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You are watching: Pressure washer won't start after running out of gas


Pressure washers are extremely beneficial tools that make cleaning difficult stains fast and easy. It’s a handy weapon to have in your arsenal against dirt and also grime. When it’s nice to have actually a press washer in her garage so you deserve to grab it and go anytime it’s needed, periodically you pull it out and find the your press washer won’t start, won’t crank, or won’t stay running.

What execute you execute if your push washer won’t start, crank, or stay running? Troubleshoot your pressure washer to determine what the trouble is. Make sure the strength supply is functioning or the gas is fresh. Old, difficult fuel might clog the carburetor. Check that the spark plugs room working, and the filters space clean. Examine the whole unit because that leaks.

Though straightforward in concept, push washers are complicated machines. There are many materials that should work in tandem in order because that the maker to function properly. Some of the parameters for success space so an easy (the push washer have to be rotate on, for instance) the they are simple to overlook. The way you discover the unit have the right to narrow down the potential fixes.

What to Look for and also How to start It


When troubleshooting your press washer, it would be helpful to be able to eliminate some things right out of the gate. Luckily, depending on what condition you find your machine, girlfriend can focus your search on details potential problems.

If the pressure washer has actually been sitting for a lengthy time, for example, the fuel could have damaged down and clogged the carburetor. If the won’t fire, it might be the spark plug or ignition coil. If the starts increase fine however won’t stay running, it could not be obtaining the appropriate ratio that gas and air as result of clogged filters. Understanding what to look because that will save a many time.

Start by checking the Basics

Before checking on details problem areas, begin by making certain you aren’t overlooking something extremely basic.

Make sure:

Pressure washer is plugged in (if electric) or has sufficient fresh gasoline (if gas powered)Turned onProperly associated to a water resource (that is rotate on)There space no kinks or leaks in the hose

Only once you space sure friend aren’t overlooking something straightforward can you begin to investigate certain failures that could reason your press washer to not start, crank, or remain running.

Winterize a press Washer

Gas powered pressure washers have an engine that powers the pump. Like various other tools whose engines sit idle every winter (such as your lawn mower) it requirements to be appropriately winterized in order to avoid damages during the cold months.

Winterizing a pressure washer has making sure every one of the tanks and also hoses are fully drained that water and detergents. When what freezes the expands. Any type of water left in your press washer could expand sufficient to damage the interior component the the pump, hose, or tanks.

Fuel should also be drained from her gas-powered press washer prior to storing the in her garage end the winter. Not just is over there the risk of expansion, yet gasoline breaks under over the food of month in storage. Gasoline can separate right into its component ingredient. As soon as the much less viscous liquids evaporate, what is left is a special tar that deserve to clog your washer’s carburetor.

Check the Washer’s Spark Plug

Inspecting your push washer’s sparks plugs is always a good place come start because they are easy to inspect and also cheap and easy to change if they room the problem. Locate and also disconnect the terminals indigenous the spark plug.

Often, a visual inspection is sufficient to determine if the spark plug is the problem. V your naked eye you can see if:

The porcelain insulator is damagedThe electrode has heavy carbon buildup ~ above it or is in disrepair

If any kind of of these exist, simply put in a spark plug.

Even if the spark plug shows up to be fine, it can still be defective. There space special devices that deserve to test to see if a spark plug is working. When the engine is cranking, you need to see a strong spark between the tester’s terminals. If there is no spark, change the spark plug. If there is a spark, the spark plug is working fine. Check that every one of the relations are secured in place.

Check the Ignition Coil

If the spark plug is working, the problem can be the ignition coil, which sends voltage to the spark plug while the engine is running. A defective ignition coil might prevent the push washer from starting.

The ignition coil have the right to be tested with an ignition coil tester. If it is defective, it needs to be replaced. If the spark plug and also the ignition coil are both operating properly, the difficulty is elsewhere.

Check the Carburetor

If your press washer won’t start after winter, there’s a an excellent chance the problem could be the fuel to be left in the engine. Over time, gasoline can separate and also some the the contents can evaporate, leave behind a thick, sticky substance that have the right to clog the carburetor, which consequently can reason the engine to no start.

