How to Clean Carburetor on Craftsman Pressure Washer: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you own a Craftsman pressure washer, you know how important it is to keep it well-maintained for optimal performance. One crucial component that needs regular attention is the carburetor. Over time, the carburetor can become clogged with dirt, debris, and old fuel, which can lead to decreased power, difficulty starting, and poor fuel efficiency. In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to clean the carburetor on your Craftsman pressure washer to ensure it operates at its best.

The first step in cleaning the carburetor is to ensure that the pressure washer is turned off and the engine is cool. Safety should always be a priority when working on any machinery. Once you have taken this precaution, you can proceed to locate the carburetor on your Craftsman pressure washer. The carburetor is typically found near the engine, and it is responsible for mixing the fuel and air to create the combustion necessary for the engine to run.

Next, you will need to remove the air filter and the carburetor bowl. The air filter prevents dirt and debris from entering the engine, while the carburetor bowl collects any sediment that may have passed through the fuel system. It is important to thoroughly clean both components to ensure that no contaminants remain in the carburetor. You can use a small brush or compressed air to remove any build-up.

Once the carburetor bowl is removed, you may notice a small brass jet in the center. This jet is responsible for regulating the flow of fuel into the carburetor. If it becomes clogged, it can lead to fuel starvation and poor engine performance. It is essential to clean this jet using a brass wire brush or carburetor cleaner to remove any blockages.

After cleaning the carburetor bowl and jet, you can reassemble the carburetor by placing the bowl back in position and securing it with the screws. Make sure to reconnect any fuel lines or cables that were detached during the cleaning process. Once everything is reassembled, you can start the pressure washer and check for any improvements in performance. If necessary, repeat the cleaning process until the carburetor is completely free of contaminants.

Cleaning the carburetor on your Craftsman pressure washer is a simple yet essential maintenance task that can greatly enhance the performance and longevity of your machine. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your pressure washer operates at its best and continues to deliver reliable cleaning power for years to come.

The Importance of Cleaning the Carburetor on a Craftsman Pressure Washer

The carburetor is an important component in a Craftsman pressure washer that helps regulate the flow of fuel and air mixture to the engine. Over time, the carburetor can become clogged with dirt, debris, and old fuel, leading to poor engine performance and reduced efficiency of the pressure washer.

Regularly cleaning the carburetor is essential to maintain the optimal functioning of the pressure washer. A dirty or clogged carburetor can cause issues such as difficulty in starting the engine, rough idling, and uneven power output. It can also lead to fuel leakage and damage to other engine parts.

Cleaning the carburetor on a Craftsman pressure washer involves removing it from the engine, disassembling it, and thoroughly cleaning each part with carburetor cleaner. This process helps remove any built-up residue, varnish, or debris that may be obstructing the carburetor’s passages and jets.

By cleaning the carburetor, you can ensure that the fuel and air mixture is properly delivered to the engine, allowing it to run smoothly and efficiently. This will result in better performance and longer lifespan of the pressure washer.

Regular maintenance, including cleaning the carburetor, is essential for the proper functioning and longevity of a Craftsman pressure washer. It is recommended to clean the carburetor at least once a season or whenever you experience issues with the engine’s performance.

Why Regular Carburetor Cleaning is Essential for Your Craftsman Pressure Washer

The carburetor is an important component of your Craftsman pressure washer, responsible for mixing air and fuel to create the combustible mixture that powers the engine. Over time, dirt, debris, and old fuel can build up in the carburetor, causing it to become clogged or gummed up. This can result in decreased performance, difficulty starting, and even engine damage.

Regular carburetor cleaning is essential to ensure that your Craftsman pressure washer is functioning optimally and reliably. By performing regular maintenance and cleaning, you can prevent potential problems and prolong the lifespan of your machine.

Improved Performance: Cleaning the carburetor removes any clogs or build-up, allowing for better fuel flow and combustion. This can lead to improved performance and power output from your pressure washer, making it more effective at tackling tough cleaning tasks.

Enhanced Fuel Efficiency: A clean carburetor ensures that the fuel-air mixture is properly balanced, which promotes efficient combustion. This can result in better fuel efficiency, saving you money on fuel costs and reducing your carbon footprint.

Prevention of Engine Damage: When dirt or debris clogs the carburetor, it can cause the engine to run too lean or too rich, potentially leading to serious damage. Regular cleaning helps to keep the carburetor free from build-up, reducing the risk of engine problems and costly repairs.

Greater Reliability: By regularly cleaning the carburetor, you can remove potential sources of engine malfunctions and ensure that your Craftsman pressure washer starts easily and runs smoothly. This helps to avoid frustrating breakdowns and ensures that your machine is always ready to go when you need it.

