Ryobi pressure washer troubleshooting: With helpful tips (2022)

Pressure washers are used in many households by individuals to clean their porches and cars. Ryobi is a company that specializes in making excellent gas and electric pressure washers. Sometimes these machines can malfunction, but these problems can often be fixed yourself using our troubleshooting tips.

Ryobi pressure washer troubleshooting:

Some of the most common issues with Ryobi power washers are pressure issues, power issues, and water leakage problems. Mainly these are caused by faulty switches, a faulty unloading valve, dirty air filters, or clogged pressure nozzles. Some of these problems can be fixed without much technical knowledge. Others are more complex and require some tools.

Ryobi pressure washer troubleshooting: With helpful tips (1)

This article will focus on answering some of the more common questions users ask about Ryobi pressure washers. And problems they face while using their machines. With our tips, you can diagnose many problems and fix them in no time.

Contents

  • 1 How to Troubleshoot a Ryobi Pressure Washer
    • 1.1 ● Troubleshoot a Ryobi Gas and Electric Pressure Washer:
    • 1.2 ● Troubleshoot a Ryobi Gas Pressure Washer:
    • 1.3 ● Troubleshoot a Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer:
  • 2 Why Is My Ryobi Pressure Washer Not Working?
    • 2.1 ● Power Issues
      • 2.1.1 – Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer not Turning on: Bad GFCI Plug
        • 2.1.1.1 Solution:
      • 2.1.2 – Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer not Turning on: Faulty Pressure Valve Switch
        • 2.1.2.1 Solution:
      • 2.1.3 – Ryobi Gas Pressure Washer Power issues: Dirty air filter
        • 2.1.3.1 Solution:
      • 2.1.4 – Ryobi Gas Pressure Washer Power issues: Clogged Carburetor
        • 2.1.4.1 Solution:
    • 2.2 ● Washer Keeps Shutting Off:
      • 2.2.1 – Ryobi Electric and Gas Pressure Washers: Damaged Unloader Valve
        • 2.2.1.1 Solution:
      • 2.2.2 – Ryobi Gas Pressure Washers: Dirty Air Filter
        • 2.2.2.1 Solution:
      • 2.2.3 – Ryobi Gas Pressure Washer: Clogged Carburetor
        • 2.2.3.1 Solution:
    • 2.3 ● Pressure Issues:
      • 2.3.1 – Ryobi Gas and Electrically Pressure Washers: Clogged Nozzles
        • 2.3.1.1 Solution:
      • 2.3.2 – Ryobi Gas and Electrically Pressure Washers: Trapped Air Bubbles
        • 2.3.2.1 Solution:
      • 2.3.3 – Ryobi Gas and Electrically Pressure Washers: Faulty Unloader Valve
        • 2.3.3.1 Solution:
    • 2.4 ● Water Leakage Issues:
  • 3 Why does my Ryobi electric pressure washer keep cutting out?
    • 3.1 ● Faulty Connection:
    • 3.2 ● Faulty Unloading Valve:
  • 4 How do you unclog a Ryobi pressure washer?
    • 4.1 ● Unclog a Ryobi pressure washer: Air Bubbles from Water Hose:
      • 4.1.1 – Releasing the Air Before Attaching the Hose:
      • 4.1.2 – Releasing the Pressure Through the Pump:
    • 4.2 ● Unclog a Dirty or Clogged Ryobi Pressure Washer Nozzle:
    • 4.3 ● Unclogging a Ryobi Pressure Washer Air Filter:
      • 4.3.1 – Step1: Locate the air filter:
      • 4.3.2 – Step2: Remove the air filter cover:
      • 4.3.3 – Step3: Removing the air filter:
      • 4.3.4 – Step4: Cleaning the air filter:
  • 5 Why does my Ryobi electric pressure washer keep shutting off?
    • 5.1 ● Automatic Shut Off:
    • 5.2 ● Faulty Connections:

How to Troubleshoot a Ryobi Pressure Washer

Use the following table to diagnose and troubleshoot a Ryobi pressure washer. There is a separate part for Electric models, Gas models, and we start with problems that apply to both Gas and Electric Models:

● Troubleshoot a Ryobi Gas and Electric Pressure Washer:

