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What To Do If Pressure Washer Is Smoking?


    When you start your gas-powered pressure washer and smoke is coming from the exhaust you may have a lingering problem that needs to be addressed. The most likely reason for the smoke is that oil has mixed with gas in the cylinder. When oil is burned the result is smoke coming out of your pressure washer.

    The cause of the burning oil can be a result of a few different problems. Down below we will cover some tips on how to fix the smoking problem and what may have been the culprit in the first place.

    The first step when you notice your power washer smoking is to turn it off. Now that the power washer is off, you have an opportunity to diagnose what the issue may be causing your pressure washer to smoke. When the motor is running and blowing smoke it is not functioning properly and if not fixed it may lead to more damage to your pressure washer.

    What If Your Pressure Washer Is Blowing White Or Black Smoke?

    Gas-powered pressure washers can blow white or black smoke when they are started for a number of reasons. One reason is when the fuel is improperly mixed with air or oil, smoke will be the result.

    A tune-up of your pressure washer could be a great way to ensure it will run properly. This may be needed if you are bringing out a power washer that has not been used for a long time or you are not sure how it was stored. Changing the oil and ignition system, with adjustments to the throttle and choke controls are all a tune-up entails.

    Knowing how to do all of this can ensure you can solve almost any other issue your power washer may be blowing smoke.

    How To Check Oil Of A Smoking Pressure Washer

    When white smoke is coming from your pressure washer it is best to check your oil first. Check the oil level and smell it for any gasoline smell. If it does smell of gas then an oil change will be needed. 

    There are normally two drain plugs on either side of the motor to drain the oil. 

    • Remove one of the plugs and drain the oil. 
    • Check the air filter for oil and replace it if needed. 
    • Remove the spark plug to drain any oil from the cylinder. 
    • Make sure the power switch is in the OFF position and start pulling the pull cord until no more oil comes out of the cylinder. 
    • Check the spark plug is clean of oil or gas. 
    • Replace the drain plugs, spark plug, and any other pieces that may need to have been removed. 
    • Fill the pressure washer to the with the recommended oil to the proper level. 
    • Run through the proper start-up sequence and start the pressure washer. 

    This should have solved your smoking pressure washer problem. 

    Can You Lay A Pressure Washer On Its side?

    When a gas-powered pressure washer tips over or is laid on its side it allows for the oil to get into the cylinder and mix with the gas. If the fuel lines are not turned off when stored this can also put gas into the oil reservoir. When the oil is burned, that is where the smoke comes from.

    If you just got a new pressure washer and are seeing smoke come out intermittently, just give it a little bit of run time. During shipping, the unit may have been tipped and shaken up where some oil has gotten into the cylinder or carburetor from the crankcase after production. If you run it through a full tank and it runs smoothly after that, just take it as a little break-in period and you can be on your way.

    After using your pressure washer for the first time, you should seek out tips on how to store a pressure washer properly. A few easy steps can help keep it working properly for years to come.

    Power Washer Blowing A Bunch Of Smoke

    If your power washer is blowing a lot of smoke and it won’t stop even after checking the oil for an overfill situation, you have checked to make sure your gas is not mixed fuel for a 2 stroke motor, it could a rare situation when the gaps in the piston rings are aligned or cracked. This is very rare but can happen.

    The solution is to replace the rings and it should solve the problem. Before you jump to this solution and you have a new power washer, give it a chance to run through a full tank of gas and break in a bit.

    As mentioned before, the fuel and air mixture can be off. This can be caused by a choke that won’t open properly. If you can check your carburetor system to ensure it is working properly before rebuilding or replacing it, it may solve your smoking pressure washer problem.

    Why Is My Pressure Washer Overheating?

    Pressure washers rely on continuous water flowing through the pump to keep it cool. If you let the motor run without spraying the water, the water in the pump starts to heat up. If the water gets too hot, there is a thermal relief valve that will open up and let the hot water escape allowing for cooler water from the hose cool down the pump.

    It is important to also keep in mind on hot days, the water from the hose may not be very cool if sitting in the sun for a long time with a long run to the pressure washer. Even just putting the pressure washer in the shade can help keep the motor stay cool.

    If you are doing a large project, it may be best to start earlier in the morning, try and break up the project into smaller parts to give the pressure washer a break from time to time. When you stop for a break, move the pressure washer into a cooler place.

    Is Your Electric Pressure Washer Smoking?

    If you see smoke or smell burning from an electric pressure washer it is best to stop using and unplug it. The most common problems are a burning wire that has gotten too hot or a short in a wire. Most pressure washers are easily taken apart and fixed.

    If you can find the part that was burning or shorted out, a quick lookup for the part online can have your power washer back up and running. Take a little caution on not running it for too long on a hot day in the sun. The motors can get hot and lead to another short or burnt wire.

    When a gas-powered pressure washer is smoking, there are some easy ways to diagnose the problem and get back to work on your project. Whether you are cleaning a driveway, a pool, a trash can, or the gutters on your home, ensuring a well-running pressure washer can be done quickly.

    By checking your oil and not tipping over the motor, you can cut down on the most common smoking problems of a pressure washer motor. Now that you have a little more information on the causes of smoke, know that a little smoke to start is normal on a new machine, you just want to keep an eye on it. Find out what size and kind of pressure washer you need for your project and our recommendations.

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