Pressure washers are powerful cleaning tools that utilize a high-pressure stream of water which can develop issues over time. One common problem is damage to the high-pressure hose that delivers water from the pump to the spray nozzle. Hoses can develop leaks, cracks, bulges, and other problems from regular wear and tear. Thankfully, many hose problems can be fixed with some basic tools and supplies.
In this blog post, we will walk through the steps for repairing common pressure washer hose problems. We will cover identifying issues, gathering necessary materials, disconnecting and inspecting the hose, cutting out damaged sections, inserting new hose fittings, reconnecting the hose, and testing for leaks. Follow along below to learn how to get your pressure washer hose working like new again.
Step 1: Identify The Hose Issue
Before attempting to fix a pressure washer hose, it’s important to identify exactly what the problem is. Here are some common issues to look for:
- Bulges or bubbles – These indicate a weak spot in the hose that is ballooning out under pressure. The inner tube has likely separated from the outer cover.
- Cuts, cracks, or holes – Any punctures or slicing damage that goes all the way through the hose can cause leaks.
- Pinhole leaks – Small specks of water spraying out pinpoint the location of tiny holes in the hose.
- Hose fitting leaks – If water leaks out around hose connections, the fittings may be loose, worn out, or damaged.
- Kinked or twisted hose – Restrictions and tight bends in the hose can cause flow issues.
Take some time inspecting the full length of the hose to identify any visible problems. Also run the pressure washer to see where leaks originate. Once you’ve located the issue, it’s time to start the repair process.
Step 2: Gather Necessary Repair Materials
Before getting into the hands-on work of hose repair, make sure you have the right materials on hand. Here are the basic items you’ll need:
- Replacement high-pressure hose – Have extra hose on hand that matches the diameter and pressure rating of your current hose. Inner diameters are often 1/4″, 3/8″ or 1/2″.
- Hose mender kit – This contains barbed fittings to insert into hose ends and quick connect/disconnect fittings. Make sure the kit fits your hose size.
- Hose clamps – Used to secure the hose menders and fittings. Worm drive clamps provide the best grip.
- Teflon tape – Helps create a tight seal when wrapping fittings and connections.
- Cutter – Sharp razor knives easily cut through thick pressure washer hoses.
- Scissors – Used to trim away loose outer cover on the hose.
- Emory cloth – Slightly roughens the hose interior so fittings grip better.
- Rags & bucket – For cleaning up water that will spill out when disconnecting hoses.
Gather all these materials before starting into the repair process. Having everything ready will make the job much smoother.
Step 3: Disconnect Power and Water Supply
With the necessary tools and parts on hand, you’re ready to begin actually replacing the damaged hose sections. The first step is to disconnect both the electrical power supply and water supply to the pressure washer:
- Unplug the unit – This prevents accidental starts while working on the hose.
- Shut off the water – Turn off the spigot or valve that feeds water to the washer. This avoids large sprays once the hose is disconnected.
- Release pressure – Trigger the spray nozzle to let out remaining pressure in the hose.
- Disconnect hose sections – Now detach the hose from the pump outlet and spray wand inlet using the appropriate tools. Have rags ready to catch drips.
With no pressure or water flow, you can safely inspect the hose and make necessary repairs. During this time, also examine the pump outlet and spray gun inlet for any wear or damage. Replace fittings if needed.
Step 4: Inspect and Prep Work Area
Carefully look over the full length of hose for any additional problems. Mark damaged spots with tape in preparation for cutting. Here are some steps to prep the work area:
- Rinse hose – Clear loose debris that may interfere with repairs. Avoid kinking the hose.
- Lay hose flat – This lets you easily maneuver along the length during repairs.
- Protect surface – Lay down cardboard, towels or a tarp to avoid scratching or dirtying the ground.
- Have water ready – Nearby access to a hose or faucet helps rinse away scraps while working.
- Check connections – Confirm the pump outlet and spray inlet fittings are in good, leak-free condition.
Taking time to inspect and organize your workspace helps lead to efficient, successful hose repairs. Now the hose is ready for disassembly and fixing.
Step 5: Cut Out Damaged Sections
With the faulty areas identified and marked, it’s time to cut out and remove any visibly damaged parts of the pressure washer hose. Here is the process:
- Select removal points – Target the faulty portion, plus an extra inch on each side just to be safe.
