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Craftsman Pressure Washer Problems: Pump & Water Troubleshooting With Fixes

Craftsman pressure washers provide a remarkable cleaning job for your driveways, patios, and other surfaces. These machines employ a pump (powered by an engine or an electric motor) to deliver water to the spray hose with high pressure. When it comes to pumps and hoses, several things can go wrong, such as leakage, pressure loss, surges, excessive noise, etc.

Craftsman Pressure Washer Problems. Pump & Water Troubleshooting.

If your Craftsman pressure washer leaks water, it can either be at the pump itself or the connections with the inlet hose, high-pressure hose, and spray gun. Ensure all the connections are snug and the seals and O-rings aren’t faulty. If you notice a change in water pressure, check the condition of the nozzles and make sure the unloader valve is adjusted correctly. If your pump leaks oil or makes strange noises, you need to lubricate it and get its seals checked.

This article deals with water and pump-related issues for gas and electric pressure washers by Craftsman. I will also show how to fix the issue.

Craftsman Pressure Washer is Leaking Water

Water could escape from the hose of your Craftsman pressure washer’s connection points. To investigate the causes of this water leak, check the connections at the pump and spray gun individually.

A leak is more likely to happen at one of three locations. The pump could itself might be the point of leakage. Another site that could develop a leakage is the intake and exit hose connections on the pump. In addition, water may also leak from the spray gun’s connection to the high-pressure hose.

● Craftsman Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Pump

If your Craftsman pressure washer leaks directly from the pump, the piston seals are most likely worn out and need to be replaced.

Most pressure washer pumps use a piston mechanism with positive displacement to drive water through the pipes. Water is kept out of the pump by a piston seal. These seals are prone to deterioration with time, which may result in a leak. To inspect this, dismantle the pump case and examine the piston seals for signs of wear.

This only applies if you have a plunger pump. Axial and wobbling plate pumps are typically built in a factory and cannot be repaired. As a result, seals cannot be replaced individually in such a scenario, and the entire pump must be replaced to fix the problem.

● Craftsman Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Hose Connection

If your pressure washer’s hose connections leak, the connectors at these attachments have deteriorated and should be replaced.

The hose is connected to the pump’s low-pressure input through a connector/pipe connection. A leak-proof seal is included with this connection. If there is a leak at this location, the connection and its seal

are most likely damaged. Similarly, the outlet seal should be replaced if the connection between the pump’s high-pressure output and its accompanying hose leaks.

● Craftsman Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Spray Gun

If the spray cannon on your Craftsman pressure washer leaks, check the hose-gun connection and tighten the screws. Then, check the exit of the high-pressure hose 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 to ensure that the fit is working correctly and that the connection is not loose. If it contains screws, make sure they are securely fastened. If the leak persists after tightening the fit, please check to determine if the O-ring at the hose is still there and unbroken. This leak might have been caused by a broken or missing O-ring.

Seals, gaskets, and O-rings for pressure washers can be obtained online or from a pressure washer parts store.

Pressure Washer: Water Pressure Problems

Follow the instructions below if your Craftsman pressure washer is not creating adequate water pressure.

● 1. Craftsman Pressure Washer: Low Pressure

To troubleshoot low water pressure, ensure there is enough water supply, and the input line is not clogged with dirt. Also, make sure the nozzle is not worn out or plugged.

The amount of water available at the pump’s input must be adequate to create the requisite pressure. Check for and remove any twists or bends in the input hose. Furthermore, most intake hoses have a dust filter at the pump’s connecting point. Examine the filter for any dirt that has been lodged in it. If the pressure remains low, make sure you’re using the proper nozzle, and it’s not clogged with debris.

● 2. Craftsman Pressure Washer: No Pressure

Check the water source, hoses, and nozzle if your pressure washer loses pressure. After that, check the unloader valve and the pump, at least one of which needs to be replaced.

Pressure loss can also be caused by debris in the nozzle or a low water supply. However, the pump and unloader valve is most likely malfunctioning in this case. Gently adjust the unloader valve while the pump operates, and the trigger is pressed to check whether the pressure improves.

If the situation does not improve, replace the unloader valve, which is certainly not operating correctly. You may also need to inspect your pump’s plungers and O-rings for damage.

Furthermore, cavitation-induced air bubbles can harm various pump components over time, resulting in pressure loss. Before changing parts on your pump, consult the owner’s manual. Because most pumps are built as full units, they cannot be dismantled and must be replaced with similar units.

