Generac Pressure Washer Wont Start – Troubleshooting Guide 2023

Generac pressure washer won’t start – Keep patience, read our repairing guide, and work smart


Generac is a big name in the power washing industry in the USA. The solid build quality and high-performance parts make it one of the best washing tools in the field. Moreover, the powerful Generac engine gives it another edge in its performance.

However, after all, it’s a machine and it may fall victim to any malfunction at any time due to any discrepancy or lack of maintenance.

Although the Generac pressure washer comes with a 1-year limited warranty on its frames and a two years limited warranty on engines but most of the time you can troubleshoot your power washer at home yourself with easy fixes.

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

Whenever your pressure washer sits for too long or remains unattended for a long period of time, several problems may occur. The Generac power washer not starting or not staying starting is one of these problems.

We have devised this simple but comprehensive guide to troubleshoot your power washer for the likewise issues. Following our guide, you can easily fix these issues at home. However, in case you are unable to fix these issues, the warranty of the Generac power washer is there to get it repaired by an authorized service center.

But first of all, you should properly know how to start a pressure cleaning machine. If you are confused follow these simple steps:

How to start your Generac pressure washer properly

Electric pressure washers are simple to start because you just have to turn on the power button and the motor starts pumping out pressurized water.

However, In the case of gas-powered engines, you must have to keep certain things in mind before starting them. We will also discuss some basic steps to guide you deeply. Below is the step-by-step guide to properly start your Generac gas-powered power washer.

  • Always place your pressure washer on a flat surface.
  • Attach one end of the pressure hose to the water pump of the washer and another end to the High-pressure spray gun. Tight the spray gun and pressure the hose firmly with a wrench or any other tool.
  • Now attach the garden hose with your water supply and pressure washer.
  • Check both connections of the garden hose and turn on the water supply.
  • Push the trigger of the spray gun in this state to release air or any debris in the pressure washer. Don’t leave the trigger until water begins to fall freely and smoothly.
  • Now attach the nozzle to the spray wand. Tight it with your hand if it needs to be tightened. It’s better to attach a low-pressure nozzle first. If you have a turbo nozzle then set it to the low-pressure position.
  • Lock the trigger at the bottom of the trigger in the OFF position.
  • Put the choke in the “choke” position as the engine is cold and it needs a little time to become warm. When the engine warms up move the choke in to run position.
  • Adjust the throttle lever situated on the right side of the engine to the “fast” setting.
  • Now pull the pull string/pull cord of the engine to start it up.
  • If the engine does not start on the first attempt, do it a few more times.
  • Now if your power washer is not getting near the “start”, it’s time to troubleshoot it with the help of our following guide about how to start your Generac power washer if it won’t start.

Read for more information: Ryobi Pressure Washer Won’t Start – Troubleshooting 

Generac Pressure Washer Troubleshooting – Causes and Solutions – Generac Power Washer Won’t Start

If your Generac power washer wont starts after following our startup guide then there must be one of the following issues. Below is the guide to fixing any such issues which are causing your pressure washer to not start.

Spark Plug May Be The Reason Generac Power Washer won’t Start

A spark plug is the first thing to check if your Generac power washer wont start. Any signs of wear and tear or damage to the spark plug can resist the starting of the engine.

Remove the spark plug from the engine and check the tip or end of the spark plug for any cracks, signs of burning, heavy carbon build-up, or corroded electrodes.

If there is any damage, heavy black build-up on its tip, or corrosion then it is best to change the spark plug. But if you don’t want to buy a new one in hurry you can just clean the plug and check if it works.

How To Clean the Spark Plug

To clean it dip the tip of the spark plug in the rubbing alcohol for at least one minute and scrub it with a hard brush. Clean as deeply as possible.

Clean all the residue properly. Now check the gap and adjust according to the manual.

Now put the spark plug back into the engine and check the spark. If there is a strong spark it means the plug is working well but if there is no or a low spark then it should be replaced immediately.

Generac Gas Powered Washer won’t Start Due To Degraded Fuel

When you leave a gas power washer for more than 6 months with the gasoline in it, the gasoline will have low volatility and low octane. This oxidized and highly contaminated fuel often causes a lack of combustion ultimately causing a low engine performance or a failure to start the engine.

To resolve this issue:

  • Drain the dirty and oxidized fuel.
  • Take a good carburetor cleaner and clean the fuel tank with it thoroughly.
  • Now fill the fuel tank with fresh and good quality fuel.
  • To keep your fuel fresh add a good fuel stabilizer.
  • Now turn on the fuel valve in the “On” position.

Generac Power Washer Won’t Start due to a Clogged Carburetor

Generac power washers are a popular choice for homeowners looking for an easy and affordable way to clean their homes and property. However, they can be frustrating when they don’t start due to a clogged carburetor.

Carburetors are small, precision-machined parts that help mix fuel and air for an engine. When they get clogged with dirt, dust, and other debris, they can prevent a power washer from starting. If your Generac pressure washer won’t start, the carburetor may be to blame.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to clean a carburetor and get your machine up and running again. The most important thing is to avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents, which can damage the delicate parts inside the carburetor.

