Making Smarter Landscaping Choices

Troubleshooting Fuel Problems With A Pressure Washer

Most pressure washers are powered by small engines that engage the system to pressurize the water. The engines are vulnerable to many of the same issues that your car engine would be, and they can lead to serious problems with system operation. Since pressure washers are usually only used in brief increments for projects, one of the most common problems is the fuel delivery system. If you have a pressure washer that's been sitting a while, here's what you need to know about fuel delivery problems.

How to Know There's a Fuel Problem

If you try to start your pressure washer and it doesn't respond, try spraying starting fuel directly into the carburetor. If it starts and then stalls shortly after, that's an indication that the pressure washer isn't getting fuel. Since the fuel in a pressure washer is usually gravity-fed, the first thing to check is the fuel lines. Stale fuel and fuel that's clogged with debris can both interfere with your fuel flow. Place a bucket under the fuel line where it attaches to the carburetor. Then, disconnect the line with a small wrench. If no fuel comes out, that means the line is clogged. Replace the line to see if it fixes the problem.

Dealing With Stale Fuel

When you leave a pressure washer sitting for an extended period of time, the gasoline turns stale. In this process, it can congeal in a process that's often called varnishing. Varnishing is a serious concern for small engines because it can affect all of the intricate parts, including the carburetor, the injection jets, the feed lines and other parts. If your pressure washer doesn't start when you pull the rope, even if you've tried starting fluid, the fuel system may be congealed. Drain the fuel tank, empty the carburetor, and flush the whole thing with water. Scrub the inside surfaces that you can get to with a soft brush and a carburetor cleaner. Then, once it's completely dry, you can reassemble it and fill it with fresh fuel.

Addressing an Old Carburetor

An old carburetor can lead to a lot of fuel delivery issues. The carburetor may have residue and debris inside that's contaminating the fuel. This can lead to stale, cloudy fuel that's inefficient and may actually damage the pressure washer. You'll want to either rebuild the carburetor or have it replaced to avoid this problem. A simple rebuild and thorough cleaning should be sufficient, but if it's particularly old, a new one may be a good investment.

For more information, contact Best Choice Pressure Cleaning and Landscaping or similar company.


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