Extended Lifespan: Taking the time to clean the carburetor regularly can help to extend the lifespan of your Craftsman pressure washer. By preventing damage and optimizing performance, you can enjoy reliable and efficient operation for years to come.

Overall, regular carburetor cleaning is essential for maintaining the performance, reliability, and longevity of your Craftsman pressure washer. By following a simple cleaning routine, you can keep your machine in top shape and ensure that it continues to deliver the power and cleaning performance you require.

Tools You’ll Need to Clean the Carburetor on a Craftsman Pressure Washer

1. Screwdriver

A screwdriver is essential for removing the screws and bolts that hold the carburetor in place. Make sure to have both a flathead and Phillips head screwdriver on hand, as different screws may require different types.

2. Wrench or Pliers

2. Wrench or Pliers

You may need a wrench or pliers to disconnect any fuel lines or cables that are attached to the carburetor. This will allow you to remove the carburetor from the pressure washer for cleaning.

3. Carburetor Cleaner

Carburetor cleaner is a chemical solution specifically designed to remove dirt, grime, and varnish from carburetors. Make sure to choose a cleaner that is safe for use on carburetors and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

4. Wire Brush

4. Wire Brush

A wire brush can be used to scrub away any stubborn debris or buildup that may be stuck on the carburetor. This tool is especially useful for cleaning small crevices and hard-to-reach areas.

5. Compressed Air

Compressed air can be used to blow out any remaining dirt or debris from the carburetor after cleaning. This will help ensure that the carburetor is completely clean and free from any blockages that could affect its performance.

6. Container for Soaking Carburetor Parts

You may need a container to soak the carburetor parts in carburetor cleaner. This will help to loosen and dissolve any stubborn buildup. Make sure to use a container that is large enough to fully submerge the carburetor parts.

7. Gloves and Safety Glasses

When working with chemicals and tools, it’s important to protect yourself. Wear gloves to protect your hands from any cleaner or debris, and safety glasses to protect your eyes from any splashing or flying particles.

Having these tools on hand will make the process of cleaning the carburetor on your Craftsman pressure washer much easier and more efficient. Remember to refer to your pressure washer’s manual for specific instructions on how to remove and clean the carburetor, as the process may vary slightly depending on the model.

Step 1: Disconnecting the Spark Plug

Before starting any work on your Craftsman pressure washer’s carburetor, it’s crucial to disconnect the spark plug to prevent any accidental starting. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Locate the spark plug: It’s typically located on the side of the engine and has a rubber boot connected to it.
  2. Remove the spark plug wire: Grasp the rubber boot firmly and pull it straight out of the spark plug. Make sure not to tug on the wire itself.
  3. Secure the spark plug wire: To prevent it from accidentally touching the spark plug and causing a spark, secure the wire away from the spark plug or engine.

Once the spark plug is safely disconnected, you can proceed to clean the carburetor of your Craftsman pressure washer. Remember to always follow safety precautions and wear protective gear when working on machinery.

Step 2: Removing the Carburetor Cover

Once you’ve located the carburetor on your Craftsman pressure washer, the next step is to remove the carburetor cover. This cover protects the internal components of the carburetor and ensures that it functions properly.

To remove the carburetor cover, you’ll need a screwdriver or a wrench, depending on the type of fasteners that are holding it in place. Carefully remove any screws or bolts that are securing the cover to the carburetor.

Once the fasteners are removed, gently lift the carburetor cover off of the carburetor. Be careful not to damage any of the gaskets or seals that may be present, as these are important for proper functioning of the carburetor.

After removing the carburetor cover, you’ll have a clear view of the carburetor’s internal components. Take a moment to inspect the carburetor for any signs of dirt, debris, or clogs. These can prevent the carburetor from functioning efficiently and may need to be cleaned or removed.

If you notice any issues with the carburetor, it’s a good idea to clean it thoroughly before reassembling the carburetor cover. Cleaning the carburetor will help ensure that it functions properly and can help extend the lifespan of your Craftsman pressure washer.

Step 3: Cleaning the Carburetor Jets and Passages

Now that you have removed the carburetor from your Craftsman pressure washer, it’s time to clean the jets and passages. These small components are responsible for delivering fuel to the engine, and over time, they can become clogged with dirt and debris.

To start, you will need a carburetor cleaner and a small brush. Begin by spraying the cleaner directly into the jets and passages, ensuring that all surfaces are covered. This will help break down any built-up residue and make it easier to remove.

