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Honda Pressure Washer: Pump & Water Troubleshooting With Fixes

Pressure washers powered by Honda are renowned for their robustness and versatility in cleaning a wide range of surfaces. Despite their effectiveness, even high-quality pressure washers occasionally experience issues that need diagnosis and repair. For a pressure washer to function properly, it is essential to pay attention to the pump and the water supply system.

If water leaks from your Honda pressure washer, assess the pump, high-pressure hose, and spray gun connections. Confirm that all the seals and O-rings are in good condition and that all the connections are tight. If the water pressure is low, ensure the nozzles are unclogged and set the unloader valve to its highest. If your pump makes noise or spills oil, ensure that the seals are not worn out and that the pump is regularly oiled.

This post will guide anyone who has ever had difficulties with their Honda pressure washer’s pump or water supply and wants to know how to diagnose and repair the problem on their own.

Pressure Washer Brands Using Honda Engines

Before we start with the pump and water troubleshooting, it is worth noting that although Honda does manufacture pressure washers, they are available for sale only in Japan. However, Honda’s engines power a wide variety of pressure washer brands. Therefore, when we say Honda pressure washers, we generally refer to the pressure washers that use a Honda engine.

Some of the common pressure washer brands using Honda engines are Simpson, Pressure-Pro, PowerBoss, Craftsman, and Briggs & Stratton.

Honda Pressure Washer is Leaking Water

Water may leak from the connections on your Honda pressure washer. Check the pump and spray gun connections separately to troubleshoot the water leak.

There are typically three connections from which a leak is likely to originate. The first is the pump itself. The second location can be the pump’s intake and exit hose connectors. And the third is the spray gun’s attachment to the high-pressure hose, which could allow water to leak.

● Honda Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Pump

If your Honda pressure washer leaks straight from the pump, the problem is typically caused by worn-out piston seals that must be replaced.

Most pressure washer pumps have a positive displacement piston mechanism that pushes water through the tubing to pressurize it. A piston seal prevents water from leaking from the pump. These seals will likely wear out over time, leading to a leak. To inspect this, you might need to remove the pump’s casing and examine the piston seals for signs of wear.

This is only applicable if your pump is of a plunger type. Usually, axial and wobble plate pumps come as factory assembled, and they don’t have a provision for disassembly. Hence, in that case, seals cannot be replaced separately, and you need to change the pump to fix the issue.

● Honda Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Hose Connection

If the hose connectors on your Honda pressure washer leak, the couplings at these attachments have worn out and must be changed.

At the pump, a coupling connects the hose to the low-pressure input. This coupler contains a seal that prevents leaks. If there is a leak at this point, the coupling and its seal are most likely broken. Similarly, if the pump outlet’s connection to the high-pressure hose leaks, the seal at the outlet must be replaced.

● Honda Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Spray Gun

If the spray gun on your Honda pressure washer leaks, check the hose-gun connection and press/screw it tightly. Examine the hose outlet for a faulty O-ring and replace it.

A press fit links the high-pressure hose to the spray gun in most pressure washers. You should check to see if the fit is working. If it has screws, ensure sure they are tight enough. If the leak persists, please examine the O-ring at the hose to see if it is still present. A missing O-ring could have caused this leak.

Seals, gaskets, and O-rings for your pressure washer can be purchased from a variety of sources online or from your local dealer.

Honda Pressure Washer: Water Pressure Problems

If your Honda pressure washer isn’t producing enough water pressure, follow the troubleshooting guide below.

● 1. Honda Pressure Washer: Low Pressure

To troubleshoot low water pressure, ensure you have a sufficient water supply and that the inlet hose is not clogged with dirt. Also, ensure that the nozzle is functioning properly.

For the pump to generate the right pressure, the water supply at the pump’s inlet must be adequate. Check for any kinks in the inlet hose. Furthermore, most inlet hoses have a debris filter at the pump connection. Inspect the filter and remove any debris that has become lodged in it. If the issue remains, ensure you’re using the correct nozzle and that it’s not clogged with dirt.

● 2. Honda Pressure Washer: No Pressure

If your Honda pressure washer loses pressure, consider checking the water supply, hose, and nozzle. If that doesn’t fix, inspect the unloader valve and the pump, which could be faulty.

In this case, the pump and the unloader valve may have an issue, even though a pressure loss could also have resulted from debris getting trapped or an insufficient water supply. Adjust the unloader valve gradually while keeping the pump on and the trigger pushed to see whether it improves the pressure. If not, try replacing the valve. The plungers and O-rings of your pump may also need to be inspected for damage.

