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Old 10-01-2018, 02:47 PM   #1
saul
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Pulsating pw

Hi All,

Is it common for a PW to pulsate randomly when powered up but not being used?. Not noticed this before, but today seems it does it after every 10-15 mins or so.

Unit in question is a Nilfisk C120.3

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Old 10-01-2018, 02:51 PM   #2
ENEP
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Mine does it sometimes when the incoming water pressure to PW is to low.
If for an example the water hose is bent and not flowing fully or if i've not opened the water valve fully.
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Old 10-01-2018, 02:55 PM   #3
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It might also do it if there's a slight leak on the high pressure side - the pump will pulse to maintain the pressure.
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Old 10-01-2018, 03:11 PM   #4
LeeH
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As above, my old Karcher has this issue.


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Old 10-01-2018, 03:12 PM   #5
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I have the same machine (C120.3), mine has been doing it for about 12 months, my sons (same machine) did it also before it packed up, not bad though it has lasted about 5 years. Time to seek another one for me.
Do a google search on this problem and many people get this with a Nilfisk, not really any solutions.
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Old 10-01-2018, 03:20 PM   #6
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Normally the pulsating is due to a sticking unloader valve

Simply locate, remove, clean function and grease to return pressure washer to service
Use a smearing of white petroleum grease
A google search on the Karcher model will help you locate
I’ve resurrected my Karcher Hd countless times, all too many Karcher are disposed of for such a simple fix.

I had Another issue and replacing the lance nozzle cured.
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Old 10-01-2018, 03:55 PM   #7
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Thank you all. Looks like I may have just missed it in the past. Will keep a listen out for it in the future.
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Old 10-01-2018, 04:14 PM   #8
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My Nilfisk e140 does it alllll the time......i honestly don't think it's a problem to the function and running of the pressure washer as mine has been through hell and it still works fine, had it for around 6 years now also so it's beat any Karcher or bosch I've had.

One thing I have thought about regarding pulsing PW syndrome, even on a brand new machine is mains pressure drop..... A pressure switch will detect any fluctuation in pressure..... Say someone running a tap in your house, or your boiler pulling cold water in etc...
it will take some of the pressure out of the line you have your PW hooked up to, so if that is the case... Nilfisk just have very sensitive pressure sensors setup in their machines.
I've stripped mine and replaced seals, hoses etc.. thinking it was a problem, until I turn it back on, shout 'SUCCESS' then it pulses :/
It's just a handy feature for Nilfisks to let you know you still have it turned on
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Old 10-01-2018, 04:35 PM   #9
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It’s not uncommon, but if it starts to do it every so often you will probably find it starts to become more frequent. Could be a couple of reasons. I had one that I fixed myself and one that was still under a guarantee so was returned and swapped. There is a loss of pressure somewhere, either in the feed into the pw or in the output. First and easiest thing to check is the input, make sure the hose feeding the pw is sound, no leaks (including from the connections to machine and tap) or kinks in the hose. Also make sure you aren’t using water stop connectors anywhere as these can affect the flow.

It is also common to get an airlock somewhere along the line, when you connect a hose to the tap and then start to use it and it runs ok for a short while but then momentarily stops or starts to spit or sputter, that’s an airlock. Connect the washer up but disconnect the high pressure outlet hose and run water through the machine without power for a few minutes, once it’s running through consistently and evenly it should be clear. You should always ‘prime’ a pw before every use by connecting the water supply and pressing the trigger on the gun to run water through until it clears any airlocks that may be present, I usually do this to fill my buckets, two birds with one stone. Once the output is smooth and consistent you can power up the machine and proceed as normal.

If the problem persists after these steps then the pressure loss is In the machine itself, probably an o ring somewhere that has been pinched or perished. Look for any leaks from the machine and lance/gun, however slight. Changing the o rings in the gun is pretty straightforward, albeit a little fiddly to reassemble, and Nilfisk sell o ring kits specifically for the job. If changing the lance o rings doesn’t cure it then the leak is within the pump/motor assembly itself and it is probably time for a new machine.
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Old 10-01-2018, 04:45 PM   #10
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Truth be said, it's had a good innings so far. Was one of my first detailing purchases, so approx 5 years old. There are no leaks anywhere that I can see, I think it is true what Atkinson91 has mentioned "running a tap in your house, or your boiler pulling cold water in etc...".

Will check more thorughly for any leaks from the lance.
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