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Greenworks Pressure Washer Troubleshooting: With Helpful Tips

Greenworks is one of the more popular pressure washer brands. They are known to build reliable electric pressure washers. But like all machines, they require proper maintenance to work efficiently. Poor maintenance or wear and tear may lead to various problems over time. To solve these problems, troubleshooting the machine and finding the root of the problem is the first step.

Greenworks Pressure Washer Troubleshooting:

To troubleshoot your Greenworks pressure washer, the first step is to identify the type of problem. Is the pressure washer not producing the correct pressure? Is the output pulsing high and low? Is there a motor or pump problem? Or is the pressure washer pump or another part of the machine leaking? Knowing the type of problem, you can use our diagnose table to find the cause and solution.

This article will provide you a complete guide to troubleshoot your Greenworks pressure washer. It will give you information about the reasons that cause the electric pressure washer not to work correctly and provide solutions to these problems.

Diagnose and troubleshoot a Greenworks Pressure Washer

Use the following table to diagnose and troubleshoot a GreenWorks pressure washer:

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
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 in a different outlet
The pressure washer circuit breaker tripped
Wait for the washer to cool down and restart it
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 fitting 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 motor stops when using the trigger (electric models)
Unloader valve
Check and clean the unloader valve. If in bad shape, replace it
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 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
Remove any kinks and debris from the hose or water lines
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
Call a professional

Why Does My Greenworks Pressure Washer Keep Shutting Off?

A Greenworks pressure washer keeps shutting off due to a problem with the unloader valve. A faulty unloader valve doesn’t divert the water to the inlet, which increases pressure inside the pump, and the washer shuts off.

The unloader valve diverts the water flow towards the inlet. When the unloader valve fails to do this, a lot of pressure builds up in the electric pressure washer. The motor will be under a lot of strain, needs to supply a lot of power driving the pump, and ultimately shuts off.

To solve this problem, carefully inspect the unloader valve’s springs and other components. Readjust the valve or replace the damaged parts of the valve or the whole valve if it’s fully damaged. Here is a step-by-step guide to follow if your Greenworks pressure washer keeps shutting off:

● Step 1: Check the unloader valve

The easiest way to check the unloader valve is by adjusting the spring of the unloader valve. Mark the setting before changing it. That way, you can easily set it back after changing it. When you move the spring, you should see the output pressure of the pressure washer change. You should be able to lower it and set it higher. If this is the case, the unloader valve is working fine. Ensure that you set it to the correct level.

● Step 2: Unplug the pressure washer

For safety reasons, remove the power cord from the wall socket.

● Step 3: Remove the top and take off the nob

Remove the nut from the top of the unloader valve and take off the plastic pressure adjusting knob. Then remove the thin washer and the spring. You will see a threaded piston and rod with two locking nuts if you have successfully removed them.

● Step 4: Lock the nuts, clip the pressure gauge and start tightening the spring

Lock the two nuts that you see on the rod together with a wrench. Put the spring washer and black adjusting knob on. If you have a pressure gauge, attach it between the pump and pressure hose. You can use it to see the output pressure when you press the trigger. If you do not have a pressure gauge, you have to do this by sight. Try to spray at the same distance to the same spot to compare the different settings easier.

Turn the water on and press the trigger. Ensure that all the air from the pump is released and only water comes out of the nozzle.

Now press the trigger. Look at the pressure gauge. Start tightening the spring. The pressure should increase. Now release the trigger. You will see that the pressure spikes up. The goal is to find the setting where the spike is somewhere between 5% to 10%. This is the spot where you need to stop adjusting the knob. It would be best not to have more than a 10 % spike when you release the trigger. If it is higher, it can damage the pump over time.

For example, if you set the pressure to 3000 PSI. The pressure spike shouldn’t exceed 3240 PSI when you release the trigger.

● Step 5: Adjust the knob until you find the spot where pressure is maximal and the spike is minimal

Keep the machine running and continue adjusting the knob. If the nuts are too low, you can move them higher. Try to find the setting where the pressure is at its highest and the spike as low as possible. Like mentioned earlier, the spike should not exceed 10%. And if possible, it should be lower if you release the trigger. Once you find the spot, take off the adjusting knob, washer, and spring and tighten the nuts firmly with wrenches.

Crank down the spring to bottom it out on the two nuts. Check the pressure, and spike again. Suppose the pressure and spike are both ok. Screw the nut on top of the piston rod and pop the cap on top of the adjusting knob.

Why is My Electric Pressure Washer Not Working?

The most common reasons for an electric pressure washer not to work correctly are a broken cord, burned capacitor, or a blown fuse. These may prevent the pressure washer from running at all. The pump and the unloader valve might have an issue. Resulting in a hot motor or an irregular output pressure.

