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Can An Electric Pressure Washer Overheat?


    They don’t overheat but they can have problems from overuse. An electric pressure washer can not overheat in the most common way a gas-powered pressure washer can. The danger of a gas-powered pressure washer overheating is when the motor is running and water is not being sprayed. The water overheats in the pump with the motor continuously running. Electric pressure washers overheat from ambient temperature and extended use.

    Gas-powered pressure washers have a thermal release valve that releases water from the pump when it reaches a specific temperature to keep the pump from overheating. When the valve is open, new, cooler water is introduced into the pump and then closes when the temperature is brought down. Electric pressure washers have an automatic switch, instead of a thermal valve, that stops the motor from running the pump, preventing the motor and pump from overheating when turned on and not being sprayed.

    How To Keep The Pump On Your Pressure Washer From Overheating?

    There are two basic types of water pumps in pressure washers. They both do basically the same thing by pressurizing water that then can be forced through the nozzle for excellent cleaning power. Water can’t be compressed like air so it makes for an efficient cleaning tool. Electric pressure washers stop the motor from over pressurizing water in the pump with a cut off switch. When you are not pulling the trigger on the wand, the motor is not running.

    Electric pressure washers have an added benefit over gas-powered pressure washers by stopping the motor from running when you are not spraying water. The way electric pressure washers can overheat is by continued use. When you are doing a large job on a hot day, the continued use can cause the pump and motor to heat up without a break.

    How Do I Know If My Pressure Washer Is Too Hot?

    If the power washer seems to not be working properly, it could be too hot. If you have been running it for a long time without a break on a hot day and the washer starts to cavitate, sputter because of air bubbles, or not perform as well, it might be time to take a quick break and look at a few things. 

    • Stop spraying and turn off the power washer. 
    • You can CAREFULLY feel the motor and pump to see how hot it might be. 
    • If the power washer had been sitting in the sun, move it into the shade for a little while. 
    • If you can use the power washer with the unit in the shade, that will help as well. 
    • Make sure your hose is still supplying enough water. 

    How Long Can You Run An Electric Pressure Washer?

    It really depends on your current climate and model of the pressure washer. Keep in mind if you are cleaning something with a long hose, the hose is out in the sun and heating up over a long distance, the cold water coming from your house is warming up even prior to getting to your pressure washer. Leaving the pressure washer sitting in the sun will warm up the motor and other components, on a hot day, this can cause damage even to the best quality equipment.

    Why Does My Electric Pressure Washer Keep Cutting Out?

    Electric pressure washers have an automatic shut off switch attached to the pump. When the pump is pressurized and no water is flowing, the switch stops the motor from pumping more water into it. Compared to a gas-powered pressure washer, this prevents the water pump from overheating by having the same water sitting in the pump with the motor continuously running and warming up.

    If your pressure washer is cutting out, the likely culprit is air in the pump. When air is present in the pump, it can compress and prevents the water from being pressurized. You may have had an air bubble in your hose that finally reached the pump and is causing the problem.

    To fix this, turn off the pressure washer and run through your startup process again. It is important to spray water through the system prior to turning it on to get any of the remaining air in the pump or hose.

    We recommend a few great DIY pressure washers for the small jobs around the house. For the most part, these jobs can be fun because a pressure washer cleans so quickly, you get instant results. See some of our favorite pressure washers here.

    Keep in mind, these pressure washers are meant for smaller jobs. Continuous running can cause problems and affect the cleaning power just as a number of your other household appliances can. Break up that job into smaller parts and your pressure washer will work flawlessly for years to come.

    An electric pressure washer can overheat, but not in the same way that a gas unit will. Electric pressure washers automatically shut down the motor when the wand trigger is closed. The main culprit that will cause your pressure washer to overheat is running it too long in direct sunlight on a hot day. Your pressure washer can get overworked just like a person can.

    For a few extra tips on how to use your electric pressure check this blog here. When you are done with your job find out how to winterize your pressure washer for storage.

    1 thought on “Can An Electric Pressure Washer Overheat?”

    1. Hi. I was reading your explanation on overheating which is very good and detailed. I was running mine on a hot day and the power stopped and now will not turn on but water can go through it. Is there a way of taking it apart to fix/reset?

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