Why Wont My Pressure Washer Start? Troubleshooting Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
16 min read

Pressure washer won’t start for no apparent reason. Because of the clear and empty fuel tank, the fuel compatibility issue, the damaged or leaky power cable, the leaky fuel pump, and many other factors. This is the cause.

Don’t overlook or dismiss these plausible explanations; instead, take action to address them. Try to fix it yourself, but if that doesn’t work, see a professional.

Indeed, a pressure washer is a useful piece of equipment that can be kept in your home and used as a cleaning tool for everything in your house. A horse, brush, or water can’t get you where you need to go as quickly as this does. If there are any problems with it, try to fix them yourself or get help from someone who can. It’s time to learn more, so keep reading!

Why Wont Your Pressure Washer Start

So, what’s the problem with my pressure washer? If your pressure washer won’t start for any of the following reasons, here are some possible solutions:

#1. Fuel compatibility issue, so find the right fuel

A gasoline tank should be inspected for fuel availability and compatibility. You need to know whether or not you can use a specific fuel mix to power the pressure washer. If you try to start the pressure washer with a different type of fuel, it will not work. Fill it up with the correct fuel components and mix it up.

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#2. The fuel tank may be clear and empty, so test out the fuel

If you use a gas-powered pressure washer, you may want to check the fuel. It’s possible that the pressure machine’s fuel tank is completely empty. Before you begin, make sure the pressure washer tank is full and correctly loaded. I recommend reading up on pressure washer start-up procedures.

#3. Fuel pump issue so check the pump connection

The fuel pump that should be connected to a fuel pump should be examined further. For the engine to work, a fuel pump runs from the gasoline tank to the pressure washer motor. If there’s a problem with your gasoline tank or fuel pump, your pressure washer won’t start. The fuel pump might potentially develop leaks. As a result, a new fuel pump should be installed in its place. Prevent leaks by securing the area where the leak is occurring.

#4. Power cable leaked or damaged, so check it

The electric pressure washer is powered by a wired cable that links it to the power source. If the power cable is damaged or leaking in any way, the pressure washer will not start. Energy cannot be drawn from the source due to defective, leaky, or damaged cables. As a result, a short circuit can be traced back to it. Prior to using an electric pressure washer, take careful to inspect its cable.

#5. Problem with water pump air and hose so check the air

Water pump air and hose are not the first things that go wrong with a pressure washer. You’ll be able to solve it in no time. All you have to do is use a pressure washer to pump the water. Wait until the hose is completely drained of air. To get your pressure washer up and running, follow these instructions and then call a professional.

#6. Dirty air filter so clean it

Air filters can also be to blame for a pressure washer not starting. The engine and pumps run more smoothly because of the air filter, which filters the air as it passes through the pumps. A blocked air filter is unable to perform its function. Thus, the engine is unable to draw air in order to maintain the washer’s high-pressure operation. Clean the air filter to fix this issue and get on with your day. Make fast work of it while submerging it in warm water. Also, if the air filter is too damaged or dusty to function, replace it. Read about how to clean metal roofs using a pressure washer, and how to clean wood fences with the same method.

#7. Faulty spark plug, so clean it first

One possible cause of the pressure not starting is a bad spark plug. In time, the spark plug loses its capacity to perform further functions. If it has a torn or worn-out spark plug, it won’t start. The spark plug needs to be cleaned first. The spark plug might get clogged and unable to perform its functions if clogs form on it. If anything unpleasant comes out of the spark plug, pay special attention to it. Use a spark plug tester to see if it is still working or not.

#8. Clogged carburetor so make sure of the correct ratio of air to fuel

The pressure washer’s carburetor is a vital piece of equipment. It also ensures that the mixture of fuel and air is correct. Pressure washers have an air-to-fuel ratio of 12:1 and 15:1. This ratio is handled by the carburetor on its own. When a carburetor is clogged or junked up, it loses more of its performance potential. When you’re caught burning fuel, you’re in big danger. The result is that the pressure washer won’t start.

#9. Excessive air so pump the water until it is removed

If there is too much air in the hose and the water pump, the pressure washer motor may not start. The good news is that it can be remedied easily. Pump the water until the hose is completely void of air. As a result, the pump is able to start and start the flow of water. It has the effect of removing allergens from the residence.

Why a Gas-Powered Pressure Washer Won’t Start

Pressure Washer Won’t Start: Stale Fuel

After six months, gasoline in a pressure washer is oxidized and polluted. Poor combustion, engine failure, or inability to start are all symptoms of degraded gasoline.

Carburetor cleaner should be used to flush and clean the fuel tank. Before you begin, make sure the gas tank is full and the fuel valve is in the “on” or “open” position. Additionally, a fuel stabilizer can be used to help maintain the freshness of the fuel.

Maintain a well-ventilated working environment as a matter of safety. Closely inspect the area for any potential sources of ignition. Smoking is bad for your health, so don’t do it. Having an A-B-C fire extinguisher on hand is also a good idea. Learn how to safely dispose of used gasoline by contacting your local recycling center or fire department.

Pressure Washer Won’t Start: Dirty or Clogged Carburetor

Carburetor corrosion and gum buildup are common side effects of using gasoline that has degraded. Pressure washers might sometimes fail to start if the air filter is clogged.

Clean out the carburetor by removing the air filter and flushing it with carburetor cleaner. You can get into tiny spaces with a toothbrush. To fix the problem, you’ll need to repair or replace the carburetor.

