Home > Juicer Resources > Norwalk Juicers Troubleshooting Q & A > Operational Questions & Issues

1. My Norwalk juicer isn’t pressing hard enough and the pulp seems wet

If you're noticing wetter pulp after pressing or feel the press isn't working as hard as usual, here are some potential causes:

A: Hydraulic Pump Belt Issues:

Applicable Models: This issue is more likely on later model Norwalk juicers (275 and onwards) that use an o-ring style belt for the hydraulic pump. Earlier models (most 270 and prior) used a V-belt which is less prone to slippage.
Cause: Over time, the o-ring style belt can stretch and lose grip on the pulleys, reducing power transfer to the hydraulic pump. This results in weaker pressing force.
Checking the Belt: If you suspect a belt issue, you'll need to visually inspect it while the machine is running. This should be done by a qualified tech, unless you're comfortable working with exposed machinery. Otherwise, contact a qualified appliance repair technician.
How to Inspect: Unplug the unit. Remove the back cover according to the instructions in the "How do I fix a broken belt" page in our Q & A. Remember to unplug the machine before any work is done.

Turn on the Juicer: Run the press to its top position and observe the belt movement around the pulleys. Ideally, the belt should move smoothly with both pulleys actively rotating. If the upper pulley doesn't rotate consistently, or the belt travel seems erratic, it could be a sign of slippage.


Replace the Belt: If the belt is visibly worn or stretched, replacing it with a new o-ring style belt is recommended.

Upgrade to V-belt: Consider upgrading to a V-belt system. This requires replacing the lower pulley to match the V-belt profile. It will offer a more durable solution in the long run.

B: Low Hydraulic Pressure:

Out of adjustment

Interior Adjustment - Inside the valve handle shaft of your Norwalk juicer is a hydraulic pressure regulator. Adjusting this regulator is not recommended for safety reasons and because it requires specialized equipment and expertise. Improper adjustments can damage the machine or pose a risk to the operator.

While adjusting the pressure yourself is not recommended, Red Wing Organics offers a service where they can loan you a calibrated hydraulic pressure gauge and instructions for checking the pressure at home.

C: Low hydraulic fluid level

Hydraulic Reservoir level - The Norwalk juicer has a hydraulic reservoir that surrounds the hydraulic cylinder and piston. Checking the hydraulic fluid level can be somewhat involved, but can be done by the juicer owner who has some mechanical ability.


By pulling the (6) bolts out of the upper reservoir cover, the level can be seen. The level should be roughly ½” to ¾” below the mating surface. This should be done with the piston and cylinder in the reservoir and pushed down to displace the fluid to get the appropriate level indication. Machine models 265 and older used a standard hydraulic oil, while the 270 and new machines used an automatic transmission fluid such as Dextron. These fluids are available at any auto pa

2: My juicers seems to struggle during the grinding operation and the pulp temperature seems to high

Possible Causes:

A: Dull Blade:
Dull or blunt blades require more force to grind ingredients, leading to motor strain and increased friction, which can generate heat in the pulp.

Solution #1:
Sharpen the Blades. Regularly sharpening the blades ensures efficient cutting and reduces the motor's workload. This can be done by the operator by putting the cutter in a vise between two pieces of soft material, such as wood and filing with a mill single cut bastard file. While doing this is possible, it isn’t without it’s challenges. Try to retain the original cut angle of the blade and wear a pair of cut gloves in case you slip with the file.

Solution #2:
Red Wing Organics offers a blade sharpening service that trues your existing blade and then sharpens it for smooth efficient operation. See our website or talk with one of our techs.

B: Overloaded Juicer:
Trying to juice too much produce at once can overwhelm the motor, causing it to struggle and potentially overheat the pulp.

Reduce the Load: Don't overload the juicer. Feed ingredients gradually and in appropriate quantities according to your juicer's capacity.

C: Pulp Backup:
A buildup of pulp within the juicer can impede proper grinding and contribute to motor strain and heat generation.

Pulp buildup can restrict proper operation and contribute to overheating. Check for Blockages: Ensure there are no blockages within the juicer, especially around the grinding area and pulp outlet. Blockages can cause the motor to work harder and generate heat.

3. I forgot and left my press plate in the up position. Did I hurt anything?

Even though Norwalk has the “10” second max recommendation, in most cases, leaving the press plate in the up position on your Norwalk juicer shouldn't cause any harm. This is somewhat speculative, but we feel this may have been to protect the Oring style drive belt, used on the hydraulic pump, may experience more where than designed for especially from overheating of the belt.

4. I was juicing something that overloaded the juicer and the unit has locked up. How do I unlock the juicer?

First thing, unplug the juicer: Before attempting any troubleshooting, ensure the juicer is completely unplugged from the power outlet. This prevents accidental activation while working on it.

Potential Causes and Solutions:

The most likely cause is overloading the juicer with too much produce at once or grinding something that is too tough for the blades to cut through.. This can stall the motor and potentially cause the motor to lockup.

Do not force the juicer to unlock. With the unit unplugged, loosen the wing nuts and rotate the feed tube counter clockwise until the studs no longer capture the feed tube. Attempt to remove the feed tube and remove the pulp that locked the unit up. If the feed tube will not come off, use a non marring straight blade screwdriver to assert gentle and limited pressure between the feed tube and the faceplate. This suggestion is given with reservations. Over prying the feed tube can damage the motor internals or scratch the faceplate, so be careful. If this still doesn’t result in the feed tube removal, call us at Red Wing Organics and talk with one of our techs. They will be more than happy to help you solve this problem.

5. Persistent Lock-Up:

There is a slight chance that the motor shaft to face plate alignment may be off. When this misalignment condition has happen, the motor shaft experiences increased friction as the shaft passes through the faceplate.

This condition can be remedied by the owner, but may require some mechanical ability. If you feel this may be the cause, talk with one of our tech reps and they will walk you through the alignment process

Important Notes:

Avoid Harsh Methods: Do not attempt to force the juicer to unlock or use any harsh tools or methods. This could damage the internal components.

Follow Safety Precautions: Ensure the juicer is unplugged and cool before attempting any troubleshooting steps.

6. My cutter goes on hard or sometimes sticks and is hard to get off.

This is somewhat of a common problem. It can be caused by a number of issues

A: Detent set screw ball lubrication

Cutter set screw detent balls. There are 2 or 3 set screws, depending upon model, on the side of the cutter that maintain the detent ball tension. They can lack lubrication or become galled with time.


The use of a lubricant of your choice can be used to keep the detent balls sliding on the shaft with less effort.This lubricant can be olive oil or even a food grade lubricant. Insert the lubricant inside the cutter shaft in the area of the detent ball. Put some on the cutter shaft in the area of the detent ball track.

B: Detent set screws out of adjustment

Cutter set screws are not adjusted correctly. There are 2 or 3 set screws, depending upon model, on the side of the cutter. These set screws are staked in place at the factory. On occasion these set screws can exert more pressure than required to keep the cutter from moving once in place and to keep the cutter centered for smooth operation. The condition of being over tightened is unusual and typically it is the other way around, with the set screws getting looser with time, but if yours is too tight, these set screws may need to be readjusted.


Even though they are staked into place backing them out a slight turn counter clockwise of about 5 degrees of turn may solve the problem. With this slight turn, you may find the set screw still has it’s locking ability. If so and the cutter now goes off and on easily, you will need to reinstall the feed tube and run the juicer. Look for an increase in juicer noise. This may be caused by the blade running off center.