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Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer Problems: Pump & Water Troubleshooting With Fixes

Briggs & Stratton pressure washers are powerful cleaning devices that can greatly benefit both amateurs and professional users. Being accustomed to using a pressure washer, one might encounter various issues related to its pump or the water supply hoses. There could be leaks, problems with the water pressure, unusual noises from the pump, etc.

Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer Problems:

If the water in your Briggs & Stratton pressure washer leaks, the issue might be with the pump or the connectors at the intake hose, high-pressure hose, and spray gun. Examine all the connections for tightness and the quality of the seals and O-rings. Inspect the nozzles and ensure the unloader valve is correctly positioned if you notice an unusual fluctuation in water pressure. If your pump is leaking oil or making strange noises, lubricate it and get its seals examined.

In this article, I will explain how to fix various issues you may encounter when using a Briggs and Stratton pressure washer. It will be a great help if you use it regularly and want to learn how to troubleshoot and fix your machine for pump and water-related issues.

Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer is Leaking Water

Water may leak from your Briggs & Stratton pressure washer’s pipe connectors. To find the cause of the water leak, inspect the hose connections at the pump and spray gun one by one.

A leak is more likely to happen in one of three locations. The leak might be coming from the pump itself. Another possible leak location is the pump’s intake and exit hose connectors. Furthermore, water can leak from the spray gun’s connection to the high-pressure hose.

● Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Pump

If your Briggs & Stratton pressure washer has a water leakage directly from the pump, the piston seals are probably worn out and need to be replaced.

Most pressure washer pumps use a positive displacement piston mechanism to push water through the hoses. A piston seal stops water from escaping from the pump. These seals deteriorate with time, which may contribute to a leak. In that situation, you may need to remove the pump case and inspect the piston seals for wear indications.

This only applies if you have a plunger pump. Pumps with axial and wobbling plates are factory built and cannot be dismantled for maintenance. As a result, seals cannot be replaced separately in them, and the entire pump must be replaced to resolve the problem.

● Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Hose Connection

If your pressure washer’s hose connections leak, the pipe fittings or couplings at these attachments have worn out and should be replaced.

A connector/pipe connector attaches the hose to the low-pressure inlet of the pump. This connector has a leak-proof seal. If a leak occurs at this point, the connector and its seal are more likely to have worn out. Similarly, the outlet seal should be replaced if the connector between the pump’s high-pressure output and the associated hose leaks.

● Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Spray Gun

If the spray gun on your Briggs & Stratton pressure washer leaks, inspect the hose-gun connection and adjust the screws. In addition, check the high-pressure hose at the outlet for a damaged O-ring and replace it if necessary.

Most pressure washers employ a press fit to connect the high-pressure hose to the spray gun. Check that the fit is accurate and that the connection is not loose. If it contains screws, make sure they are tight and snug.  If the leak persists after tightening the fit, ensure the O-ring at the hose is present and unbroken. This leak might have been caused by a fractured or missing O-ring.

Seals, gaskets, and O-rings for pressure washers can be purchased online or at your local dealer.

Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Water Pressure Problems

Follow the instructions below if your Briggs & Stratton pressure washer is having trouble with water pressure.

● 1. Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Low Pressure

To resolve low water pressure, ensure sufficient water is entering, and the input line is not blocked with debris. Also, make sure the exit nozzle is not worn out or blocked.

The volume of water at the pump’s inlet must be adequate to create the necessary pressure. Inspect and remove any twists or bends in the input hose. Furthermore, most input hoses have a dust filter that connects to the pump. Examine the filter for any dirt that has been lodged. If the pressure remains low, ensure you’re using the correctly sized nozzle and that it’s not clogged with debris.

● 2. Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: No Pressure

Check the water source, hoses, and nozzle if your pressure washer loses pressure. Next, examine the unloader valve and the pump, at least one of which needs to be repaired.

Pressure loss may also occur due to nozzle debris or a low water supply. However, in this scenario, the problem is most likely with the pump and unloader valve. Adjust the unloader valve slightly while the pump is operating, and the trigger is pressed to check whether the pressure improves.

If the problem persists, the unloader valve, which is probably faulty, must be replaced. It would be best if you also inspected the plungers and O-rings of your pump for damage.

Air bubbles caused by cavitation can cause long-term damage to various pump components, leading to pressure loss. Before attempting to change parts on your pump, consult the owner’s manual. Because most pumps are produced as a single unit, they cannot be dismantled and must be replaced with an identical unit.

