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Unable to start gas engine on a NorthStar pressure washer

I have a NorthStar pressure washer (model # 1578922A), with a Tecumseh OHH55 gas engine and an Annovi Reverberi XTV pump (2030 PSI, 3 gpm, 3400 RPM, 4 HP).  I have been using it for several years without a problem.   However, now I am unable to start the engine.  The last time I ran the pressure washer, I noticed that the washer would sometimes "drag", acting as though it wasn't getting enough water through the pump -- though I checked the hoses and they were fine, without any kinks or leaks.
Here's what I have done: (1) replaced gas in tank with new gas (the gas was fairly old). (2) replaced air filter (it was pretty dirty). (3) replaced spark plug (I am getting spark). (4) cleaned out water inlet screen (it was a little dirty, but not too bad). (5) removed unloader valve and cleaned in soapy, warm water. After doing this, I am still not able to get the engine to start.  So I tried several other things: (6) instead of using the gas/carburetor priming bulb, I just shot some starting fluid (for drying out spark plug wires in car engines) directly into the carburetor.  The engine did startup briefly, but it never was able to go more than a few seconds before quitting. (7) I noticed that the pressure washer's starter pull-rope-coil would feel some resistance after a few tries on the pull-rope.  So I engaged the trigger on the gun while trying to start the engine.  Perhaps there is a issue with the pump itself?   Nevertheless, I was not able to get the engine to start, even though the resistance was now gone.  I probably should never have to engage the trigger on the gun while trying to start the engine since hopefully the unloader valve should take care of any problems.
I am not sure what to try next.  Are there any suggestions of what might be wrong, what can be done next to fix this?

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  • cmorledge Jan 10, 2009

    I actually found two problems with the pressure washer engine:


    (1) Yes, the carburetor was pretty dirty.  It took a few cleanings with some Gumout Air Intake and Throttle Body Cleaner and some canned air to clear out the gunk, but that took care of most of the problem.  Fortunately, the side-draft float bowl design on these Tecumseh carbs are pretty easy to work on without having to completely tear it apart.


    (2) Also, there was a leak in the breather tube.  Basically, the rubber tubing had split in half, so I replaced that as well.


    Now everything is working perfectly.  Thanks for the help!

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  • Master
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Disassemble and clean the carb. If it ran briefly with the starer fluid then gasoline is not coming through the carb.

Posted on Dec 30, 2008

  • Thomas F. Schneider Jan 11, 2009

    YOu are welcome Thanks for the positive  vote. 

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