I bought myself a gasoline power-washer last year to replace my old washer and was really pleased with its performance. At the beginning of summer this year, I set up my new washer for my annual outdoor cleaning. I hooked everything up and gave the engine a pull. As expected it cranked right up and then all of a sudden – BAM – it stopped!! It wasn’t a “ran out of gas” kind of stop it was a very sudden “the engine has seized” kind of stop.
I gripped the pull-crank, gave it a pull and the pull-cord ripped right out of my hand. The engine wouldn’t budge. I take meticulous care of my stuff so I was perplexed … what could it be? A visual inspection of the crankcase didn’t show any blowouts or cracks … hmmmm. I pulled the spark plug and inspected the top of the piston and cylinder, all seemed fine. I then pulled the top of the engine off and again, everything was fine. That left one thing — the water pump itself. I pulled the pump off and manually rotated the engine’s crankshaft and thankfully it turned with very little effort, so I knew the engine was fine.
The pumps that ship with store bought pressure washers are notoriously “cheap” but my unit had less than 10 hours of use, it shouldn’t have failed already! I continued my investigation by removing the three external valve caps from the pump. I immediately noticed a fowl smell …. that’s strange, what could that be? I then pulled one of the valves out and found the remains of, what we call locally, a lizard (Carolina Anole)! My guess is he had decided to make the water-hose or the water intake on the pump itself his home …. poor little guy!
The pump has a total of six valves which, unfortunately, are made of plastic. Most of the valves were damaged as I removed them from their seats which meant I had to order a replacement pump or buy a new kit. The replacement pump would have been easier but this kind of DIY project is therapeutic for me so I ordered the kit ($72) and did the repair myself.
Following is a 60 second video that captures the repair.
Until next time – GEEK OUT!