Why Does My Pressure Washer Keep Pulsing? Troubleshooting Tips and Solutions

why does my pressure washer keep pulsing

Have you ever fired up your pressure washer, only to be met with an annoying pulsing sensation? It’s like your machine is playing a little game of hide-and-seek with you, alternating between blasting water at high pressure and then fading into a mere trickle. Frustrating, right? But fear not – you’re not alone in this predicament. Many pressure washer owners have experienced the same issue, and there are a few common reasons why this pulsing phenomenon occurs.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of why your pressure washer keeps pulsing, and more importantly, how to fix it. So grab your tool belt and let’s get down to business!


If you’re wondering why your pressure washer keeps pulsing, you’re not alone. This common issue can be frustrating and can make it difficult to get your cleaning tasks done efficiently. There are a few possible reasons why your pressure washer may be pulsing.

One possibility is that there is a blockage in the nozzle or spray gun. This can cause intermittent bursts of water instead of a steady stream. Another possibility is that there is an issue with the pump.

If the pump is damaged or not working properly, it can cause the pressure to fluctuate. Additionally, a worn out or damaged pressure hose can also cause pulsing. If the hose is leaking or has a hole in it, it can interfere with the flow of water and cause pulsing.

In any case, it’s important to troubleshoot the issue and determine the cause so that you can fix it and get your pressure washer working properly again.

Explanation of pressure washer pulsing

pressure washer pulsing Introduction: We’ve all experienced that frustrating moment when you’re trying to use your pressure washer and it starts to pulse. That irregular pressure and flow can make a simple task much more difficult. But what causes pressure washer pulsing, and is there a way to fix it? In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this pulsing phenomenon and provide some tips to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

So, grab your tools and let’s dive into the world of pressure washer pulsing!

why does my pressure washer keep pulsing

Common causes of pressure washer pulsing

pressure washer pulsing

How to fix pressure washer pulsing

If you’ve ever experienced the problem of your pressure washer constantly pulsing, you know how frustrating it can be. So why does it keep happening? Well, there are a few possible reasons. One common cause is low water pressure.

If the water supply to your pressure washer isn’t strong enough, it can cause the machine to pulsate. Another possibility is a clogged or dirty nozzle. If dirt or debris gets stuck in the nozzle, it can disrupt the flow of water and lead to pulsating.

Additionally, a worn-out or damaged pump can also cause pulsing. Over time, the pump can wear down and lose its ability to maintain a consistent water flow. Luckily, there are some easy fixes for this issue.

First, check your water source and make sure the pressure is adequate. If it’s not, try adjusting the water flow or cleaning out any filters that may be clogged. If the nozzle is the problem, remove it and clean it thoroughly.

And if it’s a worn-out pump, you may need to replace it. By addressing these potential causes, you can eliminate the pulsing and get your pressure washer running smoothly once again.

Step 1: Check for air in the water supply

pressure washer pulsing If your pressure washer is pulsing instead of providing a consistent stream of water, there are a few potential causes and solutions you can try. One common issue that can cause this pulsing is air in the water supply. Air bubbles can disrupt the flow of water and create a pulsing effect.

To check for air in the water supply, start by inspecting the inlet hose and make sure it is properly connected and not kinked or twisted. You can also try running the pressure washer without the high-pressure nozzle to see if the pulsing persists. If the pulsing stops, it may indicate that there is air trapped in the nozzle.

To remove the air, you can try running water through the nozzle or disassembling it and cleaning any debris or blockages. Another option is to bleed the air out of the pressure washer system by turning it on and off a few times. If these steps don’t solve the problem, there may be other issues causing the pulsing, such as a faulty pump or unbalanced load.

In these cases, it’s best to consult a professional for further assistance.

Step 2: Inspect the inlet filter

pressure washer pulsing, inspect the inlet filter

Step 3: Check for clogs in the nozzle or spray gun

pressure washer pulsing. When using a pressure washer, there’s nothing more frustrating than experiencing pulsing or inconsistent water flow. One of the main causes of this issue is clogs in the nozzle or spray gun.

Over time, mineral deposits and other debris can build up, blocking the flow of water and causing the pulsing effect. To fix this problem, start by turning off the pressure washer and disconnecting the spray gun from the hose. Inspect the nozzle and spray gun for any signs of clogs, such as visible debris or a decreased flow of water.

