How Long Do Pressure Washers Last? – What Experts Say

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A pressure washer comes in handy for heavy duty cleaning of driveways, cars, windows and many more. If this is your first time to buy one, the question that comes to mind is how long it is going to last. What can you reasonably expect from a pressure washer in terms of lifespan? In this guide you will find out what experts have to say.

Pressure washers typically last 200 to 500 hours. Assuming it is used for 50 hours annually, the pressure washer will last from 4 to 10 years. How you use the pressure washer and how well it is maintained will also determine its longevity.

Your owner’s manual or warranty should have information on its lifespan. Keep in mind that the 200-500 hour longevity assumes it is being used properly. Knowing how to use a pressure washer is important especially for a beginner. You will get the most out of it and ensure the warranty does not get voided.

Why Some Pressure Washers Don’t Last

There are many reasons why a pressure washer gets worn out or suffers damage. Of course a very old, worn out pressure washer will give out at some point. But even new products won’t last long under certain situations.

This is why having a quality pressure washer is essential. The Champion 2600-PSI is a fine example of this, designed for heavy duty use and built to last a long time.

The most common reasons why pressure washers get damaged are lack of water, an overheated system and using the wrong settings.


Electric pressure washers overheat if it runs too long in very hot temperature. This could lead to all sorts problems with the internal circuits.

With gas pressure washers this is often due to lack of lubrication for the pump or a tight gas cap. An overly tight cap makes it difficult for the gas to reach the engine. By loosening the cap, more fuel can get into the engine.

Overheating is the most common problem that you will come across. A lot of the issues covered here also lead to this. So it is the one aspect you have to keep an eye on. If you can keep the pump and motor in ideal working conditions, a lot of potential issues will be avoidable.

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Related. Signs of a Bad Pressure Washer Pump


Read the instructions before using your pressure washer. Use it only as directed. A lot of problems can be avoided as long as you use it correctly. If you are a beginner, it is especially important to figure out how to properly turn on and run the machine.

Some pressure washers are meant for heavy duty use, and others for light ones only. You will come across models with only a 200 hour lifespan, and others 500 or maybe even longer.

What you have to remember is that the lifespan, performance and other specs given assume normal operating conditions. If you use a pressure washer incorrectly or under non-ideal conditions, those hours will be much shorter.

Lack of Water

Lack of water can overheat the pump and motor. Water has three functions in a pressure washer: as a cleaner, coolant and lubricant. The cleaning part we all know about, but the coolant and lubricant are just as important.

Water keeps the pump and motor cool even under heavy pressure. It also lubricates the pump so everything flows more smoothly. If you start a pressure washer without water, it is going to overheat rapidly.

Water is obviously important for any pressure washer so you have to be certain that there is sufficient supply. This is one of the first things you have to check before turning the machine on.

Carburetor Problems

The most common problem with carburetors is corrosion. Old fuel becomes viscous and damage the carburetor. If gas is unable to get into the combustion chamber, the pressure washer will overheat.

The way to fix this is to clean the carburetor. You may have to remove the filter and other parts to get to it. Refer to your owner’s manual for details. Use a carburetor cleanser to remove the oily sludge. This method only works on a dirty carburetor. If the unit is damaged you have to buy a replacement.

Fixing a carburetor or replacing it requires some technical knowledge. If you are not comfortable tinkering with it, you can take the pressure washer to a specialist and have them check and fix the carburetor for you.

Faulty Fuel Valve

The fuel valve must always be configured in the open position. If the valve is closed or just halfway open, the gas will have a hard time getting into the system. Make sure the valve setting is correct when you are using a pressure washer.

Your owner’s manual contains additional information about the valve and other important components. Familiarize yourself with the setting and adjust as needed. Keep in mind that settings for one pressure washer like the Sun Joe SPX3000 will not necessarily apply to another. So you have to be careful when attempting to fix the valve or adjusting the configuration.

Dirty Filters

Air filters keep grime and debris from getting into the motor. Over time these filters get dirty and clogged. Lack of ventilation means higher operating temperatures for your pressure washer. This in turn can lead to overheating.

Check the air filters regularly, cleaning and replacing them as necessary. This goes far in making a pressure washer last longer.

There are no set rules on how long these air filters are supposed to last. People use pressure washers differently so some get worn out faster than others.

The best way to find out is to check the filters once a week. This should give you an idea of how dirty it is and if cleaning will do, or a replacement is needed.

Damaged Fuel Line

The fuel or gas line ensures gas goes into the engine. If the line is pinched or cramped, gas flow could be impeded. This is going to force the motor to work harder because there is not enough fuel. Similar to air filters, the solution is to inspect it regularly and look for signs of dirt or damage. Clean or replace if required.

it goes without saying that the fuel line plays a huge role in pressure washers. If you suspect a fuel-related problem this is the first place to look. With a well-made pressure washer, it should last a while though.

Faulty Wiring or Components. Electric pressure washers can also suffer from all kinds of electrical failure. This can be due to overheating, overworking, using the wrong settings and so on.

Electrical pressure washers have different configurations so you have to check the owner’s manual troubleshooting guide. Unless you are an electronics expert, it is best to take the pressure washer to a specialist.

How to Make a Pressure Washer Last Longer

The best way to maintain a pressure washer is to avoid overheating the pump and motor. Ensure there is sufficient water available and shut it off when not in use. Perform regular maintenance and never run the pressure washer in extreme temperature.

Use the Right Cleaning Solutions. You must only use cleaners and dispensers that are specifically made for pressure washers. Strong bleach, acid and detergents can damage the motor and other parts. The typical household detergent and degreaser will not work.

Flush Out Mineral Buildup

Flushing helps get rid of accumulated minerals in the pump. Minerals contribute to corrosion and can cause serious damage. Left untreated, corrosion will spread throughout the pressure washer and cause havoc on the pump, motor and other parts.

You should flush the pump regularly to avoid complications. To do this, buy pressure washer antifreeze. Plug the can onto the inlet port with the hose. Squeeze the trigger until foam comes out. This indicates the pump now has lubrication and antifreeze.

Sufficient Water Supply

Pressure washers need a steady supply of flowing to prevent overheating. Consult your owner’s manual to find out its GPM (gallons per unit) or pump rating. The water flowing into the pressure washer must be a match. So if the GPM is 2.5 then that is what the gauge has to read.

Low water pressure can lead to malfunction and prevent the pressure washer from working properly. If you are sure there is no problem with your water supply, check for a clogged nozzle. It could also be due to a pinched hose, old fuel or the water valve is only halfway open.

Avoid Using in Extreme Heat or Cold

Pressure washers need water to keep their components cool while running. But using it under intense heat can speed up wear and tear. Similarly, very cold temperature can also damage its components.

Since we cannot control the weather we have to find ways to get around this. There will be occasions when you have no choice but to use the pressure washer during hot days.

One way to deal with this is to move the washer under shade. This can provide protection from the sun’s ray and keep the temperature down. An even better solution is to turn the machine off and let it cool.

Use your pressure washer as you normally would. But touch the motor and pump every now and then. If it gets very hot, turn the machine off. Move the pressure washer under shade and allow it to cool down.