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Why Won’t My Pressure Washer Dispense Soap? Tips from pros

Pressure washers are used to clean exterior areas of your house that would take a lot more time than just using a hose. Due to its high pressure, you can quickly remove tough stains and clean large areas and objects around your house. Using a detergent in your machine can further improve cleaning and even remove the toughest stains. Most pressure washers have a special dispenser for this.

Why Won’t My Pressure Washer Dispense Soap?

Generally, if your pressure washer isn’t dispensing soap, it’s most likely because the water pressure is too high. This prevents correct suction and mixing. I recommend using a low-angle nozzle. Check the hose and tube for kinks and blockages. If there is any dirt in the hose, it won’t allow the pressure washer to dispense soap correctly. Lastly, inspect the soap injector kit by removing it from the pressure washer and disassembling it. Lubricate the components. Wear and tear can prevent the pressure washer from dispensing the soap correctly.

Through this article, you will learn different reasons for your pressure washer not correctly dispensing soap. I will show how you can troubleshoot and solve soap dispenser issues. At the end of this article, you will also understand why your pressure washer is not mixing the detergent or soap correctly and how to fix this.

Pressure Washer’s Soap Dispenser Doesn’t Work, some helpful tips

Generally, if the soap dispenser of your pressure washer isn’t working, first check the spray nozzle. I recommend using a black 65-degree nozzle. This will lower the output pressure and spray a larger area. Examine the nozzle, valves, and host for any blockages that can restrict the flow of detergent. Make sure you use the correct ratio of soap solution and water. Clean the detergent tank after pressure washing. Lastly, take out the soap injector kit from the pressure washer and check it.

You can use the following steps to troubleshoot the soap dispenser of your pressure washer:

Step 1: Check the Spray Nozzle

The first step is to check the spray nozzle. Almost all pressure washers come with a separate soap spray nozzle. This is usually a black 65-degree nozzle. Compared to other nozzles, the soap nozzle has a lower output pressure and a wider spray. If your soap dispenser isn’t working correctly, I have noticed that the wrong type of nozzle is used in many cases. Check the nozzle and ensure that you use the dedicated soap nozzle and not a high-pressure nozzle. The last one isn’t suitable to use with the soap dispenser. If you have an adjustable nozzle, set it to the widest angle.

Step 2: Check for Any Blockages in the nozzle, tube, and hose

The next step is to check the nozzle and valve area for any blockages hindering the soap injector. After regular use, dirt and debris can gather in the injector tube, preventing the siphoning of the detergent.

If you find that it is dirty, clean it. Remove all the unnecessary contaminants, and I recommend using a filter inside the tube to prevent further clogging. Inspect the condition of the nozzle as well, and if it’s too worn, replace it.

Step 3: Check the Soap Solution

The detergent solution used in the dispenser is much thicker than regular soap. I do not recommend mixing the soap solution with water in the dispenser tank. First, you need to dilute the soap or detergent with the recommended amount of water. In most cases, you should mix 20% soap with 80% water to get the required mixture. Most experts recommended avoiding the use of bleaching powders during dilution. This can harm most pressure washers and can lead to problems with the soap dispenser.

Where possible, try to stick to the correct soap water ratio. When there is more soap, the soap solution can create a blockage in the tank’s outlet because of its higher viscosity.

Step 4: Check the Soap Siphon Tube

The siphon tube provides a path for the detergent to travel to the end of the nozzle. It would be best to use the correct size siphon tube to give a clear detergent flow without any restrictions. Using the wrong size can lead to the failure of your soap dispenser.

Examine the siphon tube for any dirt that could restrict the flow of detergent solution through it. To do this, clean the two ends of the tube using clean water only. Connect one end of the tube with the wand and the other end with the soap dispenser.

Step 5: Check the Detergent Tank

As discussed earlier, the detergent solution that is used in the detergent tank is much thicker than everyday cleaning chemicals. Since the detergent tank is simply a reservoir where you mix the soap solution, you must clean the tank after every use. Else the soap solution can dry and block the hole of the tank.

If you don’t clean the detergent tank, the remaining detergent dries up and turns into hard particles that can block the tank’s outlet. In that case, fresh soap can not get out of the soap dispenser or only with great difficulty.

Step 6: Check the Soap Injector System

After following all the steps above, and your soap dispenser is still not working properly, check the soap injector system. The soap injector is the part that is used to mix the soap with the high-pressure water that goes to the spray nozzle. The main components of the soap injector are the O-ring, conical spring, ball, and injector. If any of these components are faulty, then your soap dispenser system won’t work correctly.

To examine the soap injector kit, remove it from the pressure washer. The soap injector kit is usually located near the pressure pump. Loosen the screws using a wrench and remove it from the pressure washer. Disassemble the components from the soap injector system. You should find the conical spring and a metal ball. Check the components, and replace them if they are really worn out.

Before assembling the (new) ring and ball, apply some grease on them so that the ball doesn’t get stuck with the ring. First, install the O-ring and then put the ball inside the bore. Shake the injector kit, and if the ball drops out, it means it’s working fine. If this doesn’t happen, remove the ball and O-ring again. Reduce the amount of lubricant. Install these components back into the soap injector bore by following the same procedure mentioned above.

Attach the injector kit with the pressure washer and turn the machine on. Check the soap dispenser. It should work fine now. If not, replace it.

Pressure Washer Won’t Mix Detergent With the Spray

Generally, if your pressure washer cannot mix detergent with the spray, it’s most likely because of using the wrong nozzle. If the nozzle pressure doesn’t match with the desired detergent pressure, it will not mix correctly. Check the siphon tube if it is dirty. The soap injector also kit plays an important role. Ensure that all of its components are working correctly. Lastly, too high water pressure can also give the detergent no chance to get into the hose.

The soap dispenser, also known as a chemical injection system, is used to siphon detergent from the tank and mix it with the high-pressure water spray. Sometimes the pressure washer won’t mix detergent with the spray. The most common reason behind this problem is the chemical injection kit. The first step to diagnose the problem is to check the various components, as explained earlier. Clean and, if needed, replace defective parts.

Other reasons for your pressure washer not mixing detergent with the spray are:

Reason 1: Wrong Spray Tip

The most common reason behind the pressure washer not mixing detergent with the spray is the use of the wrong nozzle or spray tip. The soap dispenser uses a specific wide-angle nozzle and often has a black color. The reason for using this wide-angle nozzle is that it lowers the output pressure and improving the mixing of detergent with the spray.

Reason 2: Blocked Siphon Tube

Another reason for not mixing the detergent with the spray is a blocked siphon tube. A clogged detergent tube inhibits the proper flow of detergent through it. I recommend checking the siphon tube before using the pressure washer. If you notice any dirt inside that could be causing a blockage, clean it thoroughly.

Reason 3: Faulty Metal Ball

The metal ball is located inside the soap injector kit. If you don’t properly maintain the soap injector, there is a chance that the metal ball gets stuck and restricts the soap from going through the hose. I recommended applying some lubricant to the soap injector components from time to time. This avoids many issues. The injector kit also consists of a rubber ring and spring. If the spring has got some wear and tear, or the rubber ring gets sticky over time, it will prevent the soap from going into the hose. Check and clean both components. If they do not look fine, replace them. If the rubber ring is older and sticky, I recommend replacing it.

Reason 4: High Water Pressure

Before using the pressure washer, ensure that the inlet water pressure isn’t too high. High pressure doesn’t allow the detergent to get properly into the hose. Ensure that your soap injector is attached in the correct position. The wrong location can prevent the water from flowing correctly through the injector.