Pressure Washer Won’t Start with Water On – Best Troubleshooting Tips and Fixes

Pressure Washer Won't Start with Water On

Are you experiencing an issue where your pressure washer won’t start with water on? well, I have been there before, and it is a common Pressure washer problem.

But then, they are several reasons why a pressure washer won’t start with water on. The first thing you need to do is identify the problem or cause of your pressure washer not starting with water on, after that, you can easily fix the washer.

Some of the reasons why your pressure washer won’t start with water on is because it is having a Clogged water filter or inlet, Fuel-related issues, carburetors problem, etc.

In this article, I will list and also explain some of the causes of pressure washers not wanting to start with water on and how to fix each of these problems.

Remember, you need to first of all identify the problem of the washer before you can fix it and I will also be explaining that in this article.

Pressure Washer Won’t Start with Water On – Common Reason and Problems

Pressure Washer Won't Start with Water On

The case of the pressure washer not starting with water on is similar to that of when a pressure washer only runs on choke, this is because they both have a lot to do with the engine and carburetor.

This is because when a carburetor is clogged it won’t allow the engine to start, especially with water on.

However, below are some of the reasons why your pressure washer won’t start with water on and how to fix them

  1. Clogged Carburetor / Carburetor Problems
  2. Defective Spark Plug
  3. Water Supply
  4. Power supply issues
  5. Air trapped in the system
  6. Dirty Fuel Filter
  7. Defective Ignition Coil
  8. Broken Flywheel Key
  9. Old Fuel / Fuel-related issues (for gas-powered pressure washers)
  10. Excessive Pump Pressure
  11. Overheated Engine
  12. Faulty or clogged pressure washer components

The video below from RepairClinic.com talks about the top 4 reasons why your pressure washer won’t start with water on.

Clogged Carburetor / Carburetor Problems:

The carburetor is responsible for mixing fuel and air in the engine. If it becomes clogged with dirt or debris, it can disrupt the fuel flow and prevent the engine from starting.

Cleaning or repairing the carburetor may be necessary to resolve this issue.

How to Fix

  • Turn off the pressure washer and disconnect the spark plug wire for safety.
  • Locate the carburetor and remove it from the engine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Clean the carburetor thoroughly using carburetor cleaner and a small brush to remove any debris or clogs
  • Inspect the carburetor gaskets and replace them if damaged.
  • Reassemble the carburetor and reinstall it onto the engine.
  • Reconnect the spark plug wire and try starting the pressure washer.

Defective Spark Plug:

The spark plug ignites the fuel-air mixture in the engine. If the spark plug is faulty or worn out, it won’t generate the necessary spark to start the engine. Replacing the spark plug with a new one can often solve this problem.

How to Fix

  • Locate the spark plug and disconnect the spark plug wire.
  •  Remove the spark plug using a spark plug socket or wrench.
  • Inspect the spark plug for signs of damage, wear, or fouling. Replace it if necessary.
  • Check the spark plug gap and adjust it according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Install a new spark plug and tighten it securely.
  • Reconnect the spark plug wire and try starting the pressure washer.

 Water Supply:

Ensure that the water supply is properly connected to the pressure washer and that the water source is turned on. Check for any kinks, blockages, or leaks in the hose that could hinder water flow.

A consistent and adequate water supply is crucial for the pressure washer to function properly.

How to Fix

  • Ensure that the water supply is turned on and flowing properly.
  • Inspect the hose for any kinks, blockages, or leaks. Straighten out any kinks and clear any blockages.
  •  If there are leaks, tighten the connections or replace any damaged parts.
  • Reconnect the water supply to the pressure washer and try starting it again.

Power Supply Issues:

Make sure the pressure washer is connected to a power source and that the power switch is turned on. Check the power cord for any damage or fraying. If your pressure washer is gas-powered, ensure sufficient fuel and the fuel valve is open.

How to Fix

  • Check if the pressure washer is properly connected to a power source.
  • Verify that the power switch is turned on.
  • Examine the power cord for any damage or fraying. If damaged, replace the cord.
  • For gas-powered pressure washers, ensure sufficient fuel and that the fuel valve is open.
  • Troubleshoot any electrical issues or consult a professional if necessary.

Air Trapped in the System:

Air pockets in the water pump can prevent the pressure washer from starting. To resolve this, turn off the pressure washer, disconnect the water supply, and squeeze the trigger on the spray gun to release any trapped air. Reconnect the water failing the pressure washer again.

How to Fix

  •  Turn off the pressure washer and disconnect the water supply.
  •  Squeeze the trigger on the spray gun to release any trapped air.
  •  Reconnect the water supply and ensure a steady flow of water.
  • Try starting the pressure washer again.

Dirty Fuel Filter:

The fuel filter prevents dirt and debris from reaching the engine. If it becomes clogged, fuel flow to the machine can be restricted, causing starting problems. Cleaning or replacing the fuel filter can often solve this issue.

How to Fix

  • Locate the fuel filter and remove it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Clean the fuel filter by rinsing it with clean fuel or replacing it with a new one if heavily clogged.
  • Reinstall the fuel filter in its original position.
  • Check for any other fuel line obstructions or clogs and clear them if necessary.
  • Try starting the pressure washer.

Defective Ignition Coil:

The ignition coil generates the electrical spark required to ignite the fuel in the engine. If the ignition coil is faulty, it won’t produce the necessary spark, resulting in a failure to start. Replacing the ignition coil may be necessary.

How to Fix

  • Disconnect the spark plug wire for safety.
  • Locate the ignition coil and replace it with a new one according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Reconnect the spark plug wire and try starting the pressure washer.

