It’s frustrating when your pressure washer won’t start. Pressure washers have many reasons why they might not start, but you can usually figure out the issue. We will outline some of the most common issues and how to fix them. We will also provide preventative maintenance tips to help keep your pressure washer running smoothly. Finally, we will answer some frequently asked questions about pressure washers.

Check the Basics First

Before you start troubleshooting, make sure you check the basics. First, check that the power cord is plugged in and that the outlet is working. Or, if you have a gas-powered pressure washer, make sure it has gas in the fuel tank. Confirm that the pressure washer is connected to a water source and that there are no kinks in the hose.

Next, check the oil level and fill it if necessary. Finally, check the air filter and clean or replace it if it is dirty.

Troubleshoot Pressure Washer Start

Clogged Carburetor

If your pressure washer is not starting, one issue could be a clogged carburetor. Old fuel, dirt, or debris can clog a carburetor, and simply leaving fuel in the pressure washer for too long can lead to a clogged carburetor too.

To clean the carburetor, switch off the fuel valve and remove the air filter and spark plug. Then, use a carburetor cleaner to clean the inside of the carburetor. You can also use compressed air to blow out any dirt or debris. Finally, reattach the air filter and spark plug and start the pressure washer again.

Defective Spark Plug

If your pressure washer doesn’t start, one issue could be a defective spark plug. A spark plug ignites the fuel in the engine, so if it is defective, the engine will not start. Use a spark plug tester to confirm that the spark plug is working properly.

You can also test the spark plug by removing it and holding it against the engine. If you see a spark, then the spark plug is working properly. If there is no spark, then the spark plug is likely defective and will need to be replaced.

Simply replace a broken spark plug. Replace spark plugs annually.

Defective Ignition Coil

If your pressure washer doesn’t start, a broken ignition coil could be the problem. First, use a spark plug tester to eliminate the possibility of a defective spark plug. If this test passes, then you could have an issue with a bad ignition coil. When an ignition coil fails, it will not create a spark to ignite the fuel in the pressure washer’s engine. You can confirm if this is the issue by using an ignition coil tester.

Broken Flywheel Key

If your pressure washer doesn’t start, one issue could be a broken flywheel key. The flywheel key is a small metal piece that connects the flywheel to the crankshaft. If this piece breaks, it will prevent the engine from starting.

To fix a broken flywheel key, remove the spark plug and then the flywheel. Inspect the flywheel for any damage and replace it if necessary. Next, install a new flywheel key and reattach it. Finally, reattach the spark plug and try starting the pressure washer again.

Old Fuel

If your pressure washer doesn’t start, one issue could be old fuel or sticky fuel. Over time, gasoline can become stale and less combustible. Gasoline that sits in a pressure washer for more than six months can become oxidized and contaminated. Contaminated gasoline can cause performance issues. Drain the old fuel and add fresh gas to the tank to fix this.

You can use a fuel stabilizer to prevent this issue in the future. A fuel stabilizer prevents fuel from breaking down and becoming less combustible. Add the stabilizer to your gas tank before storing your pressure washer for the winter.

Excessive Pump Pressure

If your pressure washer won’t start, one issue could be excessive pump pressure. This is most likely due to a failed pressure relief valve. The pressure relief valve releases excess pressure from the pump, so if it is not working properly, the pump will build up too much pressure.

To fix this, first, turn off the pressure washer and release the pressure from the hose. Then, remove the pump from the pressure washer and disassemble it. Inspect the pressure relief valve and clean or replace it if necessary. Finally, reassemble the pump and reinstall it on the pressure washer.

Fuel Pump Overheated

If your pressure washer won’t start, one issue could be a fuel pump that has overheated. The fuel pump is responsible for delivering fuel to the engine, so if it overheats, it will not be able to do its job.

You can address this issue in the same way previously described to deal with excessive pump pressure: turn off the washer; release the hose pressure; disassemble the pump; inspect, clean, and replace the relief valve if necessary; and then reassemble to pump.

Pressure Washer Won’t Start Summary

There are a lot of reasons why your pressure washer may not start, but most of them are easily identifiable and fixable on your own. Before you take your pressure washer to a repair shop, check the basics first. With a little troubleshooting, you should be able to get your pressure washer up and running in no time.

Proper maintenance and proper use are key to keeping your pressure washer in good shape. Safety is also vital both when using and troubleshooting a pressure washer.

Proper Pressure Washer Maintenance and Use

First and foremost, always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using a pressure washer. This will ensure that you are using the pressure washer correctly and safely.

Next, be sure to perform regular maintenance on your pressure washer. This includes things like changing the oil, checking and replacing the spark plug, and cleaning the air filter.

Pressure washers should also be stored in a dry, safe place when not in use. Never run your pressure washer without water flowing through it. To winterize your pressure washer, be sure to add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank.

Safety Tips for Pressure Washers

Always wear protective gear including gloves, goggles, and closed-toe shoes. Use your pressure washer in a well-ventilated area.

When working with gasoline, never smoke and always know where the nearest fire extinguisher is located. Move very carefully and deliberately when troubleshooting a pressure washer that won’t start.

Next, be aware of your surroundings, and be sure to keep children and pets away from the area where you will be using the pressure washer. Never point the nozzle of a pressure washer at yourself or anyone else. Finally, always start the pressure washer slowly to avoid injury.

FAQ About Pressure Washer Won’t Start

Q: I can’t seem to find the problem. Where can I take my pressure washer if it won’t start?

A: If you are unable to identify and fix the issue, most pressure washer manufacturers have authorized service centers where you can take your machine for repair.

Q: How do I safely turn on the pressure washer after troubleshooting?

A: Slowly turn on the pressure washer while pointing the nozzle away from yourself and others. Once you have confirmed that the pressure washer is working properly, you can begin using it as normal.

Q: My pressure washer is over ten years old. Is it worth trying to fix it?

A: Pressure washers are often built to last, but the age of your machine may affect whether or not it can be repaired. If you decide to take your pressure washer in for repair, be sure to tell the technician the make and model.

Q: I’ve tried everything and my pressure washer still won’t start. What do I do?

A: If you have exhausted all of your options, it may be time to replace your pressure washer. Be sure to research the best model for your needs and budget before making a purchase. Pressure washers can be expensive, so compare prices and features before making a decision.