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How to Start a Pressure Washer – Gas/Electric

Fact Checked By Daniel Wood | Post Updated On: April 29, 2023

To start a pressure washer, you don’t have to be an expert or a magician; anyone can easily start a pressure washer and use it uninterruptedly if proper instruction is followed, which is quite hassle-free to learn.

Do you know how to start a pressure washer?

If not, this article is for you where you will get detailed information about your loving machine, and you can easily run it for hours. Those who have already bought one or have seen this machine know how it looks like.

A pressure washer is a device that takes in the regular water inside it, generates pressure and releases the water with immense force. This pressurized water hits the dirty surface, cleaning all the mold, dirt, grime, stain, etc. Generally, the main machine is placed on a metal frame with wheels attached to it for easy carriage. The device has a spray gun attached with the pump by a long high-pressure hose, and at the tip of this gun, spray nozzles can be attached.

In the market, you will find two types of engines, electric engine and gas engine. It’s comparatively easy to start an electric machine than a gas-powered machine. In this article, we are going to describe how to start both electric and gas pressure washer.

Basic Components of Pressure Washer

A pressure washer is a combination of different types of parts and components. You must have at least basic knowledge about all these components to run your machine effortlessly. You will find the engine and pump both placed side by side; the engine run by either gas or electricity, which propels the pistons inside the pump.

In terms of the electric pressure washer, there is a power cord attached directly to the engine. You have to connect this cord to an electric outlet in your house. Gas machines have a gas tank at the upper side which stores and supplies fuel to run the engine.

Its pump contains two pipes, one for the inlet and the other for an outlet. One side of a garden hose needs to be attached to the inlet, and the other side should be connected to the water supply. This hose allows the water to let inside the pump. A high-pressure tolerant hose is attached to the outlet pipe of the pump. A spray gun that has a comfortable grip is connected to the end of this high-pressure hose. With every machine, you will get a set of different spray nozzle tips that can be connected to the tip of your spray gun. The above are the basic components that make a complete pressure washer.

Two Types of Pressure Washer

As mentioned earlier, you will find two types of pressure washers in the market, one electricity run and the other gasoline run. Besides the power supply differences, you will find some other variances as well between these two types.

two types of pressure washer

An electric pressure washer can produce less power than its counterpart. It makes less sound and produces less fume as well. These machines are comparatively cheaper and are mostly used for house and small offices. You can easily carry an electric machine as they are not very weighty.

Gas pressure washers are comparatively more expensive, and they produce more energy.

Learn More on: Best Commercial Pressure Washer

These machines are mostly used for commercial purposes though you will find plenty of residential gas pressure washers. They produce more sound and fume, which sometimes is annoying. You will need good energy to carry these devices as they are quite heavy.

How to Start a Gas Pressure Washer

To start a gas pressure washer, you have to follow the procedure below:

At first, you have to make sure that the water strainer is clean. Connect all the components to their respective appropriate places and make the machine ready to start. Connect the garden hose to a water faucet or water source and attach the high-pressure hose to the spray gun.

Now you have to turn on the faucet to let the water come into the pump freely. Initially, the empty space inside the pump and hose remains occupied by air. By pulling the trigger of the spray gun, you have let the air out and make room for the water. Once the entire pump is filled with water, stop this process.

Next, you need to check the fuel tank. If it’s empty, fill the tank with the appropriate amount of gasoline as recommended in the user manual. Generally, the gas machines don’t need a fuel-oil mixture. After filling the tank, turn the valve in a CLOSED or OFF position. If your oil is old or black in colour, don’t forget to change it. Fresh oil’s colour should be golden or yellow.

After that, turn the valve to ON or OPEN position and move the choke lever to OPEN position. Different machines contain choke lever in different positions. Please find it and turn it on before you start the engine.

Now pull the engine cord at one go to start the engine. You might need to pull it multiple times if one pull doesn’t start the engine. Make sure that you pull the string quickly, not slowly. Once the engine got started, switch the choke lever to the CLOSED position. Your machine is ready to use.

How to Start an Electric Pressure Washer

Unlike a gas pressure washer setting up and starting an electric pressure washer is quite easy, and it doesn’t require any tool or instrument. You just have to follow the procedures below.

At first, you have to see if the water strainer is in its place and there is no obstacle or dirt. It’s always advisable to place your machine on a flat and dry surface to avoid any kind of unwanted hazard.

Next, you connect all its components to their appropriate places. Connect the garden hose to the pump’s inlet and a faucet or water supply. Attach the high-pressure hose to the pump’s outlet and to a spray gun. Connect the nozzle that is most appropriate for your work type to the tip of your spray gun.

Turn on your water supply and pull the trigger so that all the air is let out and the water gets inside the pump. Connect the power cord properly to a grounded outlet and make sure that the GFCI is set.

When all the above things are set, it’s time to start the engine. Turn the power switch on the motor to the ON position, and your machine will start automatically. You can use it now to clean all your dirt and debris.


As you have seen above, starting a pressure washer is not really tricky, whether you use an electric machine or a gas machine. But if you don’t have an idea about your machine, you might have difficulty starting your device initially.

There are plenty of different machines available in the market, and they have different features and methods of starting. So it’s always recommended to read the user guide when you purchase a pressure washer. You will get a detailed idea about your machine, how to start it and how to use it.

When you have done your work, make sure that you remove all the components, keep them in their proper places and store the machine in a safe place.

About Daniel Wood

Daniel has completed his graduation mechanical engineering from a reputed university in US. He worked as a technical engineer in a pressure washer manufacturing plant for four years. He has a great passion for mechanical devices and has opened a workshop where he does research on various machines in his leisure time. His high interest in technology made him an expert in commercial and residential pressure washers.

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