Briggs And Stratton Pressure Washer Troubleshooting

Now and then, you encounter a glitch in your pressure washer. It doesn't necessarily mean that you need to have it replaced already. There are some problems that you can fix by yourself so that you can get it running smoothly again. We've researched the most common problems that users of Briggs and Stratton pressure washers encounter, and we've compiled them all here with their corresponding fixes.

Here are the parts that you need to check, clean, repair, or replace when your Briggs and Stratton pressure washer isn't running as expected:

  • spark plug
  • ignition coil
  • carburetor
  • flywheel key
  • fuel cap
  • fuel filter
  • air filter
  • water inlet screen
  • spark arrestor
  • nozzle
  • pump and pump assembly

Continue reading to know more about what could go wrong with these parts, how they affect your pressure washer's performance, and how you can get the problem solved. This is your ultimate troubleshooting guide for your Briggs and Stratton pressure washer. Let's get to work!

What is the most common problem with Briggs and Stratton pressure washers?

Man using electric powered pressure washer to power wash residential concrete driveway

It is so convenient to have a Briggs and Stratton pressure washer. You can get so much done in a short time to clean your garage and outdoor areas, at the very least. Removing dirt and grime buildup, also maintains the beauty and extends the life of hardscape materials.

However, like all other appliances, many things can go wrong during its operation. There are times when you can't seem to figure out what's wrong with it, and you can't get any cleaning done.

That's why we're here to talk about the common problems experienced by users of Briggs and Stratton pressure washers and how you can solve them so you can optimize the use of this machine.

But before anything else, familiarize yourself with the locations of different pressure washer parts by referencing the owner's manual. You will need this in troubleshooting. Make sure also that the unit is turned off and unplugged before you start inspecting its parts.

Why is my Briggs and Stratton pressure washer not starting?

Cleaning paving slab using high pressure power washer, Briggs And Stratton Pressure Washer Troubleshooting

Your Briggs and Stratton may not start due to a defective spark plug, damaged ignition coil, clogged carburetor, or a broken flywheel key.

Defective Spark Plug

a defective spark plug remove from a pressure washer

A spark plug ignites the air-fuel mixture in your pressure washer's engine so that it will start. Without this, the engine won't run. This part can get damaged or get worn out over time.

Some signs of a defective spark plug are a heavy buildup of carbon or a burnt electrode.

You can use a spark plug tester to check if it is indeed defective. If it doesn't spark when the engine cranks, it means the spark plug is no longer functioning. It's time to buy a new one and put it in your pressure washer's engine.

Damaged Ignition Coil

Ignition coil

The ignition coil is responsible for sending the needed amount of energy to the spark plug so that it can do its thing. If it's not working, the spark plug won't be able to ignite your engine, and it won't start.

If the spark plug is working after you've tested it, check the ignition coil next. There's an ignition coil tester to help you determine its condition. If it is defective, you need to replace this engine part.

Clogged Carburetor

Carburetor used in a small gasoline engine commonly used for lawn equipment, pressure washers etc

The carburetor regulates the flow of air and fuel into the engine. It is composed of different components where dirt and sticky fuel can build up over time and cause a blockage. When this happens, the air and fuel can't flow properly, and your engine won't start.

You can buy a carburetor cleaner to remove the dirt that's causing the clog. But if this no longer works, you have to replace the carburetor so that the air and fuel can flow to your engine efficiently.

Broken Flywheel Key

a metal flywheel put in a metal table

This is a small piece of metal in between the flywheel and the crankshaft. When you're using your pressure washer, and you hit a hard object, chances are this part will break in half. This prevents engine damage, but your pressure washer won't start anymore.

You can check if the flywheel key is broken. If it is, you need to have it replaced so you can restart your engine.

What to do when Briggs and Stratton pressure washer starts and then stalls?

But what if you get your Briggs and Stratton pressure washer running, but it stalls along the way? Here are the possible reasons for this.

Clogged Carburetor

It could still be a carburetor issue. It may allow some air and fuel to pass through but can't fully sustain it until the end. See if you can still remove the clog using a carburetor cleaner. If you can't get it out of the way, you can just replace this part.

Just a reminder also. Don't leave fuel in your pressure washer for a long time. As it stays there longer, some of it evaporates, leaving behind a stickier and thicker fuel. This can cause clogging of your carburetor since it is more viscous and attracts dirt buildup. If you have old fuel in your tank, have it drained and replaced with fresh.

Blocked Fuel Cap

This is where air enters the fuel tank to prevent a vacuum or vapor lock. The fuel won't flow to the carburetor when there's clogging in this part. This will cause the engine to stall.

