Pressure Washer Repair

Power Washer Repair

Hey, this is Brian gonna pull up a pressure washer here and we're gonna see what kind of problem weHot water pressure washer have. I, I've not done a pressure washer for you guys yet. Mostly because there's a variety of pressure washers that are out there. So some of 'em are worth looking into when it comes to repairs. Some of them are not a rule of thumb. Most of the ones that come out of Lowe's Home Depot box stores like that, they're not worth repairing. The parts, the parts can actually exceed the cost of replacing the pump itself. <Affirmative> with that being said, this pump here is fairly inexpensive to replace the entire pump. So I don't usually get into actually replacing too many parts on the pump itself because of the cost of the pump, I, I can do this whole pump replacement with an unloader for about 280 bucks, versus the parts and labor can, can get pretty close to that.

Maintaining the Pump

So it's usually not really feasible to repair, these types of pumps here. This pump is actually made itself. The pump itself is made in China. There are replaceable parts in here, but a lot of the Chinese pumps are not repairable. So you end up having to replace the entire pump. Now, before we get started safety be sure to wear your safety glasses, take precautions, ensure that you don't have any shock hazards, pressure, hazards, things of that nature. We've talked about that before or so as, as many of, you know, this is a working shop, so I may have to pause the video for phone calls or customers. Got to do what I got to do to pay the bills. So just bear with me if that occurs, I'll usually pause the video so we don't have to deal with that.
I'm not actually looking at repla repairing much on this machine today, just through the cost factor. But what I'm gonna do is show you some things on a pressure washer that you need to look for and actually how the pressure washer itself works. So you BA you got a basic pump here. The pumps I like to say are very similar to a car engine. This is a three-cylinder car engine. You have your intake and your exhaust, and then you have your, your water actually goes in here. Your high pressure comes outta here. So this is your fuel coming in. If you will compress the liquid spits it out through here is exhaust. You got a crank on the inside here, you got three connecting rods, bearings, and things of that nature. So you want to periodically check your oil on, these machines.

Checking the Oil

And you'll see on this one here, there's usually a site glass on a lot of these don't trust the site glass, cuz you can get a false reading from a residue behind. So your oil could actually be below, but you see, you would see a line there. They all have a dipstick. So you would pull this out, check the dip, stick, wipe it, put it back, check it again to ensure that your oil level is correct. Now when you pull this out, if, if your oil looks Milky, then that means you've got a water leak in your pump and it's getting into your crank. At that point, it's not cost-effective to actually rep hair. That type of a problem because you drain the fluids. Whenever you get water in here, you could damage the bearings, the connecting rods. These are things you may not notice right off at, at the first, but as time goes by, you could have a catastrophic failure in your pump and you've already repaired your water leak and drain and refilled.

Troubleshooting the Pump

And now you've just wasted a bunch of money because in short order you could have a failure. So usually when you get water in the pump, if people are concerned about the price of replacing the pump, I'll tell 'em flush it, fill it with oil, change your oil seals and go until it fails. And that's the cheapest thing you can do. Aside from that, it usually just replaces the entire pump. So I'm gonna try not to take too much time on this. But we'll, we'll go over some things here. Now, obviously, this is your engine. This item here is called a thermal valve. Okay. They also look like this and there'll be a black nipple on the end here. And what this does when the temperature in the water reaches a particular temperature, this will open up and it'll allow water to weep out in either one of these.
And what that does is it helps keep the pump. Cool. You don't want your pump to get too hot. When you let go of the trigger under your gun, this continues to work. It builds pressure, dumps it off recycles, builds pressure. When you do that, the water temperature gets higher on your better pumps. You have ceramic pistons, which we'll look at that here shortly. The pistons getting hot is not a problem, but as soon as the cold water rushes in, they crack. Now you're having to replace one, two, or three pistons along with your packings and it gets rather expensive.

