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Homelite Pressure Washer Problems: Engine & Motor Troubleshooting & Repair

Homelite pressure washers are a preferred choice in terms of durability and ruggedness. However, as with every other device, operational hitches are always likely. Most pressure washer users often complain of difficulties starting their gas or electric pressure washers. The underlying source behind all these problems lies in the prime mover (i.e., engine in gas and motor in electric pressure washers).

Homelite Pressure Washer Problems: Engine/Motor Troubleshooting & Repair

If a Homelite gas-powered pressure washer has trouble starting, ensure that the carburetor jets, air, and fuel filters are free of debris. Inspect the fuel lines for a vapor lock and ensure the fuel tank vents are clean. If an electric pressure washer from Homelite would not start, check the input voltage, power supply, and fuses. If the motor buzzes, search for a faulty capacitor, a faulty pump, or a pressure buildup in the system.

This blog post helps solve your issues if you use a Homelite pressure washer and have the above-discussed problems. I have listed some of the commonly occurring issues that can arise in both gas and electric washers. Moreover, the complete troubleshooting and fixing procedure will also be discussed.

Problems with the Homelite Gas Pressure Washer Engine

The most common Homelite gas pressure washers have a 2700 PSI and 2.3 GPM flow rate. Other models at the time of writing have 3100 PSI and 3600 PSI ratings and can slightly change when new models are introduced.

A four-stroke gas engine powers the pump of a Homelite gas pressure washer Engine and fuel system components increases the complexity and maintenance needs of the system. Because of this, gas-powered pressure washers tend to develop more problems that need to be fixed compared to their electric-powered counterparts.

The following are common issues with Homelite pressure washer engines:

● 1. Homelite Pressure Washer: Keeps Stopping and Starting

If your pressure washer starts and stops, a plugged carburetor jet or a vapor lock in the fuel lines might be the fault. Occasionally, a debris-clogged fuel filter may cause a similar problem.

Stale gasoline deposits can obstruct carburetor jets, leading to most engine starting problems with pressure washers. Hence, the amount of gasoline that enters the engine hinders combustion, lowering the engine’s output.

Besides a clogged carburetor or filter, a vapor lock could also be the source of the issue. Typically, a vapor lock is caused by a blockage in the fuel tank vents, which causes a constant buildup of gas vapors in the fuel lines and ultimately interrupts the engine’s fuel supply.

– How to Fix?

Clean your carburetor’s jets with WD-40 or a carburetor-cleaning solution to fix this problem. Ensure that all flow passages, including the bowl’s nut, which is also a jet, have been adequately cleaned. In addition to cleaning the carburetor, you should inspect and replace the fuel filter if necessary. I also advise cleaning the fuel tank vents to minimize vapor accumulation and lock.

● 2. Homelite Pressure Washer: The Engine won’t run

If your engine would not start, confirm that the spark plug is in good working condition. If the problem persists, unscrew the carburetor and clean the ports with a carburetor-cleaning liquid.

Carbon buildup erodes spark plug electrodes over time, reducing spark quality and making engine starting more difficult.

– How to Fix?

To check the electrodes, the spark plug must be removed. If the electrodes have been compromised, replace the plug. If the problem remains, consider cleaning the carburetor of your pressure washer. Remove the carburetor and clean it well to eliminate any gasoline residue. I suggest investing in a carburetor repair kit with a cleaning solution to eliminate sticky residues.

● 3. Homelite Pressure Washer: Engine Stops

If your engine fails to start after a brief period of use, examine and completely clean the air and fuel filters. Check for vapor lock in the tank and check that the carburetor is clean and well-adjusted.

Air and fuel filters protect the carburetor from foreign particles. As a result, dirt typically collects in these filters, changing the air-fuel ratio and lowering the engine’s output.

Examine these filters to determine the cause of the issue, and clean or replace them if required. Check the fuel tank vents for a vapor lock and adjust the carburetor screws if the problem persists.

● 4. Homelite Pressure Washer: Engine not providing enough Power

Ensure the water supply is enough and the hoses are not kinked if your pressure washer is not delivering sufficient power. It is crucial to have a clean air filter and carburetor jets.

If the engine is not producing enough power, the mix of air and fuel may be too rich. This indicates that the engine receives excessive fuel but not enough air to create sufficient power after combustion. It might be either the carburetor or the filters, or both.

– How to Fix?

Examine the air filter to ensure sufficient airflow; it should not be clogged with dust. In addition, the L and H screws of the carburetor must be properly set, as they affect the low and high RPMs of the engine.

Additionally, ensure that no air is trapped in the pump and that the hoses are not twisted since this might cause the engine to experience significant back pressure. Hence, the power output may get dropped.

● 5. Homelite Pressure Washer: Oil Leak

The most common source of engine oil leaks is a worn-out seal. Changing the seal would often fix the issue. In rare cases, an overfilled oil tank may result in an oil leak.

You may acquire an oil seal kit to ease the replacement of various types of seals. Generally, all oil inlets on your engine are fitted with oil seals located on each side of the engine and capped.

– How to Fix?