Problem

Cause

Solution

Pressure washer not producing high pressure

Hose with small diameter

Replace your hose with a 1″ (25mm) or 5/8″ (16mm) hose

Restricted water supply to the washer

Check for the kinks and leaks in the hose

Inadequate water supply

Ensure the water source is unobstructed and fully turned on

Clogged intake filter

Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water

Air in the pump

Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip

Suction tube or detergent bottle not connected properly

Install the suction tube and detergent bottle correctly

Detergent too thick

Dilute the thick detergent by adding water

Clogged suction tube

Remove the matter that is obstructing the tube or replace the tube if it’s damaged

Obstructed spray tip

Remove the debris with a needle

No pressure tip on the wand

Install a suitable pressure tip at the end of the wand

If your model has a belt, it can be loose.

Tighten or replace the belt.

Pulsing pressure washer (output pressure varies high and low)

(Video) How to Solve the Pressure Washer pressure problems

Inadequate water supply

Ensure that the water source is fully on and check the hose for kinks and blockage

Obstructed spray tip

Remove the debris with a needle

Pump sucking air

Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip

Clogged intake filter

Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water

Calcified hose, tip, or trigger

Clean the hose, pressure tip, or trigger with vinegar or a cleaner designed for this purpose

Cause

Solution

Noisy Pump

Air in the pump

Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip

Clogged inlet filter

Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water

Pump leaking water

Damaged or worn water seals

Replace the seals with new ones or call a professional

Loose fittings

Ensure that all the fitting are tight

Erratic water pressure, changing up and down

Unloader valve

Check and clean the unloader valve. If in bad shape, replace it

No output pressure. Or motor stops when using the trigger (electric models)

Unloader valve

Check and clean the unloader valve. If in bad shape, replace it

Problem

Cause

Solution

Leaks in the spray wand, spray tip or extension

Damaged or broken O-rings or plastic insert

Replace the worn O-rings or call a professional

Pressure washer pump dripping oil

(Video) How to fix a low or no pressure issue with a RYOBI pressure washer

Worn or damaged oil seals

Inspect the oil seals and replace if worn

No water from the washer outlet

The water supply is off

Turn the water supply ON

Kink in the hose or faucet

Remove any kinks and debris from the hose or water lines

● Troubleshoot a Ryobi Gas Pressure Washer:

Problem

Cause

Solution

Motor won’t start

Check the battery

Check if the battery is charged correctly. Charge or replace when in bad condition. Examine the battery terminals for a proper connection. Clean if needed.

Check the fuel filter

Clean the fuel filter if dirty. In that case, check the gas tank, as this is the most likely culprit.

Check the gas supply

Check the fuel level and add if needed. Ensure that the gas can flow to the carburetor. Remove any blockage.

Check the Air-filter

Clean the air filter. Replace when it is in bad condition, or it is a paper air filter.

Check the carburetor

Remove and clean the carburetor with some carb cleaner. It is also possible to clean it without removing it.

Fuel gap blocked

Check that the hole in the fuel cap is open. Clean if needed.

Engine is stalling, or starts and stops

Check the carburetor

Remove and clean the carburetor with some carb cleaner. It is also possible to clean it without removing it.

Air filter

Clean the air filter. Replace when it is in bad condition, or it is a paper air filter.

Check for bad gas

Suppose you have old gas, more than a few months old. It can turn bad. Drain and replace the gas. Next time add a fuel stabilizer.

● Troubleshoot a Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer:

Problem

Cause

Solution

Motor won’t start

The power switch is in the “OFF” or “0” state

(Video) Repair a Ryobi Pressure Washer / How to fix an Electric Pressure Washer

Turn the power switch “ON” or “1”

Cord not plugged

Plugin the power cord

Damaged, too long, or improper extension cord

Replace the existing cord with a 25′ (7.6m) 14 AWG cord or a 50′ (15m) 12 AWG cord

Inadequate power from the electrical outlet

Plug the cord in a different outlet

The pressure washer circuit breaker tripped

Wait for the washer to cool down and restart it

Motor buzzes but fails to run

Loss in voltage due to the extension cord

Plug the unit directly into the outlet without an extension cord. If the problem isn’t solved, replace the extension cord

Low supply voltage

Ensure that only the pressure washer runs on that circuit at the time of use

Residual pressure in the system

Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger to release pressure

Residual friction among the internal components

Cut the water supply and turn the machine ON for 2 to 3 seconds. Try it a couple of times or until the motor starts. Don’t let the machine run dry for more than 3 seconds.

