How to Troubleshoot a Campbell Hausfeld High Pressure Washer

Amy Kingston

Campbell Hausfeld manufactures pressure washers designed for household and commercial use. The pressure washer uses high-pressure water to assist in cleaning soiled exterior surfaces or machinery with little or no scrubbing by hand.

If the pressure washer does not operate normally, troubleshoot it and identify the problem. Simple repairs or minor adjustments will fix most common issues. If the pressure washer does not work properly after performing troubleshooting, call for service.


If the pressure washer smokes, turn it off and call for service. The motor is damaged, overloaded or overheated.

Does Not Start

  1. Squeeze the gun trigger to release pressure. The pressure washer has been pressurized.

  2. Push the button on the plug to reset it if the ground fault circuit interrupter trips.

  3. Insert the power cord into the outlet fully. Refrain from using extension cords.

  4. Turn the pressure washer off and allow the motor to cool if the thermal safety switch trips.

Not Enough or Fluctuating Pressure

  1. Tighten the connections and locking ring if the pump sucks air from the hose connections.

  2. Clean the filter in the water inlet. Unscrew the hose and remove the filter. Remove dirt and debris, replace the filter and tighten the hose.

  3. Turn off the pressure washer and turn off the water supply. Squeeze the trigger several times to release pressure. Turn the nozzle to the setting for a narrow stream to open the fan blades. Insert the tip cleaner included with the pressure washer into the hole on the nozzle and dislodge debris clogging the nozzle.

No Detergent Suction

  1. Slide the lance nozzle down into the low pressure position to start suction on a unit with a tank.

  2. Use a high-pressure hose that is less than 25 feet long. Longer hoses decrease suction.

  3. Clean the detergent applicator with warm water to remove clogs.