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Pressure Washer Making Excessive Noise, What To Do?

On a sunny weekend morning, you decide to pressure wash your porch but find to your surprise that your washer is making a strange noise. It seems as if it’s in pain. Nobody likes to be embarrassed in front of his neighbors, especially if it comes to a pressure washer that is noisier than usual. What to do? How to prevent the neighbors from getting upset? Well, you’re in luck because this article was made to handle situations just like yours.

Pressure Washer Making Excessive Noise:

  1. A damaged pump with broken parts.
  2. Worn out valves may produce a knocking noise.
  3. Inadequate water supply or too much air intake in the water channel.
  4. Pulsation may cause noise due to debris stuck in the pulsation dampener.

Generally, pressure washers create more noise than other household appliances, but they make up for it with excellent and efficient cleaning power. However, a very noisy (more than most other machines) pressure washer may have a pump that is sucking too much air. The noise can be due to other reasons as well. Here we address a few of them with effective remedies as promised.

Gas operated pressure washers contain more rotating parts than an electric alternate, so they have to be maintained regularly. If the damaged seals, bearings, and connecting rods aren’t replaced in time, the problem may propagate.

But don’t you worry. We’re here to give you a helping hand by addressing all the issues with the respective indications and solutions.

Common Troubleshooting Steps:

Pressure washers commonly involve combustion and pumping processes, which are noise filled processes in nature. Significant noise comes from the fastest process; the pumping process. So problems related to intake & exhaust of fluids, pump bearings, and connecting rods are the noise sources. Here, we address them and provide you with easy DIY solutions.

1. A Damaged Pump:

The pressure washer has a rotary-dynamic pump that spins at high rpm to give the required thrust to water. It is natural for such systems to sustain damage in the long run. If the pump is making a louder than usual noise, it may have broken bearings, connecting rods and valves. These generate loud noises and be dangerous for the life of the pump and the washer in general.

– Solutions:

  • Pump Repair Kit: Basic to high-level pump repairing kits are generally available in the market. These contain a set of O seals, roller bearings, and adhesives that may be used to hold up & repair the damaged connecting rod.
  • Pump Lubricators: The bearings in action get clogged up with oil residues over time and may lose their freedom of movement. Different kinds of oil lubricators and anti-rust agents like WD-40 are available that be can be used to tune up the parts from time to time.
  • A New Pump: Although it is the least desirable solution, sometimes it is the only one. A timely replaced pump can prevent the damage to spread to other nozzles, combustion chamber, carburetor, etc.

2. Worn Out Valves:

The pump has inlet and discharge valves that control the water flowing and flowing out of the machine. Overly used or rarely used, both kinds of washers may contain worn-out valves due to exposure to moisture, sunlight, and dust. These can allow water to flow into and out of the chamber freely and not be discharged entirely at times. This condition of residue fluid causes a loud knocking sound in the pump.

– Solutions:

  • Repair Kit: It is preferred to take action as soon as possible in this case. The valves can be opened, examined, cleaned, and polished using the pump repair kit. Debris can be removed, and wear can be observed to decide whether to replace the valves or not.
  • Sealing & Leakage Prevention: O seals are the most common of all types of seals. Along with plumbing tape, they can be used to tighten up the valve connections hence providing leak-free channels.

3. Air & Water Issues in Pump:

A sufficient amount of water is required for proper pump performance. A pump also utilizes the water to cool down its internal rotating parts and also adds lubrication. An insufficient flow will cause a loud knocking noise due to the gap created. Similarly, leaks, damaged seals, and cracks can cause air to enter the pump’s water lines. This entrapped air under pressure can form bubbles that crack to create cavities in the channel. Cavitation can cause loud grinding noises and also damage the internal pump components.

– Solutions:

  • Water Supply: The problem can be solved simply by examining the incoming line for obstructions. Moreover, the line size can be increased, or the supply line pressure can be enhanced to solve this issue.
  • Air Supply: To troubleshoot, check all water and air channels for any obstructions that may be present due to scaling. Besides, check the quality of water valves and seals for any deformities.

4. Pulsation Noises:

The inlet and discharge valves are responsible for monitoring the water flow into and out of the washer. With time, debris, or some contamination may get stuck in these valves, or some sort of scales may build up on the valves. This can cause the valves to malfunction, and they become free of water entering or leaving the pump. This random water movement can create ripples in the flow, also known as “pulsation.”

Pulsation dampeners are devices used to reduce fluctuations in the system pressure. These dampeners work well in correspondence with pump plungers or pistons to smoothen the flow of water. These are commonly known as “accumulators.” These use a bladder to absorb the fluctuations that may get damaged over time due to incoming debris.

– Solutions:

  • Cleaning: The inlet and discharge valves can be easily removed and inspected for built-up debris. Clean the valves with acid or chemicals. If the problem does not resolve, replace the valves.
  • Replacement: Generally, using a dampener will significantly reduce the noise in the pump if no other problem can be identified. However, the membrane of the dampener can get damaged. In this case, replace the membrane with no compromise on filtration.

Some Additional Problems:

● Combustion Issues:

Another cause for a rough working pressure washer can be the fuel quality. If the fuel quality is poor, having clogged up over time, it can cause engine knocking. Knocking is the sound produced by incomplete combustion of fuel.

– Solution:

It is mostly recommended to use pressure washers with fresh fuel when they are to be used. Moreover, regular gas in a mix with high octane fuel should be used once in a while. It clears up the engine from residues that may have built up over time through a better combustion process. Fuel stabilizers can also be used that maintain the quality of fuel. The engine should be checked for tuning and maintenance once a year, ensuring better performance.

● Broken Pump Casing:

Pressure washers are loud noise creating devices, especially the gas-operated ones. Hence, the pump is covered with a proper casing that acts as a silencer or at least a dampener to reduce the rotating pump’s sound. If, by accident, the casing gets damaged, the noise may seep out more than you can imagine.

– Solution:

In most cases, thermoplastic glues can fix the casing issues if the damaged case cracks are visible. However, in some cases, sensitive machinery may get internal damage to the cover. In this case, the pump must be opened to remove, fix, or replace the entire casing.


Related Questions:

● What sound does a bad washer bearing make?

The bearing is the continuously rotating part of the washer. It is likely defective if the bearing drum spins unevenly, making a rubbing sound. But if a squeaking noise is coming instead of a grinding noise, the bearing most likely needs proper lubrication.

● How do you know if the inlet or discharge valves are bad?

If stalling occurs in a gas or diesel-powered engine whenever the operator ceases to use the washer, it gives a good indication of valve failure. Due to air-water mixing up in the water lines, clogging can occur due to the buildup of insects, dirt, or other debris. It can cause cavitation and grinding noises in the washer. The most ideal way would be to keep the washer in constant monitoring and unloader valve replacement when it requires.

● How long should a pressure pump last?

Generally considering low-cost pressure pumps are made up of using low-quality pumps. So, these pumps have a life expectancy of 60 to 100 hours of use, which may be stretched depending on the service and maintenance these pumps are given. For a high-quality pump, this life expectancy drastically increases to around 500 hours. So depending on your pump quality, it can last anywhere between this range.

Final Remarks:

No doubt, cleanliness is the key to a healthy lifestyle, but there is no cleaning if there is no peace. A loud and noisy pressure washer does more harm than benefit. This undesirable noise may be due to a damaged pump, air-water mixing, worn-out valves, or faulty dampeners in the machinery. The solution for all these problems is the time maintaining and tuning the washer’s key components. Most of the maintenance can be done at home with basic tools and proper guidance.