Common reasons why your pressure washer wont start-Full guide

Are you frustrated because your pressure washer won’t start? want to know Common reasons why your pressure washer wont start?

You’re not alone. It’s a common problem that many homeowners face, but fortunately, it’s often an easy fix.

Whether you have a gas or electric pressure washer, there are some common reasons why it may not start.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at these issues and provide you with the solutions to get your pressure washer up and running again in no time! So let’s dive in and find out what could be causing the problem.


Gas Pressure Washer: 4Common Reason Why Your Pressure Washer Won’t Start

Gas pressure washers are powerful machines that can help you clean even the toughest stains on your property. However, they can also be frustrating when they won’t start. Here are some common reasons why:

Clogged Carburetor

One common reason why your gas pressure washer won’t start is due to a clogged carburetor. Over time, the carburetor can become caked with dirt and debris from the fuel system, particularly if it’s been sitting unused for an extended period.

When this happens, fuel cannot flow through the carburetor properly, which will prevent your pressure washer from starting up.

To fix a clogged carburetor issue, you’ll need to remove it and clean it thoroughly. This can be done using a special cleaning solution or by soaking it in gasoline overnight.

It’s worth noting that prevention is better than cure when it comes to clogged carburetors. To keep your pressure washer running smoothly over time, make sure you regularly maintain and inspect all parts of its fuel system to avoid any blockages that could lead to issues down the line.

Faulty Spark Plug

One of the most common reasons why your gas pressure washer won’t start is a faulty spark plug. The spark plug creates the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine, so if it isn’t working correctly, the engine won’t start.

A worn or dirty spark plug can cause this issue. Over time, carbon deposits can build up on the electrode and inhibit its ability to generate a strong enough spark. A cracked insulator or damaged electrode can also prevent proper ignition.

To check for a faulty spark plug, remove it from the engine and inspect it for any visible damage or wear. Use a gap gauge to ensure that there is an appropriate distance between electrodes.

If you determine that your spark plug needs replacement, be sure to purchase one with specifications matching those recommended by your pressure washer’s manufacturer. With regular maintenance and inspection of your machine’s components like its spark plugs, you’ll maximize efficiency and save yourself unnecessary repairs down the line!

Flywheel Key

One of the common reasons why a gas pressure washer won’t start is due to a damaged Flywheel Key. The Flywheel Key is responsible for transferring power from the engine’s crankshaft to its flywheel, which in turn drives the water pump and high-pressure spray.

A damaged or sheared Flywheel Key can cause your pressure washer to lose compression, fail to ignite, or simply not start at all. This happens when there’s too much stress on the key causing it to break or wear down over time.

Fortunately, replacing a faulty flywheel key is an easy fix that anyone can do with just a few basic tools and some mechanical know-how. You’ll need to remove the starter cord cover first before accessing your engine’s flywheel assembly.

Once you’ve located the flywheel key, take note of its orientation as this will help you replace it correctly later on. Gently tap out the old key with a screwdriver and hammer then insert a new one in its place. Make sure everything is lined up properly before reassembling your pressure washer.

In summary, if you suspect that your gas-powered pressure washer won’t start because of issues with its Flywheel Key, don’t hesitate to inspect it right away and replace it if necessary. Doing so will save you time and money compared to taking it into a repair shop!

Expired Fuel

One of the most common reasons why your gas-powered pressure washer won’t start is expired fuel. This happens when you leave fuel in the tank for too long without using it, causing it to degrade and lose its effectiveness.

When fuel expires, it can cause problems with your carburetor and clog up your engine’s passageways. This can prevent your engine from starting or cause it to run poorly.

To avoid this issue, always use fresh fuel whenever possible and make sure to add a stabilizer if you plan on storing your pressure washer for an extended period of time.

If you suspect that bad fuel is causing issues with your pressure washer, drain the old fuel out of the tank and replace it with fresh gasoline. You may also need to clean or replace any parts that have been affected by degraded fuel.

