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New Riverside Location!

We are delighted to inform you that we are moving to a new location as of 2/1/2023. Come visit us at:

2900 Adams Street, Unit A-10, Riverside, CA 92504 ( map it )

Troubleshooting Pressure Washer Problems

As technology becomes more prevalent, troubleshooting is unfortunately something everyone does all too often. Being able to troubleshoot problems with your wash system — either before they happen or while they are still minor — can simplify your life by saving you time and money. 

Here are a few of the most common pressure washer problems and how to troubleshoot them:

Problem: Low pressure from nozzle.

Possible Causes:

  •  Inadequate water supply
  • Partially clogged or damaged nozzle
  •  Air in detergent inlet line

Fix It:

  • Make sure there’s enough water coming into the washer. Fully open the faucet and check for restricted hoses, filters, and inlet water screen. Be sure all fittings are tight and that you’re not too far away from the source.
  • Clean or replace the nozzle. 
  • Make sure the detergent container is full and ensure that the pickup screen is fully immersed in detergent. 

Problem: Poor detergent flow.

Possible Causes:

  • Inadequate detergent supply
  • Detergent screen or hose clogged
  • Detergent injector check valve clogged

Fix It:

  • Make sure the detergent container is full and ensure that the pickup screen is fully immersed in detergent. 
  • Clean the container. As a general rule, it’s best to clean the container prior to each use of your pressure washer.
  • Clean or replace the check valve at the detergent injector.
  • Problem: The engine won’t start. 

Possible Causes:

  • Spark plug wire loose
  • Lack of fuel
  • Dirty fuel

Fix It:

  • Check the spark plugs first and ensure that the wire connecting them isn’t loose.  
  • Check the level of fuel. Be sure to use the correct fuel type for your washer. If you’re using a washer powered by natural gas, be sure the flow of gas isn’t restricted and that the gas is turned on. 
  • If you’re using a diesel-powered washer, be sure that the fuel doesn’t contain dirt or debris that might block flow.

Problem: A poor-quality clean.

Possible Causes:

  • Improper detergent concentration or mix
  • Incorrect detergent for the application
  • Rinsing with hot water
  • Detergent valve is not opening

Fix It:

  • Be sure that you’re mixing detergent per the instructions that came with your purchase. If you’re using powdered detergent, make sure it’s fully dissolved.  
  • Choose the appropriate detergent. If you’re not sure, give us a call or stop by. We carry a variety of detergents that are specialized for general use, degreasing, transportation, metal preparation, and washing parts. 
  • A final rinse with cold water will wash soap away cleanly and reduce water spotting.
  • If the detergent valve isn’t opening properly, be sure that the handle or knob isn’t slipping on the shaft.

Need it? We’ve got it. If you’re not able to troubleshoot and fix your wash system, Hotsy of Southern California can service and repair it in the shop or on the site. We’ve got thousands of parts and accessories in-stock and immediately available. And if you’re in need of additional troubleshooting tips, download and print our handy guide. Trust us. We know clean.