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Waterpik Troubleshooting & Common Issues

Power connector Waterpik water flosser

We are not Waterpik, nor are we affiliated with them.  

We are not a service center and do not repair or replace Waterpik water flossers.

Whilst we will offer what support we can, we cannot provide answers for all problems.

Contacting Waterpik directly will always be your best option.

Waterpik’s contact number: 1-800-525-2774

Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM EST

Friday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EST

Or use other contact options here.

Has your Waterpik water flosser stopped working?

Is it not behaving as you would expect?

Perhaps it is making more noise than normal.

Maybe it is not powering on or the nozzle isn’t rotating.

This article answers the more commonly experienced issues with Waterpik oral irrigators.

All being well you will find the answer you need to resolve the issue.

If consulting this page or the user manual for your product does not resolve the issue, or you determine the flosser requires repair or replacement, contact Waterpik on 1-800-525-2774.

Waterpiks flossers will come with at least a 1 year warranty, with many in fact provided with a 2 or 3 year warranty.

Providing the fault falls under warranty terms, this should be resolved for you. In most cases, this will be a free of charge repair or replacement.

Products outside of the warranty period will not be eligible for repair or replacement by Waterpik, but their customer support team may still be able to provide some assistance depending on the fault.

Other useful links:

How to adjust the pressure

The method for changing the pressure (PSI/BAR) of the water flow from your Waterpik does differ form one model to another.  It is always best to actually refer to the original user manual for guidance.

However, as a general rule, the pressures can be adjusted as follows:

Countertop models

Change the pressure by rotating or sliding the wheel/dial/or switch on your flosser.  On countertop models you often have the choice of 10 settings.  1 being the lowest (10 PSI) and least intense, with 10 being the strongest and highest pressure setting (100 PSI).

Cordless models

Cordless models usually have 2 or 3 pressure settings.  You can switch between them by moving the sliding switch between positions I, II and III (if available) or by pressing the mode button to change between low, medium and high (if available).

Rotating pressure dial

My Waterpik has mold in it

Unfortunately, from time to time mold can build up within certain parts of your water flosser.

Whilst there is no guaranteed way to avoid this, the things you can do to help prevent mold are as follows:

  • Clean the flosser and the tips regularly – our guide to cleaning a water flosser explains how
  • Don’t leave water in a tank/reservoir when not in use.
  • Open lids or covers to allow airflow around the flosser – this helps dry parts of the flosser prone to mold formation
  • Try not to place it in direct sunlight or in a cupboard with limited airflow.

There are hard water deposits in my flosser

Unfortunately, from time to time minerals in the water from our tap can build up within certain parts of your water flosser.

Whilst there is no guaranteed way to avoid this, the things you can do to help prevent this buildup are as follows:

My Waterpik nozzle/hose/handle is leaking

If you are noticing water leaking or escaping around joints of the nozzle, hose, or handle, the first thing to do is to check the fitting of each.

Make sure the nozzle/tip is securely seated in place.  Most will ‘click’ when they are securely fastened into the flosser.

Apply pressure/try to slide hoses back into place if required.

If the leaking continues look to purchase replacement parts from www.waterpik.com

There is no water flow from my countertop flosser

If it is the first time you are using your Waterpik flosser, you need to go through a process known as ‘priming’. 

With the water tank/reservoir filled, set the pressure control dial on the base to high (pressure setting No.10) and point the handle and tip into the sink. 

Turn power and water ON until water flows from the tip. Once the water flows freely, turn the unit OFF. 

If you have completed this step or the unit is not new and there is still no water flow. Check and try the following:

  • If your unit has a black rubber valve in the water reservoir, ensure that the black valve is installed with the dome side facing up and the four-pronged side facing down to connect with the base of the unit.
  • Fill reservoir at least half-full of water. Ensure the reservoir is firmly seated onto the base of the unit. Press down firmly to engage the reservoir to the base of the unit.
  • Confirm the unit is plugged into an active electrical outlet.
  • Set the Water Flosser to the highest pressure setting, and if the handle has an on/off slide switch, make sure it is in the ON position. Then point the handle downward towards the sink and turn the unit on; this generally starts the flow of water within 30 seconds.
  • If this process fails to start the flow of water, insert a jet tip and gently draw on the tip as you would a drinking straw.
  • Clean the tips and the water flosser reservoir.
Waterpik Troubleshooting & Common Issues 1

No water is coming out of my cordless Waterpik

The most common reason for little or no water flow is a clogged jet tip. You can troubleshoot this condition by removing the jet tip and observing if water bubbles up from the top when the device is powered on.

  • To remove the tip, press the Tip Eject button (refer to your owner’s manual if needed).
  • To clean the tip, soak it in a container of hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar for 5-7 minutes. Rinse the tip under warm water.

My Waterpik is not turning on

Corded models

If your water flosser is not powering on as you would expect then firstly ensure any connectors/cables are in place. Some power adapters need to be clipped into place and USB cables securely seated in power adapters.

If the cables are in place and the unit is still not powering on try a different power socket.

