I Broke the Neighbor's Pressure Washer - HELP!

jay_nj(Zone 6)August 27, 2005

I borrowed my neighborÂs powder washer the other day. ItÂs a Craftsman 2100 PSI, model 580.768310, 6.5HP Tecumseh. As IÂve never used such before, he was nice enough to give me a quick lesson and told me to keep it as long as I needed it. Well, being the anal person that I am, I just couldnÂt accept the fact that he had over filled the engine with oil  and dirty oil at that. So, today I changed the oil, cleaned the air filter, cleaned the body of the washer, etc, etc.. just like it was my own. Fired her up and started cleaning my block wall. After about 20 minutes, the engine start to slow and slow until it eventually stalled, (it was really laboring). Long story short, IÂd say something has gone wrong in the pump as the machine will only start if I have the wand lever depressed, or if the water hose is disconnected. I can just feel the pressure on the engine  itÂs too much for the old 6.5 HP. ItÂs almost as if thereÂs a valve stuck. Does anyone know if what IÂm describing has an easy fix? Is there oil in the pump itself that should be checked???

A footnote to the operation of the machine  it may or may not mean anything. When I got my tutorial, my neighbor told me that in order to start the high pressure spray, I had to hold the nozzle head of the wand between my two feet and push and pull. Only then would the water being to flow at high pressure. I thought to myself this to be odd. IÂd think all you should haved to do is pull the trigger and the high pressure stream would start  but not with this unit. However, today, after the oil change, the machine did begin to operate as one would think  pull the trigger and the high power stream starts. It was shortly after this "normal" operating mode that the problems began. Perhaps this machine was screwed up when it came to me?

Any help would be appreciated. IÂd just love to get this baby up and running (properly I might add) before I'm forced to take that long walk over to the neighborÂsÂ


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canguy(British Columbia)

Unloader valve has probably stuck due to iron and calcium deposits in the water. Very common problem and not hard to fix. You will need an o-ring kit and a pressure guage to repair and reset it.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 5:29PM
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jay_nj(Zone 6)

Where is the unloader valve located?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 7:28PM
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I can not see one, it looks like one of them cheap designed and specked out by one of our North American pump manufacturers that they had built in china to reduce costs pumps. It is probably cheaper to change the pump at $100.00 to $150.00 if you do it yourself than to get it fixed.

Never let the pressure washer run more than 60 seconds without depressing the trigger on the wand to release all the pressure or you will cause damage to the pump. When you stop the engine release the inlet hose water pressure on the machine pump again to prevent damage.

Don't blame China, they are just building to one of our manufacturers spec's as per their request.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 8:37PM
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Also remember... $288 at sams club will get you a new 2500psi with a honda motor and a really nice wand that uses interchangeable tips. Very nice unit.

I wouldn't spend $140 to fix an old craftsman with a tecumseh when you can get a new one with a honda so cheap.

If you do get the thing running and back to him, use this as a lesson... Never borrow or lend tools over $20 in value. It can never be a good outcome. :-)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2005 at 10:04AM
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Hi Jay, the unloader IF that's what you need is listed under your model number at searsdotyouknowtherest website. The push pull thing is a high low "switch"-in low pressure the chemical siphon will work and suck in spray chemicals, of course in high you do the washing. CAVEAT I am not super experienced in PWs because they were not in the shop when I was in it and we do few of them in the field.The proper sequence to start is hook up water hose, check the engine oil, check the washer oil if dipstick or sightglass equipped, turn on water and PULL tigger until water runs out thru nozzle, THEN start engine. If you have a push-pull wand you can leave it in low to start and then soap up as soon as the engine is running. I think reducing pressure b4 shutoff is good so tht the next time a full engine load is not put on the cold engine when trigger pulled. I dont imagine that its very good for the pump to be constantly pulsing on and off at high pressure either. Better to move the spray away from the target than to pulse the trigger lots of times? I think most of the rotary pumps were and are Italian but the name escapes me.

