The pressure washer is one of the most convenient tools ever made. It makes cleaning easy without you having to scrub for hours just to get the dirt and stains off.
While the pressure washer has always been effective, it is not without flaws. Just like any machine, issues can arise and one of the most common is when the pressure washer will not start even with the water on.
In this guide, we will go through some common reasons why this problem occurs and how to fix it.
Before we start troubleshooting, it is important to mention some safety precautions that you should follow when working on a pressure washer:
- Wear protective gear, including goggles, gloves, and earplugs.
- Make sure the pressure washer is turned off and unplugged.
- Do not touch the high-pressure nozzle or hose while the pressure washer is running.
- Do not lean over the pressure washer while it is running.
Pressure Washer Not Starting with the Water On: Likely Causes
There are several common reasons why a pressure washer may not start with the water on. Here are some of the most common causes:
Clogged water inlet screen: The water inlet screen is a fine mesh screen that is designed to filter out debris from the water before it enters the pressure washer. If the water inlet screen is clogged with debris, it can prevent the water from flowing into the pressure washer, causing it to not start.
Clogged nozzle: The nozzle is a small opening at the end of the high-pressure hose that produces a concentrated stream of water. If the nozzle is clogged with debris, it can restrict the flow of water, causing the pressure washer to not start.
Low water pressure: The pressure washer may not start if the water pressure is too low. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a faulty water pump or a clogged water line.
Faulty unloader valve: The unloader valve is responsible for releasing the pressure in the pump when the trigger is released. If the unloader valve is faulty, the pressure washer may not start.
Failed starter: The starter is a small motor that is responsible for starting the engine of the pressure washer. If the starter fails, this will prevent the pressure washer from starting.
Pressure Washer Not Starting with the Water On:Troubleshooting Steps
Now that we have covered some of the common causes of a pressure washer not starting with water on, let’s go through some troubleshooting steps that you can follow to fix the problem:
Check the water inlet screen: First, check the water inlet screen for debris and clean it if necessary. To do this, turn off the pressure washer and unplug it. Then, locate the water inlet screen (it is usually located near the water inlet hose) and remove any debris that you find.
Check the nozzle: If the water inlet screen is not the problem, then the next thing to check is the nozzle. The nozzle may be clogged with debris, which can restrict the flow of water. To clean the nozzle, turn off the pressure washer and unplug it. Then, locate the nozzle and remove any debris that you find.
Check the water pressure: If the water inlet screen and nozzle are not the problem, then the next thing to check is the water pressure. The pressure washer may not start if the water pressure is too low. To check the water pressure, use a water pressure gauge to measure the pressure at the faucet where you are connecting the pressure washer. If the pressure is too low, you may need to check the water pump or water line for problems.
Check the unloader valve: If the water pressure is not the problem, then the next thing to check is the unloader valve. The unloader valve is responsible for releasing the pressure in the pump when the trigger is released. If the unloader valve is faulty, the pressure washer may not start. To check the unloader valve, turn off the pressure washer and unplug it. Then, locate the unloader valve (it is usually located near the pump) and check if it is functioning properly. If the unloader valve is faulty, it may need to be replaced.
Check the starter: If the unloader valve is not the problem, then the next thing to check is the starter. The starter may fail, preventing the pressure washer from starting. To check the starter, turn off the pressure washer and unplug it. Then, locate the starter (it is usually located near the engine) and check if it is functioning properly. If the starter is faulty, it may need to be replaced.
How To Maintain Your Pressure Washer
To maintain your pressure washer so that it lasts longer, follow these steps:
- Keep the pressure washer clean. After each use, remove any dirt or debris from the unit. This will help prevent damage to the engine and other components.
- Store the pressure washer properly. When not in use, store the pressure washer in a dry, protected area. This will help prevent rust and other forms of damage.
- Check the manufacturer’s guidelines. Each pressure washer is different, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance. This may include checking the oil level, replacing the spark plug, and cleaning the air filter.
- Use the pressure washer as intended. Don’t use the pressure washer for tasks it wasn’t designed for, as this can lead to damage. For example, don’t use it to clean surfaces that it isn’t meant to handle, such as wood or glass.
- Protect the pressure washer from freezing. If you live in a cold climate, be sure to winterize your pressure washer to protect it from freezing temperatures. This may involve adding antifreeze to the system or storing the unit in a warm, protected area.
By following these steps, you can help extend the life of your pressure washer and keep it running smoothly for years to come.