With a screwdriver, remove the seal and evaluate its condition. Replace it if it exhibits signs of wear. As a precaution, you should avoid overfilling your oil tank, as doing so might cause oil to leak from these inlets.

● 6. Homelite Pressure Washer: Water in Oil

Water in the engine oil is indicative of a defective oil seal. It would be best if you replaced the seal according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

When water is added to oil, the solution becomes milky. A worn oil seal is one probable reason, and another less likely reason is a piston that has suffered considerable fatigue. Over time, piston metal wears away due to mechanical wear, increasing the gap between the piston and the cylinder walls.

Therefore, water from the intake manifold that enters the cylinder head may enter the crankcase and mix with the oil to create a milky suspension.

– Possible Solutions:

Your engine’s seals and gaskets could be damaged. Therefore, replacing the engine’s seal/head gasket is necessary. If your engine’s warranty is still in effect, contact the manufacturer and request these replacements. I would not recommend changing your seals/gaskets if you are still under warranty.

If your engine’s warranty has expired, you can get the seals repaired by a specialist. In the event of a worn-out piston, check with the manufacturer to see whether the engine is still under warranty. If this is not the case, your pressure washer’s engine will cease functioning, and you may need to purchase a new pressure washer instead.

Homelite Electric Pressure Washer Problems

Homelite has one electric variant in the market at the time of writing, and it has a pressure rating of 1020 PSI is known for its compactness and portability. But it can be expected that other models will follow.

Gas-powered pressure washers require more upkeep than their electric versions. This is because an electric motor has fewer moving parts, which simplifies the operation compared to a gas engine. Hence, the risk of failure, as well as noise and emissions, are drastically reduced. Because of this, the demand for these pressure washers has risen.

The next part of the blog post discusses things specific to Homelite electric pressure washers. The most common problem with electric pressure washer motors is that they do not start or stop abruptly during operation. The motor may occasionally produce a buzzing sound without having any power.

● Homelite Electric Pressure Washer not running

If an electric pressure washer won’t start, check the fuse and make sure the electrical socket works. The electric motor may be faulty if the machine still won’t turn on.

If your pressure washer’s motor is not operating, check the following:

– Step 1: Examine the power outlet 

Check the electrical outlet first if your electric pressure washer is not functioning. Remove the washer’s cord and inspect the outlet with a voltage tester. If the pressure washer continues to fail, hit the reset button. If the problem persists, examine the circuit breaker in the fuel box. If the problem persists, examine the circuit breaker in the fuel box.

– Step 2: Examine the Fault Circuit Interrupter

A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) may have been activated due to a voltage drop. After disconnecting the pressure washer, reset the GFCI. If your pressure washer is wet and activates upon reconnection, allow it to dry before reattaching. If the pressure washer does not start after drying, proceed to the next step.

– Step 3: Examine the Extension Cable

Remove the extension cable from your pressure washer and attach it immediately to an electrical outlet. Ensure the plug is put correctly into the electrical socket. If it now works, the extension cable was most likely the source of the problem.

– Step 4: Inspect the Fuse

If the power outlet is functional (with a bulb or other device plugged in), check to see if the machine’s fuse or the socket’s fuse has blown. If you cannot find the fuse, see the owner’s manual. Replace the blown fuse for the motor to operate.

– Step 5: Inspect the electrical cable

The power cable may be defective if the pressure washer won’t start. By replacing the power cord, this issue could be resolved. But generally, I would have it fixed if your pressure washer’s warranty is valid. Else you may either replace the cable on your own or ask a professional for help. 

– Step 6: Examine the Capacitor

A pressure washer with a faulty capacitor typically produces a buzzing sound from the motor. Changing the capacitor yourself is an option if this is the problem. You should obtain professional assistance if you do not have the skills for this work. If the motor of the pressure washer does not start after performing the above methods, we can conclude that the motor has failed and must be repaired or replaced by the manufacturer.

● Homelite Electric Pressure Washer Motor Stops

A defective socket or bad capacitor is one of the most frequent reasons a pressure washer motor stops. Occasionally, a voltage dip in the main plug might cause the machine to shut off.

When the voltage falls below a specified limit, the motor shuts off. To verify this, test the socket’s voltage with a multimeter. There are varied voltage requirements for pressure washers depending on your location. Typically, pressure washers are powered by voltages between 140V and 240V. A very long cable could lower this voltage due to the cable resistance.

If the voltage is sufficient, but the washer would not start, the capacitor may need to be replaced. It is characterized by the motor producing much less power and buzzing. After changing the capacitor, you should restart the pressure washer. If your pressure washer still does not start, contact the manufacturer to have the malfunctioning electric motor fixed or replaced.

● Homelite Electric Pressure Washer Motor Makes a Buzzing Noise

A buzzing noise from the electric pressure washer’s motor indicates a faulty capacitor or a significant pressure buildup in the system. There could be an issue with the pump as well.