If you notice any clogs, use a small wire brush or a pin to carefully remove the blockage. Once the nozzle and spray gun are clear, reattach them to the pressure washer and test the water flow. If the pulsing issue persists, you may need to check for clogs in other parts of the pressure washer system, such as the wand or the hose.

However, by regularly inspecting and cleaning the nozzle and spray gun, you can prevent clogs and ensure a consistent water flow while using your pressure washer.

Step 4: Adjust the pressure output

pressure washer pulsing

Step 5: Clean or replace the unloader valve

pressure washer pulsing If you’re experiencing a pulsing or fluctuating water pressure while using your pressure washer, one possible cause could be a malfunctioning or dirty unloader valve. The unloader valve is responsible for regulating the pressure inside the pump and releasing excess pressure when the trigger on the wand is released. Over time, the unloader valve can become clogged with dirt, debris, or scale, causing it to stick open or closed.

This can result in a pulsing effect as the pressure builds up and is released in an uneven manner. To fix this issue, you can try cleaning the unloader valve with a mild detergent and a brush. If cleaning doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to replace the unloader valve entirely.

This is a relatively simple process that can be done at home with basic tools. By cleaning or replacing the unloader valve, you should be able to fix the pulsing and enjoy a consistent water pressure while using your pressure washer.

Step 6: Repair or replace any damaged parts

pressure washer pulsing

Preventing pressure washer pulsing

Have you ever wondered why your pressure washer keeps pulsing? It can be quite frustrating, especially when you’re trying to get a job done quickly and efficiently. There are a few possible reasons for this pulsing phenomenon that are worth exploring. One common cause is air in the system, which can disrupt the flow of water and result in that annoying pulsing sensation.

To fix this issue, you can try purging the air from the system by running the pressure washer with the trigger gun closed until a steady flow of water is achieved. Another possible cause of pulsing is a clogged nozzle or spray tip. When debris gets stuck in the nozzle, it can cause the water to come out in a sporadic manner, leading to pulsing.

In this case, you can simply remove the nozzle and clean it thoroughly to resolve the issue. Additionally, a worn or damaged pump can also cause pulsing in a pressure washer. If you’ve checked for air in the system and cleared any clogs but are still experiencing pulsing, it may be time to inspect the pump and replace any worn or damaged parts.

By addressing these common causes of pressure washer pulsing, you can ensure a smooth and uninterrupted workflow the next time you tackle a cleaning project.

Regular maintenance and cleaning

preventing pressure washer pulsing. Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential to prevent pressure washer pulsing. Pulsing occurs when the water flow from the pressure washer is inconsistent and irregular, resulting in an uneven cleaning performance.

To avoid this issue, it is important to regularly check and clean the nozzle, hose, and trigger gun. These components can become clogged with debris and buildup over time, causing the pressure washer to pulsate. Additionally, it is recommended to inspect the water inlet filter and clean or replace it if necessary.

A dirty filter can restrict the flow of water and contribute to pulsing. In some cases, adjusting the pressure regulator on the pressure washer can also help to prevent pulsing. By properly maintaining and cleaning your pressure washer, you can ensure a smooth and efficient cleaning experience without any pulsing issues.

So, don’t forget to give your pressure washer some TLC to keep it performing at its best!

Using the correct size nozzles and spray gun

pressure washer pulsing Using the correct size nozzles and spray gun is crucial in preventing pressure washer pulsing. Pulsing occurs when the spray gun releases uneven bursts of water, which can make cleaning tasks challenging and less efficient. One of the main causes of pulsing is using the wrong size nozzle.

If the nozzle is too small, it can cause excessive pressure buildup, resulting in pulsing. On the other hand, if the nozzle is too large, it may not provide enough pressure, leading to a weak and inconsistent stream. It’s essential to choose a nozzle size that matches the pressure rating of your pressure washer to ensure smooth and consistent water flow.

Additionally, using the correct spray gun can also help prevent pulsing. A spray gun with a pressure regulator allows you to adjust the water pressure to the desired level, effectively eliminating pulsing. By using the right nozzle size and spray gun, you can ensure a steady and powerful water stream, making your pressure washing tasks much more efficient and effective.

Proper storage and winterization

Proper storage and winterization of your pressure washer is essential for maintaining its performance and longevity. One common issue that can arise during the winter months is pressure washer pulsing. This occurs when the pressure fluctuates and causes an uneven flow of water.

Not only is this frustrating, but it can also damage your equipment. To prevent pressure washer pulsing, there are a few steps you can take. First, make sure to drain all water from the pressure washer and hoses after each use.

