Help me fix my electric pressure washer gun

I have a karcher electric pressure washer. Inside the gun, there is a long inflexible plastic pipe which connects the inlet hose to the attached nozzle. This plastic pipe has a crack in it, and when I turn on the hose, water gushes from this crack, making the pressure washer itself somewhat less than impressive.

It costs 50 bucks plus shipping to replace the entire gun (no, noplace sells just the part I want), and the pressure washer itself was only slightly more than 100 when I bought it. not wanting to waste another hundred bucks, I thought I would turn to my fellow dopers for advice.

I have already tried putting Krazy Glue in the crack. You see, the pipe has to have some small amount of flex to it, and I think that causes small places inthe superglue to come undone, and it starts leaking again.

I am also trying to use waterproof epoxy (for patcing swiming pools and the like) but I have little confidence that it will hold up under 1600PSI.

Any suggestions would be appreciated…

I think there are two issues here. One is that the crack allows water out. The other is that internal pressure keeps breaking loose anything you use to seal the crack.

How about using a sealant on the crack, then wrapping the tube with a “bandage” to contain the pressure and keep the sealant in place.

When I say bandage I’m thinking of something like a fiberglass strip wrapped around the pipe, then saturated with epoxy resin and allowed to cure.

A quicker thing to try might be the sealant and then wrap with duct tape pulled really tight as ou spiral down the tube.

The sealant contains the water while the tape or fiberglass/resin provide mechanical strength. I’d vote against using cyanoacrylate (Krazy Glue) as a sealant because they are usually pretty brittle when cured. And even with a good wrap of tape of fiberglass there’s going to be some flex.

What would you recommend as a sealant? Where can I get strips of fiberglass?

Pressure failures in tubes and pipes are always along the length which is the weakest direction. NOTHING will seal this break satisfactorily.
A replacement tube would be better than any easy repair. Could you use copper tubing? Making the end connection may be a challenge.
You should find fiberglass cloth and strips/tape at larger auto supply stores along with the fiberglass equivalent of epoxy. Proper curing is a MUST.
This in effect builds a new tube around the old.

I would suggest electrical tape. When applied correctly (streched as it’s wrapped) it’s quite strong.

How is the pipe itself attached, glue, friction, or nuts and a washer? If not glue, you might be able to replace the part with stainless steel tubing. You can get small stainless tubing in a variety of diameters at any decent hardware store. It’s usually found right next to the display of brass and aluminum sheet.

I had 3 electric Karchers fail within 3 months before I gave up on them completely return counter at Lowes had 4 broken Karcher units behind the desk the day I returned the last one. They work well until they break but they are very poorly made overall.

The fix you are trying to implement is next to impossible without a replacement molded part. Small high pressure breaks that flex are extremely difficult to fix securely with glue or tape. I wish you luck but the best option might be simply to trash it.

It would have to be an absolutely perfect match, as the tubes it connects to are connected with o-rings and friction, nothing more.

Take the gun to the hardware store. You might get lucky.

Do not use duct tape or fiberglass, they won’t hold and will leak. I have repaired pressure washers with those little metal hose clamps, also called gear clamps, which have a screw that tightens a metal band. Use these with a piece of sheet rubber (like inner tube rubber, hardware stores sell this for just this purpose). You may need 3 or more hose clamps depending of the size of the leak.

I had a similar pressure washer with a hole in the hose, and this repair worked perfectly. Unfortunately pressure washers are high maintainance tools and a month or two after the repair the trigger on the gun started sticking and the only way to turn it off was to use the switch on the machine- OK for me to use but not something I could give to a laborer. A new washer was about $60 bucks on sale at Harbor Freight Tools so I just replaced it.

By the way, that hose clamp and sheet rubber thing works great for repairing pin hole leaks in both copper and iron water pipe in walls and crawlspaces. I have installed literally hundreds of these patches with excellent results, in some cases putting off repiping the building for 20 years.

If the hardware store can’t figure out how to get it apart, try a plumber. If it’s just a matter of finding the right size tube, that can be done.

If you get it fixed, avoid getting the nozzle right up on the work. Sometimes, gunk can blow back and clog the nozzle. Then pressure will build up in the tubing.

However, astro’s gloomy forecast might be right on target.

I have found some tape called Sup-r Wrap for fixing leaks in copper plumbing. I am going to try that with a little epoxy and see how it holds up.

And yes, Karcher is not known for quality electric pressure washers. I should have done my epinions research first :slight_smile:

Kits for about $5 at hardware stores. Comes with mixing pan, fiberglase cloth, resin, etc.

Have you looked into replacing the hose with off the shelf items? Manufacturers are quite eager to sell boxes marked “Authorized Repacement Parts” that contain off the shelf items available for a fraction of the cost.

Also check for local hose and fittings shops that serve the automotive and other industries for hydralic and other hoses.

Dammit! I used the epoxy and the pipe wrap tonight, and damned if I didn’t lose another tiny little part (a spring) that keeps things under tension. I think at least I can find a similar spring at a hardware store. We shall see.

So, I am sad to reprt that using plumbing repair wrap and epoxy did no t solve the problem. They make stringer wraps, but they are about 40 dollars for a roll, and for that price, well I might as well just buy the new gun.

Instead, I was at my parents’ house this weekend, and my dad has an old, broken pressure washer, so he gave me the gun from that.

Thanks to everyone for their recommendations!