Look at the pix at the above named website and see where the unloader is, remove and clean, you might get lucky. ps water should always be on at faucet and bled thru by depressing the trigger when the enigne is running. Do not let it run for more than about a minute or two with spraying either as you could overheat the pump innards if the thermal relief valve did not open as designed. PPS--oh crud, if it was a hot day and to hot an inlet temp it couldve damaged it too. But i would guess sticky unloader. HTH dave.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 11:25PM
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jay_nj(Zone 6)

I went over to the Sears parts site. Found an exploded view of the pump & the location of the unloader. ItÂs under the large black nut above the water inlet on the left side. I took it out and cleaned it up. Once I got the machine running again, it initially worked as it should. However, shortly after, there were problems. This time things were much more defined. Once I let go of the trigger, the machine loaded up and died. IÂd say IÂve got a faulty unloader valve thatÂs failing to unload. I ordered a new one from Sears -- $20 with shipping and handling. BTW, I spoke to my neighbor yesterday. I think he wants to sell me the machine  of course less my $20 and labor! WeÂll seeÂ

Thanks for your help guys.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 11:24AM
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Bertolini pumps are out of Italy.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 3:26PM
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If you change oil in the pump, make sure you use the right oil. The owners manual for my General pump calls for NON-Detergent oil to prevent foaming.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 10:41PM
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Home depot normally carries pump oil.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 7:37AM
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this is why i dont borrow anything more fragile than an crowbar. if it breaks im obligated to replace it to the lenders satisfaction. at least thats what i would do. my own son borrowed my own pressure washer and brought it back shot.
so even with family ,ill do the work myself rather than loan any motor tool. good luck.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 6:29PM
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jay_nj(Zone 6)

Oil? In the pump? The ownerÂs manual makes absolutely no mention of oil in the pump. Are you guys serious???

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 8:07PM
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Absolutely, there is a plug on the pump to drain and refill.

Otherwise the pump would blow apart with friction in no time.

It should be underneath or the lower side.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 8:11PM
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Sorry, but I should have also mentionned you need not change the pump oil, but just check it, insuring there is a sufficient level/quantity of oil in it.

Unless it is an old machine and pump.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 8:30PM
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jay_nj(Zone 6)

I installed the unloader valve. No soap  the machine was still dying after a few minutes of run time. I decided to remove the pump from the machine and open the top half. Below is what I found. It only had about 1 ounce of black as coal, dirty as sin, burn smelling oil and sludge. The pistons were difficult to push down and one was actually binding from the grit. I could just imagine how the whole thing must have started to seize up as the pump got hot. What a mess! I cleaned her up as best I could and made a visit to the local Napa Auto Parts store looking for oil. The guy told me to use 30 weight non-detergent oil. He said heÂs worked with many a pressure washer and they all took the same oil. So, long story short, I put the pump back together & fill it with oil. With my fingers crossed, I fired it up and started squirting, and squirting, & squirting. It didnÂt die  and as a matter of fact, never even labored. Looks like I have the problem licked. IÂll give the machine a good workout tomorrow to see if she holds up.



What I canÂt get over is the lack of documentation about the oil. NO WHERE in the ownerÂs manual does it mention that thereÂs oil in the pump, let a lone that it might be a good idea to check it once and a while. ThereÂs no way to check or fill the pump unless you actually remove it from the machine. IÂd be willing to bet that my neighbor didnÂt know about the oil  that means that what I cleaned out was the original oil from five years ago. What a screwed up design!

Thanks again for the help. Had it not been for you guys, IÂd never know about the oilÂand IÂd be sucking wind right now. ThatÂs that last time I borrow anything more complicated than a crowbar!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 11:43PM
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Impressive resolution, maybe you fellas could help me with a new purchase... and a mystery (because I'm a bit cautious of these high pressure things, seem bit tempramental, or maybe just 'mental!

2500 psi/2.3GPH/ 5.5 BHP (150cc) 4-stroke gas / think its got a triple plunger type pump

Chinese through and through! New! Manuals are the biggest larf you've ever had....

I don't appear to have a suction hose for chemical uptake, and yet there is a barb nozzle, think on the HP side of the pump?

Does a hose and suction strainer have to be fitted to this inlet, or is there normally some kind of one way valve inside. Cannot see how it's suction is controlled when not in use - what exactly is the scheme here?

