly a reason for this and this article will help you determine what those reasons are.
Just the Basics
Pressure washer surge refers to the unexpected pulsations or fluctuations in water flow from the nozzle. Instead of a steady stream, you may notice the water output surging erratically. This can hinder your cleaning efforts and leave you perplexed.
When you’ll have pressure washer surge, you’ll experience bursts of very strong pressure that are followed by stretches where there is hardly any pressure at all.
This pulsating action can be very frustrating for the user because let’s face it, a constant flow of pressure is the only thing that will get rid of dirt, grime, and debris from the items you’re trying to clean.
The Culprits Behind Pressure Washer Surge
Air in the System
One of the primary culprits behind pressure washer surge is the presence of air within the water supply system. When air infiltrates the system, it can disrupt the smooth flow of water, causing surges. To resolve this, ensure all connections are airtight and free of leaks.
Clogged Nozzle or Spray Gun
Dirt, debris, or mineral buildup within the nozzle or spray gun can obstruct water flow, leading to pressure washer surge. Regularly inspect and clean these components to maintain optimal performance.
Any time that the flow of water is restricted in your pressure washer, you are going to have high and low pressure in that washer.
When this is happening, the first thing you should do is check for any leaks, kinks, or any other problems related to the hose that attaches to the unit. Fortunately, this is easy to fix if it is the problem.
Other minor problems can include:
- A dirty inlet or discharge valve. Clean out the small divots inside of these valves every now and then so that they remain clear and free of things such as dirt and even hard water.
- A buildup of detergent or soap. If you find a lot of detergent or soap in the pressure washer, go ahead and run some distilled vinegar through it so that stuck-on dirt and debris are removed.
If you want to keep your discharge valves or inlets clean, you should clean them thoroughly every five times that you use the pressure washer, more often if the pressure-washing jobs have been extra long or difficult.
You might also like our article about how to clean vinyl siding.
Inadequate Water Supply
A consistent and ample water supply is essential for a pressure washer to function correctly. If the water source does not deliver sufficient water, your pressure washer may experience surges as it struggles to maintain pressure. Consider upgrading to a larger hose or increasing water pressure if necessary.
The pressure washer’s pump plays a critical role in maintaining a stable water flow. Any problems with the pump, such as worn-out seals or damaged valves, can contribute to pressure washer surge.
The pump is a very important part of your pressure washer, but the good news is that you can often repair it instead of buying a brand-new one. The first thing you can try is turning off the pressure washer and disconnecting the hose.
Leave the garden hose attached and let the water run through the connecting hose for 20 to 30 seconds. Afterward, turn off the garden hose and reassemble everything. If air gets trapped in the pump, this is a good solution and should take care of the problem.
Common-sense measures should also be taken. Make sure that your garden hose is on full force so that enough water gets into the pump. Check all of the valves and other parts to make sure that they don’t need to be cleaned or replaced.
And as always, consult your user manual to make sure you’re going by the directions so that nothing important is overlooked.
Each pressure washer is different, so it’s important that you follow all of the instructions to the letter so that you don’t cause even more damage to occur.
Having problems with pressure washer surge is never any fun, but with the exception of needing a pump replaced, most of the problems causing this can be easily identified and even more easily taken care of.
Unstable Power Source
An unstable power supply or inadequate voltage can cause the pressure washer surge. Ensure your machine is connected to a reliable power source with the correct voltage to prevent electrical fluctuations.
Water Inlet Filters
Many pressure washers feature water inlet filters designed to prevent debris from entering the system. If these filters become clogged, they can hinder water flow and lead to pressure washer surge. Regularly clean or replace these filters as part of your maintenance routine.
In short, as you use it more and more, components are likely to wear down which can cause fluid to leak out instead of being pushed through the pump. Try these tips we’ve recommended and you should be back in business in no time.
Check out our article about foam cannons.