Question about Karcher 2500 PSI Pressure Washer

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Engine runs fine but unit won't pump water.

Devilbiss Excell EXH 2425 - unit is 6 yrs old with about 12 to 16 hours of run time. Pump oil level is normal, never had to add. The few times used just prior to failure, the unit seemed to take much longer to initiate the pressure spray ( kind of like a self priming pump with loose seals on the suction side). I have always made certain that water was flowing through the unit and out the spray nozzle prior to starting the engine.

I have since carefully removed the brass end plate and have confirmed that all three pistons move in and out when I pull the recoil rope, so it seems apparent that all is well on the front end. All ''O'' rings appear to be in good condition. What's up with this thing. I know these things don't have the best reputation for long life but 16 hours ? really.

Can anyone offer some advice on what else I might look for?


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Hi and welcome to FixYa. I am Kelly

I am not sure which pump you have but there was one that was a real piece of **** and has since been discontinued due to a VERY SHORT service life.

This is going to sound odd... but tap with some conviction on the power head using a hammer and a "hard block" of wood with the unit static and then again with the engine at low speed. Your attemting to losen the check valve balls in the pressure head that sometimes get corrosion in the ball seat. Then test the output pressure. If your pump has a pressure output adjustment (black knob 3.5 inches long / high with a brass knurled lock nut under it) then losen the lock nut and back the adjustment off substantially and re-test pressure. Once you have output pressure return it to the previous position.

You have a 50 - 50 chance of getting your pressure back by doing the above steps.


Posted on May 03, 2010


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sorry caps:
Before you condemn the engine remove the oil pressure switch and screw in a hand held mechanical oil pressure gauge just to verify your pressure readings.
How old is the oil and what weight are you using in it?
Is the iol level full and how often do you change it...I recommend every 2500-3000 miles oil and filter.
What type of filter is being used is it a purolator or any name brand?
try raising the viscosity perhaps to a high detergent 10 w 40 weight and see if anything changesDid you use the old oil pump from the old engine? If so its possible its worn and should be replaced soon, also did you use the old pick up tube and screen, if so was it cleaned out real good.
No knocks etc. is almost an indication of a false oil pressure gauge reading, ior the oil pump is starting to develope wear in its gear/housing clearances, what was the oil pressure just prior to what you have noticed lately.

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Engine runs fine. no water pressure.

These pumps are notorious for seasonal problems.
Tip the unit to the point you can pour engine oil into the water inlet connection. What your attempting to do is free up the ball seats in the pump. They get corroded when they sit and lock in place. Adding the oil or a vast amount of WD 40 to the water inlet often does the trick for loosening up the seat balls and springs.
After you add the oil (3 - 4 ounces) or WD 40 to the water inlet line just slowly pull the engine through with the ignition switch off. As the water inlet cavitates add more oil.
Let it sit over night and then take a block of wood and a hammer and tap on the power head. Don't over do it and do it in such a manner your not going to shear off any bolts or break anything. But... be serious with the hammer and block of wood.
Then connect inlet water hose, the pressure hose and test the unit. You may want to purge the oil lubricant into a bucket before you start the engine.
Give it a try and see what happens.

Thanks for using FixYa,

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