Craftsman Pressure Washer Won’t Start – Repair Guide 2023

Is your Craftsman Pressure Washer refusing to budge? Discover the shocking reasons why your Craftsman Pressure Washer won’t start and the ultimate DIY solutions to fix it like a pro. Don’t let a stubborn machine ruin your cleaning game – read on now!

When it comes to power washing, Craftsman is a household name in the USA for a reason. With its top-notch build quality and high-performance parts, this tool is known for its impressive results.

And let’s not forget the powerful Briggs and Stratton engine that gives it a major advantage over other options in the market.

But even the best machines can experience malfunctions or issues due to discrepancies or lack of maintenance.

That’s why, despite the 3-year limited warranty on frames and 2-year limited warranty on engines, it’s crucial to know how to troubleshoot your Craftsman power washer yourself with easy fixes.

Don’t let a simple problem prevent you from achieving a clean and pristine result – read on to learn more!

Craftsman Pressure Washer Won’t Start – What To Do?

Leaving your pressure washer unused for too long can lead to several issues. These include difficulty in starting or if started, keeping the machine running is a common problem faced by many Craftsman power washer owners.

If you’re experiencing these issues, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered with a simple yet comprehensive guide to troubleshoot your Craftsman power washer.

With my easy-to-follow steps, you’ll be able to fix these issues from the comfort of your own home.

And if you’re still unable to solve the problem, don’t forget that the Craftsman power washer comes with a warranty that allows you to get it repaired at an authorized service center.

But before we dive into troubleshooting, it’s important to know how to properly start a Craftsman Gas power washer. If you’re unsure, follow these straightforward steps:

How to start your craftsman power washer properly?

Starting an electric pressure washer is a breeze – simply turn on the power button and watch the motor start pumping out pressurized water.

However, starting a gas-powered engine requires a bit more preparation and attention to detail.

In this guide, I will go over some basic steps to ensure a smooth and successful start-up.

For a successful start-up of your Craftsman gas-powered pressure washer, follow these easy steps to get your machine up and running:

  1. Find a flat surface: Always place your pressure washer on a level and stable surface to ensure it won’t tip over during use.
  2. Attach the pressure hose: Connect one end of the pressure hose to the water pump of the washer and the other end to the High-pressure spray gun. Tighten the spray gun and pressure hose firmly with a wrench or other tool.
  3. Connect the garden hose: Attach the garden hose to your water supply and the pressure washer. Check both connections of the garden hose and turn on the water supply.
  4. Release air and debris: Push the trigger of the spray gun to release any air or debris in the pressure washer. Keep the trigger pushed until water begins to flow freely and smoothly.
  5. Attach the nozzle: Connect the nozzle to the spray wand. Tighten it with your hand if necessary. It’s best to attach a low-pressure nozzle first. If you have a turbo nozzle, set it to the low-pressure position.
  6. Lock the trigger: Before attempting to start the engine, make sure the trigger is locked at the bottom in the OFF position.
  7. Set the choke: If the engine is cold, set the choke to the “choke” position. This will allow the engine to warm up before you move the choke into the run position.
  8. Adjust the throttle: Locate the throttle lever on the right side of the engine and adjust it to the “fast” setting.
  9. Pull the cord: Grab the pull string and give it a firm tug to start the engine. If it doesn’t start on the first try, give it a few more attempts.
  10. Troubleshoot: If your power washer still won’t start, don’t panic. Check out my troubleshooting guide for tips on how to get your Craftsman power washer up and running.

Read for more information: Westinghouse Pressure Washer Won’t Start (Always Do This)

Craftsman Pressure Washer Wont Start – Causes and Solutions

If you’ve followed our startup guide for your Craftsman power washer and it still won’t start, don’t worry. There could be a number of issues that are preventing your pressure washer from starting up. Here’s a guide to help you troubleshoot and fix these issues:

Spark Plug Might Be The Reason Craftsman Power Washer won’t Start

If your Craftsman pressure washer won’t start, the first thing to check is the spark plug. A damaged or worn out spark plug can prevent the engine from starting.

To check the spark plug, first remove it from the engine and inspect the tip for any signs of damage or corrosion. If the spark plug appears to be in good condition but is covered in carbon buildup, it may be possible to clean it instead of replacing it.

craftsman pressure washer won t start

If you find any cracks, burning, heavy carbon buildup, or damaged electrodes, it’s best to replace the spark plug.

Remember that a faulty spark plug is just one of the potential reasons why your pressure washer may not be starting.

