Did I just kill my new electric power washer by getting it wet?

amy55407September 17, 2009

I picked up a new Karcher electric power washer on Craigslist. I used it for about an hour and it was working just fine. I was cleaning up some dirt and leaves on the ground and wasn't careful enough. The power washer got splattered with dirt. I rinsed it off but since then it won't work. I let it dry out for a few days in case that was the issue but it still won't work. I know people have problems with these little power washers. If it's my fault I certainly can't go back to the person who sold it to me for a refund. But if it seems like it should be able to tolerate being splattered then I will probably contact him. I still may not get a refund since he did test it ahead of time and it did work for an hour but I thought it might be worth a try.

Is there anything else I might be able to try to get it to work again?

Thanks for you help. Maybe next time I should pay full price and get a warranty. Lesson learned.

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Did you check the ground fault detector on the power plug. Make sure the switch is reset.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 5:43PM
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Come you brought it used, it's your responsibility for the condition after all thats why you didn't want to give full price. SO IMO the seller NOT at fault especially after you used it an hour and then happy-hazzardly sprayed it. And NO IMO an electrically device won't take being sprayed by high pressure water without an ground fault or reset to protect the operator and the equipment.

I would think as yungman suggested they is probably a reset button some where. If you get it reset this would be an wakeup to keep the unit away from the spray.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 8:19PM
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Steven Laurin & Company

I've gotten my electric Karcher wet on numerous occasions within the past 12 years - clean the casing under pressure as well, and it's still ticking strongly. The on-off switch quit a few years ago, necessitating using the plug instead, but everything else is fine.

Seems as though the problem is electrical though - try testing for a short circuit.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 8:59PM
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I would never spray anything electrical wet with juice going through it. But, I don't like shock treatment. why wouldn't you fix a 2 dollar switch?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 11:31PM
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I am pretty sure you have a ground fault switch on the plug. There is no way to avoid getting that thing dry in the mid of using. I wet it so many times. I sure hope mine would take a dive like this so I can have the excuse to buy a new one!!! The electric ones are just pissy!!! No power at all. After I spent hours cleaning bricks and concrete, I finally told my wife I refuse to use that anymore!!! Want me to clean, she has to buy me a real washer!!!

If it really crap out, let that be the message from the universe that you need a better one, it's better for your health!!!!

It sounds like I am joking, but I am really not. My wife don't want to spend money on a new one and I am stuck with this!!!! It actually hurt my neck because I have to spent hours stairing at the floor waiting for it to be clean!!!! I hate that electric washer.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 11:45PM
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Steven Laurin & Company

rcmoser -
Of course I realize it's an electrical device - "with juice going through it". However, think about it for a second - it's a sealed unit and designed to take an occasional spray. A low pressure, fan spray - directed only on the outer casing - shouldn't cause any harm to the internal electrical components.

I keep it in my dockbox at the marina - used mainly for washing my sailboat's exterior surfaces when in home-port. The unit is perfect for removing salt + grime from fiberglass and rigging, using a jet-spray on stubborn areas - occasional fan spray for the teak decks.

A gas-engine unit is certainly more powerful, as yungman implied, but would be inappropriate and inconsiderate to my dockmates. I use a higher-pressure gas unit at the house.

Someday, I'll get around to replacing that $2 switch. :-)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 5:54AM
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High quality electric power washers are available, but
pricey and most of the 120 volt models require a
20 amp circuit.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 9:31AM
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My Campbell Hausfield(Hope I spelled that right) hasnt had a problem with that on the occasion I do that on accident. My only problem is that the threads for the inlet hose arent in good shape so I rigged it so you dont have to remove the hose from there. Redneck engineering at its finest. But it works.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 4:34AM
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