Operating the Pressure Washer

pressure washer trailer with water tankSo whenever you're running the machine, if you're not gonna pull that trigger within the first 30, 40 seconds of this thing, running and continue to do that, if you're gonna put that trigger gun down to not trigger it for 30 or 40 seconds, turn the machine off. All you're doing is open the drill for repair or damage to your machine. All right? So what we're gonna do here, I'm gonna take some of these items off and show you what you got. The first thing is this is the unloader. This right here is called the unloader and what this does. This actually regulates your pressure. You could turn this knob. Clockwise pressure goes up, counterclockwise pressure goes down. Not all pressure washers have an adjustable, loader. Okay? This one does. This one also has a built-in chemical injector. This one allows you to get chemicals to your gun, but basically, what this does, your water comes in and it comes out, comes in under low pressure out under high pressure.

Adjusting the Unloader

This regulates your pressure. You can turn your pressure up and down. It also dumps off, off your pressure. So when you're not pulling the trigger the machine continues to build pressure it'll cycle through. And if you're not pulling the trigger, when it gets to a certain point, a spring releases, it dumps down through here and recycles back through the pump. Now that will wear out, how do you know this is worn out? If your pressure does not old, it could be an unloader has gone bad. If you've got water that wants to continue to bleed outta here, you could have a bad thermal valve, but when the water bleeds through the unloader, it gets hot and it will constantly wanna bleed through here. So the first thing you do is replace this and if it continues to bleed after you do that, then we wanna look at the unloader.

Troubleshooting the Unloader

This is the least expensive of the two items. So you replace that first. If it continues to lead, then we go over here to the unloader and we replace the unloader. The unloader's fairly easy to replace. You. Take off a bolt here, take off a bolt here. The unit comes off your new, unit's gonna have a set of gaskets that go one in here. And one down here, you put those on the body of your own. Loader slide, your bolts in hand thread. These areas tight as you can go, then you tighten them up. If you try to go in there with something and with an impact or something, you're gonna damage the brass. And when you do you're buying a new head, you might as well just buy a whole new unit. I'm gonna move the camera over a little bit and we're gonna take these off. These are your plugs and then go in any particular order, you'll see your plugs have an O ring. The O ring prevents leaks while it's in place. Okay? Now on the inside, you have valves. You wanna be careful taking these out, reach in and you can grab it with a pick, a flat head screwdriver, but there's a hole in it. And when you stick it in there, you kinda wiggle it and that'll break it loose.

Pump Malfunction

And then you can work it out. These aren't gonna come out real easy because the pump has gotten hot. And when the pump gets hot, everything expands and it gets really tight. So this is a valve. And if the water gets too hot, especially on the top ones, they will actually melt this plastic. Then you know, you've got major problems. So you gotta spring. You got your PLA acid cage, you got your retaining ring and inside there's a metal valve. This whole thing is a valve here. What is what it's called? But when the pressure builds, it pushes through this. I don't know if you're able to tell this or not, but that moves right there. It compresses as that spring into water shoots out. Now, if you get a piece of sand stuck in there, that little valve can't open and close, it'll just open.

Loss of Pressure

And then you can't build pressure. So if you have a sudden loss of pressure, pull these out one at a time, look to make sure that there's no piece of sand stuck in. See that one's actually stuck open. Now. It's just twisted just us enough for it to stick open. All right, push it. And it'll pop back in place to ensure that this is working properly. If you put this to your lips and blow into it, you'll blow air through. But then if you try to suck air back through it, it seals off and it doesn't give you any air. That means it's working properly. Now there's an offering in here as well. You wanna make sure the stays in place. So you go through all of these and you want to check 'em, I'm not gonna go through all of them because I'm not gonna repair anything, but I'm gonna go to the top ones and show you that the top ones are the same.

Rebuilding the Pump

So when you get a rebuild kit, the rebuild, kit's gonna come with six of them. And there's a couple of websites. You can go to order rebuild kits for your pressure washer pump. Now, who makes the pressure washer is irrelevant. That doesn't matter. The pump itself is what you're wanting the part numbers off of. And there's usually on the top of the bras right here is a tag or some engraved numbers. Those numbers are what you want when you're trying to find replacement parts. But this is another valve right here. That's exactly the same as the ones down below. As I say, you wanna make sure your covering stay there. You push 'em in. You have to wiggle it, push it all the way to its seats, and that seat it. Okay. So that's your valves.