If cleaning or replacing the spark plug doesn’t solve the problem, refer to our guide for additional troubleshooting steps.

How To Clean the Spark Plug

If you find heavy build-up on the spark plug of your Craftsman power washer, you can try cleaning it first before considering a replacement. To do this, start by removing the spark plug from the engine.

Dip the tip of the spark plug in rubbing alcohol for at least a minute to dissolve any dirt or debris. Then, use a hard-bristled brush to scrub the spark plug thoroughly, making sure to clean as deeply as possible until all the residue is removed. Rinse the spark plug with water and let it dry completely.

Be sure to clean the electrode thoroughly as well. Check the gap between the electrodes using a spark plug gap tool, and adjust it if necessary according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Once the spark plug has been cleaned or replaced, reconnect it to the engine and check for a strong spark. If the spark is weak or there is no spark at all, it may indicate a more serious issue with the ignition system that will require professional repair.

Craftsman Gas Pressure Washer won’t Start Due To Degraded Fuel

Gas power washers that sit for extended periods with gasoline in the tank are susceptible to problems with low volatility and octane levels.

The fuel can oxidize and become contaminated, leading to poor combustion and reduced engine performance. In some cases, this can even prevent the engine from starting altogether.

Steps to clean and refill your Craftsman gas-powered pressure washer’s fuel tank:

  1. Drain the contaminated fuel from the tank. If the fuel has been sitting in the tank for more than 6 months, it may have oxidized and lost its effectiveness.
  2. Use a carburetor cleaner to thoroughly clean the fuel tank, removing any residue or build-up that may be present. This will ensure that the fresh fuel is not contaminated by any leftover debris.
  3. Refill the fuel tank with fresh, good quality fuel. Be sure to use the appropriate fuel grade recommended in the owner’s manual.
  4. To keep the fuel fresh and prevent it from breaking down over time, add a fuel stabilizer. Follow the instructions on the stabilizer package for the correct amount to use.
  5. Finally, turn the fuel valve to the “On” position and try starting the engine. This should allow the fresh fuel to flow into the carburetor, helping the engine to start and run smoothly.

Craftsman Power Washer Wont Start due to a Clogged Carburetor

Another common reason your pressure washer fails to start is due to a clogged carburetor.

The carburetor is a small but important component that mixes air and fuel for the engine. Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate in the carburetor and cause problems.

If your pressure washer won’t start after clearing the spark plug, the carburetor might be to blame.

To avoid damaging the delicate parts inside the carburetor, it’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents when cleaning it.

Instead, follow these steps to clean the carburetor and restore your pressure washer’s performance. Keep it in mind that to avoid damaging the delicate parts inside the carburetor, it’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents when cleaning it.

  1. Remove the carburetor from the engine and disassemble it carefully.
  2. Use a carburetor cleaner to remove any dirt or debris from the carburetor body and other parts. Be sure to clean all the small passages and jets in the carburetor thoroughly.
  3. Soak the carburetor in a carburetor cleaner solution for at least an hour, but follow the instructions on the cleaner for best results.
  4. Rinse the carburetor with water and blow it dry with compressed air.
  5. Reassemble the carburetor and reinstall it on the engine.
  6. Start the pressure washer and let it run for a few minutes to ensure that the carburetor is functioning properly.

Craftsman Pressure washer engine won’t start due to Faulty Ignition Coil

If your pressure washer fails to start, the ignition coil could be the culprit. The ignition coil is responsible for providing power to the spark plugs, which ignite the fuel and air mixture needed for the engine to run.

Here’s how you can diagnose and repair a pressure washer with a bad ignition coil:

  1. Disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug to prevent accidental starting.
  2. Locate the ignition coil on your pressure washer. It’s usually near the flywheel or the starter motor.
  3. Use a multimeter to test the continuity of the ignition coil. Set the multimeter to the resistance mode and touch the positive (red) and negative (black) terminals of the coil with the probes. The reading should be between 2,500 and 5,000 ohms.
  4. If the multimeter shows no continuity or a reading outside the normal range, the ignition coil is faulty and needs to be replaced.
  5. Before replacing the coil, check for any loose or damaged wires connected to the coil. If you find any, repair or replace them before installing the new coil.
  6. Install the new ignition coil by aligning it with the flywheel or starter motor and securing it in place with screws or bolts.
  7. Reconnect the spark plug wire to the spark plug.
  8. Test the pressure washer to see if it starts. If it still doesn’t start, there may be other issues that need to be addressed.

