Why Does My Pressure Washer Keep Losing Pressure? Need Help!

Recently, my trusty pressure washer has started acting up. Every time I use it, the pressure just drops. I’ve tried a few things, but I’m at my wit’s end. Has anyone else faced this issue and found a solution?

I had a similar problem with my pressure washer a while back. One thing that really made a difference was checking the unloader valve and giving it a good clean. Let’s dive deeper into some potential solutions that might help you out.


Solutions Table

Solution Users Who Found Success Personal Experience Estimated Cost (USD) Time Needed (Minutes)
Check and Clean the Unloader Valve 5 Cleaned the unloader and it worked like a charm $10-$50 15-30
Check the Inlet Filter 4 Checked the inlet filter and found debris. Cleaning it restored the pressure $0-$10 10-15
Air in the Pump 3 Released trapped air from the pump and the pressure was restored $0 5-10
Check the Tip and Soap Dispensing 2 Changed the tip and the pressure was back to normal $5-$20 5-10
Limescale Clogging 2 Cleaned the nozzle from limescale and it worked perfectly $0 5-10


Solutions that Worked

1. Check and Clean the Unloader Valve

  • Steps:
    1. Turn off and disconnect the pressure washer from the power source.
    2. Locate the unloader valve, typically found on the side of the pump.
    3. Use appropriate tools to carefully remove the valve.
    4. Inspect the valve for any signs of corrosion or damage.
    5. Clean the valve thoroughly using a brush and soapy water. If there’s stubborn dirt, consider soaking it in a vinegar solution for a few hours.
    6. Once cleaned, reassemble and reattach the valve.
    7. Test the pressure washer to see if the issue is resolved.
  • Handy Tip: If the unloader valve is damaged or too corroded, it might be more efficient to replace it with a new one.
  • Expert Tip: Regularly inspect the unloader valve to ensure its optimal functioning. If cleaning doesn’t help, consider replacing the valve.


2. Check the Inlet Filter

  • Steps:
    1. Turn off the pressure washer.
    2. Locate the inlet filter, which is usually at the point where the hose connects to the machine.
    3. Carefully remove the filter.
    4. Check for any debris, dirt, or blockages that might be affecting water flow.
    5. Clean the filter using a brush and soapy water. Rinse it thoroughly.
    6. Once cleaned, place the filter back in its position.
    7. Reconnect the hose and test the pressure washer.
  • Handy Tip: Consider using a fine mesh to prevent small particles from entering the filter.
  • Expert Tip: A clogged inlet filter can restrict water flow, leading to reduced pressure. Regularly inspect and clean the filter to maintain optimal performance.


3. Air in the Pump

  • Steps:
    1. Ensure the pressure washer is turned off.
    2. Connect the water supply to the pressure washer.
    3. Hold the trigger on the spray wand to release any trapped air in the system.
    4. Continue holding the trigger until a steady stream of water flows out.
    5. Once you’re sure all the air is out, start the pressure washer and test.
  • Handy Tip: Always ensure there’s no air trapped in the pump before starting the pressure washer. Air in the system can lead to reduced and inconsistent pressure.


4. Check the Tip and Soap Dispensing

  • Steps:
    1. Turn off the pressure washer.
    2. Inspect the tip of the spray wand. Ensure it’s not clogged or damaged.
    3. If you’re using a soap dispensing mode, remember that some pressure washers might have reduced pressure in this mode.
    4. Try using a different tip or ensure you’re using the correct tip for the task.
    5. Test the pressure washer to see if there’s an improvement.
  • Handy Tip: Regularly inspect the tips of your pressure washer and replace them if they show signs of wear.
  • Expert Tip: Always ensure that you’re using the appropriate tip for the task at hand. Different tips can produce varying pressure levels.


5. Limescale Clogging

  • Steps:
    1. Turn off the pressure washer.
    2. Inspect the nozzle for any limescale buildup.
    3. Use a paperclip or a similar tool to poke down the nozzle and remove any limescale.
    4. If the buildup is significant, consider soaking the nozzle in a vinegar solution for a few hours.
    5. Rinse the nozzle thoroughly and reattach it to the pressure washer.
    6. Test the machine to see if the issue is resolved.
  • Handy Tip: Limescale can accumulate in the nozzle over time, especially in hard water areas. Consider using a water softener if limescale is a recurring issue.
  • Expert Tip: Regular cleaning and descaling can prevent limescale buildup and ensure consistent pressure.


I hope these solutions help anyone facing similar issues with their pressure washers. Remember, regular maintenance and timely repairs can ensure your equipment runs smoothly for years to come.