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Unloader Valve
Pressure Washers

The unloader valve is a very important - and easily replaceable - part of a pressure washer. 

If you're having pressure washer pressure problems, or you need to repair or replace this important part, read my tips to save yourself time, effort & money: 

And you can see my #1 unloader valve choice: the AR North America unloader on Amazon.

Let's talk about what this pressure washer unloader valve does, how it's adjusted and how to replace it. 

What does an unloader valve do?

It's attached to a gas pressure washer pump and its job is to safely control/direct the flow of water into your pump. To keep your pump from being damaged.

When you pull the trigger on your spray gun, the unloader valve opens wide to send your water through the pump. Then the pressurized water flows through your spray wand tip.

And, when you stop spraying, it closes and it redirects the water through a hose and it is recycled through the pump again.

These actions keep your pump from being damaged! Basically, it works like a safety device for your pump: it makes sure that too much pressure does not build up and damage your pump.

Making Adjustments

An unloader valve has an internal adjustable spring. And if you tighten or loosen this spring you can slightly minimize or increase the pressure of the washer.

If you're having some high and low pressure problems with your power washer, it could be because your unloader is not properly set - and it may need to be readjusted.

Yes, the spring can be loosened or tightened to readjust, but truthfully, it's something that I've ever done myself. If you're really mechanically inclined & experienced, you can certainly do it yourself. But most people take their power washer to a repair shop to get this adjustment done. Your call, of course.

Replacement Advice

And you can see my #1 unloader valve choice: the AR North America unloader on Amazon.

If your pressure washer unloader valve fails your balance relief inlet is a secondary safety feature that will release the built up pressure in your unit. But you'll have to replace it before you start your power washer again - otherwise you could do some serious damage to your pump or other parts.

You could always take your power washer to a service shop to replace this part. But many gas pressure washer users tackle the replacement job themselves. Even if your local hardware store or big box doesn't stock this part, you'll find lots of websites that sell them.

When you look for this part, always match up the inlet & outlet size, GPM and PSI specs from your pressure washer - with the specs of the replacement. Super important. Your owners manual lists these specs for you.


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