  • One is to remove the carburetor and clean it with a small brush or pipe cleaner.
  • You can also try spraying a small amount of carburetor cleaner into the carburetor opening to dissolve the clog
  • If spraying still can’t start the engine then remove the carburetor from the engine and submerge it in a container of carburetor cleaner. Be sure to follow the instructions on the cleaner carefully.
  • If these methods don’t work, you have to replace the carburetor.

Generac Power washer engine won’t start due to Faulty Ignition Coil

The ignition coil on a pressure washer is responsible for providing power to the spark plugs. When it fails, the engine will not start. The first step in diagnosing and repairing a pressure washer with a bad ignition coil is to determine whether the coil is getting power.

To do this, use a multimeter to test for continuity between the coil’s positive (red) and negative (black) terminals. If there is no continuity, the coil is bad and must be replaced.

The Generac 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. Examine the flywheel key for any damage. If the key is missing, damaged, or misplaced, the engine may not be able to start and you have to replace the flywheel key.

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

If your power washer won’t start, the engine may be sputtering. This is due to a number of problems, including a dirty air filter, low fuel levels, or a clogged fuel line. You can troubleshoot the problem by checking the air filter, filling the gas tank, and cleaning the fuel line.

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

If your power washer is not starting, it may be due to excess pressure in the pump. This can be caused by several factors, such as a clogged nozzle, a kinked hose, or water that’s too hot.

If the Generac pressure washer’s pump is not able to expel the water fast enough, it will create excess pressure and eventually cause the washer to stop working.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep the nozzle clear of debris and make sure the hose is not kinked.

However, You can also release some of the pressure by pressing the trigger of the spray wand. Just after releasing the pressure, you can pull the cord to start your power washer.

Generac Pressure Washer Pump Problems

There might be some other problems with your generac pressure washer pump. If your Generac pressure washer pump is overheating, the problem may be caused by a variety of factors, including a dirty air filter, an imperfect seal between the pump and the engine, or a problem with the cooling system.

To fix this problem, you’ll need to clean or replace the air filter, check for leaks, and flush out the cooling system.

What to Do if You Can’t Pull the Recoil Cord Of power washer

If the recoil starter rope on your Generac pressure washer won’t pull, don’t panic. You can usually fix the problem without having to take the machine to a repair shop. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug.
  2. Make sure the water supply is turned off.
  3. Squirt a little bit of lubricant into the recoil starter housing.
  4. Pull the recoil starter rope a few times to work the lubricant in.
  5. Replace the spark plug wire and try to start the machine.

Troubleshooting Generac Pressure Washer

How to Keep Your Generac  Pressure Washer Running Smoothly

Pressure washers are a valuable asset for keeping your home and property clean. However, they can be expensive to replace if they break down. Here are some tips on how to keep your Generac  gas-powered pressure washer running smoothly in order to avoid damaging the equipment or causing injuries:

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 Generac power 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 Generac 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 Generac  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 Generac 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 of your Generac pressure washer 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 Generac pressure washer

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. To clean the hose, 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 Generac 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 the Oil and Fuel Level before starting the Generac pressure washer to run it smoothly

If you are going to be using your Generac 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 Generac 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 Generac 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 Generac 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.

Generac Pressure Washer Won’t Start – Related Questions

How do you prime a Generac pressure washer?

How To Winterize the Generac power washer?

In order to winterize a Generac power washer, it is important to understand what the process entails.

  1. The first step is to make sure that the power washer is turned off and unplugged.
  2. Once this is done, the next step is to remove the spark plug wire from the engine.
  3. After this, add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank and fill it up with gasoline.
  4. Next, add a few drops of oil to each cylinder and turn the engine over a few times. Be sure to keep the spark plug wire away from the spark plug when doing this.
  5. Finally, remove the garden hose and sprayer, install the gunk-freezing plug, and put the spark plug wire back on the engine.

Why does my Generac pressure washer starts and then die in a few seconds?

There can be a few reasons why your Generac pressure washer starts and then dies in a few seconds.

  • The most common reason is a lack of fuel. If the fuel tank is empty, the pressure washer will not generate enough power to run for more than a few seconds. Make sure to fill the fuel tank before using the pressure washer.
  • Another common reason is a clogged fuel filter. This can be caused by dirt or debris getting into the fuel system. If the fuel filter is clogged, the pressure washer will not generate enough power to run for more than a few seconds. To clean the fuel filter, unplug the pressure washer and remove the fuel cap. Then use a screwdriver to remove the fuel filter cover. Clean any dirt or debris from the filter and replace the filter cover.
  • One possibility is that the choke is not set correctly. If the choke is not set correctly, the engine may flood and die.
  • Another possibility is that the air filter is dirty and needs to be cleaned or replaced. A dirty air filter can cause the engine to lose power and die.
  • If the pressure washer is still not generating enough power to run for more than a few seconds, there may be a problem with the engine. In this case, you will need to take it to a repair shop for service.


A Generac 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 be.

Therefore, always remember these points:

Never start your Generac 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

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