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PowerStroke Pressure Washer Problems: Pump & Water Troubleshooting With Fixes

PowerStroke pressure washers are handy power tools that can be suited for both homeowners and professional cleaners. Most pressure washer users frequently face issues regarding their pump and the water delivery network of the pressure washer. This may be in the form of water leakages, water pressure being too low or too high, unusual pump noises, etc.

PowerStroke Pressure Washer Problems:

If water is leaking from your PowerStroke pressure washer, the problem might be with the pump or the input hose, high-pressure hose, and spray gun connectors. Examine the tightness and condition of the seals and O-rings at all connections. If you detect an odd variation in water pressure, inspect the nozzles and ensure the unloader valve is positioned correctly. If your pump is leaking oil or producing unusual sounds, you should lubricate it and ask the manufacturer to inspect its seals.

In this article, I will help to troubleshoot and fix your PowerStroke pressure washer for all pump and water-related problems.

PowerStroke Pressure Washer is Leaking Water

Water could leak from the hose attachments of your PowerStroke pressure washer. Check the hose connections at the pump and spray gun one by one to determine the source of the water leak.

A leak is more likely to occur at one of these three points.  The leak could originate from the pump itself. The pump’s inlet and exit hose connections are another potential leak site. Furthermore, water might leak from the connection between the spray gun and the high-pressure hose.

● PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Pump

If you have a water leak directly from the pump on your PowerStroke pressure washer, the piston seals are most likely worn out and need to be changed.

Most pressure washer pumps employ a positive displacement piston mechanism to push water across the hoses. A piston seal prevents water from leaking into the pump. These seals weaken with time, possibly contributing to a leak. In that case, you may need to remove the pump casing and examine the piston seals by yourself for signs of wear.

This is applicable only if you have a plunger pump. Pumps of axial and wobble plates type are factory assembled and cannot be disassembled for repair. As a result, the seals in them cannot be replaced individually, and the complete pump must be replaced to solve the issue.

● PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Hose Connection

If your pressure washer’s hose connections are leaking, you should consider replacing the pipe fittings/couplings at these attachments.

A pipe connector links the pipe to the pump’s low-pressure inlet, and the seal on these connections is leak-proof. Hence, if a leak occurs at this location, it is more likely that the connector and its seal have worn out. Similarly, the outlet seal should be changed if the connector at the pump’s high-pressure output and its corresponding hose leaks.

● PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Water Leaking from the Spray Gun

If the spray gun on your PowerStroke pressure washer leaks, examine the hose-gun connection and tighten the screws. Furthermore, inspect the high-pressure hose at the outlet for a broken O-ring and replace it if needed.

Most pressure washers utilize a push fit to connect the high-pressure hose and the spray cannon. Check to ensure that the fit is correct and that the connection is not loose. If it has screws, ensure that they are tight. If the leak continues after tightening the fit, ensure the hose’s O-ring is present and undamaged. A damaged or missing O-ring might have caused this leak.

Pressure washer seals, gaskets, and O-rings can be purchased online or at your local parts dealer.

PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Water Pressure Problems

If your PowerStroke pressure washer isn’t producing enough water pressure, follow the steps below.

● 1. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Low Pressure

To fix low water pressure, ensure there is enough water entering and the inlet line is not clogged with debris. Moreover, check that the exit nozzle is not worn out or clogged.

The amount of water at the pump’s entry must be sufficient to provide adequate pressure. You must also inspect the inlet hose for twists or bends and remove them. In addition, most input hoses are equipped with a dust filter that links to the pump. Check the filter for any dirt that has been stuck. If the pressure remains low, double-check that you’re using the right nozzle and that it’s not blocked with debris.

● 2. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: No Pressure

If your pressure washer loses pressure, check the water supply, hoses, and nozzle. Next, inspect the unloader valve and the pump, at least one of which has to be fixed.

Pressure loss might also occur due to nozzle debris or a low water supply. In this case, the issue is most likely with the pump and unloader valve. While the pump is running and the trigger is pushed, adjust the unloader valve gently to see if the pressure improves.

If the problem persists, the likely defective unloader valve must be replaced. It would be ideal if you additionally checked your pump’s plungers and O-rings for damage.

Cavitation-induced air bubbles can cause long-term damage to various pump components, resulting in pressure loss. Consult the owner’s handbook before attempting to replace parts on your pump. Most pumps cannot be disassembled and must be replaced with an identical one since they are manufactured as a single item.

● 3. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Surging Pressure

If your water pressure unexpectedly rises, inspect your nozzle for obstructions or signs of damage. Adjust the unloader valve so more water passes through the bypass and less enters the spray nozzle.