Ensure you firmly press the power button and/or a pause button (if applicable) to attempt to get the unit to function. Buttons can sometimes stick requiring an extra firm press.

Cordless models

Check that the battery is charged or if your flosser uses removable batteries that these are not flat (it might be best to replace them).

In the case of removable battery models ensure that the batteries are in the correct position with the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals aligned as they should be.

Ensure you firmly press the power button (if applicable)  to attempt to get the unit to function. Buttons can sometimes stick requiring an extra firm press.

My Waterpik is not charging

If your water flosser is not recharging as you would expect then firstly ensure any connectors/cables are in place. Some power adapters need to be clipped into place and USB cables securely seated in power adapters.

If the cables are in place and there is still no charge transferring try a different power socket.

Ensure your device is in the off position and reference your instruction manual for recommended charge duration.

Waterpik Troubleshooting & Common Issues 2

My Waterpik has gotten noisier

It is possible, but not expected that over time your unit might get noisier, particularly if your model is a good few years old.

The constant vibration and movement of parts over years of use can cause parts to move slightly and not sit as tightly as they once did.  Previously oiled or greased parts my well be dryer and less lubricated.  Together these can cause the pitch or sound of the Waterpik to change. 

Hollow spaces inside the body of the flossers vibrate sounds in different directions and can amplify small differences.

Assuming the function of the flosser isn’t impacted don’t worry too much about this.

However, if the noise is drastically louder or quieter and the unit is still within warranty, it is well worth speaking to Waterpik to discuss this further.

Do bear in mind that if you change bathrooms and renovate rooms, this can result in changes in noise.  Hard surfaces like tiles tend to cause or give the impression that something is louder than a room with lots of softer fabrics and furnishings.

You could try moving the flosser to a different place in your bathroom or sitting it on top of a towel to help absorb some of the sounds.

Waterpik Sonic-Fusion flosser not working (SF-01 and SF-02 only)

Waterpik® Sonic-Fusion® Troubleshooting: Flosser Not Working

If the brush/flosser handle of your Waterpik SF-01 or SF-02 Sonic-Fusion is not working, it is possible that the connection between the handle and the base unit has been lost.

The two items connect using wireless communication.  When there is an active connection, the blue light on the front of the base unit will be lit.

If the handle and base unit are separated for more than 10 minutes the wireless connection and communication between these two items will stop.

When stopped, the blue light will have turned off and not be visible on the base unit.

As and when this happens, pressing the ‘Floss’ button will not get the two items to communicate again.

To re-establish the wireless connection and enable the Floss function:

  1. Place the handle in the charging dock on the base.
  2. Remove the handle from the base.
  3. The blue light should turn on, indicating wireless communication is active.
  4. The Floss button should now function.

Waterpiks recommends that for optimal performance and battery life, keeping the Sonic-Fusion handle in the charging base when not in use. Note that the base only charges what the battery needs, and then turns off.

How and when to replace a reservoir valve on a Waterpik

Some countertop water flossers made by Waterpik have a black colored rubber valve on the base of the reservoir/water tank.

The valve is designed to stop water from dripping out of the reservoir, but still allow the appropriate flow of water when using the flosser.

With continued use the vale might become worn or require a clean to remove debris and buildup such as limescale.

If the water drips from the reservoir valve, clean and reshape the valve by following these steps:

Waterpik Troubleshooting & Common Issues 3
Credit: Waterpik
  1. Remove the valve from the water tank by pushing it up at the bottom so that you then need to pull or lift it out from inside the reservoir.
  2. Place the black rubber valve under clean, warm running water for around 30-40 seconds.  As you do, massage the vale and clean off any debris by pressing between the thumb and index finger (forefinger).
  3. Replace the vale into the reservoir, making sure that the dome side is facing up and the four-prong side is showing on the bottom
  4. Fill the reservoir with water and check for leaks.
  5. If the problem persists, the valve will need to be replaced.  Replacement valves can be purchased here.
Waterpik Troubleshooting & Common Issues 4

Please note: Waterpik doesn’t recommend keeping water in the reservoir between uses.  They have not been designed for this. Empty and excess or unused water after each use to ensure the longevity and reliability of your Waterpik.

The water pressure is low in my Waterpik flosser

If the pressure and strength of the jet of water coming out of your Waterpik is not as strong as you would like or expect there are a number of different solutions to this problem, subject to the model you have.

Adjust the pressure from the flosser itself

Change the pressure by rotating or sliding the wheel/dial/or switch on your flosser.  On countertop models you often have the choice of 10 settings.  1 being the lowest and least intense, with 10 being the strongest and highest pressure setting.

Cordless models usually have 2 or 3 pressure settings.  You can switch between them by moving the sliding switch between positions I, II and III (if available) or by pressing the mode button to change between low, medium and high (if available).

Recharge/replace the batteries

If you own one of Waterpiks cordless flossers that has a rechargeable battery built-in, then place the flosser on charge for the recommended time.

Most units have a charge light indicator to show when the battery is low and fully charged.

