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Common Problems in Pressure Washers

by Walter

Pressure washers can be great tools for cleaning, but they can also be a real pain to get started. Here are a few common problems that people run into when starting their pressure washer, and how to fix them. You may want to click here for more.

Engine won’t start

The most common problem that causes an engine not to start is a bad spark plug. The spark plug is responsible for igniting the fuel in the cylinder and causing it to erupt, turning the crankshaft and starting your engine. There’s no way for fuel to erupt and start your engine if the spark plug isn’t working.

Most pressure washers use spark plugs that can be replaced with basic tools like a socket wrench or screwdriver (depending on the type of plug). If you have trouble getting your pressure washer started, check this first. It may be as simple as replacing one part!

Pressure won’t build up when using the wand

If you’re having trouble building up pressure when using your wand (the part of your pressure washer where you attach things like spray tips or soap dispenser), then check these things first:

  • Make sure there aren’t any leaks in either your hose or attachments
  • The trigger valve is blocked or dirty. This can cause the motor to overheat and could even damage it. To fix this problem, simply remove the trigger valve and soak it in soapy water overnight. Rinse it off with warm water and then blow out any remaining water with compressed air. Take care not to remove the spring inside the trigger valve because this will cause it not to work properly when reinstalled.
  • The solution tank has a leaky nozzle or nozzles at all. If you have multiple nozzles on your pressure washer, make sure that each one is seated properly into its port on the solution tank before starting your unit up again. A leaky nozzle will allow water to escape from underneath it, which can damage your unit’s pump if left unchecked for too long of a period of time.

How to Replace the Sparkplug in a Pressure Washer

The spark plug on a pressure washer is a small but important part of the engine. It provides the spark that ignites the fuel in the combustion chamber, which then causes the engine to run. When the spark plug goes bad, it can cause a loss of power and cause damage to other internal components. Replacing it is relatively easy, though there are some things to keep in mind when doing so.

Step 1: Remove Sparkplug Cap

Remove the sparkplug cap from the top of your engine by unscrewing it with a wrench or socket set. The number of threads per inch (TPI) will be marked on this cap so you can easily find a replacement with matching measurements.

Step 2: Clean Sparkplug Gap

The gap between the center electrode and ground electrode must be cleaned before installing a new sparkplug into place. Use an old toothbrush dipped in carburettor cleaner or brake cleaner for this task. If cleaning does not work, use fine sandpaper instead and rub back and forth until you remove all build-up from this gap area. Make sure that no debris remains inside this gap before installing your new sparkplug.


Many pressure washers are not working as they are supposed to be, they often shoot off and then trigger the fault code showing that there is a problem with the pump inside. Before you get into fixing it, if the pressure washer is brand new, DO NOT try to fix it yourself. Call the manufacturer or a professional to repair it accordingly. This can save your time, money and energy. You should also, have all the necessary tools handy including an owner’s manual or user manual. It will help you troubleshooting without headache and wasted time. If all else fails, check the best pressure washers from the Giraffe tools and collections.

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