January 30, 2009, Newsletter Issue #153: Troubleshooting a Surging Pressure Washer

Tip of the Week

If you pull the trigger on your pressure washer and the pressure is good for a moment then falls off, you've got a surge problem. Also, when the trigger is released, pressure builds up to normal levels. This is generally a sign that the water supply cannot provide the flow rate (gallons per minute) required by the pump. Here are a few things you can do to rectify the situation.

1. Make sure the supply is not restricted; that there are no under-sized fittings and the inlet screen is unobstructed.

2. Make sure the flow rate of the water supply is sufficient for the pump. First, find the capacity of your pump in gallons per minute (gpm) as shown in the Water Supply. Then determine the flow rate of your supply by measuring the gallons that can be delivered in one minute. If your supply does not deliver the gpm your pump requires, do not use the pump. It will suck air, causing cavitation which can quickly damage pump components.

3. Check for leaks in the supply fittings. Any leak will cause the pump to draw air and perform poorly.

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