For example, with the Waterpik Cordless Advanced takes around 4 hours to be recharged using the supplied magnetic charger.

Whilst on charge the indicator on the handle will flash, turning to a solid/continuous light once fully charged.

A fully charged battery in this model is said to offer 1 weeks use.

When there is approximately 30% charge left, the charge indicator light blinks 8 times quickly after use to indicate that you should recharge the unit.

For models with removable and replaceable AA or AAA batteries, consider replacing these as the ones in use may well be low on power or flat.

The type of battery and the quality can affect the performance of your Waterpik.

You should replace all batteries at the same time, being sure to use the same type from the same brand. Mixing types and brands can potentially cause performance issues.

Waterpik Troubleshooting & Common Issues 5

Clean your jet tips

Debris and hard water deposits can build up inside the tip(s) used on your water flosser.

Regular cleaning helps ensure water flows freely and the pressure is not negatively impacted.

It is recommended by Waterpik and other water flosser brands to replace tips/nozzles on average every 3 to 6 months.  Tips such as the toothbrush and orthodontic tip should be replaced every 3 months, whilst bristle free tips like the jet tip can be replaced every 6 months.

To clean the nozzles:

  1. Remove the tip from the unit using the eject button.
  2. Soak the tip in a container of hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Rinse the tip under warm water.

Clean your Waterpik flosser

We have a dedicated article that explains exactly how to clean your water flosser here.

However, the key steps are as follows for countertop models:

  1. Mix 2-4 tablespoons (1-2 ounces) of white vinegar with 16 ounces of warm water.
  2. Fill the reservoir with the solution, and then run 1/2 of it through the Water Flosser.
  3. With the unit off, place the Water Flosser handle in the sink and allow the solution to gradually drain out of the handle.
  4. Run any remaining solution through the unit and then rinse with a full reservoir of warm water.

For cordless models:

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a full reservoir of warm water.
  2. Point the handle and tip into the sink.
  3. Turn unit ON and run until the reservoir is empty.
  4. Rinse by repeating with a full reservoir of clean warm water.

Cleaning your flosser every 1-3 months will ensure optimal performance

Additional steps

If the previously mentioned steps haven’t resolved the issue, some additional things you can try are:

  • Replacing the nozzle/flosser tip for a new one.
  • On units with a ‘pause’ button, fully depress and release the button.
  • If you use mouthwash with your Waterpik, follow Waterpiks guide on how to use mouthwash with a water flosser.
  • Remove and clean the valve at the bottom of the reservoir (if applicable)
    • If the pressure is still low:
      • Remove valve
      • Set empty reservoir on the base of the unit
      • Fill the reservoir with water without removing it from the base
      • Turn unit on and test pressure
      • If pressure is restored with the valve removed, replace the reservoir valve with a new one.

How to enable/disable one minute-timer/30 second pacer (selected models – floss mode only)

To deactivate:

  • While the unit is off, press the mode button once to wake the unit up. One of the LEDs should light up. 
  • Press and hold the mode button for approximately 3-seconds until the Massage Mode light blinks. The timer is now deactivated. 

To activate:

  • While the unit is off, press the mode button once to wake the unit up. One of the LEDs should light up. 
  • Press and hold the mode button for approximately 3-seconds until the Floss Mode light blinks. The timer is now activated. 

Or unplug the unit to reset to factory settings. 

Can I replace the hose and handle on my Waterpik?

Yes, most models that have a hose and handle can be replaced if required.

They can be purchased from Waterpik’s online store.

You will need to ensure you know the model you are wishing to replace the hose and handle off.  Look at the bottom of the unit for letters such as “WP”, “WF” or “CC” on the bottom of the unit.

Buy replacement handles and hoses here.

Where to find the instruction manual for my Waterpik flosser?

Waterpik provides a printed user manual and often a quick start guide in the box with each flosser.

If you do not have the box or original manual, you can find digital .pdf versions of the user manuals here. Or by visiting: https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/product-support/manuals/ 

Your Comments

Do you own a Waterpik that has a fault? What is the problem?

Have you had problems with your water flosser in the past? What was the problem and the solution?

Let us and others know by leaving a comment below.

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

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Leave a comment or question

2 thoughts on “Waterpik Troubleshooting & Common Issues”

  1. Everything above is about a flosser, there is nothing stating about a duel version of a flosser and a toothbrush. My toothbrush does not charge but the flosser does work. The model number is W P 800 series. The only thing different we tried is changing outlets.. Well not sure it’s going to work ( the toothbrush) we’ll just have to wait until it’s fully charged

    Reply
    • Hi Mike. Sorry we have not covered this dual unit as most of the queries we get with Waterpik models are based on their water flossers.
      I will bear this in mind for future updates.
      Of course, Waterpik themselves are best placed to answer support queries. That said, if you have tried different power outlets I am not sure I have anything else to add.
      If the brush itself isn’t already flat, you could try running it down so it is flat. Then place it on the charger to see if that causes things to begin working again.

      Reply
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