Your Pressure Washer Won't Start? Possible Reasons Why and How to Handle Them

A pressure washer is an essential tool you can use to maintain cleanliness of a higher level around your home. You can even use it to remove unwanted debris or dirt from the sides of your property or fencing. Nonetheless, you can only enjoy the benefits of this handy tool if it's functioning properly. For this reason, having knowledge on how to troubleshoot your pressure washer as well as repairing it is essential. One of the issues with pressure washers is failure to start. When this happens, here are possible things to look at and how you can deal with them.

Primer Pump

If there's both fuel and oil in your pressure washer, check the primer pump because this may be the reason your pressure washer won't start. Try pumping the fuel primer for a couple of times for the initiatory start-up as well as any other start-up and monitor what happens next. If the washer still doesn't start after multiple attempts, you need to let the engine sit for a while because it may have been flooded. Try pulling off the choke gradually while getting the engine going. If it doesn't work out, try the following options.

Ignition Coil

If there's a defect in the ignition coil, your engine may not start. Nonetheless, before replacing it, make sure that the spark plug is effective or working properly. To do this, first inspect it thoroughly for any damages. If you observe cracks on the porcelain insulator, the buildup of carbon at the electrodes, or if the electrodes appear burnt away, you need to replace the plug. Alternatively, you can determine whether the spark plug is defective by using a tester. When the engine cranks, you should observe strong sparks between the terminals of the tester if it's effective.

Lead Wire to Engine Spark Plug

A loose lead wire may be another simple reason why your pressure washer won't start. To handle this, you will have to switch off the engine first and then, with a pair of gloves, find the connector end and push it down to ensure that the wire touches the spark plug. Unless the problem is elsewhere, this easy procedure can have your pressure washer running again.


If you leave fuel in your pressure washer for too long, some of the fuel elements may evaporate and cause the fuel to become sticky, which can clog the carburetor. If this is the problem, get a carburetor cleaner and clean it or simply replace it.

If you can't seem to pinpoint the problem and don't have the time or money to get it repaired, consider hiring a pressure cleaning service until you're able to get your pressure washer repaired.