By taking care of your pressure washer’s fuel system, you’ll help ensure that it starts easily every time you need to use it.

Electric Pressure Washer: 5 Common Reason Why Your Pressure Washer Won’t Start

Electric pressure washers are a great alternative to gas-powered ones, but they can also experience starting issues. Here are five common reasons why your electric pressure washer may not start.

Thermal Overload

One of the most common reasons why your electric pressure washer won’t start is due to a thermal overload. This happens when you overwork your machine by using it for an extended period, causing its motor to heat up beyond safe levels.

When the thermal sensor detects that the motor has reached an unsafe temperature, it will shut off power to prevent any damage. This is a safety feature designed to protect not just your pressure washer but also yourself from potential harm.

To fix this issue, let your machine cool down for about 15-30 minutes before attempting to restart it. Make sure that you’re not using too much power on other appliances simultaneously as this can cause further issues with electrical circuitry.

If you experience frequent thermal overload shutdowns, then consider taking shorter breaks between uses or investing in a more powerful pressure washer model capable of handling longer and tougher cleaning jobs without overheating.

The Tripping GFCI

One of the common reasons why your electric pressure washer won’t start is due to a tripping GFCI. But what exactly is a GFCI? A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI for short, is an electrical safety device that shuts off power when it detects an imbalance between incoming and outgoing current.

If the GFCI in your pressure washer keeps tripping, this means there’s likely a problem with either the wiring or one of the components. Before attempting any repairs yourself, ensure that you’re following proper safety procedures and have turned off all power sources.

Firstly, check if there are any exposed wires that could be causing a ground fault. If so, cover them immediately with electrical tape or replace damaged wires entirely.

Another possible cause of a tripping GFCI is water getting into areas where it shouldn’t be – such as loose connections or through small cracks in insulation. Ensure all parts are properly sealed before testing again.

If none of these solutions work and your machine still won’t start despite having no visible issues – it may be time to call in professional help from an experienced technician who can diagnose more complex problems.

The Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker is a safety feature in electric pressure washers that automatically shuts off the power when an electrical overload occurs. This could happen due to a faulty motor, damaged wiring or using too many extension cords.

When the circuit breaker trips, it interrupts the flow of electricity and prevents damage to your pressure washer and potential harm to yourself. However, if your pressure washer won’t start, you should always check the circuit breaker first before assuming anything else is wrong.

To reset your circuit breaker, unplug all components from the outlet and wait for 5-10 minutes. Then, locate the circuit breaker on your electric panel box and flip it back on. Plug everything back in and try starting up your pressure washer again.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to contact a professional electrician or bring your pressure washer in for repairs. It’s important never to ignore or tamper with a tripped circuit breaker as it can lead to serious injury or damage.

Incorrect Outlet

Another reason why your electric pressure washer won’t start is due to an incorrect outlet. Electric pressure washers require a specific voltage and amperage to operate effectively, and plugging them into the wrong outlet can lead to issues.

Firstly, check if the outlet you’re using matches the required specifications listed in the user manual. If it doesn’t match, then you might need to consider getting an adapter or finding another suitable outlet.

Furthermore, make sure that there aren’t any other appliances drawing power from the same circuit as your pressure washer. Overloading a circuit can cause your GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) or breaker to trip repeatedly, preventing your pressure washer from starting up properly.

Always use outdoor-rated extension cords if necessary. Indoor extension cords are not designed for outdoor use and may be unsafe when exposed to moisture or rain.

By ensuring that you’re using the correct outlet with enough power capacity and avoiding overloading circuits or using indoor extension cords outdoors will help ensure that your electric pressure washer starts smoothly every time!

Damaged Fuse

A damaged fuse is another potential reason why your electric pressure washer won’t start. The fuse acts as a safety feature to protect the machine from power surges or electrical malfunctions. When the fuse gets damaged, it disrupts the flow of electricity and causes the pressure washer to shut down.

