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How Do I Get Air Out of My Pressure Washer?

Having a pressure washer can be quite productive, especially if you need to clean your driveway, patios, and house walls. The high pressure removes stubborn dirt and grime while ensuring that water consumption stays optimal. But what to do if the water pressure keeps fluctuating and not stabilizing? The most probable cause of this problem is an airlock.

How do I get the air out of my pressure washer?

If you want to get the air out of your pressure washer, let the water run through without turning the engine on. This purges the hoses from any trapped air that could cause pressure loss. To prevent these vapor locks, ensure there aren’t any leaks in the hose network and inspect the hose connections. To ensure your pressure washer keeps working correctly, follow some simple steps, such as priming the pump, checking the water supply, cleaning the nozzles from debris, and inspecting the hose connections.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an amateur, we have more tips to help ensure your pressure washer is functioning perfectly. So, let’s dive in and explore how you can quickly and easily remove air from your pressure washer!

How do I Know if there’s an Airlock in my Pressure Washer?

When your pressure washer delivers a stream of water at a pulsating pressure or gives off a strange noise during operation, chances are that there’s an airlock in your water delivery network that needs to be dealt with.

An airlock can occur in any piping network when air sneaks in the hoses and flows along with the water. Since the air is less dense than water, it floats along its surface in the pipe. Now, when the water flows through a high spot in the piping network or a joint, it causes air to get trapped at that point, resulting in a loss of pressure downstream. Hence, that could be the reason behind a pulsating water pressure or no pressure in some cases. This often creates a gurgling noise in the pipes.

Following are how you can prevent a vapor lock in your pressure washer:

  • Check for leaks: Small pipe leaks are common sites for air seeping into the piping network. Typically, the air pressure inside the pipe is lower than the ambient pressure. This causes air to enter the pipes easily. Check your water inlet and high-pressure hose for these small leaks and repair/replace these pipes if needed.
  • Tight Connections: Apart from leaking pipes, check the hose connections at the pump inlet and outlet and ensure that these connections are tight and not leaking. If they still leak after tightening, consider replacing the seals/O-rings at these attachments.
  • New hoses: Whenever you install a new hose to the pressure washer, it is important first to purge it from the air completely. New pipes are already filled with air, and when used without purging, they might cause an airlock.

Before you deduce that there’s an airlock in the pipes, you should also check if there isn’t any debris stuck in the piping network that might cause similar problems with water pressure. For this reason, you should check the water inlet hose from where the pressure washer gets water from the tank. This inlet typically has a dust filter. Ensure the filter is in its place and remove any dirt/debris stuck in it.

When you know there’s an airlock, it’s the time to fix it. Let’s have a look at how to achieve that.

How do you purge air from a pressure washer?

To purge air from a pressure washer, allow water to flow through the machine’s pump for at least two minutes with the machine turned off. This releases any air trapper so you can connect the spray gun, turn on the pressure washer, and squeeze the trigger until a steady stream of water emerges.

For those new to DIY solutions, here’s a step-by-step process:

  • Step 1. Turn it off: First, turn off the pressure washer and disconnect it from the power source.
  • Step 2. Next, detach the spray gun from the high-pressure hose.
  • Step 3. Turn on the water supply and point the hose downwards.
  • Step 4. Let the water flow through the hose for at least two minutes. This will allow water to flow through the pump and purge any air inside.
  • Step 5. After two minutes, turn off the water supply.
  • Step 6. Reconnect the spray gun to the high-pressure hose.
  • Step 7. Turn on the pressure washer.
  • Step 8. Press the trigger: Squeeze the trigger on the spray gun. You may notice some sputtering at first, but continue to hold the trigger until a steady stream of water emerges. Doing this will push any remaining air out of the system and restore the machine’s pressure.
  • Step 9. Repeat: If you still notice air in the system, you may need to repeat the process a few more times until all the air is purged.
  • Step 10. Check for leaks: It’s also a good idea to inspect the hoses and connections for any leaks or damages that could be causing air to enter the system.

Why is my pressure washer not pressuring?

