Starting a pressure washer can be done safely by taking the following easy steps:
- Start by setting up the power washer and connecting it to a reliable water source.
- In the case an electric pressure washer is used, the unit needs to be connected to a compatible power source. The motor should be turned on only after following all the safety measures meant to avoid damaging the power washer and diminish the risk of injury.
- If the pressure washer used is gas-powered, pull the starter cord after making sure that all the controls are set to the right position.
The steps needed to correctly start a power washer are discussed in detail below.
1. Setting up the pressure washer
Before turning on a power washer, it is essential to set it up correctly in order to avoid damaging the most important pressure washer parts, such as the pump or the engine. This procedure can be performed by taking the following steps:
- If operating a gas-powered pressure washer, make sure to fill the tank with fresh fuel and check the engine and pump oil level before following the next steps. If these two pressure washer parts need an oil change, use the appropriate lubricant recommended in the user manual.
- Attach the high-pressure hose that is provided by the power washer manufacturer to the water outlet of the unit. Make sure that the hose connection is safe in order to eliminate the risk of leaks.
- Attach the other end of the high-pressure hose to the pressure washer gun. Most guns are equipped with quick-connect fittings which make this process easy to perform.
- Connect the pressure washer wand to the trigger gun and rotate clockwise until it locks into place.
- Choose the right pressure washer nozzle for the cleaning task and connect it to the other end of the wand. Most power washer tips have quick-connect systems that allow the operator to place them on the lance’s end and attach them with a simple twist.
- Connect the garden hose to an appropriate water source. Make sure to check the recommended maximum water temperature that the unit can withstand. Do not use hot water unless the machine used is a hot water pressure washer.
- Turn on the water source and wait for about 30 seconds until a constant stream comes out of the garden hose to remove all the remaining air and debris.
- Turn off the water supply and check if the filter screen is not damaged and is connected to the water inlet of the power washer. Using the unit without the filter screen might lead to damage that is not covered by the warranty.
- Attach the garden hose to the pressure washer’s water inlet. Do not use any tools to tighten the garden hose fittings. Make sure that there is a minimum of 10 feet of uncoiled hose between the water source and the unit in order for it to function properly.
- Before turning on the pressure washer, start the water source, press the trigger, and wait for a few seconds until a constant stream of water comes out of the hose. This operation is needed to take out the air from the system.
2. How to start an electric pressure washer?
Starting an electric pressure washer is easy and different from what needs to be performed while turning on a gas-powered model. The following steps are required to start an electric power washer after setting it up:
- Turn off the water supply.
- Connect the electric cord to a power outlet. Most electric pressure washer cords are equipped with a GFCI system that interrupts the current when it is faulted to eliminate damage and the risk of injury. This GFCI system should light up if the machine is getting power.
- Turn on the water supply.
- Turn the power washer’s power switch to ‘On’. Some electric pressure washers have a button that needs to be pressed, instead of a switch. In this case, press the ‘Start’ button to turn the pressure washer on.
- Press the trigger of the gun to start the power washer. The motor of the unit turns off when the trigger is released.
3. How to start a gas pressure washer?
To start a gas-powered pressure washer safely, the following steps need to be followed in this exact order to avoid damaging the unit and reduce the risk of injury:
- Make sure that all the controls of the pressure washer are set to ‘Off’.
- Check the fuel valve and make sure it is set to ‘Open’ or ‘On’. Most manufacturers use these notations for the positioning of the pressure washer switches.
- Make sure that the choke is also set on the ‘Open’ or ‘On’ position.
- Secure the unit to ensure that it will not move during start-up.
- Pull the starter cord to turn on the pressure washer engine. This operation needs to be done fast in order to prevent kickback, which might lead to severe injuries.
- In case the unit does not start after two pulls, the pressure inside the pump needs to be relieved by pressing the trigger. Repeat the process until the engine starts.
- If a gas-powered electric start pressure washer is being used, make sure that the battery is installed before turning on the engine. Press the button to start the engine and make sure not to crank it too much. Starting cycles should last only 5 seconds with 30-second breaks between them to prolong the lifespan of the pressure washer.