  • Capacitor: A malfunctioning capacitor is the most typical cause of buzzing in a motor. Inadequate charge storage causes a decrease in motor RPMs. Replace the capacitor and see whether the buzzing ceases.
  • Low Voltage: If the input voltage is below the operating range of the pressure washer, the motor may not run at the correct RPMs and create a buzzing sound.
  • Pressure Buildup: When the spray gun is not used, water pressure builds up in the hoses. This creates significant back pressure on the pump and motor, reducing rotational speed. To release the pressure on the engine, push the spray gun’s release button.
  • Damaged pump: If pressure washer pumps are not maintained properly, they are likely to fail and cause the engine to overheat owing to insufficient pump pressure. Ensure that your pump is regularly oiled to ensure its durability and longevity.

Homelite Pressure Washer troubleshooting table:

Problem
Cause
Solution
Pressure washer not producing high pressure
Hose with small diameter
Replace your hose with a 1″ (25mm) or 5/8″ (16mm) hose
Restricted water supply to the washer
Check for the kinks and leaks in the hose
Inadequate water supply
Ensure the water source is unobstructed and fully turned on
Clogged intake filter
Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water
Air in the pump
Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip
Suction tube or detergent bottle not connected properly
Install the suction tube and detergent bottle correctly
Detergent too thick
Dilute the thick detergent by adding water
Obstructed spray tip
Remove the debris with a needle
No pressure tip on the wand
Install a suitable pressure tip at the end of the wand
If your model has a belt, it can be loose.
Tighten or replace the belt.
Problem
Cause
Solution
Pulsing pressure washer (output pressure varies high and low)
Inadequate water supply
Ensure that the water source is fully on and check the hose for kinks and blockage
Obstructed spray tip
Remove the debris with a needle
Pump sucking air
Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip
Clogged intake filter
Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water
Calcified hose, tip, or trigger
Clean the hose, pressure tip, or trigger with vinegar or a cleaner designed for this purpose
Problem
Cause
Solution
Noisy Pump
Air in the pump
Ensure that the hose and fittings are airtight. Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger until water flows steadily from the spray tip
Clogged inlet filter
Remove the filter and rinse it with warm water
Pump leaking water
Damaged or worn water seals
Replace the seals with new ones or call a professional
Loose fittings
Ensure that all the fitting are tight
Erratic water pressure, changing up and down
Unloader valve
Check and clean the unloader valve. If in bad shape, replace it
No output pressure. Or motor stops when using the trigger (electric models)
Unloader valve
Check and clean the unloader valve. If in bad shape, replace it

● Homelite Electric Pressure Washer Motor troubleshooting table:

Problem
Cause
Solution
Motor won’t start
The power switch is in the “OFF” or “0”  state
Turn the power switch “ON” or “1”
Cord not plugged
Plugin the power cord
Damaged, too long, or improper extension cord
Replace the existing cord with a 25′ (7.6m) 14 AWG cord or a 50′ (15m) 12 AWG cord
Inadequate power from the electrical outlet
Plug the cord in a different outlet
The pressure washer circuit breaker tripped
Wait for the washer to cool down and restart it
Motor buzzes but fails to run
Loss in voltage due to the extension cord
Plug the unit directly into the outlet without an extension cord. If the problem isn’t solved, replace the extension cord
Low supply voltage
Ensure that only the pressure washer runs on that circuit at the time of use
Residual pressure in the system
Shut off the washer and squeeze the trigger to release pressure
Residual friction among the internal components
Cut the water supply and turn the machine ON for 2 to 3 seconds. Try it a couple of times or until the motor starts. Don’t let the machine run dry for more than 3 seconds.
Unit not used for long periods
Call a professional
Motor not working
Faulty Timer
Disconnect the leads from the timer. If your pressure washer doesn’t turn off after the time out, it means that the timer is faulty and you need to replace it.

● Homelite Gas Pressure Washer Engine troubleshooting table:

Problem
Cause
Solution
Leaks in the spray wand, spray tip or extension
Damaged or broken O-rings or plastic insert
Replace the worn O-rings or call a professional
Pressure washer pump dripping oil
Worn or damaged oil seals
Inspect the oil seals and replace if worn
No water from the washer outlet
The water supply is off
Turn the water supply ON
Kink in the hose, or faucet not fully open
Remove any kinks and debris from the hose or water lines. Check and fully open the faucet.
Problem
Cause
Solution
Motor won’t start
Check the battery
Check if the battery is charged correctly. Charge or replace when in bad condition. Examine the battery terminals for a proper connection. Clean if needed.
Check the fuel filter
Clean the fuel filter if dirty. In that case, check the gas tank, as this is the most likely culprit.
Check the gas supply
Check the fuel level and add if needed. Ensure that the gas can flow to the carburetor. Remove any blockage.
Check the Air-filter
Clean the air filter. Replace when it is in bad condition, or it is a paper air filter.
Check the carburetor
Remove and clean the carburetor with some carb cleaner. It is also possible to clean it without removing it.
Fuel gap blocked
Check that the hole in the fuel cap is open. Clean if needed.
Engine is stalling, or starts and stops
Check the carburetor
Remove and clean the carburetor with some carb cleaner. It is also possible to clean it without removing it.
Air filter
Clean the air filter. Replace when it is in bad condition, or it is a paper air filter.
Check for bad gas
Suppose you have old gas, more than a few months old. It can turn bad. Drain and replace the gas. Next time add a fuel stabilizer.
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