How to Start a Pressure Washer

How to Start a Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are very useful; they provide quick and dramatic results when it comes to cleaning driveways, sidings, and even your car. They are powered by either gas or electric motors which, in turn, runs a pump that pressurizes the water, forcing it out through a spray wand.

What you need to know is that the higher the water pressure, the better it is for tackling tough cleaning jobs. Gas and electric motor powered washers require a constant supply of water which means it needs to be connected to your home supply.

Now that you have your own (pressure washer) and are ready to embrace better cleaning practices with improved technology, it is important to know how to start and stop your pressure washer.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you learn how to start a pressure washer.

Understand the type of controls

When you invest in a pressure washer, the reasons for doing so may vary between personal and business use. Regardless of the type of use, it is important to understand the controls. For home and personal use, it is common to invest in a single-hose assembly which means you will be more careful not to leave the equipment running.

This is why manual control is used for starting and stopping the washer. For industrial washers, automatic controls are used because automatic controls ensure safety shutdowns and prevent the need for unscheduled maintenance.

Check the oil

Before starting your pressure washer, it is wise to check the oil to ensure that the oil is clean and at the correct level.

Begin by setting the pressure washer on a flat surface; this ensures that your engine stays level. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and reinsert; remember not to screw in the dipstick. Lift the dipstick and check the oil level. It should be slightly at or above the indication line.

The oil needs to be a transparent gold color. If it’s dark or black, change the oil. To purchase the correct oil type, consult the instruction manual that came with the washer.

Attach the high-pressure hose

Start by correctly uncoiling the hose to prevent any kinks and allow a good flow of water. Securely fasten the high-pressure hose to the pressure washer pump and trigger handle. Once you have completed this, connect the garden hose. This will provide an uninterrupted supply of water while cleaning.

Connect the garden hose to the pressure washer and turn on your faucet all the way. It is important to inspect your garden hose for leaks or kinks. If there are any, repair the leaks and remove the kinks. Squeeze the trigger on your high-pressure hose to relieve any air in the system.

Power your pressure washer

What type of pressure washer do you have? If you have an electric-powered washer, connect the power cord to the power supply in your home or shop. The power cord is usually more than 30’ long, which means it can connect from your home power outlet with ease.

If you have a gas-powered pressure washer, you need ethanol-free fuel. A majority of gas-powered pressure washers have 4-cycle engines so, it is important not to mix fuel with oil. To add fuel, use a funnel, and add fuel stabilizer when refueling.

Start your pressure washer

Locate the fuel valve and turn it to the open position. This should be the same as the on/off switch which should be turned to the “on” position. Set the choke lever to the “start” or “full” position.

Once you have done so, proceed to pull the starter grip, which is usually located on top of the unit; this will start the engine. Once the engine is up and running, allow it to run for a few seconds before moving the choke to the “off” or “run” position.

It is common for the engine not to start at the first pull. When this happens, you can squeeze the trigger to release any pressure built up in the pump, or you can check the fuel levels. Ensure all switches are in the correct position.


Now that you have learned how to start a pressure washer, you can proceed to clean with the unit. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for better maintenance practices.