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Recall warning: This popular power washer can accidentally poison you

Published Jun 14th, 2022 4:14PM EDT
A person cleaning a driveway with a pressure washer.
Image: sbw19/Adobe

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Home products and electronic devices that malfunction can lead to all sorts of unwanted consequences. Such is the case with certain Electric Start Pressure Washers that are part of a Generac Power Systems recall. The devices can malfunction and start themselves without any user input. If that happens while they’re stored indoors, they pose a serious risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The pressure washers run on gasoline, which is why they generate carbon monoxide while in use.

Generac customers who own one of the models included in the recall should ensure the machines can’t poison them accidentally. The company explains how to prevent the pressure washers from starting by themselves and advises consumers to reach out for free repairs.

Generac pressure washer recall

Generac issued the pressure washer recall in late April, with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) posting the announcement at this link.

DR Power and Generac electric start pressure washes are part of the recall. Model numbers DPW3100DEN, DPW3101DEN, DPW3102DEN, G0071320, G0071321, G0071430, and G0071431 are included in the action, with the following list providing more identification details. You’ll find the model number and serial on a label on the product’s frame:

  • DR Pressure Washer PRO 3100: Model Number: DPW3100DEN; Serial Number Range: 3003024185-3004600505
  • DR Pressure Washer PRO 3100: Model Number: DPW3101DEN; Serial Number Range: 3003074891-3004603299
  • Pressure Washer PRO 3100: Model Number: DPW3102DEN; Serial Number Range: 3006177112-3008763507
  • 3125 CON GAS PW ES CARB EPA3: Model Number: G0071320; Serial Number Range: 3002690991-3005933713
  • 3125 CON GAS PW ES CARB EPA3: Model Number: G0071321; Serial Number Range: 3003692980-3009910753
  • CON GAS PW ES SPEEDWASH CARB EPA3: Model Number: G0071430; Serial Number Range: 3002778837-3005933361
  • 3125 CON GAS PW ES SPEEDWASH CARB EPA3: Model Number: G0071431; Serial Number Range: 3006132052-3006132052

Generac sold about 53,000 potentially faulty pressure washers in the US. Also, an additional 1,750 were sold in Canada. The Canadian recall announcement is available at this link.

The company received nine reports of the pressure washer starting by itself, without being connected to a water source. Thankfully, there were no reports of property damage or injury.

Generac Electric Start Pressure Washers recall: label location.
Generac Electric Start Pressure Washers recall: label location. Image source: CPSC

The pressure washers were available nationwide from the following major home improvement and hardware stores: Ace Hardware, Amazon, City Electric Supply, Costco, Do It Best, eBay, Essendant, Fastenal, Home Depot, Lowe’s Stores, Menard’s, Orgill, Power Equipment Direct, Ravitsky Bros., Tractor Supply, True Value, and Walmart.

The company sold the impacted power washers from February 2018 through February 2022, charging between $450 to $650 per unit.

What you should do

The pressure washers in the recall have an electric start/stop button for the unit’s gasoline-powered engine. Also, they feature a rechargeable battery used to power the button. This is apparently the source of the problem.

Generac urges customers to stop using the pressure washers in the recall unless they have removed the rechargeable battery. That simple action is enough to prevent the machines from starting accidentally. Customers should use the pressure washer via the pull-start option once they disable the button starter.

Generac Electric Start Pressure Washers recall: label example.
Generac Electric Start Pressure Washers recall: label example. Image source: CPSC

The firm says buyers should contact Generac to have an authorized dealer replace the start/stop switch on the pressure washer. Also of note, the repairs will be available free of charge to all customers.

Finally, customers should check out the product recall announcement at the CPSC — see this link. Buyers in Canada have a local recall announcement available at this link. The press releases contain additional imagery and contact information for Generac.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.