I’m a big fan of being frugal and repairing my tools when I can, there’s no point in spending hundreds of dollars on a new tool when you can easily repair something for a fraction of the cost and this goes for your pressure washer as well.
Power and pressure washing is a favorite cleaning technique for most homeowners.
This is because what a pressure washer can do in minutes will take you literally days to do on your own.
Apart from that, a pressure washer can not only speed up the whole cleaning process, but it can also clean various areas that are very difficult to work on by hand, i.e. cleaning your fence.
But the main purpose of the pressure washer is its ‘Achilles heel.’ The hose expels or discharges water at very high pressures (as high as 4000 PSI for some commercial models).
This is why it is almost inevitable that eventually there will be wear and tear.
This means that you will end up purchasing multiple hoses over the life of your pressure washer. However, it does not have to be this way at all. The good thing is that once you learn how to repair pressure washer hose, you will not need to buy a new hose for a long time.
Here the point to understand is that even if your power washer’s hose is kaput or if it has developed a highly noticeable leak, it is still not beyond repair.
This is why rather than immediately throwing it into the garbage bin, you really should consider it as a bit of a DIY (do it yourself) project and try and attempt to repair it.
Repairing your gas power washer hose is not exactly rocket science. It just takes a bit of know-how and ‘elbow grease.’
Here, it is prudent to realize that you should not try to use a power washer if the machine’s hose appears to be damaged in any way or if you feel that it requires repair.
This is because water surges through the hose at very high pressure levels. If this pressure is misdirected because of a broken hose, it can not only cause you a severe injury, but it can also injure anyone in the immediate vicinity.
A 4000 PSI (pressure per square inch) power washer can easily blow your face off!
This is why you should inspect your hose very carefully before carrying out any impromptu repairs. You should keep in mind that not all types of hose damage can be successfully repaired.
This is why you should be very careful when you try to repair a leaky hose.
Before you start trying to figure out how to repair pressure washer hose, you must check and see if the machine is switched off or not. It must be off and unplugged before you start any kind of repair work on it.
What You Will Need to Conduct This Repair Job?
You will need certain supplies to successfully repair the hose of your favorite pressure washer. In fact, before heading to the closest general store to see if you can buy a hose repair kit, you should check to see if you have the following items in your toolbox:
- A set of needle nose pliers (a set of shears will also work in case you don’t have a plier)
- An O-ring that is of a suitable size set for fitting on the pressure washer hose connection
- A male and female thread pipe set of quick-connect couplers
- You may also need a medium or small-sized wrench (depending on the size of the hose)
- Safety gloves and certified safety glasses ( normal ones won’t do) to protect you from any injuries
In case you don’t have any of the above items, you should head out to the hardware store to get them. And while at it, you might consider picking up a decent hose repair kit as well.
What To Do
First and foremost, you must press the trigger of the hose so that you will be able to discharge any residual water that might be inside the hose.
Once the hose is completely empty, you will have to check and see exactly where the leak is located in the pressure hose.
This is not as easy as it sounds. However, there are various ways to get around this issue. For example, you can try using soap suds to ferret out the offending leak.
In this method, you put plenty of soapy water in the hose and carefully look for any air bubbles.
If you can’t find the leak and the hose is still not giving the desired pressure, then you should dry it completely and subject it to a very thorough visual search.
Once you have finally located the errant leak, you should mark it and then dry the area (in case you have not done so before).
After that, you should use the shears to carefully cut your pressure washer hose at the exact spot where you have located the leak.
You have to make sure that any cut you make, is perfectly straight across and not diagonal.
Then you should proceed to file the edges of the hose down. Once you have done that, add the two counterpart couplers that you have already purchased.
You should add the male coupler to the first end of your pressure washer hose and then crimp that end until is entirely flat.
In case your pressure hose is equipped with many different compression rings, you should also tighten them as much as you can.
After that, add the female coupler to the other part of your hose and then repeat the same process as above. Once that is done, you should thread the two male and female ends together. Use a wrench to do this.