If this is the problem, you may have the ability to clean the carburetor with a carburetor cleaner which is specially designed to break down this sludge. If this does not work, you may have to rebuild or even replace the whole carburetor.

Even if the fuel hasn’t clogged the carburetor, it can still be as well old. While it takes a couple of months for gasoline to become a thick, sticky tar, it begins to break down and end up being less effective after only one month. When possible, friend shouldn’t usage gas that is an ext than 30 job old.

Checking the Washer when the Water is On


Your push washer has actually a pump that pressures water from your water right into a tank, thereby producing the water press that friend will usage to clean surfaces. Some pumps will certainly not start unless they space primed, meaning that the hoses room filled through water v no wait pockets. In part cases, waiting in the water tap will stop the pressure washer from starting.

Check that the Pump is Primed

You’ll desire to make sure that friend pump is primed. Below are a couple of steps is you should prime the pump.

Start by connecting her garden water tap to the press washer and transforming on the water.Connect your high-pressure hose and also wand.Pull the trigger on the wand to allow trapped air to escape.With the water running, host the wand’s trigger open through one hand (pointed in a safe direction) when you begin the engine.

This should enable the air push to relax from the hose, enabling the engine to start.

When you space done making use of your pressure washer, remember that the tank and hose room still filled v high push water. Girlfriend will have to release it. Here are the steps.

Turn the engine on and then rotate off and disconnect the garden hose.Hold the cause on the wand down to relax pressure.Disconnect the wand and high-pressure hose and also drain the water out prior to storing.

Checking the Washer after ~ it has actually Out of Gas


Perhaps your pressure washer was functioning perfectly fine. You removed the stain indigenous the driveway cement, cleared the grime from the siding, and was about to clean the patio furniture once you ran out of gas. It have to be a straightforward fix, right? placed in more gas, start it up, and continue together you were. After girlfriend refill the tank, however, the push washer won’t start. What gives?

Check the Fuel Pump

Many things have the right to go wrong once you run your push washer’s tank the end of gas, i m sorry can reason it no to start ago up when you placed gas in it. The final dregs that fuel might be old and also dirty and also clog the carburetor, for example, and you would have to clean or replace or rebuild the carburetor.

Some fuel pumps are cooled by the gas the flows through them. As soon as the pressure washer runs the end of gas, then, the fuel pump overheats and needs to be replaced.

You can try to get the press washer started again by removing the spark plug, putting around a tablespoon of petrol or lighter fluid in the socket, replacing and reattaching the spark plug, and also trying to begin it. Occasionally wetting the bowl in this way is sufficient to begin it up again after the fuel pump has melted dry.

Checking the Washer after ~ it has Been Sitting because that a While


It’s always hard to perform something girlfriend haven’t done in a if This is as true for pressure washers as it is because that people. Simply as you would have actually a difficult time acquisition a quiz ~ above algebra or state capitals, your push washer can not begin after sitting for also long.

Try a song Up

You’ll want to perform a finish tune up to see what the trouble is. To execute this you’ll need to:

Make certain the fuel and also air filters room clean.Test the spark plug and ignition coil.Check the flywheel key.Check for any leaks or clearly shows damage

A sitting push washer is prone to all kinds the wear and also tear.

Check the Carburetor

If the pressure washer has actually been sitting for a while, you’ll want to take it extra care to inspect the carburetor. If fuel was left in the engine, it might have deteriorated end time. Together gasoline separates, come contents evaporate away, leaving a thick, difficult goo that deserve to clog the carburetor.

If this is the problem, friend may have the ability to clear the blockage through a carburetor cleaner (but don’t usage this if the carburetor’s needle valve pointer is rubber together this would corrode the valve). If not, you may need come rebuild or even replace the carburetor.

Checking the Washer once it Gets as well Hot


Another frustrating trouble you may have actually is the your push washer beginning fine as soon as cold, and also works because that a while, however if you should stop for part reason, the engine will certainly not start again while it is quiet warm. If you wait a while until the unit cools off it starts up again. This deserve to be frustrating and waste a many your time if you are trying to acquire a job done.

Check the Carburetor Screw Settings

The press washer engine’s carburetor is responsible because that mixing fuel and also air at the ideal ratio in order for the engine to operation properly. If there is too much fuel and not enough air, the fuel won’t burn because combustion requires oxygen. If over there is too much air and also not enough fuel the engine will not run due to the fact that there isn’t enough fuel come burn and the waiting will essentially blow the out.