Craftsman Pressure washer engine won’t start due to the Flywheel key

If everything we discussed above is in good condition, the flywheel key may be the problem. But how can you check to see if the flywheel key is the problem and how can you fix it if it is?

The flywheel key is a small, rectangular piece of metal that fits into a keyhole on the flywheel. It helps to align the flywheel and the crankshaft when the engine is starting. You can check it by removing the flywheel from the engine.

  • To replace the flywheel key, start by disconnecting the spark plug wire and removing the starter housing.
  • Then, use a socket wrench to remove the nut holding the flywheel in place.
  • Carefully remove the flywheel and look for the key slot on the crankshaft.
  • Remove the old key and replace it with a new one, making sure it is properly aligned with the keyway on the flywheel and the crankshaft.
  • Reassemble the flywheel and starter housing, reconnect the spark plug wire, and try starting the engine again.

If the flywheel key was the problem, the engine should start up smoothly.

The power washer won’t start due to a sputtering engine

To troubleshoot a power washer that won’t start and is sputtering, there are a few common causes that you can check for. These include a dirty air filter, low fuel levels, or a clogged fuel line. Here are some steps you can take to identify and fix the problem:

  1. Check the air filter: A dirty air filter can restrict air flow to the engine, which can cause sputtering or prevent the engine from starting. Remove the air filter and inspect it for dirt and debris. If it’s dirty, clean or replace it.
  2. Check the fuel levels: Make sure there is enough fuel in the gas tank. If the tank is empty or nearly empty, fill it up with fresh gasoline.
  3. Check the fuel line: A clogged fuel line can prevent fuel from reaching the engine, causing sputtering or preventing the engine from starting. Inspect the fuel line for any signs of damage or blockages. If you find any issues, clean or replace the fuel line.

Craftsman Pressure Washer won’t start due to excess pressure in the pump

Excessive pressure in the pump can also cause a pressure washer to not start.

Several factors can lead to this problem, including a clogged nozzle, a kinked hose, or hot water.

If the pump cannot expel water quickly enough, it will create excess pressure, which can cause the power washer to stop working.

To prevent this from happening, it’s important that you should keep the nozzle clear of debris and ensure that the hose is not kinked.

If you encounter this problem, you can release some of the pressure by pressing the trigger of the spray wand.

After releasing the pressure, you can pull the cord to start the power washer.

What to Do if You Can’t Pull the Recoil Cord Of Craftsman pressure washer?

If you’re having trouble pulling the recoil starter rope on your gas pressure washer, follow these steps to fix the issue:

  1. Begin by ensuring that the water supply is turned off
  2. Remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug to prevent accidental starts.
  3. Squirt a small amount of lubricant, such as silicone spray, into the recoil starter housing. This will help to loosen any debris that may be causing the starter rope to stick.
  4. Next, pull the recoil starter rope several times to work the lubricant into the housing. This should help to loosen the rope and make it easier to pull.
  5. Once you’ve pulled the rope several times, put on back the spark plug wire and attempt to start the machine as usual.

How to Keep Your Craftsman Pressure Washer Running Smoothly

Craftsman gas-powered pressure washers are a great investment for maintaining the cleanliness of your home and property.

However, they can be costly to repair or replace if they break down. Therefore, to keep your equipment running smoothly and avoid any potential damages or injuries, I recommend you to follow these tips:

Inspect For Any Potential Leaks

To keep your pressure washer running smoothly it is recommended to inspect it for any leaks. Leaks can cause the pressure washer to run inefficiently and can also reduce the lifespan of the unit. If you spot any, make sure to fix them as soon as possible.

Check For Fuel and oil leaks

These are the most common type of leaks, so make sure to keep a close eye on these components.

Fuel and oil leaks are the number one cause of gas pressure washer fires. Before starting your Craftsman pressure washer, check for fuel and oil leaks. Look for fuel or oil on the engine, pump, hose, or any other part of the pressure washer. If you see a fuel or oil leak, do not start the pressure washer. Repair the leak before using the pressure washer.

Check For Water leaks Before Starting The Craftsman Pressure Washer

Water leaks can add up to gallons of wasted water each day that’s why it’s important to check for water leaks before starting your pressure washer.

Look for water leaks around your pressure washer, garden hose, and high-pressure hose. If you find a leak, turn off the water supply to the fixture and fix the leak.

Check the Spray Gun and Trigger

When you are using a pressure washer, it is important to make sure that the spray gun and trigger are in good condition. If they are not, you could end up with a lot of problems like low pressure or no pressure at all.