Checking the Valves

And like I said if all of a sudden you have a loss of pressure. If you'll take your disconnect, your water, and all of that, turn the machine off one at a time, take a plug out and then work your, your valve out to make sure that all your valves are clear debris, then that may solve your issue. Now, when you take these valves out, be very careful, cuz they are plastic. And if you break the plastic, then you gotta buy new valves. So be very careful taking 'em out. All right, so next we're gonna pull the head itself off the brass. All of this is called the head. Now, this is just a plug and your unloader is interchangeable from one side to the other. Just depends on how your machine is set up. And you'll hear people say, I got a Honda pressure washer.

Power Washer Motors

I got a Honda pressure wash. There is such thing as a Honda pressure washer, Honda motors are onpressure washer with hot water burner heater pressure washers, but it is not a Honda pressure washer. Most pressure washers have the Honda motor on. Not all but most, but your pressure washer is made by every company on the frame itself. It'll tell you on there, the pump is made by a whole different company. So the way a fresh washer is done, companies buy motors, they buy pumps and they have somebody fabricate or they buy frames and they assemble 'em that's all there is to it. There's not much difference between them. So I got my bolts loose. We're gonna pull the head off these outta here. All right. So this is what we've got here. Now, this is not broken.

Other Parts of the Power Washer

You have a couple of items here that you're taking a look at. I'm gonna move this up closer. These are your pistons. These are your cylinders. Now, luckily this one came apart. So I don't have to fight with it to get these brass rings off. The brass rings are retainers. Now this is a cylinder just like in a car and you have rings just like in a car, but they're not attached to the pistons. Now, these pistons happen to be metal. Okay? Many of the pumps that are good quality pumps they'll have ceramic pistons. Okay? Now they go on here. Now on the other ones, there's a nut. You take the nut off and then you can they're is covering in here and you pull these off. These are two different sizes, but they are ceramic. These don't wear out, but they will. If they freeze they'll crack in their garbage or if the pump gets hot and then you dump cold water on 'em they'll crack just like glass cuz they're ceramic.
Okay. These run about a hundred to $150 apiece. And there's three of 'em. So you don't wanna break in on these, but these do last forever. Aside from that, now the metal ones, they will pit pressure cut and rust over time. Okay. And there they can be replaced, but it's, it's a big process to get to the connecting Rodin all. And it's just labor-wise. It's just not worth it. Now there's a seal, right? He here, these are your oil seals back here. And this separates the water from the crank. So you don't get oil in your pump. You don't get water in your crank. Now I'm gonna pull this off. This is a retaining ring.

Motor and Pump Seals

There's a seal in here that comes out. So if you bought a rebuild kit, there's a seal. Pull this one out. There's a seal here as well. Okay. Now that one just popped right out. So go ahead and pull that one off right there. And there's a groove through here. That's very similar to a wiper on a sprayer rebuilt. There's an o-ring that runs around here as well. I'm gonna put this back on the right way. Put that retainer back in place. And then in here, I'm gonna pull these out. I'm gonna try to pull these out. You wanna be careful because you don't wanna damage the rings that are in here. Cuz if they're good, you don't wanna have to buy anymore. So we take this one out. This is packing right here. So you can throw a little light-up here and help out. That's packing right there and what you want to do. You look around like on this one here, you can see it's freight right there, air. It should be nice and smooth. It's freight right there. That means this packing is bad inside of there is a male gland, just like similar to what you would see in, in a paint sprayer rebuild. So we're gonna pull this one out as well
And you don't wanna scratch the brass cuz if you do, that's the end of that. And you can see this one here on this side here, see there and I'm gonna spin it and you see how it can, it's more narrow. That means that seal is bad. Okay? And that can be just due to general wear. Or if you feel up in the brass, you may feel the groove in that hole. That's the case and brass needs to be replaced. So this one definitely needs a rebuild. But again, the cost after involved in a rebuild on this style pump, it's just not, and see this one is frayed up in here as well. So starting to chew it up. So the pump needs to be rebuilt. Now the typical reason why pressure washers come in is I got no pressure. I've got no pressure that can be caused by several things.