Thanks in anticipation :-)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 9:38PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

There is a check valve behind the barb to keep high pressure water from squirting out. When the nozzle is on the low pressure setting or the low pressure nozzle is installed, the unit is designed to siphon soap from the bottle and mix it in the line. It will not dispense soap under high pressure like a car wash.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 9:05AM
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Thanks, but I still can't see how it sucks it into the HP line, and meters the amount properly - all seems a bit crude.

Also, 'scuse the questions, how do you tell if the pump is capable of uplifting from a butt or static supply - do I just try it - the crude Chinese manual suggests I need 20 psi at 2gpm but salestalk says they can do this.



PS Yes I know, don't buy Chinese copies!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 1:19PM
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my craftsman psi 2000 pressure washer has no pressure just a small stream of water comes out of the nozzle when the trigger is engaged.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 10:54AM
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After reading all of the posts here, i wonder how in the world our relatives cleaned things up without a pressure washer!!
Why, they used a broom or mop, with liberal use of soap and muscle! Never had to worry about the things breaking--oh, maybe a mop handle, or the broom lost some bristles, but they never had to borrow the neighbors fancy power washer, which weren't available 40 years ago, except for commercial use.
Seems to me, there's a sucker born every minute, reinforced by the stories of all the troubles apparently inherent with powered pressure washers!
And--if the thing ain't made by an American company, don't buy it! and especially not if it has Chinese made parts!
Back when i was a kid (the 30's) toys were imported from Japan, that were of such inferior quality, the stores sold them really cheap! And, the only thing that came from Japan that we took notice of was Pearl Harbor!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 4:09PM
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Good idea! And I'm gonna start walking everywhere because my car might break down (even tho Japanese cars are among the most reliable in the world, and I still hold a grudge over 60 years later). And I'll buy my brooms/mops at Sams, because with all the driveway and brickwork I have, I'll be needing a sh**load of them, no need to buy something useful/convenient like a power washer.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 4:47PM
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i have a troybilt pressure washer and siphoning hose won't suck the detergent from bucket when i use it......have the detergent tip on it but it won't suck up water /detergent mixture.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 1:58PM
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I had similar problems and found the best solutions at this website: http://www.ppe-pressure-washer-parts.com

They have a toll-free phone number and were very helpful..

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 7:52PM
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Anything made of aluminum that ends up with water and air in it over months or years will corrode.

Manufacturers should make the customers aware that some sort of anti-corrosive stuff should be introduced to the pumps when they will be unused for more than a few weeks...

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 7:59PM
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I have an Excell EXH2425 2400 PSI 2.5gpm pressure washer and cannot get it to suck up pressure washer soap. I am using soap made for pressure washer, I have the black nozzle on my wand which I am pretty sure is the low pressure soap nozzle, and have plenty of soap/water mixed and the hose is covered in the bucket and firmly attached to the nipple on the pressure washer, and i have turned my pressure washers PSI down as low as I can. It has been quite the headscratching problem. Any input would be great! Thanks (also nothing is clogged)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 8:13PM
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I also own a Troybilt unit. 3000 PSI. This thing has NEVER picked up detergent thru the tube. I have messed with it until I am blue in the face! Checked the chemical injection kit...all is fine. Changed nozzles (black)...still no good. Is there an adjustment someplace on this unit? If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate it. ED

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 11:10AM
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My problem is very similar to the original poster's problem. Is there a sure-fire way to know if the uploader valve is bad? When I fired up my PW this year (Craftsman 580.768020), water passed through the nozzle for a few seconds, then stopped. Is the unloader valve threaded so it can be removed with a socket/wrench? Can the valve be cleaned and replaced?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 6:25PM
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I have just received (Free)the same pressure cleaner(Craftsman 580.768020). I am waiting for a response to "Ohio Volsman".

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 6:10PM
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For anyone interested in maintenencing or fixing their pressure washer, you may want to check out a really good 73 minute step-by-step instructional video. The company is selling the video but I do not have any part in the business. I only helped them develop their website and learned quite a bit about pressure washers... Mainly that in 95% of the cases, it's a very, very simple solution to fix and well worth sharing the information to help others save money.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pressure Washer Repair Video

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:54PM
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