why is my pressure washer pulsating

Why Is My Pressure Washer Pulsating? Here’s A Complete Guide

Last Updated on February 6, 2023

Do you ever feel like your pressure washer is mocking you? If you find yourself asking, “why is my pressure washer pulsating? and the machine won’t seem to cooperate, don’t despair! You can take control of the situation with a few simple steps. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what causes my pressure washer pulsating and how to fix this issue so that you can get back on track quickly. We’ll also provide some tips for maintaining your machine in top condition. So let’s dive into understanding why our trusty machines sometimes give us trouble.

Table of Contents:

What Causes a Pressure Washer to Pulsate?

Pulsating pressure washers are a common problem for homeowners. It can be frustrating when your pressure washer isn’t working correctly, but understanding the cause of the issue is key to fixing it.

One of the most common causes of pulsating in a pressure washer is air in the pump. This occurs when there is an inadequate seal between the pump and its housing, allowing air to enter and create turbulence within the system. To fix this, you need to check all connections for tightness and replace any worn or damaged seals.

Another potential cause could be incorrect nozzle size selection. If you use a nozzle that has too small an opening, it will restrict water flow which can lead to pulsation issues as well as reduced cleaning power from your machine. Always make sure you select nozzles with appropriate openings for your specific model of pressure washer before using them on projects around your home or garden.

faulty unloader valve

A faulty unloader valve may also be responsible for pulsation problems with your machine. The unloader valve helps regulate water flow by controlling how much water enters into the pump chamber at one time – if it fails then it won’t be able to do its job properly, resulting in uneven pulses coming out from your machine’s wand tip instead of steady streams of pressurised water like normal operation should produce.

Finally, some models have built-in regulators that help control output pressures – these can become clogged over time due to debris build up inside them which will result in pulsing during operation as well. Therefore, it is important to regularly check and clean these if necessary.

Pressure washers can pulsate due to a number of different causes, such as an incorrect nozzle setting or a clogged filter. Now that we understand what causes the issue, let’s look at how to fix it.

Key Takeaway: Pulsating pressure washers can be caused by air in the pump, incorrect nozzle size selection, faulty unloader valve or clogged regulators. Regularly check and clean all connections for tightness and replace worn seals to ensure optimal performance.

How to Fix a Pulsating Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are a great tool for cleaning outdoor surfaces, but they can be temperamental. If your pressure washer is pulsating, it could be due to several different issues. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to troubleshoot and fix a pulsating pressure washer.

Check for Air in the Pump: The first step is to check if there is air in the pump. To do this, turn off the power and release any remaining water from the hose by squeezing the trigger on your gun or wand until no more water comes out. Then remove the nozzle tip from your gun or wand and look inside for any bubbles that may indicate air trapped in the pump. If you find bubbles present, then you will need to bleed them out of your system before continuing with other repairs.

Replace Nozzle Tip: Another possible cause of pulsation is an old or worn-out nozzle tip on your gun or wand. This can happen over time as dirt and debris build up around it which restricts its flow rate and causes uneven spraying patterns when used at high pressures. To fix this issue, simply replace your existing nozzle tip with a new one that matches its size and shape exactly so that it fits snugly into place without any gaps or leaks around it.

Adjust Unloader Valve: Lastly, if all else fails then you may need to adjust the unloader valve on your machine which regulates how much water flows through it at any given time depending on what type of job you are doing (i.e., light cleaning vs heavy duty scrubbing). To make adjustments here just follow instructions provided by manufacturer as each model varies slightly in terms of how these valves work together with other components within their systems such as pumps etc.

By following these steps, you can easily fix a pulsating pressure washer. Now that your machine is in working order, it’s important to keep up with regular maintenance to ensure its longevity.

Key Takeaway: Key takeaway: To troubleshoot a pulsating pressure washer, check for air in the pump, replace the nozzle tip, and adjust the unloader valve. Regular maintenance tasks such as replacing hoses and checking nozzle tips should also be done to ensure optimal performance.

