Why does my pressure washer keep tripping the breaker?
The reason your pressure washer keeps tripping the breaker is because there are other powerful appliances running on the same circuit, a contaminated winding insulation, or mineral deposits on the pump side. An inadequately sized or old breaker and old electrical wiring can also cause a pressure washer to keep tripping the breaker.
Running other high amperage appliances on the same circuit
Your pressure washer requires demands a good supply of stable power. Running it on the same circuit that contains other high amperage devices like refrigerators, heaters, coffee machines, and motors may cause breakers to trip.
Contaminated winding insulation
The motor inside your pressure washer generates the force necessary to drive out the water at such high pressures. This motor is made of a static magnet and a rotor from copper windings. These mechanisms must all be kept away from water through the rubber insulation around them.
After repeated use, the protection from the insulation might break down and allow water to contaminate the windings. This will cause partial short circuits between windings and/or ground. Apart from the danger of being shocked by this, the loose connection causes your pressure washer to trip the washer.
Mineral deposits on the pump side
Your pressure washer consists of a reciprocating group of pumps that use one side to suck up the water and the other to force it out. If you pump hard water that contains a lot of mineral deposits, the minerals might get stuck to the sides of the pumps and reduce their lumen.
If you have not plumped your pumps in a long time, these deposits might cause an extra load on your washer’s motor. This causes it to demand more current from your circuit. The circuit will trip off if it’s not powerful enough to handle this new demand.
Inadequate breaker size
A circuit breaker helps protect your home or garage from fire outbreaks. They work by causing a break in electricity flow when the amperage (energy demand) gets too high. The electromagnet in the circuit causes the switch to flip off and open the circuit, breaking the flow of electricity.
Pressure washers are powerful appliances that demand a lot of electricity. The power rating of the washer is usually found on the pack’s body or in the instruction manual.
The circuit breaker powering your washer must be designed for high amperage. The standard 25-ampere breaker installed in most homes is not usually large enough. If they are not, when you plug in your pressure washer, it will pull too much electricity from your circuit. To protect your home, the circuit breaker will trip.
Old circuit breaker
Now that we understand how the circuit breaker helps keep your home safe. We have established that you will not be able to demand more from your electrical system than it can handle.
However, a circuit breaker’s protection does not last forever. Over time, rust develops inside the breaker. This rust reduces its efficiency. When this happens, the circuit breaker trips before reaching its power rating. So, if you have been using your pressure washer on your breaker and it suddenly starts tripping, you should look into the age of the breaker.
An old electrical wiring
After a long time, the wiring in your home depreciates and starts having loose connections. These loose connections and melted or fused wires can cause problems in your electrical system. It may not even be the wirings to the outlet your pressure washer is connected to. If there is a problem in any device connected to the same circuit, your pressure washer may function improperly and cause it to trip.
How to fix a pressure washer that keeps tripping the breaker?
To fix a pressure washer that keeps tripping the breaker, you should isolate the washer to its circuit, clean the pumps, and check the windings in the motor. You can also troubleshoot your electrical system or replace the circuit breaker with a more powerful one.
Isolate the washer to its circuit
Running your washer on the same circuit with appliances like refrigerators, heaters, and coffee machines can cause it to trip the breaker.
- The cheaper option is to remove these other appliances when you want to run your pressure washer.
- However, if this will trouble the missus, you should consider moving the pressure washer to its own circuit.
- Check the amperage of the washer to decide on a breaker and wire gauge to buy.
- You may need a licensed electrician’s assistance, depending on your state’s regulations.
Clean the pumps
A dirty and clogged-up pump causes your washer’s motor to work more, sucking more electricity and tripping circuits. Follow these steps to clean it:
- First, turn off the power washer and unplug it from a power source.
- Next, use a screwdriver to remove the pump from the bay.
- Finally, wash the pump with clean water and soup.
- Wipe the interior and exterior of the pump with petrol. Shake this mixture to ensure it coats all the surfaces.
- Wipe all the valves to avoid rust.
- Blast steam and air through the pump to eliminate the remaining ethanol.
- Reconnect the pump back to the bay.
Check the windings in the motor.
Shortening electric current within the winding may cause the washer to trip your circuit breaker. Follow these steps to troubleshoot this:
- First, turn off the power washer and unplug it from a power source.
- Next, use a screwdriver to remove the four screws on the cover of the motor.
- Next, remove the screws that cover the box of wires on top of the motor.
- Finally, move the box sideways to expose the motor.
- There should be a plastic covering over the motor if it is spoilt to the extent that moisture might leak to the windings in the motor. Again, this is an indication that you may need to rewind it.
- Remove the two screws that connect the motor to the pump component.
- Gently pull out the pump.
- If you have an ohm meter, check the armature and stator windings for circuit breaks.
- Take the motor to a small engine repair shop for a more detailed test.
Troubleshoot your electrical system
Old wirings or circuit breakers can cause your pressure washer to trip the breakers continuously. Follow this guideline to inspect, troubleshoot and fix it.
- Turn off your circuit breaker before you do this.
- Check through the whole of your wirings, as much as you can, to check for any obvious loose connection.
- Ensure there is no faulty appliance connected to the same circuit.
- Check the dates the wirings and breakers were installed. If it has been more than ten years, they might be due for a change, especially if they have been used generously.
Replace the circuit breaker
An old circuit breaker or one with a lower amperage than your washer requires will trip when you try to use your pressure washer. Follow this guideline to replace the breaker:
- Ensure the circuit breaker is due for replacement. Next, check the amperage on the body of the handle. You can proceed with the rest of these steps if it is lower than your pressure washer
- To ensure your wires can handle the new power demand, you may need to revamp them too.
- Depending on where you live, you might need a licensed electrician to handle the wiring and breaker installation.
- Replacing a breaker often cost a pretty penny, around $600 to $4000, depending on whether you will revamp your wiring and other factors. Ensure this is within your budget before you proceed.
Why does my pressure washer keep tripping the GFCI outlet?
Your pressure washer keeps tripping the GFCI outlet is because of contaminated winding insulation, mineral deposits in the pump components, and old electrical wiring.
The GFCI outlet helps protect your pressure washer from the rest of your electrical system. For example, if a power surge should occur, it wouldn’t spoil the electronics in your washer. Therefore, if your pressure washer tries to suck more current through the outlet than its rating, it will trip.
I advise opting for a GFCI outlet with higher amperage, troubleshooting the connection in your washer’s windings, cleaning your pump, and inspecting your electrical system.
Why does my pressure washer keep blowing fuses?
Your pressure washer is blowing fuses because of contaminated winding insulation, mineral deposits in the pump compartments, and start capacitor problems.
The fuses on your washer’s plug help protect your pressure washer from the rest of your electrical system. For example, if a power surge should occur, it wouldn’t spoil the electronics in your washer. Therefore, if your pressure washer tries to suck more current through the outlet than its rating, it will trip.
You should troubleshoot the windings using the steps highlighted above. You can also clean the pumps to remove those mineral deposits and replace the start capacitor if found faulty.
Why does my Karcher pressure washer keep blowing fuses?
The reason your Karcher pressure washer is blowing fuses is contaminated winding insulation, mineral deposits in the pump compartments, and start capacitor problems.
The fuses on your washer’s plug help protect your Karcher pressure washer from the rest of your electrical system. For example, if a power surge should occur, it wouldn’t spoil the electronics in your washer. Therefore, if your pressure washer tries to suck more current through the outlet than its rating, it will trip.
You should troubleshoot the windings using the steps highlighted above. You can also clean the pumps to get rid of those mineral deposits and replace the start capacitor if found faulty.