Why does my electric pressure washer keep cutting out?

Maintaining floor tiles is now easier than ever, thanks to the electric pressure washer. This machine can help you wash dirt on such surfaces fast.

For an electric pressure washer to help you maintain high cleanliness levels, it has to be in the best working condition. Some users reveal issues while using this machine. For instance, your pressure washer can cut out during extended sessions. This happens when the air filter is clogged or when the unloader valve has a problem. Finding out how to fix such issues is crucial. Learn more!

What is a pressure washer?

This machine was designed for high-pressure washing. It comes with a motor that is designed to pump out soap and water at high speeds. The pressure water produces enough pressure needed to clean different surfaces. These machines can produce pressure ranging between 750 and 30,000 psi.

You can depend on this machine to help you clear out the mud around your pavements or even get rid of chewing gum on the floor. It can also get rid of loose paint on different objects. Industries that need high-speed cleaning, such as car washes, construction sites, and parks, often invest in electric pressure washers. Purchasing this pressure washer for your home can also help you clean the driveway, exterior walls, or even the garage.

Why the pressure washer keeps cutting out

For you to know how to solve it, you should first understand how the pressure washer works. Unlike a gas-powered washer that runs on fuel, an electric pressure washer runs on an engine. Its engine needs sufficient air for the washer to run smoothly.

If the pressure washer keeps on cutting out, the problem could be caused by a clog in the filter. When the air filter is clogged, it can hinder the engine from getting adequate air for the pressure washer to function correctly.

One of the major components that the pressure washer comes with is the water sensor. This sensor turns on the engine every time it detects water moving. The sensor should work well when you turn on the electric pressure washer. If you turn on this pressure washer and it works for the first minutes then stops working, the unloader valve could be the problem. This is the part that is usually located at the top part of the pressure washer’ pumping system. It features a black handle.

When the unloader valve fails, the pressure washer cannot function well continuously. This is because a bad unloader valve cannot recirculate water to the pump inlet. When this occurs, it can lead to the excess buildup of pressure within the electric pressure washer. This prevents the engine from running the pump properly.

What to do when this happens

Start by drying your hands and put on rubber gloves. Confirm that the connections are dry and they are not close to a wet surface. Unplug this pressure washer from a power outlet to avoid any risk of power accidents.

Once you have done this, you should confirm if there is any clogging in the air filter. If you don’t notice any clogging, you should confirm the condition of the unloader valve. When a pressure washer has a defective unloader valve, it can cut out during use. The piston of such an unloader valve will not shift to divert the flow of water in time. The only solution to this is replacing the defective unloader valve with a new one.

If you cannot trace the cause of the problem, try resetting the machine. Once you have turned the power off, try pressing the spray gun’s trigger. This will generate enough water before you turn the machine back on. When you turn this machine, sometimes pressure may build up inside it. You need to press the release nozzle to disengage the pressure switch.

As you use the electric pressure washer, you should ensure that you inspect the valves from time to time so that an issue does not get you by surprise. Before you try any DIY repair job on your own, go through the manual since it contains troubleshooting steps that you can follow to repair the electric pressure washer.

Here is a summary of why the machine cuts out

The air filter is clogged
This can prevent the engine from getting enough air for it to function correctly.
The unloader valve has failed.
When this happens, it will not recirculate water to the pump inlet properly.

Ensure you check the valve regularly and replace a defective one.


An electric pressure washer is not perfect. Though it helps with cleaning tasks, sometimes it can keep cutting out during use. Start by checking for the above problems and try out the solutions we have discussed.


Can I utilize an extension cord to power this machine?

This is not advised due to the high risk of electrocution. Instead, connect it directly to the power outlet.

Why do many people choose electric pressure washers over gas-powered ones?

Electric pressure washers are more popular since they have powerful motors to do demanding tasks. They also work without producing a loud noise or poisonous fumes.

Dennis Vaughn

Dennis Vaughn is a certified plumber and has been offering apprenticeship experiences to most of his employees for the past 12years. Dennis owns and runs an appliance store, and has a team made of different expertise from electricians, appliance repair individuals, and plumbers. According to him dealing with appliances is one thing but the after-sales services are what makes for the loyal clients. Many people don’t know who to call when their appliances break or become faulty, and a good number are not aware of the varieties of appliances in the market tailored to fit their expectations. The above is what necessitated the creation of the extensive excerpts on the washing machine units, which come complete with directions on the simple home repairs.