Why Wont My Pressure Washer Stay Running? 6 Surprising Reasons!

Are you looking for answers to why wont my pressure washer stay running? No need to search anymore. This article will explain all the main reasons for your pressure washer stalling. 

A pressure washer is an essential appliance used for cleaning. It is used for cleaning the: exterior of the house, sidewalks, driveways, garage, parking lots, roof, drain, outdoor furniture, cars, trucks, and even boats. You can get rid of tough stains and buildup dust and debris in no time. A pressure washer saves your time and energy. 

why wont my pressure washer stay running

A pressure washer makes your work easier. You no longer have to use a simple broom and brush to clean the surfaces. However, it is expected that appliances will encounter defective parts at some point. Like any other appliance, pressure washers can also develop rust, dust buildup, or damaged parts. In addition, if your pressure washer stops working abruptly, it will create many problems. Therefore, it is essential to understand why your pressure washer won’t stay running.  


Causes Of Why Your Pressure Washer Won’t Stay Running 

The answer to your question of why wont my pressure washer stay running is given in detail below.  


Cause #1. Basic issues 

Before looking into specific pressure washer components, check the essential components. First, check whether the pressure washer is connected to the power supply or not.  

Examine the fuel chamber and the fuel inside. Sometimes old fuel can cause your pressure washer to stop running. If your pressure is not in use for a long time, make sure to change fuel before running it.  

Additionally, check the water source to which the pressure washer is attached. Typically, a pressure washer requires a 20 PSI water supply. Plus, check the hose for bends or curves. If the pressure washer hose is not straight without any bends, it will stop running. 


Cause #2. Clogged air filter 

The clogged air filter can cause your pressure to stop running. The air filter prevents dust and debris from entering the pressure washer. If the dust finds its way inside the pressure washer it can damage the internal components. 

A clogged air filter will prevent air from entering into the pressure washer. Air is necessary for the combustion of fuel. When the air fails to enter the pressure washer, the engine will get too much fuel and stop working. You will have to wash or replace the air filter. Use a cleaner to wash out accumulated dust and debris from the air filter. In case the air filter is damaged, buy a new one. You may also want to read about how to unclog a pressure washer.


Cause #3. Clogged carburetor 

A clogged carburetor is the most common cause of pressure washers not working. Usually, the carburetor gets clogged by fuel. When the pressure washer is not used for a long time, the fuel evaporates and form a thick sticky substance which can build up and clog the carburetor. The clogged carburetor will prevent the engine from working smoothly. When the carburetor is clogged, you will have to clean it. Then, disconnect the carburetor and drain the leftover fuel from it.  

Draining all the fuel will remove the underlining impurities and old fuel along with it. The presence of yellow-colored fuel indicates that the fuel is flat and old. Then separate all the carburetor components and clean them using a carburetor cleaner. If the carburetor is damaged or has rust, replace it immediately.

It may also be a good idea to read about how to clean the carburetor on Briggs and Stratton pressure washer.


Cause #4. Dirty fuel cap 

As the engine consumes the fuel, the quantity of fuel in the chamber decreases. To accommodate that, the fuel cap has a little hole that lets the air into the chamber. If this hole in the fuel cap becomes clogged, air will not be able to enter the chamber. This will result in a vapor lock. This blocks the fuel supply to the carburetor, resulting in the engine freeze. To investigate the clogged fuel cap, slightly open the cap and turn on the pressure washer. Opening the cap makes your pressure washer work, indicating a clogged fuel cap. Clean the cap using cleaner and if it is damaged, replace it. 


Cause #5. Jammed air filter 

It is possible that the fuel filter is jammed. When you keep the same fuel in a pressure washer for a long period, it will block the fuel filter. As the fuel evaporates, it produces thick, sticky material that clogs the fuel filter. The jammed fuel filet will stop the pressure washer from working. Emptying the old fuel from the fuel chamber and replacing the clogged fuel filter is important. 


Cause #6. Damaged unloader valve 

A damaged unloader can also prevent your pressure washer from running. The unloader redirects the water stream from the outside of the pump to the inside. It causes water to circulate in the pump: so you can spray the water anytime. If the unloader valve fails to maintain the water pressure, the engine will stop running. Check the pressure setting of the unloader valve. When the position of the unloader valve is high, the pressure washer will turn off when the trigger is released. You will have to adjust the valve to maintain the water pressure. It may be helpful to read about how to adjust unloader valve on pressure washer.


It’s A Wrap! 

At this point, you must have the answer to your question about why wont my pressure washer stay running? The pressure washer requires good maintenance and care. Whenever your pressure washer stops running, always check the essential components first. If you cannot fix the pressure washer, take it to a professional to repair it. Anyway, read how to start a pressure washer!

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