- Secure hose – Have someone hold the hose or clamp it down to prevent slipping while cutting.
- Score outer cover – Use a knife to lightly cut through the outer rubber/plastic coating.
- Cut inner tube – Make firm, straight cuts completely through the inner rubber tube down to the hose wire.
- Slide cover back – After scoring around the circumference, slide the outer cover off to expose the inner tube.
- Pull out damaged section – Grab the cut ends and work the defective portion free, pulling it off the internal hose wire.
- Trim ends – Using scissors, trim any loose outer cover or inner tube scraps around the newly cut ends.
Proper cut placement and technique ensures clean removal of the faulty sections. Be sure to make straight, even cuts to allow for connecting replacement pieces.
Step 6: Attach Hose Menders
With the damaged hose portion removed, it’s time to install new fittings to rejoin the open ends. Follow these tips for attaching hose menders:
- Select correct size – Choose a hose mender that matches the inner diameter of your pressure washer hose.
- Roughen interior tube – Lightly sand the inner surface with emory cloth where the barbs will penetrate.
- Push on barbs – Firmly work the barbed end of the mender into the hose until fully seated.
- Tighten clamps – Position hose clamps over the barbed segments and tighten down to hold in place.
- Check grip – Pull firmly on the menders to confirm they are gripping the hose tightly.
- Add 2nd mender – Repeat steps on the opposite open hose end.
Proper barb seating and clamp tightness are critical to avoid leaks. Take the time to insert the new mender fittings correctly before connecting.
Step 7: Install New Hose Section
With repair fittings attached to the cut hose ends, you can now join them together with a new section of hose:
- Measure gap – Determine how much new hose is needed to bridge the open span. Leave 1-2 inches extra.
- Cut hose – Using a knife or shears, cut the replacement hose to the measured length.
- Install clamps – Slide hose clamps over both ends of the new hose section.
- Attach menders – Firmly push each pre-installed mender fitting into the ends of the new hose.
- Tighten clamps – Make sure the clamps are tightened securely over the barbs.
- Check continuity – Inspect the full hose length for any kinks or tight bends.
The new hose section should now provide a continuous path free of leaks and damage. Take care not to over-bend or twist the hose when repositioning it.
Step 8: Reinstall Hose
With the defective hose portion replaced, you can now reinstall the mended hose back on your pressure washer:
- Attach inlet – Connect the hose end with the female quick disconnect fitting to the pump outlet.
- Secure clamps – Make sure all clamps are tightened properly, especially on the newly added repair fittings.
- Attach outlet – Connect the male quick disconnect end of the hose to the water inlet on the spray gun.
- Check length – Ensure you have enough slack for moving the wand while working.
- Confirm connections – Give a firm pull test to all fittings to check they are sealed tightly.
- Direct hose – Route the hose away from traffic areas so it’s not strained or pinched.
Taking care during reinstallation prevents leaks and keeps the full hose operational. Proper connection and clamping is vital for pressure washer hoses.
Step 9: Reconnect Water and Power
With the repaired hose back in place, you can now reconnect water flow and power:
- Open water valve – Gradually turn on the water spigot or supply valve to the unit.
- Check for leaks – Carefully inspect joints for drips before applying pressure. Tighten if any seepage.
- Plug-in unit – With water flowing safely, restore power to the pressure washer.
- Test trigger – With the wand pointed safely away, squeeze the trigger and verify good water flow.
- Increase pressure – Engage the washer pump up to full pressure and recheck for hose leaks.
- Clean up scraps – Dispose of any loose hose remnants, wrappers and debris when done.
Caution is advised when initially re-pressurizing the system to avoid high water spray. But normal use should now be possible following a successful hose repair.
Repairing a leaking or damaged pressure washer hose is a straightforward DIY project. Following the step-by-step process by Sullins Suds Pressure Washing, you can identify issues, disconnect/prep the hose, cut out bad sections, install new fittings, replace defective spans, and reconnect everything to restore full washing functionality.
Taking the time to properly attach hose ends, secure clamps, and test for leaks results in a successful repair that avoids costly replacement hoses. And having the right materials readily available makes the process easier to complete in a reasonable timeframe. With a bit of care and effort, you can extend the service life of hoses and keep your pressure washer operating as efficiently as ever.