Fastest Fix for Pressure Washer Surging at Idle and Why Pressure Washer Surge at Idle

Pressure Washer Surging at Idle

Pressure washer surging at idle is a case that happens in the Honda Ryobi pressure washer, however, it can also happen with any Pressure washer especially those with the idle down feature. Moreover, the fastest and best way to fix the pressure washer surging at idle is to remove and clean the pilot jet so fuel can easily pass through, that way, the engine will run properly.

On the other hand, one of the major causes of pressure washers surging at idle is a blocked pilot jet. Depending on the pressure washer in context, you might have to pull the carburetor apart and clean up the jets with a cleaner and wire drill.

After cleaning up the Jet to let petrol or fuel flow in properly, there is an 80% chance your pressure washer will run properly and stop surging, however, just in case, the jet wasn’t the reason why your pressure washer surged, I have written many other reasons why a pressure washer surged at idle and how to fix them.

So if you are experiencing a surge in your idle pressure washer and you are looking for a fix for Pressure Washer Surging at Idle, then you should read this article carefully till the end, because I have provided all the information needed to fix your washer.

Read also: Best Pressure Washers With Honda Engines in 2023

Why Pressure Washer Surge at Idle and Fix for Pressure Washer Surging at Idle

1. Blocked Pilot Jet

pilot jet

A blocked pilot jet is one of the main reasons why your pressure washer is surging at idle. This is because, they could be dirt or some sort of stuff that is blocking the hole in the jet, therefore, not allowing fuel and petrol to pass through.

And from basic knowledge, you know that, without fuel or petrol passing through to the relevant places, your engine won’t run, be it a pressure washer, generator, or whatsoever engine it is.

This is the same in the case of a surging pressure washer as little or no fuel is entering through the jet.

However, the fix for this isn’t that difficult as you can do it yourself if you follow the steps below in this article carefully.

How to Fix a Blocked Pilot Jet

Basically, they are two different styles or types of pilot jets, the external or removable pilot jet and the unremovable pilot jet where the pilot jet is actually inside the carB.

I am going to explain step by step how to clean and also fixed a blocked pilot jet for both of the different types of pilot jets I have mentioned.

Fixing a Removable Pilot Jet

To fix a removable pilot jet, all you need to do is to screw out the jet using a Philips screwdriver. Once removed, use a wire drill bit set and work it through and drill the hole till it gets to the end, the wire drill bit set should be around 13 thousand inches

Now, the hole in the jet is probably clear and clean, you can put it back together and screw everything back into the washer, the washer should be working fine after that.

The good thing about the Removable pilot jet is that you don’t necessarily need to remove the carburetor to access the jet, as it is easily removed even with the carburetor still in the engine.

Fixing the Unremovable Pilot Jet

To fix the unremovable or internal pilot jet, in most cases, you would have to take off your carburetor before you can actually access the jets, to clean and fix it.

What you need to do is to screw the screw out of the carburetor at the jet position, then, use the 13 thousand inch wire drill stick down the hole, and walk it through till the end,

Once clear and clean, you can now put back everything on the engine and start your washer again. 99% of the time after doing this, your washer should work properly.


In most cases, you may need to clean the carburetor alongside the pilot jet to ensure that everything runs smoothly. To learn how to clean a pressure washer carburetor, you can watch this video below from Steve’s Small Engine Saloon youtube channel.

2. Air in the Pump

If air gets trapped in the pump, it can cause surging. To fix this, turn off the pressure washer, disconnect the water supply, and squeeze the trigger to release any built-up pressure. Then, reconnect the water supply and restart the pressure washer.

3. Clogged or Dirty Nozzle

A clogged or dirty nozzle can restrict the flow of water and cause surging. Clean or unclog the nozzle by removing it from the spray wand and using a small pin or wire to clear any debris. Rinse it thoroughly before reattaching it.

4. Insufficient Water Supply

A pressure washer requires a steady flow of water to operate smoothly. Check that the water supply is adequate and the hose is not kinked or blocked. Make sure the water source is fully turned on and supplying enough water.

5. Inlet Valve Issues

The inlet valve is responsible for regulating water flow. If it is malfunctioning or partially blocked, it can cause surging. Inspect the inlet valve for any debris or damage and clean or replace it as necessary.

6. Pump Problems

A worn-out or damaged pump can lead to surging. Check the pump for any visible signs of damage, leaks, or worn-out seals. If the pump is faulty, it may need to be repaired or replaced by a professional.

7. Unloader Valve Malfunction

The unloader valve regulates pressure by diverting water back to the pump when the trigger is released. If it is stuck or not functioning correctly, it can cause surging. Clean or replace the unloader valve if it is damaged or clogged.

8. Engine Issues

If your pressure washer has a gas-powered engine, engine problems such as a dirty carburetor or a clogged fuel line can cause surging. Clean the carburetor and fuel system, and ensure the engine runs smoothly.

Read also: Electric vs Gas Pressure Washer Forum

When to Call The Manufacturer

If you have followed all the steps and methods to fix a surging pressure washer as I have explained in the article and you can’t seem to find the issue still and fix it, then you should probably contact the manufacturer or an expert who specializes in the repairs of pressure washers.

This is because as time goes by, they could be a little change or upgrade in the way some things are been constructed in an engine, therefore, the method of preparing it can be a little bit different.

So try calling them. These experts are here to help you, they have extensive knowledge and experience in their field, and they can explain things to you in a way that empowers you to fix the problem yourself.

But don’t worry, if they think it’s best to have a professional take a look, they’ll let you know. They’re trained professionals who are available to answer your questions and provide the guidance you need. So whenever you need assistance, don’t hesitate to give them a call.


When it comes to pressure washer surging at idle, it’s crucial to address the main culprit: a blocked jet. By cleaning the pilot jet thoroughly, you can often resolve the surging issue and restore your pressure washer’s smooth operation.

Regular maintenance and cleaning of the jet are essential to prevent blockages and ensure optimal performance. Remember, a clean jet leads to a happy pressure washer. So, don’t forget to give it the attention it deserves to keep your equipment running smoothly and efficiently.