Your pressure washer may not be pressurized due to various reasons, such as a clogged nozzle, air in the system, low water pressure, damaged pump or hoses, or a faulty unloader valve.

It helps to check the following parts for wear and tear or other damages

1. Check the water supply

If the water pressure from the source is too low, the pressure washer may not be able to produce enough pressure. Ensure that the water supply is adequate for the pressure washer’s requirements.

2. Check the hoses

Inspect the hoses for any kinks or blockages. These could restrict the water flow. Replace any damaged or worn-out hoses.

3. Check the nozzle

A clogged nozzle can restrict the water flow and reduce the pressure. Remove the nozzle and clean it thoroughly.

4. Check for air in the system

Air trapped in the system can prevent the pressure washer from pressurizing. Purge the air from the system as explained in the previous section.

5. Check the unloader valve

The unloader valve regulates the pressure in the system. A faulty unloader valve can prevent the pressure washer from pressurizing. Inspect the valve and replace it if necessary.

6. Check the pump

A damaged pump can also prevent the pressure washer from pressurizing. Inspect the pump for any signs of damage or wear and replace it if necessary.

How do I know if my pressure washer pump is bad?

A few signs can indicate that your pressure washer pump is bad, such as low pressure, unusual noises, leaks, and a lack of water flow.

However, these symptoms may also be caused by other issues with the pressure washer, so it’s important to inspect the pump thoroughly to confirm the cause.

Some signs of a bad pump in your pressure include the following:

1. Low Pressure

Low water pressure is the most common sign of a bad pressure washer pump. If the pressure seems weaker than usual or is inconsistent, it may indicate a problem with the pump.

This could be due to a worn-out piston or valve, clogged inlet/outlet valves, or a damaged pressure regulator.

2. Unusual Noises:

If you hear unusual noises from your pressure washer pump, it may indicate something is wrong.

A faulty pump will likely produce a grinding or rattling noise, which a worn-out bearing or crankshaft could cause. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace the entire pump if the damage is extensive.

3. Leaks:

A damaged pump may also leak water or oil, which could indicate a broken seal or gasket. Look for any signs of moisture or oil around the pump, and inspect each component carefully to determine the source of the leak.

4. Lack of Water Flow:

If there is no water flow from the pump at all, it could be due to a blockage in the inlet or outlet valves. Inspect each valve carefully and remove any debris or obstructions. If the valves are clear, the problem may be due to a damaged or broken pump, so it may be necessary to replace the entire pump.

5. Oil Level:

Most pressure washer pumps require oil to operate properly. If the oil level is low or the oil appears dirty or contaminated, it may be an indication that the pump is not functioning correctly.

Why does my pressure washer run fine but with no pressure?

If your pressure washer is running fine but not producing any pressure, it could be due to several reasons, such as a clogged nozzle, air in the pump, damaged seals or valves, or a malfunctioning pressure regulator.

1. Clogged Nozzle:

The nozzle is responsible for creating pressure by restricting the flow of water. Over time, debris and dirt can accumulate in the nozzle, causing it to clog and preventing the proper water flow.

This can result in the pressure washer running fine but not producing any pressure. To fix this issue, remove the nozzle and clean it thoroughly with a needle or a small piece of wire.

2. Air in the pump:

If air is trapped in the pump, it can prevent water from flowing through the system, resulting in no pressure.

The steps to fixing this issue are detailed above!

3. Damaged seals or valves:

If the seals or valves in the pump are damaged, they can cause water to leak, preventing proper pressure buildup. This can be caused by wear and tear or overheating.

4. Malfunctioning pressure regulator:

A malfunctioning pressure regulator can cause the pressure to drop or prevent it from building up at all.

What is an unloader valve?

Do you know why your pressure washer piping doesn’t get damaged with all that pressure buildup inside it? Well, the answer is the unloader valve.

The unloader valve is a crucial part of a pressure washer that releases pressure from the pump when you’re not spraying, preventing damage and keeping the machine safe. When you pull the trigger, the unloader valve lets the water flow back into the pump and build up pressure again.

You can think of it like a traffic controller for your pressure washer, ensuring a steady and safe water flow. And preventing any unwarranted damage.