Pressure Washer Shuts Off When Trigger Is Pulled? (We Explains & Fix)

Are you wondering if the pressure washer shuts off when trigger is pulled? 

A pressure washer is effective to achieve a high level of cleanliness. Power washing is very convenient to accomplish your cleaning. This tool is essential to use for both home and professional tasks. 

However, using this powerful tool correctly gives you excellent results. It can easily pull down old paints, stains, debris and specks of dirt. And you can use it for different purposes depending on your requirements. But what happens when the pressure washer shuts off after a few seconds. This is very annoying, isn’t it? 

If this happens from time to time, the only reason is the unloader valve needs to be fixed or replaced. Here, we explain how you identify and fix the problems, So, keep digging! 

What is a Pressure Compressor Unloader Valve?

The unloader valve is used to divert the water flow inside of the pressure washer. It is designed to control the water pressure level. When you release the trigger, water starts to flow from the pump. The pressure can also be controlled even if you release water through the nozzle. 

The unloader valve’s main job is to control the water pressure constantly. So the problem with this machine means the whole process will stop immediately. 

The Unloader Valve Makes Things Easier

There are different types of pressure cleaning machines that can be found in the market. Among them, a pump motor pressure washer is easy to operate, just like doing on and off. 

But the problem occurs when you are staying a few feet away from the hose. That means you have to walk back to the machine to turn it off. At this point, a handle is essential to control the pressure. Using the trigger or unloader, you can easily regulate the flow of water. 

Pressure Washer Bogs Down When Trigger Is Pulled

Before finding and fixing the problem, you need to figure out which types of pressure washer you are using. You will find four different pressure washers on your requirements. 

  1. Hot water pressure washers provide excellent results for cleaning oil and grease. 
  2. If you are a homeowner, a cold pressure washer is a good option for you. 
  3. For cleaning outdoor surfaces, a gas power cold pressure washer works perfectly. 
  4. Sometimes you’ve to deal with low or damaged surfaces and an electric power pressure washer will be a good choice.

Which types of pressure washer you are using is crucial before you find the fault and fix it. 

What you Need to Fix A Pressure Washer

Sudden pressure washer engine shutdown is a common problem for any homeowner. This can occur for the fault of a few parts of the pressure washer. That means you need to inspect those issues for replacement or fixing immediately. 

You will need different tools for identifying and solving those problems. We have listed them below for you.

  1. Wrench
  2. Screwdrivers
  3. Grease
  4. Kerosene or alcohol
  5. Dry cloth
  6. Alcohol
  7. Pliers

You can also buy a tool kit box, where you can get all of them at a time. Let’s talk about the problems and fixing them. 

Inspect the Carburetor

The carburetor in the pressure washer helps to balance engine air and fuel combination. Problems in the carburetor are very common, either it is loose or clogged. A loosen carburetor needs to tighten while you have to clean the gas tank for a clogged carburetor. 

How to Fix a Faulty Unloader Valve

Unplug the Unloader Valve

First, you have to unplug the unloader valve from where it is located. Use a screwdriver and wrench to unplug the retaining pin of your valve. This isn’t even tough for the most powerful pressure washer because the manufacturers place the valve in a visual area for quickly changing. 

The pin looks like a shape of U that is general for every pressure washer. You need to use a screwdriver to take out the retaining pin.

Remove the Unloader Valve

If you successfully pry out the pin, it will be easy to remove the valve from the inside. Make sure the piston is there to stay without any harm. 

A piston is an integral part of an unloader valve, and it helps to control the retention of a pressure washer. When you are running, your pressure washer piston helps to move it backwards and forward.  

If you notice that the piston does not move freely, the pressure washer will stop working immediately. And you can be sure that it is the main culprit. 

Check and Replace the Piston

If you see the piston works fine, skip this section. If it’s not, then you have to solve the issue quickly. Using a wrench loose the piston nuts and take it out from the valve. Make sure you unplug both piston and spring. 

Now, use kerosene or alcohol to clean them thoroughly and wait a few minutes to let them dry. After that, you need to add grease to both of them. This will make the piston and spring smooth to work. And put them back where they belong. 

Inspect the Valve Setting

The pressure washer has an adjustable setting for creating the amount of pressure needed to finish a job. Before turning it on make sure the setting is perfect. 

If you see the setting is too high, don’t turn it on. Otherwise, the engine will stack and the pressure washer will stop working. 

Open the unloader valve so that the water cycle can flow properly into the inlet side. If you can’t make it open, an unusual high pressure will create and stop the engine. So check the setting properly and make sure there is no unusual pressure. 

Adjusting the O-Ring

It’s located with the unloader valve, also called a seal or washer. Issues with the O-ring is one of the primary reasons that the pressure washer keeps shutting off. 

It stops sealing the pump because of getting worn down or torn out. If you identify this is the reason, take out the o-ring and get the same size to avoid further issues. When you replace it correctly, the pump will be seated and work as new. 

Adjusting the Pressure Gun

If you find that everything is fine and the pressure washer still turns off when water is turned on, the culprit may be the pressure gun. Without any delay, inspect your gun to make sure it is at an optimal level. 

If there is a problem with the valve, you can adjust it on the requirement, but issues with the pressure gun won’t matter. So, inspect the pressure gun as well, sometimes you may need to replace the entire gun.  

What Happens If Everything Fails

If you take all the possible steps that we are talking about and still face the problem, you have to try a few other alternatives. 

  1. Clean the air filter if it seems dirty.
  2. Check the spark plug – if it looks dirty, clean it using alcohol.
  3. Check the water inlet or the wand screens to make sure it’s in good condition.

If everything is in good condition, it’s necessary to buy a new unloader valve and replace it with the older one. 

Final Words

The pressure washer is a sturdy and highly effective tool for homeowners and professionals. Sometimes you can face pressure washer cuts off when spraying. But if you ensure the proper maintenance, you can avoid the pressure washer shuts off when trigger is pulled. 

By providing routine maintenance and ensuring not to get dirty, you can keep your pressure washer safe. If you fail, you have to buy a brand new machine.

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