(Solved) Pressure Washer Only Runs on Choke

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When pressure washer only runs on choke, it’s simply an indication that there is vast air in the carburetor. This can come a result of using bad gas, when there’s air leak in the structure, or there’s a dirty fuel system constraining the flow of fuel.

Sadly, operating your pressure washer on a choke can inflict severe damage, resulting in heavy and expensive repairs.

In this article, we will share more light and explain why your pressure washer will only run on choke and how to fix the problem before it escalated.

Let’s get started!

What is Choke?

A wonderful way to unravel what is bad with your pressure washer is to discern how it works. When an engine turns on, a choke valve will constrain the flow of oxygen in the carburetor of the engine. This will enable the engine to begin in low-temperature conditions.

Before an engine starts working, it is cool. It can be difficult to turn on the engine when it is at a cool temperature, so a choke valve enables you to kickstart the engine. It renders fuel more convenient for the engine to utilize, making it simpler for the engine to start. The choke valve is only presumed to be on for some seconds to get the engine turned on.

If your engine stalls out after rolling the choke off, then you have a situation. You should never run the engine on choke for any higher than five minutes as this can result in significant damage to the engine if you do that. You are also just wasting gas because the engine is not functioning effectively.

See Also: Why Kohler Engine Loses Power Under Load

Why Pressure Washer Only Runs on Choke

Here are three explanations for why your pressure washer will only run on choke.

1. Air Leak

For an engine to suitably work, there needs to be the exact quantity of air in the gas. If there is an inadequate fuel/air combination, the engine will delay if not on choke.

If there is an air leak, too much air could be going into the combustion chamber, which can impact the efficiency of the engine.

Searching for cracks in the fuel lines will enable you to discern where the issue area is, which will help you to look for a solution.

Troubleshooting air leaks

  1. Examine the air filter: A dirty air filter can constrain airflow and result in the engine running on choke, resulting in a rise in emissions
  2. Assess the hoses and fittings for leakages: A loose-fitting or a gash in a hose can enable air to elude
  3. Survey the engine manifold for leaks: A leak in the manifold can enable air to exit and cause the engine to run thin
  4. Search the exhaust system for leaks: If you believe there may be a leak in your exhaust system, have it inspected as soon as possible. A leak can result in dangerous emissions exiting from your engine, and could also be a fire risk

2. Using the Wrong Fuel

Another explanation your pressure washer is only running on choke could be that you utilized bad fuel. Bringing in the improper type of fuel in your pressure washer can result in many issues.

Certain engines need certain fuel and running on the wrong fuel can harm and even crack the engine. If your pressure washer is battling to run, take a look at what kind of fuel you have been utilizing.

Ensure you always inspect the fuel before putting it into the engine.

3. Fuel System Contamination

When the fuel system is polluted, it is mostly a mix of introducing the wrong fuel and retaining too much air in the fuel.

A fuel system pollution can affect the carburetor to clog, which halts the engine from functioning. When the carburetor is jammed, it can cause significant damage to the pressure washer.

To repair a clogged carburetor, you can either get it professionally tidied up or simply replace it.

What it comes down to is the adequate fuel/air balance. If there is an inadequate fuel/air mixture, the engine will delay if not on choke.

How to Troubleshoot a Pressure Washer That Only Runs on Choke

  1. Assess the fuel level in the pressure washer’s fuel tank. If it is insufficient, replenish it with fresh fuel
  2. Ensure the pressure washer’s choke is in the “ON” standpoint
  3. Begin the pressure washer and keep the trigger gun down
  4. Yank the choke lever on the pressure washer’s device to the “OFF” position
  5. Discharge the trigger gun and let the engine work

If your pressure washer will only run on choke, there is some stuff you can do to troubleshoot the issue.

Firstly, ensure that the choke is precisely in the on position.

If it is, try tidying up the carburetor by spraying some spray carb cleaner or carburetor cleaner into the bowl. If that doesn’t help, you may need to purchase a new carburetor.

How to Know the Correct Type of Gas For Your Pressure Washer

Introducing an improper kind of gas in your pressure washer will destroy the engine. It is also one of the major explanations that your pressure washer will only run on choke.

The gas you utilize for your car is faultlessly fine for your gas pressure washer, but there are some points to note.

Primarily, the gas should be new, meaning it should not be further than 30 days old.

Also, the gas must possess an 87-octane grade and possess up to 10% ethanol. Gas that doesn’t have an 87-octane rating can destroy the engine and result in the build-up.

Ensure that you are utilizing the right type of gas to guarantee your pressure washer will function at its best.

Troubleshooting Carburetor Problems

  1. Ensure the gas tank is filled with pristine gas. Trickle the gas if there is slime or debris in the fuel
  2. Survey the fuel line and carb fuel nook for cracks or leaks. Examine the primer bulb for cracks
  3. Assess the air filter for dirt or junk
  4. Tidy up the spark plugs and supplant if necessary
  5. Scan the ignition coil for any flaws
  6. Supplant the fuel pump if it is not functioning properly
  7. Examine the engine condensation

Keep the Carburetor in Good Condition

The carburetor is a significant component of the engine and has to be maintained in excellent condition. If the carburetor is not functioning properly, the engine will not run appropriately.

It is significant to maintain the carburetor’s cleanliness and be free from debris. When the choke is occupied, it impedes the flow of air and fuel to the engine. An abundance of fuel mixture can result in the engine running poorly and generating a higher level of condensing.

When the choke is connected, however, it hinders the airflow into the engine, which results in the fuel/air mixture becoming richer. This will induce the engine to run inadequately and generate a higher degree of compression.

Utilizing a fuel additive such as sea foam on small engines largely assists in impeding sticky fuel to guarantee your engine runs steadily and won’t hook up the carburetor.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my pressure washer only on the choke?

One possibility is that there is something hindering the fuel flow, like dirt or debris. Another one is that the engine is overrun, which can happen if you attempt to activate the pressure washer while it’s still damp from previous use.

Can you only run on a full choke?

No, you can’t only operate on a full choke. You can run on a modified choke, which is slightly more accessible than a full choke.

What happens if you leave the choke on the pressure washer?

A severe kind of flooding happens when a lot of fuel gets into the combustion chamber of the engine of your pressure washer.

Why does my pressure washer stall when I let go of the trigger?

That normally implies a fault in the unloader valve. It is an easy process to discard and replace the unloader.

How do you know if your unloader valve is bad?

Water leaks and inconsistent nature are also signs of a probable fault in the near future.


The reason why your pressure washer only runs on choke could be tiny but dangerous all the same. It is pertinent that you maintain your pressure washer and take good care of it at all times.

And when eventually, it happens, you can refer back to this article for help. I’m glad I could be of help. Do return some other time?