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Old 08-17-2009, 02:08 PM   #1
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


Yesterday I wasted half a day on trying to pressure wash my backyard patio, pavers, fencing and walkway...

I'm a new homeowner (previous home was a brick townhouse with a tiny backyard and deck, so no real maintenance/work needed). New house has a half an acre in back and a 1/3rd up front. Concrete patio, a stone side 'patio' (not sure what to call it, but it's not a simple concrete slab but about 20x12' of square pavers?), driveway, some pvc fencing, and a concrete walkway that wraps from back patio to front driveway.

All are pretty filthy from no power washing over the years. I first bought a $99 electric power washer from Lowe's and tried that but, after 2 hours of use, it would have taken about 20 more hours just put a dent in the dirt due to the low power.

So I returned it and went to Sears and they had a floor model (ie, used) 2550psi Craftsman for $203. Came with everything and appears new, but when I got it home I saw that the previous owner did put oil in it. He/she put too much (it's well above the 'full' dot on the dipstick). I filled it up with the recommended gasoline, set it all up, connected the hose, etc., put the switch to 'FAST/START' as stated in the manual, and tried to start it. About 40 pulls later my arm was too sore to continue and I gave up.

According to the reviews on the Sears.com site this particular pressure washer is a dog (had I known that I wouldn't have bought it). But considering I got it for $100 off normal price I'd like to try to get it started just once. If not, I'll return it tonight. Question:

Could the 'too much oil' be the reason it won't start? I don't want to tip this thing over to drain some of the oil if it is pointless.
Any other recommendations to check?

Spark plug looks good/new. I pulled the plug wire off and no corrosion and looks like good contact with plug. There is no primer/choke on this model.

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Old 08-17-2009, 02:10 PM   #2
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


Chances are the last owner couldn't get it working & returned it
I'd take it back

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Old 08-17-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


Does it have an on/off or safety switch? If not, I'm with Dave, take it back. You stated its rated as a dog and was already returned once.
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:42 PM   #4
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


I'm gonna take a look tonight when I get home from work and I'm *hoping* that I'm just an idiot and there is a switch I'm missing or something simple. This is my first pressure washer, aside from the electric one I had for a day and returned. It came 'open-box' but included everything except for a little 'tip connector tube' that the previous owner must have failed to put back in the bag when he returned it.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:54 PM   #5
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


Got home and took a look. Didn't see anything I was doing wrong, so I figured I'd give it one last try and dump some of the oil out of it (it had been way overfilled by the previous owner and the instruction manual stated in the 'filling the oil' section to not overfill or it would be hard to start). No luck.

I then loaded it into my van and realized I had forgotten to take the tip connector wand thing out of the van and never hooked it up to the pressure gun. I *doubt* it would make a difference as I can't imagine that that metal extension rod would trigger some sort of safety cutoff in the pressure washer, but I guess I'll never know cus I returned it to Sears.

So now the problem is...I need a pressure washer and I can't afford/don't want to spend more than $300 for one (preferrably less). The electric ones I think are too weak, based on the one I tried yesterday and returned. The < $300 ones from Home Depot and Lowes and Sears all get pretty bad reviews.
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:02 AM   #6
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


Check to see if your local Home Depot or Rental yard rents them, especially if you don't envision using more than a couple times a year. Check local classifieds, Craigslist, etc. You obviously can't return them if there is a problem, but there are some great deals to be had, especially as summer is winding down, people start getting rid of this stuff because they need the room, need the money, or simply plan to upgrade next year so they'd rather not store all winter...

Another thought is to simply pay someone to do the work for you, even if it's just this first time. Let them use their high dollar inndustrial equipment to erase 10 years of neglect, then maybe you can get away with using a $99 electric job for the regular monthly cleaning

Last edited by Mr Chips; 08-18-2009 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:19 AM   #7
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


I bought my Honda 2250 psi off Craigslist for about $200 I think
It looked brand new & works great
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:37 PM   #8
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


With pressure washers, more than any other product I can think of, you can't go cheap. You need to spend more than $200 (new) to get something decent. I went through two that were under $200 in the SAME DAY. One broke after about five minutes, and the second broke just after I finished my job (thankfully).

I haven't purchased one since, but if I ever have a need, I'll put up the money for a good one.
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:38 AM   #9
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


I got my pressure washer from Lowes, a Troybuilt 2550psi, on sale for $229, and I don't know about bad reviews, but mine works like a charm. has started every time first time. I pressure wash my house, deck and driveway with it twice a year and it's lasted 3 years so far. the only problem I've had is when I tried to PW my grill, and the water pressure cut the wood handles in two : )
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:53 AM   #10
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy Jay View Post
With pressure washers, more than any other product I can think of, you can't go cheap. You need to spend more than $200 (new) to get something decent. I went through two that were under $200 in the SAME DAY. One broke after about five minutes, and the second broke just after I finished my job (thankfully).

I haven't purchased one since, but if I ever have a need, I'll put up the money for a good one.
Listen very closely to Handy Jay....he is spot on. If you can't come up with AT LEAST $300 then you'll be wasting your money. I bought a Karcher gas 2400 psi model before they made their pump heads out of brass like they do now....therefore I learned the hard way you need to treat the pump with pump protector after EVERY time you use it otherwise in corrodes internally and becomes a big paperweight in a matter of months http://www.homedepot.com/Outdoors-Ou...atalogId=10053

And 2400 psi works ok for me but wish I had more umph. If I were to buy one again I'd likely spend $400 to $500....I would be SURE to get one with a brass pump head ....and shoot for minimum 3000 psi with as much gpm as possible. One thing I discovered is that having one is WAY more useful than I ever thought. Like Handy says...this is one product where you do get what you pay for...go cheap and it will be and you will regret without a doubt. You've seen all this already with the electric one you bought and now the craftsman. Only other option is find a used one that meets the above criteria that you believe has been well maintained. Good luck!
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:41 AM   #11
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


I spent $5,000 for my hot water PW. 5 gpm, 3,000 psi. I have no idea how many hours, but I got it in 1999. Ten years, it still works. But, I did not get a Home Cheapo POS. Those in the trade get the giggles when a home owner spends $300.00 and all day cleaning something. Call a Professional for that first cleaning. Make sure he is insured, bonded and has worker's comp if he sends employees to do the job. Licensing may be required.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:41 AM   #12
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


If you're making money off of the $5000 pw then that's one thing. The vast majority of us are not, so it would be utterly stupid to spend that much money on a pw. For that much money I could have a pro do it for me, for the lifetime of my mortgage....

We did wind up just getting a pro to pw the house/yard/etc.

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I spent $5,000 for my hot water PW. 5 gpm, 3,000 psi. I have no idea how many hours, but I got it in 1999. Ten years, it still works. But, I did not get a Home Cheapo POS. Those in the trade get the giggles when a home owner spends $300.00 and all day cleaning something. Call a Professional for that first cleaning. Make sure he is insured, bonded and has worker's comp if he sends employees to do the job. Licensing may be required.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:25 PM   #13
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Craftsman Pressure Washer Won't Start


Another thing to keep in mind if you use a power washer and you are on your own well -- make sure you have plenty of reserve -- In power washing my boat, I ran my in-laws deep well dry for a short spell and sucked in a bunch of grit doing it too Needless to say he was not real happy

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