Air bubbles caused by cavitation can degrade certain pump parts over time, resulting in pressure loss. While you’re looking to perform replacements in your pump, check the owner’s manual first. Most pumps are sold as single units. Hence, they cannot be disassembled and only be replaced with a new one.

● 3. Honda Pressure Washer: Surging Pressure

If your water pressure suddenly spikes, check that the nozzle is not damaged. It would also assist if you loosened the unloader valve to let more water into the bypass and less into the spray gun.

Your pressure washer’s unloader valve bypasses the high-pressure flow to the pump intake or the water tank. If your unloader is too tightly adjusted, it barely bypasses any flow, resulting in excessive pressure at the gun outlet. By loosening the valve, the bypass would occur and avoid any pressure surges. If this does not resolve the problem, inspect your nozzle for signs of damage and replace it if required.

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

If your water pressure reduces after a few seconds, it could be due to a clogged nozzle or hose leakage. An incorrectly adjusted unloader valve could potentially cause this issue.

In contrast to the previous case of surging, if the unloader is set too loosely, it can result in a drop in pressure at the gun. If the setting is too loose, even a tiny amount of water pressure will be enough to overcome the spring tension and activate the bypass. As a result, the pressure at the gun exit decreases. Besides, I recommend inspecting your hose for any holes or leaks. Check to see that your nozzle isn’t blocked with dirt.

● 5. Honda Pressure Washer: Strange Noises from Pump

If your pump makes an unusual noise, it could be due to a defective bearing or damaged connecting rods. If it is not well oiled, it would also produce noise.

High-end pressure washer models have a pump with replaceable oil. These pumps are usually plunger type. They require frequent oil checks and oil changes when necessary. Comparatively, low-end models employ a wobbling or axial piston pump, to which oil is injected during the manufacturing process, and then it’s permanently sealed.  

Your pressure washer pump should be lubricated every three months, depending on the model. Due to a lack of lubrication, sliding contacts between metal parts occur, resulting in noise. In that case, you can open your pump and inspect the bearings. A bearing replacement will most likely eliminate the noise if lubricating the pump does not fix the problem.

If you have a sealed pressure washer pump making unusual noises, you should change the pump to an identical one.

● 6. Honda Pressure Washer: Excessive Noise

Excessive noise from your pressure washer can be the result from damage to the pump’s internal components, air mixing in the pump, a damaged pump casing, or engine knocking due to bad fuel.

When the air gets trapped in a pump, the plungers make a loud grinding noise, which can damage the seals and connecting rods. If the pump’s casing breaks, it may generate vibrations that cause considerable noise.

If you own a Honda gas-powered pressure washer, inspect the fuel quality going into the engine. To avoid engine knocking, I suggest using ethanol-free, unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane number of 87.

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

A pump leaking oil most certainly has a faulty seal or a worn-out O-ring. If you do not have a permanently sealed pump, disassemble it, and replace all of the seals by hand.

If your pump has replaceable oil and its warranty has ended, you might think about disassembling it. To replace the oil seals, I suggest getting an oil seal kit that includes seals and rings of all sizes. Ensure that all bolts and fittings are sufficiently tightened while reassembling. Avoid exposure to high temperatures that can quickly degrade rubber components to avoid future oil spills.

If the pump on your pressure washer is permanently sealed, the only solution is to replace the entire pump.

● 8. Honda Pressure Washer: Water in Oil

A defective oil seal in the pump causes water to enter the pump oil. In this case, you should change the seal.

Water entering the pump oil causes it to appear milky, and this could be the result of a defective oil seal. Replacing the seal involves the removal of the complete pump, including the housing, valves, seals, and rings.

I recommend doing this only after the pump’s warranty has expired. The pump manufacturer should repair this under warranty. This only applies to pressure washers with an oil-changeable pump. Most low-cost pressure washers have a permanently sealed pump; if the pump becomes damaged or broken, it can only be replaced as a whole.

● 9. Honda Pressure Washer: Soap Not Dispensing from Reservoir

If your pressure washer isn’t drawing soap from the reservoir, make sure you’re using the correct nozzle size. In addition, you must inspect the soap injector kit and repair any broken or worn-out parts.

The owner’s handbook suggests a specific type of nozzle for the soap injection function that offers adequate suction pressure for the detergent. Make sure you use the correct nozzle type. If that doesn’t work, inspect your soap injection kit to verify there are no blockages in the nozzle. Purchasing a chemical injector repair kit may get all the spare parts you need.

Troubleshooting table Gas Pressure Washer with Honda Engine:

Problem
Cause
Solution
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.
Problem
Cause
Solution
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 when 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 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.
Problem
Cause
Solution
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.
Problem
Cause
Solution
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
Problem
Cause
Solution
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
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