To check if you have a blown fuse, locate the fuse box in your machine and inspect each one for any signs of damage or discoloration. If you find a faulty fuse, replace it with an identical one.

It’s important to note that using a different type of fuse can cause serious damage to your pressure washer or even pose a fire hazard. So always make sure to use only recommended fuses for your specific model.

In order to avoid damaging fuses in general, try not to overload electrical outlets or extension cords when using your electric pressure washer. Use proper precautions such as grounding plugs and GFCI-protected circuits when possible.

Why won’t a pressure washer start after sitting?

One of the most common problems that pressure washer owners face is when their machines won’t start after sitting for a while. If you’re in this situation, there are several reasons why your pressure washer might not be starting up.

Firstly, it’s possible that the fuel has gone stale or evaporated over time. This can cause issues with the carburetor and make it difficult for the engine to start properly. To avoid this issue, always use fresh fuel and try not to let your machine sit unused for extended periods.

Another reason could be a clogged carburetor or fuel filter. These components can become blocked by debris over time which can prevent fuel from reaching the engine efficiently. Regular maintenance and cleaning of these parts will help keep them in good working order.

It’s also important to check if there’s enough oil in your engine as low levels can damage critical parts like pistons resulting in no-starts.

Moisture build-up inside the engines cylinder walls due to long storage times without proper preparation such as draining gas tank/lines before storage leading rust formation on internal metal surfaces causing compression loss making it hard for an engine to crank up itself again after prolonged durations of being dormant.

By checking these areas first, you should be able to identify any issues preventing your pressure washer from starting after sitting unused for a period of time.

Why won’t a pressure washer start after running out of gas?

Running out of gas may seem like a simple issue to fix, but it can actually cause significant problems for your pressure washer. When you run out of gas and try to start your pressure washer again, there may be air pockets in the fuel lines that prevent proper fuel flow. This can ultimately lead to a failure of the engine to start.

Additionally, when running on low or empty tanks, impurities from the bottom of the tank are drawn into the carburetor which causes blockages and clogging leading to poor performance or non-starting.

If this is the case with your pressure washer, then you will need to refill it with fresh gasoline and purge any air pockets by priming its system before starting again. Always remember not overfill as too much gas could flood your carburetor.

In order to avoid this problem altogether try routinely checking your fuel level gauge before using it; making sure that enough gas is present so that impurities don’t enter into engine parts causing damage over time.

How do you check for spark on a pressure washer?

In summary, a pressure washer that won’t start can be frustrating and time-consuming. However, with the right knowledge and troubleshooting steps, you can quickly get your machine back up and running.

For gas pressure washers(vs), a clogged carburetor or faulty spark plug could be the culprit. Checking the flywheel key and ensuring fuel is not expired are also crucial steps to take.

On the other hand, for electric pressure washers, issues such as thermal overload or a tripping GFCI may prevent it from starting. Double-checking the circuit breaker, outlet compatibility, and fuse status should also be part of your diagnostic process.

If you’re unsure whether your pressure washer has an ignition problem or not producing enough power to start—checking for spark using special tools like a spark tester will help identify any problems in seconds!


After discussing the common reasons why your pressure washer won’t start, it’s clear that there are several factors that can contribute to this issue. Whether you have a gas or electric pressure washer, each has its own set of potential problems.

When dealing with a gas pressure washer, a clogged carburetor is often the culprit for starting issues. Additionally, faulty spark plugs and flywheel keys as well as expired fuel can also cause problems.


  • Lucas

    Hi I am, a passionate and self-sufficient ‘USA’ resident who never depends on others to clean cars, other vehicles, decks, patios, driveways, sidewalks, and the exterior of my house. When I’m not busy always love to research new techniques to improve my cleaning skills and spend time maintaining pressure washers to keep them in top condition.

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