Always check the spray gun and trigger before starting the pressure washer. Make sure the trigger is in the off position and that the spray gun is tightly attached to the wand.

The trigger is the part of the spray gun that you use to control the flow of water. If the trigger is not working properly, you could not use the machine for power washing.

Check Hose and Nozzle

The next step is to check the hose and nozzle for any damage. If the hose is torn or kinked, it will restrict the flow of water and reduce the pressure of the washer. The nozzle can also become clogged over time, which will limit the amount of water that is released.

Clean Machine Regularly

It is also important to clean your machine regularly. This will help keep it running smoothly and prevent any build-up from occurring. Use a mild detergent and a brush to clean all of the surfaces of the pressure washer. Be sure to rinse off all of the suds before using the machine again. washer that needs to be kept clean. To clean the house, just remove it from the unit and spray it with a garden hose. You should also check for any kinks in the hose, which can reduce water flow.

Clean The Pump

The pump is one of the most important parts of the pressure washer, so it’s important to clean it regularly. To clean the pump, simply remove the filter and spray it with a garden hose. You should also check the pump for any debris or grass that may have gotten caught in it.

Check Oil and Fuel Level before starting the pressure washer to run it smoothly

If you are going to be using a pressure washer this summer, it is important to check the fuel and oil levels before starting it. This will help to ensure that the pressure washer runs smoothly and does not overheat.

Check Fuel Level 

In order to check the fuel level, locate the fuel cap on the pressure washer. It is usually located on the upper part of the machine. Once you have found the fuel cap, remove it and look inside. There will be a fuel gauge or indicator on the pressure washer that will tell you how much fuel is left in the tank.

If the fuel level is low, fill the tank with fresh gasoline.

Check Oil Level 

When you are finished using your pressure washer, you should always check the oil level before you start it up again. This is to ensure that the pressure washer will run smoothly and that you won’t damage the engine.

The oil level should be checked every time you use the pressure washer. You can find the oil level dipstick on the side of the engine. The oil level should be between the two marks on the dipstick. If it is not, you will need to add more oil. Be sure to use the type of oil specified in the owner’s manual.

Check and Clean Air Filter To Run Pressure Washer Smoothly

Air filters should be checked and cleaned often to keep the Craftsman pressure washer running smoothly. If they are not kept clean, the air filter will become clogged and the pressure washer will not work as well.

A dirty air filter reduces the amount of air that reaches the engine, which can cause the pressure washer to run poorly and could eventually damage the unit.

To clean the air filter, remove it from the pressure washer and gently tap it against a hard surface to remove any large debris. Then, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any smaller particles. Finally, spray the filter with a light coating of oil to keep it moist. It is important to note that the air filter should not be soaked in water, as this will damage it.

Moreover, an air filter is highly prone to dirt and debris and often requires a replacement. Just cleaning it won’t help sometimes so replace it with a new one whenever required.

Other Measures To Always Start Your Craftsman Power Washer Smoothly

  • Always use the correct nozzle for the job. Trying to use a high-pressure nozzle on a low-pressure job will damage the washer and could potentially void the warranty.
  • Be sure to keep the pump oiled. This is a critical step that many people forget. If the pump isn’t oiled, it will overheat and eventually break down.
  • Start the engine and allow it to run for a few minutes to warm up, especially in colder weather.
  • Press the trigger gun and hold it down to release the pressure in the pump before starting.


A craftsman power washer is a solid machine but any negligence on your part can stop it from starting properly or maybe it won’t start when you want it to.

Therefore, always remember these points:

  • Never start your Craftsman Power washer without the inflow of water in the pump. Not only will this damage the pump, but you may also create a hazardous situation for your machine.
  • Always perform bi-annual preventive maintenance if you use your pressure washer regularly.
  • Properly drain all the water out of the pump and flush it with pump anti-freeze/lubricant.
  • Store your pressure washer properly to keep it functioning at its best.

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Flinn Milan

Flinn Milan is the content director at Washwith. He is responsible for developing helpful content in collaboration with other hard-working team members. Over several years, his content strategy is mainly focused on describing and highlighting every product with its positive and negative points

1 thought on “Craftsman Pressure Washer Won’t Start – Repair Guide 2023”

  1. Hello Flinn,
    You have written down some good tips on the craftsman pressure washer starting issue. I have Simpson 3100psi gas pressure washer and it is doing the same. I checked it spark plug, carburetor and igniting coil but still its not starting.
    Do you recommend to check the engine or head gasket of the engine? Or should I take it to the mechanic?


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