Packings and Cylinders

One unloader, two, the packings three, the valves. So one of those three things, the triangle there is what's causing that problem. Now when the unloader goes bad, it can cause the valves to go bad in the head because it's overheating the water and it can melt your valves. So an unloader can lead to replacing your valves. Okay? Now, when they go bad, they can overwork your packings or overwork your unloader because they're not sealed properly. So it could lead to another problem. So when it comes to pressure washers, there's one problem. Most of 'em have is I've got no pressure. Why? One of three things on loader valves, packings and if your packings are bad, your cylinder your piston could be bad. Now, this is again, metal. This is ceramic. So that's, that's the difference between two pumps. So in a case like this one, I'm, I'm gonna recommend the customer.

Lacing the Pump

We just lace the pump itself. And how do we do that? Very simple. There's a hole right here. And if you'll take the crank and pull it around and look in here, you'll see, there's a set screw that will roll around on a shaft. Remove the set screw. Once you've got the set, screw out, you remove these bolts here. There are four of them. And depending on how long the pump has been on the machine, at that point, you would take a screwdriver, stick it on this side and one on the other side and just pry on 'em and the pump will slide off. When the pump slides off, you'll see a key, you'll take your new pump. You'll put your key back into a key slide, the new pump on put the four bolts in, and tighten up the set screw. Now your unloader that comes on the pump will have to be more than likely set the way you set it.

Pulling the Trigger

We're gonna take this screw off the top and we're gonna pull the cap off and just pull straight off. Now what I'm gonna show you here is not something that you're gonna want to do to your machine to get more pressure. Okay? These are specific to the pump pumps. If you have a 3000 PSI pump, don't adjust this until you get four or 5,000 PSI, cuz the machine is not meant to do that. If it was they would've already had it set. These unloaders are adjustable for different pumps. Now, this is a 3000 PSI pump. You need to have a pressure gauge on your gun and hose to what pressure you have. So when you let go of the trigger, it'll build the pressure to your maximum. And when you're not pulling the trigger, it'll kick down cuz it unloads. And then it'll build back it, kick down, build back.

Testing the Pressure

That's normal. Now, if you're not getting 3000 or whatever you're supposed to have per the manufacturer, then you can adjust your UN your unloader. There's a little set screw right here. You loosen the set screw and you unscrew this whichever way you need to go. So if you got too much pressure, you're gonna rotate this counterclockwise to decrease the pressure. And then you're gonna run this up. This is a lot of collars. You're gonna run this up to the bottom and then lock it back. If you don't have enough pressure, you're gonna loosen it and run the collar down and then check your pressure. And if it's good, lock it. If it's not adjusted until you have enough pressure, then you put your cat back on, tighten it back. As I said, I'm not telling you this so that you can go in and adjust the pressure more than what the machine was originally set for.

More Troubleshooting Tips

Cuz you're looking to get hurt or break something, breaking something could be the cheapest thing you do to hurt yourself or someone else it could be the most expensive thing you end up doing. So don't make the adjustment unless your pressure is not what the machine was set for. And the machine will tell you what your pressures are set for. Because on this one, this is mighty in a pressure washer. Your tag will tell you PSI 3000 gallons per minute, 2.4 nozzle size 3.0. Now if you don't know what these things <affirmative> model numbers and whatnot, then you know, drop me a line. I'll explain what these numbers mean. I'll explain the best combination of pressure versus volume cause everybody thinks, Hey, I could have 4,000 pounds of pressure and that's gonna be better. Well, if you have 4,000 pounds of pressure and you've got 2.4 gallons a minute, then no, that's not better.

Pressure (PSI) vs. Gallons Per Minute (GPM)

I would rather have 3000 pounds of pressure at four gallons a minute because that's gonna give you a better job than 4,000 pounds at three gallons a minute, cuz you're cleaning units, but that's, that's another discussion for another their day. So with all that being said if you got any questions drop me a line. I'll try to help you out the best I can. If you got something you wanna see worked on different kinds of paint, sprayers, pressure, washers sanding equipment. I work on a variety of things. Just shoot me a message and let me know what you're looking for until then you guys are safe. Send me any questions you have and I'll talk to you next time. Have a good day.