Any remaining water can freeze and cause blockages in the system. Next, store your pressure washer in a dry and climate-controlled area to protect it from extreme temperatures. If you live in an area with particularly cold winters, you may want to consider using a winterizing solution to remove any remaining water from the system.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your pressure washer is ready to use when warmer weather rolls around.


Why does my pressure washer keep pulsing? Well, it’s quite simple really. You see, pressure washers are like the divas of the cleaning world. They demand attention and perform at their best when everything is just perfect.

But sometimes, despite our best efforts, they just can’t help but let out a little pulse of frustration. Think of it this way – when you’re trying to enjoy a nice hot shower, and suddenly the water starts going cold and then hot again in rapid succession, it’s pretty annoying, right? Well, that’s exactly what’s happening with your pressure washer. It’s having a temper tantrum, trying to balance the water flow and pressure, but not quite getting it right.

There could be a few reasons behind this pulsing behavior. One possibility is a clogged nozzle or spray gun, causing the water to be constricted and creating uneven pressure. Another culprit could be an issue with the pump, such as a faulty pressure relief valve or a worn-out seal, leading to fluctuations in pressure.

You might even be dealing with air getting trapped in the system, disrupting the smooth water flow and causing those annoying pulses. Or perhaps, your pressure washer just wants to show off its rhythm and give you a little song and dance while you clean. Who knows? But fear not, there are ways to tame this pulsating beast.

Start by checking and cleaning the nozzle or spray gun to ensure there are no clogs. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, it might be time to give your pump a little TLC. Check for any leaks, worn-out seals, or issues with the pressure relief valve, and make the necessary repairs or replacements.

And as for the trapped air, simply bleed the system by turning on the pressure washer with the spray gun closed, and then slowly opening the trigger to release the air. It’s like giving your pressure washer a breath of fresh air, quite literally. So, the next time your pressure washer starts pulsing, don’t fret.


FAQs Why does my pressure washer keep pulsing?
There could be several reasons why your pressure washer keeps pulsing. It could be due to a clogged nozzle, a faulty unloader valve, low water pressure, or an issue with the inlet water filter. It is recommended to check these components and clean or replace them if necessary to resolve the pulsing issue.

How can I fix a clogged nozzle on my pressure washer?
To fix a clogged nozzle on your pressure washer, you can try using a small pin or a nozzle cleaning tool to remove any debris or residue that might be blocking the opening. Make sure to turn off the pressure washer and disconnect it from the power source before attempting to clean the nozzle. If the clog is stubborn, you may need to soak the nozzle in a cleaning solution or replace it with a new one.

What could be causing low water pressure in my pressure washer?
There are a few potential causes for low water pressure in a pressure washer. It could be due to a kinked or damaged inlet hose, a partially closed water supply valve, a clogged inlet water filter, or a problem with the source of water itself. Check these components and make the necessary repairs or adjustments to restore proper water pressure.

How can I test if the unloader valve on my pressure washer is faulty?
To test if the unloader valve on your pressure washer is faulty, you can perform a simple pressure test. Start the pressure washer and spray water without pressing the trigger. If the pressure builds up and the pump shuts off, then the unloader valve is working correctly. However, if the pressure keeps pulsing or the pump does not shut off, it indicates a problem with the unloader valve that may require adjustment or replacement.

Why is my pressure washer not turning on?
If your pressure washer is not turning on, it could be due to a few potential reasons. First, check if the power cord is securely connected and if the outlet has electricity. If the power supply is fine, then it could be a problem with the pressure washer’s switch, motor, or thermal overload protector. It is recommended to consult the owner’s manual or contact customer support for troubleshooting steps specific to your pressure washer model.

What should I do if my pressure washer is leaking water?
If your pressure washer is leaking water, start by checking the connections between the hose, wand, and nozzles to ensure they are tight and properly sealed. If the leak persists, it could be due to a damaged O-ring, worn seals, cracked fittings, or a faulty pump. In such cases, it is advisable to replace the damaged parts or seek professional assistance for repairs.

How often should I change the oil in my pressure washer?
The frequency of oil changes in a pressure washer depends on the model and brand. Generally, it is recommended to change the oil between every 50 to 100 hours of operation or at least once a year. However, always refer to the specific guidelines provided by the manufacturer in the owner’s manual for the most accurate information regarding oil change intervals for your pressure washer.

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