Next, use the small brush to gently scrub the jets and passages. Be careful not to use too much force, as this can damage the delicate components. Instead, use a back-and-forth motion to dislodge any remaining debris.

After scrubbing, rinse the carburetor with clean water to remove any leftover cleaner and debris. You can use a small stream of water or an old toothbrush to ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.

Once you have finished cleaning, carefully inspect the jets and passages for any remaining debris. If necessary, repeat the cleaning process until they are completely clear and free of blockages.

Finally, allow the carburetor to dry completely before reassembling it onto your Craftsman pressure washer. This will help prevent any moisture from entering the engine and causing damage.

Remember, cleaning the carburetor jets and passages is an important step in maintaining the performance of your Craftsman pressure washer. By regularly cleaning these components, you can ensure that your pressure washer runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

Step 4: Reassembling the Carburetor

After thoroughly cleaning the individual components of the carburetor, it’s time to reassemble them. Follow these steps to put the carburetor back together:

  1. Install the Main Jet: Begin by carefully placing the main jet back into its designated hole in the carburetor body. Make sure it is aligned properly and securely in place.
  2. Reattach the Float and Needle Valve: Next, reconnect the float to the carburetor body and then install the needle valve. Ensure that the float and needle valve are properly aligned and seated.
  3. Attach the Throttle Plate: Place the throttle plate back onto the throttle shaft and secure it in place using the retaining screw.
  4. Reinstall the Choke Valve: If you removed the choke valve during the cleaning process, carefully reattach it to the carburetor body.
  5. Replace the Gaskets: It is important to replace any old or damaged gaskets with new ones. Place the gaskets back onto their respective positions on the carburetor body.
  6. Reconnect the Fuel Lines: Finally, reconnect the fuel lines to their appropriate fittings on the carburetor. Ensure that they are securely attached and there are no leaks.

Once all the components are reassembled, your carburetor is ready to be attached back to the pressure washer. Make sure to follow the appropriate steps for reattaching the carburetor and connecting all the necessary hoses and connections. Consult the user manual for your Craftsman pressure washer for detailed instructions on how to properly reattach the carburetor.

Step 5: Reconnecting the Spark Plug and Testing the Pressure Washer

Once you have completed the carburetor cleaning process on your Craftsman pressure washer, it is time to reconnect the spark plug and test the machine to ensure it is working properly.

Reconnecting the Spark Plug

Reconnecting the Spark Plug

First, locate the spark plug wire that you had disconnected earlier. Carefully slide the spark plug wire back onto the spark plug and push it in until you feel a click, indicating that it is securely attached.

Pro tip: Make sure not to touch the metal part of the spark plug with bare hands, as it can cause a shock.

Testing the Pressure Washer

Testing the Pressure Washer

Now that the spark plug is reconnected, it’s time to test the pressure washer. Follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that the fuel tank is filled with fresh gasoline.
  2. Turn the fuel valve to the “On” position.
  3. Switch the ignition switch to the “On” position.
  4. Engage the choke if your pressure washer has one.
  5. Pull the starter cord firmly and quickly to start the engine.
  6. Once the engine is running, disengage the choke if you had it engaged.

If the pressure washer starts and runs smoothly, you have successfully cleaned the carburetor and reconnected the spark plug. You can now use your Craftsman pressure washer for your cleaning tasks with confidence.


What is a carburetor and what does it do?

A carburetor is a device found in small engines, like those on a pressure washer, that mixes air and fuel in the correct proportions for combustion. It also regulates the flow of fuel into the engine.

Why would I need to clean the carburetor on my Craftsman pressure washer?

Over time, the carburetor can become clogged with dirt, debris, and varnish from old fuel. This can cause the engine to run poorly or not start at all. Cleaning the carburetor is a necessary maintenance step to ensure the pressure washer operates efficiently.

What tools do I need to clean the carburetor on a Craftsman pressure washer?

You will need a screwdriver, carburetor cleaner, a cleaning brush, compressed air, and gloves for protection. Some other optional tools include a carburetor rebuild kit, a carburetor cleaning solution, and a can of spray lubricant.

Can I clean the carburetor without removing it from the pressure washer?

Yes, you can clean the carburetor without removing it, but it may not be as thorough. It is recommended to remove the carburetor for a more effective cleaning. However, if you choose to clean it on the machine, be sure to use a carburetor cleaning solution and compressed air to remove any debris.

How often should I clean the carburetor on my Craftsman pressure washer?

The frequency of carburetor cleaning depends on how often you use your pressure washer and the condition of the fuel you are using. It is generally recommended to clean the carburetor once a year, or more frequently if you notice any performance issues.


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