● 3. Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Surging Pressure

Check your nozzle for clogs or indications of damage if your water pressure suddenly rises. Adjust the unloader valve so more water flows through the bypass and less runs into the spray gun.

A pressure washer’s unloader valve transfers a part of the high-pressure water flow to the pump intake or water tank rather than the spray nozzle. When you tighten your unloader valve, very little incoming flow is bypassed, resulting in excessive pressure at the gun output.

Loosening the unloader valve increases the bypass’s flow rate, reducing pressure spikes at the spray gun. If this does not work, examine your nozzle for apparent signs of damage and replace it as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

● 4. Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Drops Pressure after a Few Seconds

If your water pressure drops suddenly, it might be due to a worn-out nozzle or a hose leak.  A poorly tuned unloader valve might potentially cause this problem.

In contrast to the previous surging example, if the unloader is adjusted too loosely, the pressure at the spray gun may fall. If this setting is too loose, even a tiny quantity of flow will be able to overcome the spring force and flow to the water tank. As a result, the water pressure at the nozzle exit diminishes.

In addition, inspect your hoses for any holes or leaks. You must ensure your nozzle is not clogged with dirt or debris.

● 5. Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Strange Noises from Pump

If your pump makes an odd noise, it might be caused by worn-out connecting rods or bearings. It will also make noise if it is not lubricated on time.

Plunger-type pumps in high-end pressure washers must be replenished with oil every three months. As a result, these pumps seldom require routine maintenance. The pump in low-end versions is either axial or wobbling plate type. These pumps do not require oil replenishment since they are permanently sealed with oil after assembly.

– Solution

The pump should be serviced and greased with oil every three months, depending on the kind of pressure washer (axial or plunger). When metal parts are not lubricated, they tend to rub against each other, creating a lot of noise. If this happens, remove the plunger pump and examine the bearings and connecting rods. A bearing replacement may be required if lubricating the pump does not resolve the issue.

If the noise persists, the pump’s connecting rods may be problematic, especially if your pump is old. Fatigue and tension can hasten the wear rate of your pump’s connecting rods, especially if it has been in operation for an extended period.

If your pressure washer’s axial or wobbling plate pump is making weird noises, replace it with an identical pump since it cannot be repaired.

● 6. Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Excessive Noise

If your pressure washer is making a lot of noise, it might be due to broken interior pump parts, air entering the pump, a damaged pump casing, or the engine knocking due to contaminated fuel.

– Pump Wear and Tear:

When air is trapped in a pump, the plungers generate a loud grinding noise that can wear down seals and connecting rods. If the pump’s casing is cracked, it might cause vibrations and noise.

– Engine Knocking:

Check the engine’s fuel grade if you have a gas-powered pressure washer. To eliminate engine knocking, I recommend using ethanol-free, unleaded gasoline with an octane value of at least 87. You may also look for additional information in your owner’s manual.

● 7. Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Oil Leaking from the Pump

A damaged O-ring or a fractured seal causes a pump to spill oil. Disassemble your pump and replace all of the seals by hand if required. If the product is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer for assistance.

It will likely be fixed if you can disassemble your pump and your warranty has expired. If you lack the required abilities, hire a mechanic or contact your manufacturer. To help you with the replacements, I recommend purchasing an oil seal kit, which includes seals and rings in various sizes.

During reassembly, ensure that all bolts and fittings are correctly tightened. As a precautionary measure, high temperatures should never be used with a pressure washer since they can quickly degrade rubber components and result in oil leaks in the future. If your pressure washer’s pump is permanently sealed, the only remedy is to replace the pump.

● 8. Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Water in Oil

Water may enter the pressure washer if the oil seal on the pump fails. You should consider replacing the seal in this scenario.

The pump oil gets milky due to the presence of water. A faulty oil seal might cause this. The pump must be completely disassembled to replace the seal, including the housing, valves, seals, and rings.

This is something I’d perform just after the pump’s warranty ends. If the pump is still within the manufacturer’s warranty, it should be fixed or replaced by the manufacturer. Only pressure washers with oil-changeable pumps, such as plunger pumps, are affected. Most low-cost pressure washers have a permanently sealed pump that must be replaced entirely if it gets damaged.

● 9. Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer: Soap Not Dispensing from Reservoir

Check the nozzle size if your pressure washer isn’t pulling soap from the reservoir. You must also examine the soap injector kit and replace any damaged or worn-out parts.

The owner’s handbook recommends a nozzle type for the soap injection function that provides appropriate suction pressure for all detergent types. Make sure you’re using the proper nozzle. If it still doesn’t work, ensure the nozzle on your injection kit isn’t clogged. A chemical injector repair kit can help you by supplying the necessary spare parts.

Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer troubleshooting table:

Pressure washer not producing high pressure
Hose with small diameter
Replace your hose with a 1″ (25mm) or 5/8″ (16mm) hose
Restricted water supply to the washer
Check for the kinks and leaks in the hose
Inadequate water supply
Ensure the water source is unobstructed and fully turned on
Clogged intake filter
Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water
Air in the pump
Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip
Suction tube or detergent bottle not connected properly
Install the suction tube and detergent bottle correctly
Detergent too thick
Dilute the thick detergent by adding water
Obstructed spray tip
Remove the debris with a needle
No pressure tip on the wand
Install a suitable pressure tip at the end of the wand
If your model has a belt, it can be loose.
Tighten or replace the belt.
Pulsing pressure washer (output pressure varies high and low)
Inadequate water supply
Ensure that the water source is fully on and check the hose for kinks and blockage
Obstructed spray tip
Remove the debris with a needle
Pump sucking air
Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip
Clogged intake filter
Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water
Calcified hose, tip, or trigger
Clean the hose, pressure tip, or trigger with vinegar or a cleaner designed for this purpose
Noisy Pump
Air in the pump
Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip
Clogged inlet filter
Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water
Pump leaking water
Damaged or worn water seals
Replace the seals with new ones or call a professional
Loose fittings
Ensure that all the fittings are tight
Erratic water pressure, changing up and down
Unloader valve
Check and clean the unloader valve. If in bad shape, replace it
No output pressure. Or the motor stops when using the trigger (electric models)
Unloader valve
Check and clean the unloader valve. If in bad shape, replace it

● Briggs & Stratton Gas Pressure Washer Engine troubleshooting table:

Leaks in the spray wand, spray tip, or extension
Damaged or broken O-rings or plastic insert
Replace the worn O-rings or call a professional
Pressure washer pump dripping oil
Worn or damaged oil seals
Inspect the oil seals and replace if worn
No water from the washer outlet
The water supply is off
Turn the water supply ON
Kink in the hose or faucet not fully open
Remove any kinks and debris from the hose or water lines. Check and fully open the faucet.
Motor won’t start
Check the battery
Check if the battery is charged correctly. Charge or replace when in bad condition. Examine the battery terminals for a proper connection. Clean if needed.
Check the fuel filter.
Clean the fuel filter if dirty. In that case, check the gas tank, as this is the most likely culprit.
Check the gas supply.
Check the fuel level and add if needed. Ensure that the gas can flow to the carburetor. Remove any blockage.
Check the Air-filter
Clean the air filter. Replace it when it is in bad condition or a paper air filter.
Check the carburetor
Remove and clean the carburetor with some carb cleaner. It is also possible to clean it without removing it.
Fuel gap blocked
Check that the hole in the fuel cap is open. Clean if needed.
Engine is stalling, or starts and stops
Check the carburetor
Remove and clean the carburetor with some carb cleaner. It is also possible to clean it without removing it.
Air filter
Clean the air filter. Replace it when it is in bad condition or it is a paper air filter.
Check for bad gas
Suppose you have old gas, more than a few months old. It can turn bad. Drain and replace the gas. Next time add a fuel stabilizer.

● Briggs & Stratton Electric Pressure Washer Motor troubleshooting table:

Motor won’t start
The power switch is in the “OFF” or “0”  state
Turn the power switch “ON” or “1”
Cord not plugged
Plugin the power cord
Damaged, too long, or improper extension cord
Replace the existing cord with a 25′ (7.6m) 14 AWG cord or a 50′ (15m) 12 AWG cord
Inadequate power from the electrical outlet
Plug the cord into a different outlet
The pressure washer circuit breaker tripped.
Wait for the washer to cool down and restart it
Motor buzzes but fails to run
Loss in voltage due to the extension cord
Plug the unit directly into the outlet without an extension cord. If the problem isn’t solved, replace the extension cord.
Low supply voltage
Ensure that only the pressure washer runs on that circuit at the time of use
Residual pressure in the system
Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger to release pressure
Residual friction among the internal components
Cut the water supply and turn the machine ON for 2 to 3 seconds. Try it a couple of times or until the motor starts. Don’t let the machine run dry for more than 3 seconds.
Unit not used for long periods
I recommend asking a Professional for help.
Motor not working
Faulty Timer
Disconnect the leads from the timer. If your pressure washer doesn’t turn off after the time out, it means that the timer is faulty and you need to replace it.