● 3. Craftsman Pressure Washer: Surging Pressure

If your water pressure unexpectedly rises, inspect your nozzle for clogs or indications of damage. Also, adjust your unloader valve so more water flows through the bypass and less enters the spray cannon.

The pressure washer’s unloader valve transfers part of the high-pressure water flow to the pump intake or water tank rather than the spray nozzle. When your unloader is too tight, almost no incoming flow is bypassed, resulting in excessive pressure at the gun outlet.

By loosening the unloader valve, the flow rate over the bypass would rise, eliminating pressure spikes at the spray gun. If this doesn’t work, examine your nozzle for apparent signs of damage and replace it as needed.

● 4. Craftsman Pressure Washer: Drops Pressure after a Few Seconds

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

In contrast to the instance of surging discussed above, if the unloader is adjusted too loosely, the pressure at the spray gun may decline. If this setting is too loose, a low flow rate might overcome the spring force and bypass the water tank. As a result, the water pressure at the nozzle’s output reduces.

I also recommend inspecting your hose for any holes or leaks. Furthermore, ensure your nozzle is not blocked with any dirt or debris.

● 5. Craftsman Pressure Washer: Strange Noises from Pump

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

Plunger-type pumps are used in high-end pressure washers and must be replenished with oil every three months. As a result, these pumps require slightly more maintenance. The pump employed in low-end variants is either axial or wobbling plate type. These pumps do not require oil refilling since they are permanently sealed with oil during manufacturing.

– Solution

Your pressure washer’s pump needs to be serviced and lubricated with oil every three months, depending on the type (axial or plunger). Lack of lubrication causes metal parts to slide more easily, increasing noise. In this situation, you can unscrew the pump and examine the bearings and connecting rods. If lubricating the pump does not solve the problem, a bearing replacement may be required.

If the noise persists, the connecting rods might be a problem, especially if your engine is old. If your pressure washer’s engine has been used for an extended period, the connecting rods will make additional noise due to fatigue and wear.

If your pressure washer’s axial or wobbling plate pump is making unusual noises, replace it with a similar model since it cannot be dismantled and fixed.

● 6. Craftsman Pressure Washer: Excessive Noise

If your pressure washer makes too much noise, it might be due to broken internal pump parts, air leaking into the pump, a damaged pump casing, or the engine knocking due to bad fuel quality.

Pump Wear and Tear:

When air becomes trapped in a pump, the plungers generate a loud grinding noise, which can cause seals and connecting rods to wear out. If the pump’s casing breaks, it may cause vibrations that can generate substantial noise.

Engine knocking:

If you have a gas-powered pressure washer, check the grade and quality of the gasoline coming into the engine. If you want to reduce engine knocking, I recommend using ethanol-free, unleaded gasoline with an octane number of at least 87. You may also check your owner’s manual for further information.

● 7. Craftsman Pressure Washer: Oil Leaking from the Pump

A leaky oil pump has a malfunctioning O-ring or a broken seal. If applicable, you may need to disassemble your pump and replace all seals by hand. If the product is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer for support.

If your pump enables oil changing and your warranty has expired, you may be able to fix it by disassembling it. If you lack the necessary abilities, hire a mechanic or contact your manufacturer. To assist you with the replacements, I recommend purchasing an oil seal kit containing seals and rings in various sizes.

During reassembly, ensure that all bolts and fittings are correctly tightened. To avoid future oil spills, never expose your pressure washer to high temperatures, which can quickly degrade rubber components.

If your pressure washer’s pump is permanently sealed, the only remedy is to replace the whole pump.

● 8. Craftsman Pressure Washer: Water in Oil

Water can enter the pressure washer if the pump’s oil seal fails. In this scenario, you should think about replacing the seal.

The pump oil becomes milky due to the presence of water. This might be due to a faulty oil seal. The pump must be completely disassembled to replace the seal, including the housing, valves, seals, and rings.

I’d do this just after the pump’s warranty has ended. If the pump is still under warranty, the manufacturer should fix it. This only applies to pressure washers with oil-changeable plunger pumps. The pump in most low-cost pressure washers is permanently sealed and must be entirely replaced if damaged.

● 9. Craftsman 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 manual recommends a specific type of nozzle for the soap injection function, providing sufficient 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 soap injection kit isn’t clogged. A chemical injector repair kit can help you by providing all the necessary spare parts.

Craftsman 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 is 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

● Craftsman 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 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 when it is in bad condition or 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.

● Craftsman 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.