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Why is my Surface Cleaner not Spinning – Let’s Learn How to Fix It!

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

A pressure washer surface cleaner might stop spinning for multiple reasons such as clogged sealant, overheat, trapped dirt, worn-out swivels, etc. You will get rid of your problem if you ask a question; why is my surface cleaner not spinning? Instead of going to the seller right away, you faced this problem, try to understand the reason for the problem and find its solution first. Then, after spending a considerable time, if you find it’s not working, you should talk to your seller.

When dirt gets stuck in your surface cleaner head, it stops spinning; the other reasons behind it are the bearing might get worn out, which doesn’t let the device spin; there might be some other possible causes like clogged sealant, overheating.

These are the common problems for pressure washer users, and many think that they have bought a not-so-good quality product. To know all the surface cleaning issues, and how to fix it, You have to read the entire article and find your solution.

Generally, a pressure washer doesn’t come with a surface cleaner which we need to buy as an additional component. However, it provides a wonderful cleaning experience when you clean a large flat surface, for example, your garage, patio, driveway, floor, balcony, etc. This part contains a large handle to hold and a head containing few nozzles that spin when at work.

Why isn’t my surface cleaner spinning?

The nozzles at the head of a surface cleaner spin when water passes through it at high speed. Spinning force adds extra strength to the pressurized water and makes the dirt loose enough while cleaning. However, this spinning might be stopped for various reasons, and you have to identify the real problem before getting its solution.

why is my surface cleaner not spinning

The sealant placed on the threads of a surface cleaner head that shoot out water sometimes clogs up. As a result, this sealant might block the nozzles’ way and stop spinning. This is one of the common problems that surface cleaner users face, and it can be solved easily.

At the spinning point, there is a bearing attached which helps the nozzles rotate. Sometimes the bearing stops rotating for multiple reasons; there might be broken balls inside, it might dry up, which prevents the rotation, shape of the bearing might change after getting hit by something and stop spinning.

Dirt gets trapped in the inlet filter of a surface cleaner which sometimes prevents it from spinning. It happens when you use it to clean a very dirty area. The head cover of a surface cleaner doesn’t let the water and dirt splash, and for this reason, the dirt comes in contact with the inlet filter and gets trapped inside.

Stones are very common when you clean a concrete area. Unfortunately, the broken stones sometimes get trapped inside the spinning parts and block their way. As a result, the nozzles cannot rotate properly or don’t rotate at all.

Gas versus Electric Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner

A surface cleaner contains multiple nozzles attached to its head that rotates and cleans an area. When you buy a pressure washer, they give you a set of nozzles to use one at a time in your machine.

The nozzle gets the entire pressure of a machine when used one at a time, but when there are multiple nozzles, the pressure gets divided. So, for example, if you have a 3000 PSI pressure washer and a surface cleaner with two nozzles, the PSI will be divided into two halves, around 1500 PSI each. So when you use a surface cleaner, you don’t get the actual PSI that the machine is capable of providing.

Surface cleaners don’t distinguish between electric and gas pressure washers; they just split the provided force by the number of nozzles.

Gas pressure washers generally contain more PSI than electric ones. Surface cleaners are made differently to cope up with both types of machines. You will find electric pressure washer surface cleaners contain less number of nozzles, whereas the gas surface cleaners contain more nozzles.

Powerful pressure washers provide high-pressure water through a surface cleaner, cleaning an area effectively.

How do you fix a surface cleaner that won’t spin?

A non-spinning surface cleaner is as useful as using a single nozzle with your spray gun. If a surface cleaner is not spinning, you should either repair it or replace it to get a proper cleaning experience. Here we are going to discuss few possible repair procedures.

How do you fix a surface cleaner that won't spin

1. Clogged Sealant

At first, remove the nozzles and sealant parts using a screwdriver and keep them in a bucket containing warm water. The water will make the dirt inside the nozzles loose enough so that you can clean them using something small. After that, remove the sealant and put something like a tap to put on the threads. Finally, attach everything back into their former places.

2. Swivel Problem

The bearing in the surface cleaner head sometimes doesn’t spin, and to repair first, remove it. Check if any ball is broken inside or if the shape is not right. Removing the broken balls will let you use them for some time, but if their shape is broken, you have to replace it. Put some grease inside and attach it back to its place, and you are done.

3. Trapped Dirt

First, remove all its parts and put them into hot water. Let it soak in water for some time, and then take the parts out. Take a small pin and remove all its dirt from different places. After removing the dirt, wipe them with soft clothes and finally put them back into their places.

4. Overheating

When a machine doesn’t get proper air to cool down its engine, it stops working. In this case, you should stop using it for some time and when its temperature gets back to its normal state, start it again.

How do you unclog surface cleaners?

  • To unclog first, you have to remove all the parts of your surface cleaner head and keep them in a safe place so that you don’t lose anyone.
  • Next, you need a very thin pin like metal to clean the nozzles properly.
  • Take a nozzle and poke with the pin until all the dirt comes out.
  • Do the same with all its nozzles until all the dirt is removed perfectly.
  • After that, rinse the parts in clean water and check if air passes through the nozzles. If not, you may have to clean them again.
  • Finally, reinstall the parts, and you are done.


A surface cleaner should spin properly to provide a proper cleaning experience. You should check from time to time if your surface cleaner is spinning or not.

For any trouble, you can try all the above methods and try to repair your machine. If they don’t work, you have to understand that it’s time to replace your surface cleaner.

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.

2 thoughts on “Why is my Surface Cleaner not Spinning – Let’s Learn How to Fix It!”

  1. I have a different issue in that the spinning nozzles operate BUT only where the nozzles hit the surface. To elaborate when you view the concrete instead of viewing a circle area clean you see two small lines where the nozzles release the water pressure only.


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