Unit not used for long periods

Call a professional

Why Is My Ryobi Pressure Washer Not Working?

Some of the more common problems with Ryobi gas and electric pressure washers include pressure issues, power issues, not turning on, the pressure washer keeps shutting off, and water leaking from the pump. Pressure issues are usually caused by a clogged nozzle, air bubbles from the water hose, a dirty air filter, or a faulty unloader valve. Power problems like the pressure washer cutting off are usually caused due to faults in the GFCI plug, the pressure valve switch, or the unloader valve.

● Power Issues

Power problems include problems like the pressure washer not turning on, or it turns on but keeps shutting down. This can be due to different issues like a faulty GFCI plug (Ryobi electric pressure washer), a faulty pressure valve switch (electric model), a clogged air filter (gas model), or a clogged carburetor (gas model).

– Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer not Turning on: Bad GFCI Plug

Let’s talk about the most apparent problem preventing your Ryobi electric pressure washer from turning on. A faulty GFCI plug. All Ryobi electric pressure washers come with a GFCI plug with a green LED indicator that turns on when the GFCI is plugged in. If the green light doesn’t turn on, it is an indication that something is not ok.

Solution:

If, after plugging in the GFCI, the green LED doesn’t work, first check that there is power on the wall socket. Use a lamp or another machine to check this. If there is power, it can mean that there is something not ok with the GFCI. When the GFCI is not working, the pressure washer will not turn on. The quick and easy solution is to replace the GFCI plug with a new one. Replacing the plug is not difficult. Unscrew four back screws, and remove the wires from the faulty GFCI plug. Attach them correctly to the new one, and close it. Check if the pressure washer is working.

If the Ryobi electric pressure washer is still not working, the GFCI is not the problem. We have to look further. Continue with the next check.

– Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer not Turning on: Faulty Pressure Valve Switch

One of the best features of Ryobi pressure washers is that it only turns on when the pressure washer trigger is pressed. As soon as you release the trigger the washer turns off. This is done with a switch that is connected to the pressure valve of the power washer. As soon as the trigger is pressed, the pressure valve signals the switch, turning the machine on.

Solution:

If the pressure valve switch is not working correctly, no signal is sent to the main power switch to turn the pressure washer on. Disassemble the front cover off the pressure washer (a couple of screws secures that). Then check for loose or dirty connections. If you notice something clean and connect them. If you do not see any problematic connections, the only solution is to replace the pressure valve switch.

– Ryobi Gas Pressure Washer Power issues: Dirty air filter

A gas engine needs both fuel and air to work. If the air filter of your pressure washer is really dirty, it can mean that no or not enough air can enter the cylinders for proper combustion.

Solution:

Open the air filter cover and check if the air filter is dirty. If it is a paper air filter, you have to replace it. For other types of air filters, you can clean and wash them. Ensure that it is dry before putting it back. Check if the engine starts correctly.

– Ryobi Gas Pressure Washer Power issues: Clogged Carburetor

If the air filter is fine, there can be a carburetor issue. In the carburetor, the air and gas are mixed. If you have used bad or dirty gas, the carburetor can be clogged and prevent the pressure washer from starting. Never leave gas in the tank for more than 1 or 2 months. Gas can go bad quickly and clog the carburetor. If you plan not to use your machine for some time, add some fuel stabilizer.

Solution:

Disassemble the carburetor. Clean it with some carburetor cleaner. Assemble it and check if the Ryobi gas pressure washer will start again.

● Washer Keeps Shutting Off:

This problem is caused due to faulty unloader valve and dirty air filters.

– Ryobi Electric and Gas Pressure Washers: Damaged Unloader Valve

The unloader valve is responsible for maintaining the pressure of the pump. If it is damaged, the pressure gets build up inside the pump. And the washer has to cut off power to save the pump from getting damaged.

A damaged unloader valve will often result in water leaks and inconsistent behavior, like a reduction of flow through the nozzle or a sudden smooth pressure loss.

(Video) Help! Ryobi electric pressure washer issues

Solution:

You can try to disassemble the unloader valve and clean it. But in most cases, you need to replace it.

– Ryobi Gas Pressure Washers: Dirty Air Filter

If the unloader valve is fine, dirty air filters can also cause problems in gas-powered pressure washers.