Tips for Maintaining Your Pressure Washer

Maintaining your pressure washer is essential for keeping it in good working order and preventing it from pulsating. Here are some tips to help you keep your pressure washer running smoothly:

1. Use the Correct Nozzle Size: It’s important to use the correct nozzle size when using a pressure washer. Using a nozzle that is too small can cause water to back up into the pump, resulting in pulsation. To avoid this, make sure you select the right nozzle size for your job.

2. Check for Air in the Pump: If air gets trapped inside of your pump, it can cause pulsation or even damage other components of your machine over time. To prevent this from happening, regularly check for air bubbles coming out of any hoses connected to the pump and remove them if necessary.

3. Clean Out Any Debris: Over time, debris such as dirt and grime can build up inside of your pressure washer’s pipes and hoses which can lead to blockages and reduce its performance significantly. Regularly cleaning out any debris will ensure that all parts are functioning properly and will also help prevent pulsations caused by clogged pipes or hoses.

4 . Check Your Hose Connections: Loose hose connections can also be responsible for causing pulsations in a pressure washer so make sure they’re securely fastened before each use. Additionally, inspect all seals on both ends of each hose connection periodically to ensure there aren’t any leaks which could result in water not flowing correctly through the system.

5 . Inspect Pressure Washers Components: Make sure all components such as nozzles, filters, O-rings, gaskets etc., are free from wear & tear or damage. Replace these parts if necessary as worn out components may lead to reduced performance & efficiency levels as well as possible problems with pulse control settings.

a person assembling the equipment

6 . Perform Regular Maintenance Checks: In addition to inspecting individual components, perform regular maintenance checks on your entire machine including checking oil levels & replacing filters where needed ( depending on the type ) This will help keep everything running smoothly & efficiently while helping extend its lifespan overall.

If you have followed all these steps but still experience issues with pulsing, then it is best practice to call an experienced professional who specializes in servicing power washing equipment. They will be able to identify what needs fixing quickly and get you back up and running again without delay.

Key Takeaway: To keep your pressure washer running smoothly and prevent pulsation, regularly check for air bubbles in the pump, clean out any debris, securely fasten hose connections, inspect components for wear & tear and perform regular maintenance checks.

FAQs in Relation to Why is My Pressure Washer Pulsating

How do I fix my pressure washer surging?

If your pressure washer is surging, it could be due to a few different issues. First, check the air filter and clean or replace it if necessary. If that doesn’t solve the problem, then inspect the fuel lines for any blockages or damage. Finally, make sure all of the connections are secure and that there are no leaks in any of them. If none of these steps resolve your issue, you may need to take your pressure washer to a professional for servicing.

Why does my pressure washer surge up and down?

A pressure washer surging up and down is usually caused by a clogged nozzle or an air leak in the hose. To fix this, first check for any blockages in the nozzle and clear them if necessary. If there are no blockages, then inspect the hose for any kinks or tears that could be causing an air leak. If you find one, replace it with a new section of hose to restore proper pressure. Finally, ensure all connections are tight so that no further leaks occur. With these steps taken care of, your pressure washer should run smoothly again.

Is it normal for a pressure washer to vibrate?

Yes, it is normal for a pressure washer to vibrate. This is because the motor and pump are working together to create high-pressure water jets that can be used to clean surfaces. The vibration of the machine is simply a result of this process and should not cause any damage or safety concerns. However, if you notice excessive vibration or noise coming from your pressure washer, it may be an indication that something isn’t right and you should contact the manufacturer for advice.

Why does my pressure washer keep revving up?

Pressure washers can rev up due to a variety of reasons. The most common is an air leak in the pump or hoses, which causes the engine to run faster than normal. Another cause could be that the unloader valve isn’t working properly and needs adjustment. Lastly, it could be caused by a worn out piston seal or check valve, which would need to be replaced. To fix any of these issues, consult your pressure washer’s manual for instructions on how to troubleshoot and repair them correctly.


We hope we have answered all your questions related to – why is my pressure washer pulsating? In a nutshell, it’s important to take care of your pressure washer and regularly check for any issues that may arise. If you’re having trouble with my pressure washer pulsating, then be sure to troubleshoot the issue as soon as possible. With a few simple steps and some maintenance tips, you can get your pressure washer back up and running in no time!

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