To know if your fuel cap is blocked, you can loosen the cap slightly and then try starting the pressure washer. If the engine doesn't die, then you have a clogged fuel cap. Replace this part to have your pressure washer running smoothly again.

Dirty Fuel Filter

The fuel filter removes impurities from the fuel so that they won't reach other engine areas. However, as it accumulates more dirt, fuel won't be able to pass through it smoothly, causing the pressure washer to stall.

You can clean the fuel filter or have it replaced to avoid experiencing this problem again.

Filthy Air Filter

Similarly, the air filter also tends to accumulate dirt over time. It will reach a point when air won't be able to flow through it effortlessly. As it finds it hard to supply your engine with air, your pressure washer will stall due to lack of air.

Check if you can remove the dirt from the filter or, better yet, have it replaced with a new one to make your engine run efficiently again.

Soot in Spark Arrestor

The spark arrestor is a small screen inside your engine. It prevents sparks from happening in other parts of your engine. But as it does this, soot buildups over time which causes clogging in your engine. Your engine won't receive enough power, and it will stop midway through your cleaning.

You can clean it by using a wire brush or, if there's too much soot already, get a new spark arrestor for your pressure washer.

What to do when your Briggs and Stratton pressure washer runs rough?

A pressure washer could run without stalling, but it is clear that it is having a hard time operating. The reasons for this problem are the same as those mentioned above when your pressure washer starts and then stalls. There's just one more thing that you can look into in case you don't find any issues with the aforementioned parts involved.

Incorrect or Damaged Nozzle

The water ejects through the nozzle. You need to have the correct nozzle size so that the water can gush out of it smoothly. If the nozzle is too small or too big, the force, speed, and range of the water's trajectory will be affected.

For example, if the end is too small, it will find it hard to spew out water, putting more pressure on the machine. That's why you need to use the right nozzle size for more efficient use of your pressure washer.

It could also be that the nozzle is already worn out from too much use and needs to be replaced.

Why is my Briggs and Stratton pressure washer producing low or no pressure?

You can hardly get any work done when your pressure washer isn't producing the expected pressure. Here are the things you need to do:

  • The engine throttle control setting should be in Fast mode.
  • Check the water pressure and flow rate using a pressure/flow-rate gauge. If it isn't producing sufficient pressure and flow, you need to find an alternative source.
  • Check if there's oil in your pressure washer; add some if it's below the recommended level.
  • Use a high-pressure nozzle.
  • If the high-pressure hose leaks, check if the O-rings are broken. Replace if needed.
  • Check if the pump is working properly. If not, inspect the unit to see if there are obstructions in the way or cracks on its surface. Clean or replace as necessary.
  • Clean the water inlet or filter screen if it is dirty or replace it when damaged.
  • Check if the spray gun is in good condition. Replace if damaged.
  • See if the nozzle orifice is clogged. You can use a wire tool to remove the obstruction so that water can pass through it smoothly.
  • Water temperature should be below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

What to do when Briggs and Stratton pressure washer leaks water?

Your Briggs and Stratton pressure washer isn't supposed to leak water while you're using it. There's only one portion where water is expected to come out, and that's the end of the nozzle or spray gun.

When water is leaking out, you need to check your pump and pump assembly and the thermal release valve.

Defective Pump and Pump Assembly

These are the parts responsible for drawing, mixing, and heating water and detergent soap that you'll use for your cleaning. They can leak when the parts aren't installed properly, have become worn out due to continuous use, or got damaged when not used properly. 

See if you can rebuild the pump assembly so that no water will leak out. Check the pump seals if they need replacing or you might need to replace the pump assembly altogether if it has incurred damage.

Thermal Release Valve

Your pressure washer has a thermal release valve that allows excess hot water to flow out. This is normal, especially when you leave your pressure washer on but you're not spraying water out. Turn off your pressure washer if you're not using it so that it won't continue to heat and store water in the pump.

These are the most common issues encountered by Briggs and Stratton pressure washer users. If you're still having problems using your machine after these troubleshooting tips, it's better to call a trusted technician near your area to have your unit checked. 

Final Thoughts

Cleaning paving slab using high pressure power washer

There are different reasons why your Briggs and Stratton pressure washer isn't working properly. Knowing how to troubleshoot will help you get started with your cleaning task ASAP without seeking help from a technician. If you need to replace parts, make sure you buy from trusted dealers so as not to compromise the quality and performance of your pressure washer.

Feel free to visit the following links for some related reading:

Why Won’t My Karcher Pressure Washer Turn On? 

9 Of The Best Pressure Washers For A Driveway


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