The unloader valve of a pressure washer directs a portion of the high-pressure water flow to the pump intake or water tank instead of the spray nozzle. When you tighten your unloader valve, you bypass very little incoming flow, resulting in high pressure at the nozzle output.

Loosening the unloader valve improves the flow rate of the bypass, lowering pressure spikes at the spray gun. If this does not work, inspect your nozzle for visible indications of damage and replace it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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

If your water pressure dips unexpectedly, a worn-out nozzle or a hose leak may be at fault. A poorly-tuned unloader valve may also have contributed to this issue.

In contrast to the preceding surging example, if the unloader is too loosely set, the pressure at the spray gun may drop. If this setting is too loose, even a small amount of flow can overcome the spring tension and flow to the water tank. The water pressure at the nozzle outlet decreases as a result.

In addition, look for any holes or leaks in your hoses. You must ensure that your nozzle is not blocked with dirt or debris.

● 5. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Strange Noises from Pump

If your pump is making an unusual noise, it might be due to worn-out connecting rods or bearings. If it is not greased on time, it will also generate noise.

Plunger-type pumps in high-end pressure washers require oil replacement every three months. As a result, routine maintenance is needed for efficient performance in these pumps. In low-end variants, the pump is either axial or wobbling plate type. Because they are permanently sealed with oil after assembly, these pumps do not require oil replacement.

– Solution

Depending on the pressure washer, the pump should be maintained and oiled every three months (axial or plunger). Metal parts that are not greased tend to rub against each other, making a lot of noise. Remove the plunger pump and inspect the bearings and connecting rods if this occurs. A bearing replacement may be necessary if lubricating the pump does not solve the problem.

If the noise persists, the connecting rods of the pump may be faulty, especially if your pump is old. Fatigue and stress can accelerate the wear rate of your pump’s connecting rods, especially if it has been running for a long time.

If the axial or wobbling plate pump in your pressure washer produces strange noises, replace it with an identical pump since it cannot be fixed.

● 6. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Excessive Noise

If your pressure washer generates a lot of noise, it might be because of broken internal pump parts, air getting into the pump, a fractured pump casing, or the engine knocking due to impure gasoline.

– Pump Wear & Tear:

When air becomes trapped in a pump, the plungers make a loud grinding noise, which can wear down seals and connecting rods. If the pump’s casing is damaged, vibrations and noise may occur.

– Engine Rattling:

Check the fuel grade in your gas-powered pressure washer engine. To reduce engine knocking, I suggest using ethanol-free, unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane number of 87. You may also check your owner’s handbook for further information.

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

Oil leaks from a pump due to a fractured O-ring or a broken seal. If necessary, disassemble your pump and manually replace all of the seals. Contact the manufacturer for assistance if the product is still under warranty.

If you can disassemble your pump, although its warranty has passed, it is still possible that it will be repaired. If you lack the necessary skills, employ a mechanic or contact the manufacturer. I recommend getting an oil seal kit, which contains seals and rings in various sizes, to assist you with the replacements.

Ensure that all bolts and fittings are properly tightened during reassembly. To prevent oil spills in the future, pressure washers should never be subjected to high temperatures. If the pump on your pressure washer is permanently sealed, the only solution is to replace the pump.

● 8. PowerStroke Pressure Washer: Water in Oil

If the oil seal on the pump breaks, water may enter the pressure washer. In this case, you should think about replacing the seal.

The presence of water causes the pump oil to turn milky, which could result from a fractured oil seal. The pump must be entirely dismantled to replace the seal, including the housing, valves, seals, and rings.

This is something I’d do just after the pump’s warranty expires. If the pump is still under warranty, it should be repaired or replaced by the manufacturer. Only pressure washers with oil-replaceable pumps, such as plunger pumps, are impacted. The pump in most low-cost pressure washers is permanently sealed and must be replaced fully if damaged.

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

Check the nozzle size if your pressure washer isn’t sucking soap from the reservoir. Apart from that, you must examine the soap injector kit and replace any damaged or worn-out parts.

The owner’s manual suggests a specific nozzle for the soap injection function that gives enough suction pressure for all detergent compositions. Check that you’re using the correct nozzle. If it still doesn’t work, ensure your injection kit’s nozzle isn’t clogged. A chemical injector repair kit can assist you by providing the required spare items.

PowerStroke Pressure Washer troubleshooting table:

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 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

● PowerStroke Gas Pressure Washer Engine troubleshooting table:

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 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.

● PowerStroke Electric Pressure Washer Motor troubleshooting table:

Problem
Cause
Solution
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.
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