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How to troubleshoot an electric pressure washer that won't start

Updated February 21, 2017

Pressure washers, also called power washers, are portable devices that dispense pressurised water through a nozzle, removing dirt from the surface of objects. Pressure washers are manufactured in two basic types: gas-powered and electric-powered. Troubleshooting an electric pressure washer that will not start involves checking a variety of electrical components to diagnose which one is failing to supply power.

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  1. Press in on the power cord firmly to make sure that it is not slightly dislodged from the electrical socket.

  2. Remove the power cord from the electrical socket and insert it into another socket. If the pressure washer turns on, you know that the problem is with the previous electrical socket and not with the pressure washer.

  3. Move the pressure washer's cord to an electrical socket that does not have any other major appliances plugged into it. Major appliances draw large amounts of energy from the circuit, meaning that there may not be enough left to power the pressure washer.

  4. Read the fine print on the extension cord to verify that you are using the correct type. If the extension cord is longer than 25 feet, it must be a 12-gauge wire cord. The cord gauge is written on the tag attached to the cord, usually near the plug. Lighter-gauge extension cords do not provide adequate power to the pressure washer.

  5. Tip

    If the above troubleshooting steps fail to start the pressure washer, take it to a repair shop.

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Things You'll Need

  • 25-gauge extension cord

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

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