You are probably thinking that as efficient as a pressure washer is, it is sure to last for a while. Well, that’s not totally incorrect. The durability of a pressure washer depends on its quality, either High-Quality or low-quality and how you use the device.

Low-quality pressure washers are not made with the best materials, hence their cheap cost. They usually last between one to two years. In contrast, the superior quality ones never fail in their durability, as they can last for up to ten years. These are usually quite expensive.

Apart from the quality of the washers, there are other ways by which their durability can be disrupted. Cavitation is one, overheating the pump is another, and mishandling of the unloader valve is the third. You’ll get to know more about these below.

Ways A Pressure Washer Can Get Damaged

On certain occasions, bubbles form in the water when it is being pumped through the machine’s pump. These bubbles are not meant to contact the pressure washer because pressure washer pumps are not made for that. When this happens, the pump gets severely damaged, which is called cavitation.

Restriction of water into the pump or using dirty filters which could jam the water inlet are both cases that could lead to cavitation. You can quickly figure out by yourself when your pump is affected by cavitation; all you have to do is listen to the difference in sound. Cavitation causes pumps to get way noisier than usual, so that’s your revealing sign.

In the case of overheating, this occurs when the pressure washer pump is in bypass mode for longer than expected. The standard duration for bypass mode is 45 seconds or less. Water pumps out of the washer through the nozzle when you pull the trigger while the device is still on. But when you release the trigger without turning off the device, the water that is meant to be pumped out has nowhere to go. This makes the pump switch to bypass mode.

Bypass mode is when the water meant to be pumped out of the machine has nowhere to go, so it remains in the device, moving with high pressure in a circular motion. To prevent this, the machine has to be turned off, or the water has to be pumped out by squeezing the trigger.

Moving on, what are unloader valves? It’s not a crime if you have a pressure washer and have no idea what the unloader valves are. The unloader valves serve to control both the water and the pressure by keeping it set appropriately.

Before setting the unloader valves, you have to go through the pressure washer’s featured manual thoroughly. This helps you set the valves right and prolongs the pump’s lifespan. Not placing it correctly leads to the overloading of the pump and the eventual malfunctioning of the pressure washer.


So can a pressure washer get damaged? Of course, it can. That is why you need to know what you are buying and what you are doing. To enjoy your pressure washer without faults for a long time, always do well to follow instructions.

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Nicole has a passion for helping people create the lives they want to live. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Nicole worked in the corporate world for several years before realizing her true calling was working with people one-on-one. She is currently a personal coach and helps clients all over the world achieve their goals and dreams. When his’s not coaching, Nicole enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.


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