A Few Safety Precautions
To make sure that your hose does not disconnect when you hook it up to your power washer (this can cause serious damage), you have to make sure that the rings are completely recessed into the hose and that both of the couplers have been properly tightened together.
Note: For safety purposes, when you are testing the pressure washer hose, it is imperative that you do that in an open area. Moreover, you should make sure that there is no one else standing close to you.
It is also possible to just simply test your hose at a lower pressure setting (if your machine supports such a function) to check and see if the leak still persists. All of your testings should be conducted while you are wearing your certified safety glasses.
Patches are available for hose leaks, but they don’t really work well for high-powered pressure washers. This is because of the tremendous pressure of the water in the hose. It can force the patch to become loose and unleash a water jet right onto your face. This is a serious issue because it can cause some severe injuries.
When you repair your pressure hose all by yourself and for the very first time, you may have erred a bit. For example, the wire might not be formed perfectly enough to hold its shape, and after some time, it will cease to hold. This will mean that your pressure hose will start leaking all over again.
If this happens regularly, it will make a whole lot more sense to save all of the extra time and money so that you can simply replace the hose once and for all.
After all, nothing lasts forever, and the same holds true for DIY repair jobs. This means that a time will come when you will need to get your hose replaced with a new one. Also, refrain from trying to repair unless you have the right tools for the job at hand.
You should also remember that pressure washers are perfectly capable of wreaking havoc and damaging the surfaces if they are not used carefully and properly.
If your pressure washer can break your furniture and scourge the paint off your car, just imagine what it will do to your face and body.
Many unfortunate souls have found that out the hard and painful way. That is, after having experienced life-changing bodily damage because of pressure washer repairs that have gone wrong.
Keeping this in mind, you should always follow all the cardinal safety rules and wear safety glasses regardless of the quality of your hose and pressure washer.
All protective gear is necessary whenever you decide to repair and/or test a defective power washer. This is because even a single narrow jet of water from the machine can permanently damage your eyes.
However, a visible hose leak is not the only problem that you may have to look into. There are various other issues. Let us see how we can fix them so that your pressure washer remains both safe and effective.
The Inlet Seal
The inlet seal’s primary function is to completely seal the pressure washer’s intake inlet. When you attach a hose to it, you have to make sure that it is very tightly screwed into the inlet coupling.
This coupling holds the hose very firmly while creating an optimum seal.
This has to be done to make sure that the water is not able to leak out.
After some time, this seal (the one that is present inside the coupling) can wear down or break completely.
If your power washer is leaking water from the main connection in-between the hose and the inlet, it is possible that it is not just the seal itself that is broken, but the coupling on the inlet is also probably not functioning the way it should.
In any case, your hose’s seal will definitely need to be replaced. This seal is not very difficult to remove and replace. In fact, it will automatically be replaced once you change the couplings of your damaged hose.
The Piston Seals
Sometimes, it is not the hose that is the culprit as far as weak pressure issues are concerned. The pump may be at fault as well. In case your prized power washer is leaking water directly from its pump, your pump’s internal piston seals may be broken or worn out.
This holds truer when there is any noticeable damage on the pump, such as a clearly visible crack. The pump works with the help of pistons that are located inside it.
These pistons create the required pressure to pull the water from its source (the intake valve) and throw it out of the nozzle opening at very high pressure, depending on the make and model of the pressure washer.
However, for the pump to do its job, it is imperative that these pistons should always remain permanently sealed so that the machine’s pump will be able to generate sufficient pressure.
A leaking pump is a telling sign that that either one or more of the heavy-duty rubber seals present on each piston is broken or it has worn down so much that it is allowing the water to escape.
If this is really the case, then you should remove the unit’s pump from the housing in which it has been placed and then open it to check the O-rings that are responsible for sealing the pistons from the inside.
If any O-rings are out of place, broken or worn out, you should promptly replace them with fresh ones. But if you feel that the rings are new and just out of place, then you can simply fit them back into place.
However, you should only do this if they are in excellent condition. Otherwise, O-rings are cheap and disposable items, and you can simply get new ones from the market.