Air filters in gas pressure washers protect the engine, especially the carburetor, from dust and dirt. A dirty filter can affect the pressure washer’s performance and cause the engine to keep shutting out.

Solution:

Open the air filter cover and check if the air filter is dirty. If it is a paper air filter, you have to replace it. For other types of air filters, you can clean and wash them. Ensure that it is dry before putting it back. Check if the engine starts correctly.

– Ryobi Gas Pressure Washer: Clogged Carburetor

A dirty carburetor can also make the gas pressure washer turn on but turn off quickly after. Or it turns off when it needs more power from the engine. The carburetor can be clogged such that it can still start but does not give enough air/fuel mixture to keep it running.

Solution:

Disassemble the carburetor. Clean it with some carburetor cleaner. Assemble it and check if the Ryobi gas pressure washer will start and keep running.

● Pressure Issues:

Low or no pressure is another problem that your Ryobi pressure washer van face. This can be because of clogged nozzles, trapped air bubbles, or a faulty unloader valve.

– Ryobi Gas and Electrically Pressure Washers: Clogged Nozzles

A clogged pressure nozzle can kill the pressure. You can check with another nozzle if there is any difference.

Solution:

If the nozzle is dirty, it needs to be cleaned. Poke and rinse the holes to clean them.

– Ryobi Gas and Electrically Pressure Washers: Trapped Air Bubbles

If there is air present in the hose that connects the faucet with the pressure washer. Or there is a problem with the pressure washer pump. The pump can suck with air bubbles. These air bubbles can lead to pressure problems.

Solution:

Before connecting the hose to the pressure washer, leave it running so only water comes out. Then connect it to the pressure washer. When connected, use the trigger without any nozzle to release all the trapped air inside. If there is a problem with the pump, and it sucks in air, you need to replace it.

– Ryobi Gas and Electrically Pressure Washers: Faulty Unloader Valve

As discussed before, the unloader valve is responsible for maintaining pressure. If damaged, it can lead to inconsistent pressure or no pressure.

Solution:

You can try to disassemble the unloader valve and clean it. But in most cases, you need to replace it.

● Water Leakage Issues:

Causes for water leak depends on the area from which the water is leaking. For example: if the water is leaking from the garden hose connection or pressure gun. Check the connection and change a broken rubber washer. If water is leaking from the pump, broken seals, cracks in a washer or a loose pump connection might be causing the leakage problems.

Why does my Ryobi electric pressure washer keep cutting out?

If the Ryobi pressure keeps cutting out on its own, this can be a problem that is caused either due to a faulty electrical connection or a defective unloading valve. This will cause the pump to shut itself off.

If the pressure washer keeps cutting off while you are using the pump, there are two problems that can cause this:

● Faulty Connection:

The most obvious reason is that there is a problem with the supply power. This can be due to things like a long extension cord or the wall socket is not working correctly. A faulty or inconsistent power supply can cause the GFCI plug of the pressure washer to trigger and cut off the power supply to the washer. Check that the voltage is not fluctuating before plugging in the washer. Try a different wall socket. If you use a long extension cord, try the pressure washer without it.

● Faulty Unloading Valve:

Another common reason that the pressure washer keeps cutting out is a problem with the unloader valve. The Unloader valve is used to release the excessive pressure that is build up inside the pressure washer. This creates a path for the water when the trigger is not pushed, and no water is flowing out the nozzle and ensures that it releases the buildup of pressure inside the washer.

Suppose the unloading valve is not working correctly. In that case, the buildup pressure inside the washer can trigger the pressure switch, and the pressure washer will turn off. Check and fix the unloader valve. If it is not working correctly, it probably will need to be replaced.

How do you unclog a Ryobi pressure washer?

Several parts of your Ryobi pressure washer can get clogged. The pressure nozzle of the washer can get clogged over time with small particles from the water. Clean the nozzle by poking and rinse the holes. The air filter from a Ryobi gas model can get clogged due to dust in the air. Remove and clean it, or in case of a paper air filter, replace it. Air bubbles can cause a sort of clogging in the pump. Release this air by using the pressure washer without a nozzle.