Broken Flywheel Key:

The flywheel key is a small metal piece that connects the flywheel to the engine’s crankshaft. If it breaks, the engine timing can be thrown off, causing starting issues. Replacing the flywheel key is usually required to resolve this problem.

How to Fix

  • Disconnect the spark plug wire and remove the starter housing.
  • Locate the flywheel and inspect the key for damage or shearing.
  • Replace the broken flywheel key with a new one of the correct size.
  • Reinstall the starter housing and reconnect the spark plug wire.
  • Try starting the pressure washer.

Old Fuel / Fuel-related Issues (for gas-powered pressure washers):

Stale or contaminated fuel can cause starting problems. Drain the old fuel and replace it with fresh, clean fuel. Also, ensure that the fuel pump is functioning correctly and not overheating.

How to Fix

  • Drain the old fuel from the tank and dispose of it properly.
  • Refill the tank with fresh, clean fuel that is recommended for your pressure washer.
  • Check the fuel pump for any malfunctions or overheating. Replace if necessary.
  • Ensure the fuel valve is open and the fuel line is clear of any obstructions.
  • Try starting the pressure washer.

Excessive Pump Pressure:

If the pressure washer’s pump pressure is set too high, it can create excessive resistance for the engine, making it difficult to start. Adjusting the pressure to a suitable level can help resolve this issue.

How to Fix

  •  Adjust the pressure settings on the pressure washer to a suitable level according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Lower the pressure to a safe and manageable range.
  • Try starting the pressure washer again.

Overheated Engine:

If the engine has been running for an extended period or under heavy load, it may become overheated. In such cases, the engine’s built-in safety mechanisms can prevent it from starting until it has cooled down. Allow the engine to cool off and then try starting it again.

How to Fix

  • Turn off the pressure washer and allow the engine to cool down for a sufficient period.
  • Check for any signs of overheating, such as smoke or unusual smells.
  • Once the engine has cooled, try starting the pressure washer again.

Faulty or clogged pressure washer components:

The pressure washer’s pump, unloader valve, or other internal components might be malfunctioning or blocked. If these components are damaged or clogged, it can prevent the pressure washer from starting. In such cases, it may be necessary to consult the manufacturer’s instructions or contact a professional for repairs.

How to Fix

  • If you suspect faulty or clogged components, such as the pump or other internal parts, consult the manufacturer’s instructions for troubleshooting steps.
  •  If necessary, contact the manufacturer’s customer support or a professional for further assistance or repairs.

Remember to always refer to the user manual or consult the manufacturer’s customer support for specific troubleshooting steps related to your pressure washer model.

Call An Engineer

With the steps and procedures I have written in this article, you can easily identify the reason why your Pressure washer won’t start with water on and also fix it using the simple how-to-fix guide I have listed under each problem.

However, in most cases, it is important that you visit or call an engineer to help you fix it if you are not sure of yourself or don’t want to take chances.

FAQ 

Should water be on when starting a pressure washer?

Yes, water should be on when starting a pressure washer. It is essential for proper operation and cooling of the machine.

Why won’t my pressure washer start after running?

There could be various reasons why a pressure washer won’t start after running, such as a clogged carburetor, a faulty spark plug, or an overheated engine. Check these components and follow the troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue.

 Why is my pressure washer hard to pull start?

A pressure washer can be hard to pull start due to several factors, including a clogged carburetor, low fuel, or engine compression issues. Cleaning the carburetor, ensuring sufficient fuel, or seeking professional assistance may help resolve the problem.

 How do I get my pressure washer to work again?

To get your pressure washer working again, start by checking the water supply and power connections. Ensure the fuel is clean and the spark plug is in good condition. Troubleshoot and fix any identified issues, following the manufacturer’s instructions or seeking professional help if needed.

What happens if you run a washer without water?

Running a pressure washer without water can cause severe damage to the pump. It may overheat and result in malfunction or failure. Always make sure there is a steady water supply before operating the pressure washer.

Why won’t my pressure washer start with water on?

There could be several reasons for this issue. Some common causes include a clogged carburetor, a defective spark plug, water supply problems, power supply issues, air trapped in the system, dirty fuel filter, faulty ignition coil, broken flywheel key, old fuel or fuel-related issues (for gas-powered washers), excessive pump pressure, an overheated engine, or faulty or clogged pressure washer components.

How can I identify the problem?

To identify the problem, you can start by checking for visible signs of clogs, damage, or leaks. Additionally, inspect the spark plug, fuel filter, and other relevant components for wear or malfunction. Ensure the water supply and power connections are properly connected and functioning. If needed, consult the user manual for troubleshooting steps specific to your pressure washer model.

 How can I fix a clogged carburetor?

To fix a clogged carburetor, turn off the pressure washer and disconnect the spark plug wire for safety. Remove the carburetor according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Clean it thoroughly using carburetor cleaner and a small brush to remove debris or clogs. Inspect the gaskets and replace them if damaged. Reassemble and reinstall the carburetor, then reconnect the spark plug wire and try starting the pressure washer.

Conclusion

If your pressure washer won’t start with water on, there are several common reasons and ways to fix it:

  • Check for a clogged carburetor and clean it.
  • Replace a defective spark plug.
  • Ensure proper water supply and fix any issues with connections or blockages.
  • Verify the power supply and fuel for gas-powered washers.
  • Release trapped air in the system by disconnecting the water supply and squeezing the spray gun trigger.
  • Clean or replace a dirty fuel filter.
  • Replace a defective ignition coil.
  • Fix a broken flywheel key for engine timing.
  • Use fresh fuel and address fuel-related issues for gas-powered washers.
  • Adjust excessive pump pressure.
  • Allow the engine to cool down if it overheats.
  • Seek professional help if there are faulty or clogged components.

If unsure or uncomfortable, it’s best to consult an engineer for assistance.