The Outlet Seal
The outlet seal is responsible for sealing the connection from the machine’s pump to its high-pressure hose from where it is forced on to the object being cleaned via trigger wand.
In case the outlet seal has been broken, the water will start leaking directly from its main connection near the pump to the hose.
In case the outlet’s main coupling is either broken or cracked, it is a good idea to completely replace the whole coupling. But in case it is intact, then you might consider replacing its O-ring.
Usually, this should fix the problem permanently.
The Thermal Release Valve
The thermal release valve is responsible for keeping the water in the machine’s pump within a preset and safe temperature range. If this pump is knocked out of kilter, it will not be able to do its job correctly which is to prevent the machine from overheating.
A build-up of the heat is inevitable when the water circulating within the pump system is not released in spray form on the object being cleaned.
This is because when the machine is not spraying water, then it is continually re-circulated within the washer’s central pump system. This helps to keep the water under high pressure before release.
Excess heat is a byproduct of this process. And if the water inside the pump becomes too hot, it can easily compromise the rubber seals inside the pump.
Once that happens, the super-hot water will spill all over the machine and cause serious damage, not to mention injuries to the operator.
This is why most power washers have been equipped with a certain ‘thermal release valve’ that is located at the bottom of the pump’s operating system.
This valve has been designed to expel excess water from the pumping system of the pressure washer whenever it starts getting too hot.
If the thermal release valve’s seal becomes weak or compromised, it will continuously start to leak water. At the very least, it will cause the machine to lose pressure.
However, it does not have to be this way at all. You can easily replace this thermal release valve just by unscrewing the old and broken valve and screwing in a fresh one.
Since it is a fairly cheap component, you won’t have to worry about costs. Apart from that, you should also remember that the main seal on this valve is just like most other seals on the hose and the pump.
This means it will also wear out with regular use and will eventually require replacement.
When ‘Not’ To Repair A Pressure Washer Hose
As you can see, repairing a hose is not very difficult. It is also a relatively inexpensive and simple task. But does that mean that you should try and patch up your leaky old pressure washer hose every time it starts ‘acting up?’
No. Sometimes, it is better to just to go out and buy a new hose. In addition to the risk of serious injury that I talked about earlier, there is a simple fact that it may not be cost feasible either.
This is why it is essential to know not just how to wash a pressure waster hose, but also when it’s useless to try and repair it.
The Location of the Leak
The point where the leak is located is a definite determining factor when it comes to deciding if repairing your hose is actually worth your time or not.
Suppose you have a 20 ft hose. Let us assume that a hole bursts close to the pressure washer itself. Or even at the half-way point.
In the former case, it would not make sense to repair it since you will be left with hose length so short, it will render your machine useless.
In the latter case, you will be forced to cut the hose in half to carry out any effective repairs. It may not matter much if you only use your machine to wash your car and porch.
But if you have a double story unit and you need to clean the rafters and the gutters, then your pressure washer’s cleaning abilities will be severely compromised.
In that case, you will have to decide if the repairs that you have conducted are worth it or should you just go to the nearest hardware store and get a new hose.
If you have purchased a relatively inexpensive machine that comes equipped with a small and cheap hose, then you can save yourself all this trouble and just buy a new one. If you go and look at different hardware stores, you might find something that will be worth your while.
In case you have already repaired your hose multiple times, then you should seriously consider getting a new one.
Moreover, if you continue to patch your old and leaky hose, you are risking serious harm. And this goes for you, as well as the people who might be around, in case it springs a leak.
Apart from that, there is chance that a leak close to or on the pressure washer itself can also damage your expensive machine.
In a nutshell, if it’s a first-time leak and it is tiny and near the end, then you can probably fix it. But if it is one of many such leaks and its located close to the pressure washer, then you are better off getting a new appliance.
When it comes to repairing anything, take your time and follow your manufacturer’s instructions, most tools will have a guide on how to repair various aspects of the tool.
This is the same with your pressure washer, just take your time! And be diligent and you’ll save yourself hundreds of dollars which can be spent on better things!