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How Long Can You Run a Pressure Washer?

Fact Checked By Daniel Wood | Post Updated On: April 29, 2023

Being a human being, we have limitations in our work; we need to take rest after working for a long time. We take rest to recharge ourselves and be ready for the next task. Simultaneously, machines also have a limitation; depending on type and quality, different machines can work for a certain time and need rest to cool down its engine.

You must give rest to your pressure washing machine after using it for a while; otherwise, it’ll either stop working or be spoilt forever. Its parts might be damaged, and you need to replace those parts. It’s very important to know your power washer’s working limit so that its life becomes longer and limitless.

How long can you run a pressure washer?

To go into the measurements, you need first to understand its running style. When you are spraying water, both your pump and engine are working, and when you release the trigger, the pressure is accumulated inside your pump. Many of the machines today have auto shut off the system when the trigger is not pressed, and this time the engine is at the standby position.

Depending on your machine type, you can run it for 5 to 10 minutes and give it a little rest to avoid overheating. You will find many users run their machine for one hour or more without allowing the engine to take any rest. They also say that there is no problem if you don’t give the machine a little rest. You shouldn’t believe them as this will overheat your pump and engine, and either your components will be damaged, or the machine will be grounded after a few days. We definitely don’t want you to spend extra money on your grounded machine. The best way to use a machine for a long time is to take care of it properly.

How Long Can You Run a Pressure Washer

Do pressure washers overheat?

The answer to this question is yes; they do overheat. Any machine running either on electricity or gasoline and has an engine with; it will definitely overheat after a certain period of time.

The engine and pump in a pressure washer contain pistons that make friction while running at high speed. This friction produces heat, which is reduced by the engine oil.

If you run the machine for a long time, it overheats and causes damage to your machine.

Diagnosing pressure washers for overheating

The gas pressure washers tend to overheat more than their electric counterparts. When the machine gets overheated, you will feel the heat when you touch it. The surge in the pump will be visible, and boiling water will come out of it in case of overheating.

At this point, you must stop using the machine and take it to a technician. We always advise not to repair your pump if it overheats as this is a mechanical problem. You might end up damaging the system more than solving its problem.

Is it bad to leave a pressure washer running?

It obviously is a bad habit to leave a pressure washer running when you are actually not using it. When you use it for cleaning, water runs through the pump, which cools it a great deal.

If the water is stuck inside the pump and the machine is running, it gets heated and causes you to overheat your machine. It’ll ultimately spoil the parts, or the device can be totally grounded. You must keep the engine off when you are not using it.


When we use our pressure washer, we sometimes get distracted because of maybe an important phone call or some other reasons. At this time, we should always turn off the engine and start it when our other work is completed.

Carelessness is not an option that these machines will tolerate so, you must be as careful as possible towards them for better and longer performance.

About Daniel Wood

Daniel has completed his graduation mechanical engineering from a reputed university in US. He worked as a technical engineer in a pressure washer manufacturing plant for four years. He has a great passion for mechanical devices and has opened a workshop where he does research on various machines in his leisure time. His high interest in technology made him an expert in commercial and residential pressure washers.

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