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A Simple Guide To Why Your Pressure Washer Won't Start

A pressure washer is a convenient and useful appliance for home and business owners. If you own a pressure washer that won't start, it could have various issues. Fortunately, many power washers can be repaired.

How To Start a Pressure Washer

To help you diagnose the problem with your pressure washer, use the following steps as a guide to ensure that your setup is correct:

  1. Set the machine up on a flat surface and make sure to plug it into a GCFI outlet.
  2. Connect your garden hose to your pump's water inlet. Do not turn on the water yet.
  3. Attach one end of the high-pressure hose to your pump's water outlet. Connect the other end of the high-pressure hose to the spray gun.
  4. Choose a nozzle for the spray gun and connect it.
  5. Turn on your garden hose's water supply.
  6. Once the water is on, hold the trigger and spray. The flow will become consistent after a couple of seconds.

If the pressure washer still does not start, you may need to check for other issues.

Reasons Your Pressure Washer Won't Start

There are two types of pressure washers: gas and electric. Each has different issues that can disrupt the ability to start.

Gas-Powered Pressure Washer

Most of the time, if a gas-powered pressure washer doesn't start, it has a mechanical problem. Fortunately, many of the fixes are easy. However, some fixes may require you to take apart the engine.

Defective Spark Plugs

The spark plug is what ignites the air and fuel. If you have a cracked, dirty or defective spark plug, your pressure washer cannot start. If you expose the spark plug and see any problems, it may be easier just to replace it.

Clogged Carburetors

Take out your air filter to reveal the carburetor. Stale gasoline becomes varnish and corrodes the carburetor and inhibits gas from entering the combustion chamber. To clean a carburetor, remove dirt and grime by flushing it with a cleaner.

Excess Water Pressure

Pulling the starter cord might be challenging if water builds up in your pump's assembly. Hold the trigger and pull the starter cord simultaneously.

Bad Ignition Coil

Check the ignition coil by removing the starter housing. Connect an ignition coil tester and then try to start the engine. Replace the coil if you do not see a spark in the tester.

Electric Power Washer

If you have an electric pressure washer, and wonder "Why won't my pressure washer start?" you probably have an issue with the power.

No Power

First, plug your washer into a different outlet. There may be an issue with the first outlet. Check the electrical panel for a tripped breaker if the second outlet does not work.

Thermal Overload

If your pressure washer stops while in use, give it a few minutes to cool down. Press the overload reset button once it cools. You may need to replace the motor if you cannot reset it after it cools.

GFCI Tripped

Check the reset button on the GFCI. Press it, and if it resets, it should fire back on. If the GFCI button does not work, your power cord may have damage.

Low Power Circuit

Use a multimeter on the outlet. If the amperage of the outlet is less than the required amperage for the motor, then you need an outlet with more power.

Keep Your Pressure Washer Running

A pressure washer is not only a business asset but a convenient household tool. Avoid the frustration of a power washer that won't start by performing regular maintenance and repairs. When investing in a brand-new pressure washer, understand that the investment should last years. There are many reasons why the machine may stop working, but fortunately, the most common culprits are fixable.

Read our Best Tips To Make Your Pressure Washer Last a Lifetime for more information on pressure washer maintenance.