Why is my pressure washer producing low or no pressure?

Need help with pressure washer troubleshooting? Find out why your equipment is producing low or no pressure in this Briggs & Stratton FAQ.

Common Pressure Washer Problems

  • Pump fails to produce pressure
  • Pressure washer has erratic pressure
  • Loss of pressure or low water volume

Troubleshooting Pressure Washer Problems

Get your outdoor cleaning projects back on track in no time with this Q&A approach to pressure washer troubleshooting. When reviewing, make sure to have your operator’s manual handy so you can quickly reference helpful. Don’t have the hard copy? No problem. Find yours by searching your model number here.

Question: Is the engine running at full speed?
If the answer is no: Move the throttle control to the FAST.

Question: Is the low pressure nozzle connected to the wand?
If the answer is yes: Switch to a high pressure nozzle.

Question: Is the water inlet or filter screen blocked, clogged or damaged?
If the answer is yes: Disconnect the garden hose from the water inlet; clean the water inlet and filter screen. If screen is damaged, remove damaged screen, insert new screen.

Question: Is the high-pressure hose leaking?
If the answer is yes: Check the O-rings. If damaged, remove old O-ring with a small flathead screwdriver, and replace with new one.

Question: Is the spray gun leaking?
If the answer is yes: Replace the pressure washer spray gun with a new one.

Question: Could the nozzle orifice be obstructed?
If the answer is yes: Shut off the engine; purge air from the pump; remove the orifice from the adjustable nozzle or remove the spray tip from the nozzle extension; clean the orifice or spray tip using the wire tool from the maintenance kit.

Question: Is the supply water temperature over 100° F?
If the answer is yes: Provide a cooler water supply.

Question: Is the supply water pressure and flow rate adequate?

If the answer is no: Test the supply water using a pressure/flow-rate gauge. If the supply water does not produce a minimum of 20 PSI and 4 GPM (25 PSI and 7 GPM for POWERflow+ models), look for an alternative source that can provide adequate pressure and flow.

Question: Is the pump oil level low?
If the answer is yes: Add oil to the pressure washer pump.

Question: Is the pump faulty?
If the answer is yes: With the high pressure hose removed from the pump, attach the garden hose and turn on water. Water will flow through the pump, now turn on the engine; the water flow should increase in pressure and length from where it exits the pump. If this does not happen there is an internal pump issue. If this does happen then there is likely a clog in one of the attachments; high pressure hose, gun, wand, or nozzle.

If you have an internal pump issue, contact a Briggs & Stratton service dealer to repair or replace your faulty pump.

Still having pressure washer problems? Check your outdoor power equipment manual or contact a Briggs & Stratton dealer near you for assistance!

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