Repairing pressure washer carburetors is usually an easy DIY project. Rebuilding your carburetor might cost anywhere from $25 to $100, depending on the year, make, and model of your vehicle. If the carburetor displays any evidence of spalling (tiny metallic fragments) as a result of corrosion, it should be replaced with a new one.

Replacement carburetor prices range from $30 to $200. A small-engine repair business will charge between $50 and $150 for the installation of a one-year warranty.

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Pressure Washer Won’t Start: Fouled or Defective Spark Plug

It is the spark plug’s job to start the combustion process. Pressure washers have a tendency to have problems starting if the spark plug is clogged, fractured, or otherwise damaged. Don’t clean the spark plug; instead, get a new one. As part of your annual maintenance schedule, you should replace the spark plug.

Pressure Washer Won’t Start: Bad Ignition Coil

Ignition coil (or magneto) transfers high voltage (AKA magneto, or armature) through spark plug to ignite mixture of air and fuel Spark plugs that have been soaked in gasoline tend to produce little or no spark.

Spark testers are affordable and easy to use. You’ll need to replace the ignition coil if you don’t get a spark from the engine.

After disconnecting the spark plug coil wire, the engine cover should come off easily. Remove the coil by disconnecting the wires, then unbolting and removing it. Installing a new coil requires reversing these steps.

Make sure that the air gap is set correctly after installing a new coil. Under the hood or in the owner’s handbook, you’ll find information about the engine’s air gap (which is typically between.010 and.014). The air gap can be set with a feeler gauge. When in a pinch, you can use a business card or strips of plastic milk jugs cut into strips.

Pressure Washer Won’t Start: Broken Flywheel Key

The crankshaft is connected to the flywheel via a soft metal flywheel key. It can break if your pressure washer runs into a hard item, or it can wear out over time like a shear bolt on a snowblower auger. Your local small-engine repair shop should handle the task of replacing a flywheel key.

Pressure Washer Won’t Start: Excessive Pump Pressure

The starter pull cord will be difficult to pull if the pump assembly is under too much water pressure. Release the pressure on the spray gun by pulling the trigger slowly while aiming it away from you. To relieve pressure, try pulling the starter cord while keeping the trigger down.

Troubleshooting Your Pressure Washer

It’s time for some spring cleaning now that the weather is warming up a notch or so. You bring out your pressure washer to clean the outside of your home, but when you try to start it, nothing happens.

When you’re ready to begin washing, you pull the trigger on the spray-gun, but no water comes out.

Get some perspective by taking a big breath and stepping back. In this section, we’ll learn how to diagnose and resolve pressure washer issues.

Nozzle and Spray-gun Troubleshooting

You need a nozzle and a spray cannon to deliver the high-pressure water spray from your pressure washer. To get these pieces working again, here are a few pointers:

  • Everything from nozzles to connectors to O-rings should be checked to make sure it’s secure.
  • The nozzle, sprayer or inlet screen may be clogged, so make sure you check them. If they are, clean them up.
  • Remove and replace any worn or damaged O-rings.
  • You need to check the hose for any twisting or kinking.
  • Make sure your nozzle, hose, and spray gun are free of blockages, dirt, and other debris. Make any necessary repairs or replacements.

Your Engine Won’t Start or is Lacking Power

There are a few things you may do if your gas-powered pressure washer motor won’t start or is weak in power.

The first step is to make sure the on/off switch is in its “on” position. Before you do anything else, be sure the engine is off! Don’t turn it back on even if it’s not running at all. This could result in significant injury and/or damage to the pressure washer engine if you inspect the engine while it is running.

Make sure the engine is turned off before trying any of the following methods:

  • Make sure the hose is completely free of air by running water through the pressure washer.
  • Air filters should be checked. Repair or replace as necessary.
  • Observe the oil level. If a change is required, make it.
  • Dispose of any petrol that has been sitting in your tank for more than 30 days. Fresh gas should always be used.
  • Check to see if the wire from your spark plug is attached.
  • When in doubt, turn the choke off and on again.
  • Check to see if your engine has an unrestricted airflow (clean your air filter).

If You Find a Leak…

If your pressure washer develops a leak, you could be in a pickle. However, this is something that may be avoided with some simple precautionary measures. There are a few things to keep in mind if this happens:

  • Replace a damaged hose after checking for dings, cuts, and twists.
  • If the leak is coming from the O-rings, they should be cleaned or replaced.
  • Keep your ties strong and secure.
  • Please be certain that you are using the correct sized wand for your pressure washing equipment.
  • Replace damaged or broken filter screens on water intakes.

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Low Pressure Won’t Help You Clean

Several simple fixes are available if you find that your pressure washer isn’t delivering the pressure it should:

  • Check to see that your nozzle is the correct size and that it is correctly placed.
  • The nozzle should not be set to a low PSI pressure.
  • Take care to ensure that your water supply is unimpeded by any obstructions (bends, cuts or damage to your garden hose).
  • Check for leaks in your spray gun, nozzle, and hose.
  • Check for dirt and debris in your spray gun, hose, and nozzle. Make any necessary repairs or replacements.

Unloader Valve

The pressure washer’s unloader valve is a critical component. So that the pressure doesn’t build up when you’re not spraying water, this is what you want to do. Unloader valve malfunctions might cause your engine to die after you finish spraying it, or to experience low pressure without being able to pinpoint the problem. To avoid low pressure, safety issues, and damage to your pressure washer, the unloader valve must be changed if it is suspected of being damaged or broken.

It’s A Wrap!

With this information, you know why my pressure washer won’t start. However, the most common solutions are also the best. It’s important to keep an eye on the crucial solutions as they progress. Consult an expert if you can’t figure out what’s wrong on your own.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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