● Broken Cord or Damaged Plug:

If your electric pressure washer is not working, the first thing to check is if the power outlet is working. My experience is that in many cases, the problem lies in the outlet or the cord. Use a lamp or another appliance to check if there is power. It is possible that due to some moisture, the earth leakage circuit breaker has tripped. But if the fuse has blown, there can be a more substantial problem.

It would be best if you also inspected the cord while troubleshooting an electric pressure washer. If you notice that if you move the cord up and down, it sometimes seems to work. It is a clear indication that the power cord is damaged. Open the pressure washer and replace the power cord, and plug.

● Burned Capacitor:

An electric pressure washer may not start if the capacitor inside the motor is burned. To inspect the capacitor, remove the outer case covering the motor with the screwdriver. A bulging or blackening capacitor indicates damage. This needs to be replaced. For some motors, you can replace it separately. For some other motors, you need to replace the whole motor.

● Blown Fuse:

A blown fuse in an electric pressure washer won’t allow the washer to run at all. If for whatever reason, the pressure washer uses more power than it usually does, the fuse can blow. When replacing the fuse or resetting it in the case of an electronic version, it is important to understand that something has caused it. Fuses do not blow for no reason. Be careful when turning on the pressure washer after replacing a fuse.

If you use a large extension cord of a small gauge, your fuse might blow. It’s recommended to use a 12-gauge wire cord if the cord is longer than 25 feet. Extension cords with small gauges don’t provide adequate power to the pressure washer and blow a fuse. As a result, the pressure washer doesn’t start.

If your main supply voltage is low, the pressure washer’s motor will pull more current and blow a fuse. You can check the fuse of your pressure washer with a multimeter. Take the fuse out and place the probes of the multimeter at the ends of the fuse. A perfect fuse has a resistance reading of almost zero. If the multimeter shows high resistance, this means that your fuse is damaged and needs to be replaced.

● Damaged Unloader Valve

If your electric pressure washer produces no pressure, you may have a problem with the unloader valve. The unloader valve diverts the water flow in the pressure washer to flow back in a loop to the pump when the trigger is not pressed. If the unloader valve gets damaged, the pressure washer produces low pressure or no pressure at all in some cases. To fix this problem, check the springs and seals of the unloader valve and replace it if it’s damaged or try to readjust the unloader screw.

For a step-by-step, approach see the part about the unloader valve earlier in this blog post.

● Clogged Hose or Inlet Filter

This problem often arises due to an inadequate water supply. To fix this problem, ensure that the faucet is fully opened. Also, check the hose for any kinks or clog inside. The hose connected to the pressure washer must be large enough to provide an appropriate GPM. Check the water inlet filter and remove any debris or mineral build-up.

● Faulty Pump

Sometimes electric pressure washers produce a pulsating pressure. This means that the pressure frequently changes between high and low. There can be a problem with the unloader valve. But if you have checked it and it is fine. There can also be a problem with a damaged inlet, manifold, or pump valve that causes a pulsing pressure. To solve this problem, take out the pump from the washer and clean its components.

I have also seen that trapped air can result in strange behavior. You can release trapped air in the pump by pulling the trigger and let the water flow until all the air is gone. If the problem still continues, you may need to replace the pump or ask a professional for some help.

● Water Leaking From the Pump

Water can leak when the pump casing isn’t sealed correctly. Or due to the activation of the thermal valve. To improve the casing seal, first, check that the seals aren’t broken or worn. When this is not the case, tighten the bolts on the pump. When that does not help, replace the seals or the whole pump.

Suppose the water leakage is due to the activation of the thermal valve. Please turn off the pressure washer and allow it to cool down for few minutes. Then try again. If the problem happens more frequently, try to find why the pump is running hot.

How to Fix A Greenworks Electric Pressure Washer That Isn’t Starting

Here are the steps to diagnose and fix your Greenworks electric pressure washer that won’t start:

Step 1: Check the cord and AC outlet

Check the cord for any wear and tear and make sure that all the connections look ok. Check if the outlet is working with another appliance, like a lamp. If it is not working, check the earth leakage circuit breaker. Moisture can lead to tripping. If you are using a cord with a low power rating, replace it with a cord with a higher gauge. It’s recommended to use a 12-gauge cord if its length is longer than 25 feet.

If you use an extension cable, ensure that it is not winded. Always fully unwind extension cords, as they can run really hot.

Step 2: Check the fuse and replace it

Remove the fuse from the pressure washer and check if it’s blown. You can use a multimeter to do this. Place the multimeter’s probes at each end of the fuse and read the resistance reading on the multimeter. A perfect fuse has approximately zero resistance reading. If you get a high rating, it means the fuse is burned and needs replacement. If your model uses an electronic fuse, reset it.

Step 3: Replace the capacitor

Remove the case that covers the motor and check the capacitor. A blacked capacitor indicates that it’s burned. Disconnect the burned capacitor’s legs from the wires of the motor and install the new capacitor. For some models, you can not replace the capacitor individually. In that case, you have to replace the whole engine.