Expert advice for proper jetter maintenance

Water jetters are a great way to clear grease-clogged lines. If your jetter is no longer maintaining pressure, follow these troubleshooting tips to get it back on the right track: 

Make sure you have enough water

The water supply must be adequate to match your jetter’s needs. If you’re using a 4 gpm pump and your water source is only providing 2 gpm, you’re asking for trouble. A good way to check the flow rate of your water source is to time how long it takes to fill up a 2-gallon bucket. If it takes 30 seconds or less, you’re OK. If not, stop right there. An inadequate water supply will cause cavitation and severely damage the pump. 

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Make sure you’re using a good-quality water supply hose

Use a 3/4-inch hose that is in good condition. Smaller hoses cannot carry enough water to meet the pump’s needs. Check that there are no kinks in the hose and that you have a good seal at both ends. Dripping water means air is getting into the system causing a reduction in pressure and risking cavitation of the pump. Replace the hose gaskets as necessary. 

Check the inlet filter

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A clogged inlet filter will restrict the water flow and cause the same symptoms as an inadequate water supply. Be sure to check the inlet filter before each job. 

Check the nozzle

A worn nozzle will cause the pressure to fall while a clogged nozzle will cause the pressure to spike. Replace the nozzle with a different one to see if the problem disappears. 

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Look for leaks

Leaky hose fittings, swivels and other connections can cause a loss of pressure, just as leaking high-pressure hoses can. 

Check the pressure regulator/unloader

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It is factory preset for the pressure rating of your machine. Do not over tighten the unloader or you could damage the pump. Continuing to turn the unloader knob after the pressure gauge stops moving upward will only increase the strain on the pump causing premature failure. Dirt can also clog the unloader and cause pressure fluctuations. If you cannot clean the unloader, it may have to be replaced. 

Three key factors that will cause pump failure:

  1. No or not enough water
  2. Hot water (above 160 degrees F)
  3. Frozen water 

Take good care of your equipment and it will give you years of trouble-free service. 

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