Electric Pressure Washer Mystery


Old 01-01-07, 08:27 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 121
Electric Pressure Washer Mystery

I'v got an electric pressure washer that is very
different from most of the flimsy junk sold to the
public. My friend works as a chemical engineer.
When I mentioned to him that I was looking buy
a pressure washer he suggested that he could
probably find a heavy duty industrial model through
his contacts in the chemical industry. He came
up with something great! The pump housing is
made from heavy galvanized steel with solid
brass fittings. The unit was slightly used, but
when I opened the pump housing all the internal
parts were in great shape.

Here's the problem.

The gun failed so I went to Home Depot and bought
a gun and hose assembly called Universal PowerWasher.
The gun is rated at 3.2 gpm, 2000 psi. My pressure
washer is 2.1 gpm, 1800 psi. I used one of the lance
adapters that came with the kit.

When I start the pump motor I'm getting short bursts
of water through the gun, instead of a steady flow.
There is some kind of back pressure preventing the
high pressure water from flowing through the gun.
The gun is rated to handle the pressure from the
pump, so I don't understand what's going on. I
can't get an exact replacement gun, so if I cannot
resolve this problem I'll have to junk the pressure

You could wack the pump housing with a hammer
and it would keep running. My friend got me
something real good, so I don't want to buy that
all plastic junk found in most home centers.
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Old 01-01-07, 09:30 AM
GregH's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,721

Not exactly sure what "wack the pump housing with a hammer
and it would keep running" means.
Is the pump motor shutting off, possibly from a pressure switch?

If this is the case then there is the likely possibility that the hose you bought does not have the proper nozzle.
Even though the gun has a rating on it this doesn't necessarily mean it includes a nozzle to match the output of your washer.
Remove the nozzle then run the pump and see what happens.

OH ya, don't punish your pump with a hammer, the problem may not be not it's fault.
Old 01-01-07, 10:25 AM
duigoose's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 306
Hey rewinder,
I'm assuming by 'whacking with a hammer' you are refering to how durable this unit is, not a troubleshooting method. Just wanted to clarify that although I have fixed many things by whacking them with a hammer or throwing them.
Could it be the pump has trapped air causing the surging or unsteady flow? Again out of my realm here but I'm on the way home with a 'quality' electric pressure washer (plastic but heavy duty) I'm gonna get running for myself so I gotta start learning about pressure washers.
Also, when you say the previous gun failed what do you mean?
I'll just be guessing but at least you'll have company :-)
Old 01-01-07, 12:13 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 121
The only thing I "whack with a hammer" are nails!

I have nothing against plastics. Heck, they're
making airplanes and boats out of the stuff. The
problem is all the cheap plastic components used
in consumer appliances. I've rather have an 80 lb
pressure washer made out of steel and brass. I
don't care if the darn thing is "portable" or not.

I removed the nozzle and the pump ran ok. I think
I'm dead in the water. This pressure washer was
made by a pump manufacturer for a large corporation.
The company ordered several hundred of them for
their janitorial staff. The odds of finding a gun, lance,
and nozzle combination that would work with this
pressure washer are not very good.

Home Depot is selling their own Husky washer for
$169.00. It certainly looks sturdy, compared to the
fragile junk made by companies like Karcher, for

I could go way upscale and buy a gas powered unit.
Have you ever noticed that anything with a combustion
engine requires endless hours of maintenance? I do much
of the repair work on my two cars and lawnmower. That's
enough for me!

Thanks guys. I appreciate your replies.
Old 01-01-07, 03:58 PM
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If you post some specific info on the PW there is a good chance parts can be found online.
Particularly if one company bought a big inventory, most likley others did also. Somewhere there usually winds up an overstock when the model is discontinued.
Lots of these online sellers grab up the stock for resale. Online auctions also have lots of overstock even rare and unthinkable items for sale.
And if there were that many and it is a solid reliable tool than even more likely others are still out there in use also needing spare parts.
Old 01-01-07, 06:00 PM
GregH's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,721

Like I said, there may be nothing wrong with your washer, it could be too small a nozzle on the wand.
Also, without knowing exactly how the washer works it is difficult to offer a good solution.
There are two ways these things handle the closing of the spray gun when the pump is running.
One is to have a fast acting pressure switch that shuts off the motor when you release the trigger.
The other is for the pump motor to run continuously and unload the high pressure to the inlet side with an unloader valve.
Which is yours?

If you knew excactly what the gpm and pressure rating the pump is it would be a very simple thing to size the correct nozzle.

If you can find a brand and model numbers on the pump body I may have some info on it that can be used to select the correct nozzle.
If you can get a closeup pic of it and put it on Photobucket we can take a look.
Old 01-02-07, 01:09 PM
daswede's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 2,215
My $135 Karcher 1650 has been running fine for 3 yrs.

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