● Unclog a Ryobi pressure washer: Air Bubbles from Water Hose:

When you connect the water hose to your pressure washer with the water turned off, there will be a lot of air in the hose. The longer the hose, the more air there will be. When the pressure washer is turned on, this air is sucked into the pressure washer’s pump. This can cause problems with the pump and looks like something is clogged inside the pressure washer nozzle. Preventing the water from flowing correctly.

There are two potential solutions:

– Releasing the Air Before Attaching the Hose:

You can open your water valve and let the water run for some time (depending on your water hose length). This will let all the air out of your hose. When only water is flowing out you can attach the hose to the pressure washer.

– Releasing the Pressure Through the Pump:

The problem with the above solution is that when you turn off the hose to attach it to the pressure washer and then turn it back on, some air will still accumulate inside the pump. This can cause the same pressure problem. I recommend that you attach the hose to the pressure washer, and then without attaching the pressure nozzle, use the pressure gun. This will release all the air from the pump (this takes a short time). When you feel that the air has completely been released, you can attach the pressure nozzle to the gun and start using the washer.

● Unclog a Dirty or Clogged Ryobi Pressure Washer Nozzle:

Sometimes a clogged nozzle can cause inconsistent pressure problems. This problem can be resolved by cleaning the pressure nozzle. First, check with a replacement nozzle if it solved the problem. If this solves the problem, your nozzle is probably clogged. Clean the nozzle by poking it with thin metal and rinse it.

Put the nozzle in a plastic zip-lock bag or any other container and spray WD-40 on the nozzle. Let it sit in the WD-40 for some time. WD-40 will help lubricate the nozzle from inside, and any dirty particles sticking to the nozzle walls will then be released next time you will let the water run through it.

● Unclogging a Ryobi Pressure Washer Air Filter:

Gas-powered Ryobi pressure washers have an air filter. It protects the gas engine and carburetor from dust, debris, and other dirt particles from the air. Dirty air filters can cause the pressure washers to lose power and affect the engine. It needs to be cleaned or replaced every couple of months.

To clean your air filter, use the following steps:

– Step1: Locate the air filter:

Different brands and models have different locations. Use the manual to find where the air filter is located.

– Step2: Remove the air filter cover:

Air filters are secured by plastic covers that are screwed in the place. Unscrew all the screws on the air filter cover to reach it.

– Step3: Removing the air filter:

Air filters are made from foam or paper and are placed inside the air filter cavity without any connections. Remove the air filter.

– Step4: Cleaning the air filter:

When the pressure washer uses a paper air filter, you need to replace it when it is dirty. A foam air filter can be cleaned. Dip the air filter in soapy water to remove all the oil and dirt trapped inside it. Once it is properly cleaned, now take simple tap water and clean any soap residues left inside the air filter. Make sure that the filter is completely dried out, and then pour some engine oil into the filter before placing it back in place.

Why does my Ryobi electric pressure washer keep shutting off?

If the Ryobi pressure washer keeps shutting off, probably excessive pressure has been building up inside. And the pump is stopped. This is done via the unloading valve. If the pressure washer keeps shutting off unnecessarily, check the unloader valve.

Automatic Shut Off:

Ryobi pressure washers have several security features that ensure that your pump stays protected from permanent damage. One of these security measures is a pressure switch inside the pump that will detect the pressure. If the trigger is not pressed, this pressure switch will be triggered and turn the washer off to protect the motor from excessive buildup pressure. This pressure release is done via the unloader valve.

(Video) Fix your Ryobi Pressure washer for under $20!

Suppose the unloading valve is not working correctly, the buildup pressure inside the washer can trigger the pressure switch, and the pressure washer will turn off. Check and fix the unloader valve. If it is not working correctly, it probably will need to be replaced.

● Faulty Connections:

Another problem that can cause the pressure washer to turns off can be faulty wire connections of the GFCI plug or power switch. Check and replace them if needed.

Videos

1. Ryobi Pressure Washer Tips
(Tom Leeman)
2. Ryobi Pressure Washer Won’t Start - Easy Fix!
(GAPPerformance)
3. How to Maintain Your Pressure Washer Pump - 5 minutes for Maintenance
(ALinsdau)
4. Ryobi Pressure Washer Won't Turn On? | Basic Troubleshooting
(DakotaBusy)
5. How To Clean A Pressure Switch Valve | Ryobi 1700 PSI
(DakotaBusy)
6. Fixing Ryobi Pulsing Issue
(Ur Average GearHead)

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