In enhancement to being clogged through sticky, old fuel remnants, the carburetor could be changed to wrong settings. The balance is so breakable that that is feasible that the engine beginning fine as soon as the engine is cool, yet when the engine has actually been running for a when the parts are hot, the metal parts expand, and this is sufficient to throw off the ratio sufficient that the washer won’t start.

You can readjust the setups of your push washer’s engine’s carburetor’s mixture screws. This screws are really sensitive and turning them by even a quarter of a change can have actually dramatic effects. Finding the correct balance is a long procedure of trial and also error, yet it can save girlfriend hundreds or also thousands that dollars if it method not having to change the whole washer.

Check the Exhaust Valve

It could likewise be that when the engine is hot, the metal expands sufficient that the exhaust valve it s okay stuck open. This appears to be pretty rare and hard to diagnose. Instead of the exhaust valve might solve the problem.

Checking Washer After that Has been in Storage because that a While

Any time your pressure washer has remained in storage because that a long time, you might need to perform a track up to obtain it started again.

If your pressure washer won’t begin after it has remained in storage, there are plenty of things that can be wrong. Like other pieces of machinery (as well together your very own body), your push washer works best when supplied regularly. If it sits for also long, the can acquire figuratively (and literally) rusty.

Try a track Up

Make sure every little thing is in functioning order. Check the spark plugs and also ignition coil. Wash or change the fuel and air filters. Make sure it’s filled with fresh gas and oil. It might take a thorough look over to uncover the problem.

Check the Carburetor

Any time a press washer is in storage, it have to be drained of all fuel. ~ a couple of months the gasoline can separate, evaporate, and turn into a thick, sticky sludge that deserve to clog the carburetor. If this has actually happened, it will must be cleaned, rebuilt, or replaced.

Checking the Washer ~ it has Been Running

What might be more frustrating than making use of your press washer and having it suddenly prevent working suddenly. If you driven your washer to the sheet of what it deserve to handle, just to have actually it soon fail top top you, the solution could be much easier than girlfriend think.

Check the Flywheel Key

The flywheel an essential is a small piece of steel that engages the flywheel and also fits inside the crankshaft. The is designed come shear in half if the press within the crankshaft is too good due come some sort of overexertion. Due to the fact that it is in reality designed to break in this way, it is straightforward enough to just replace the flywheel an essential to obtain the pressure washer functioning again.

Checking when Washer Won’t continue to be Running

If you pressure washer start up quickly enough however won’t proceed running so the you deserve to actually use it, there room a whole different set of potential difficulties to examine for.

Check the Fuel Cap

As the press washer runs, fuel native the gas tank is passed with the carburetor and burned in the engine to power the pump. Together gas leaves the tank, air must be allowed to vent in v the fuel cap to fill the boosting amount of north space. If the fuel lid is clogged, air cannot vent in, push builds, and a vapor lock stays clear of gas from moving to the engine.

Therefore, if the fuel cap vent is clogged, gas won’t acquire to the engine, and the engine will certainly stall out. To test if this is the problem, try running your push washer v the fuel cap slightly unscrewed, enabling air come seep in. If this keeps the engine running, clean or change the fuel cap so it can vent properly.

Check the Fuel Filter

We’ve currently discussed how old gas deserve to evaporate and form a sticky, special sludge that deserve to clog the pressure washer’s carburetor. To avoid this, the fuel should pass through a fuel filter. Also if the fuel filter prospered in stopping this tar from getting to the carburetor, it deserve to itself come to be clogged. Make certain the fuel filter is clean or replace it.

Check the wait Filter

The carburetor mixes fuel and air in bespeak to store the engine running. The air filter keeps debris out of this mix however can end up being so clogged that not sufficient air gets through, causing the engine to stall. Make sure the wait filter is clean or change it.

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Check the Spark Arrestor

Your push washer’s engine may have actually a spark arrestor, i beg your pardon is a little screen that stays clear of the engine from emitting sparks. Choose the fuel and also air filters, it need to not it is in clogged in bespeak to work-related properly. If it is, clean it v a wire brush or replace it.