Have you ever stashed away your power washer in good working condition during winter only to realize that it was not working a month or so later? This is because you did not follow the basics of how to winterize a pressure washer. Read on to find out how to go about it.
Pressure washers, also known as power washers are hardy cleaning devices that need very little maintenance. However, they can get affected by exposure to extreme cold during winter.
Many people think that because they have their pressure washer stored in a shed or garage, it is protected from the elements. To some extent, it is. However, most sheds and garages are not well insulated against the elements. As a result, freezing temperatures are highly likely to damage your cleaning companion and unless you prepare the washer for hibernation, you may have pay for expensive repairs in the spring, or even need to purchase a new washer. Here is how to winterize a pressure washer:
Antifreeze For the Pump System
Extreme cold is likely to freeze and break components in the washer. To protect these components, remove the washer’s regular hose and replace it with a 3-foot garden hose.
Mix water with antifreeze in equal parts and pour the solution down the hose into the pump. Start the washer and hold the trigger until the antifreeze begins to come out of the pump outlet. Stop the power washer but continue pulling the trigger to let out the pressure within.
Drain the Gasoline or Stabilize it
Gasoline can gum up and obstruct the fuel lines during the cold season especially if the washer is not used over time. To prevent gasoline from gumming, drain it from the washer’s tank, fuel lines and carburetor.
Alternatively, you can opt to leave the gasoline in the fuel tank but make sure it is almost full tank and add a fuel stabilizer. Run the power washer for several minutes to enable the stabilizer to circulate throughout the fuel system before shutting it down.
Flush Out Water and Detergent
Water tends to expand when frozen. This can cause a lot of damage in your washer. To protect against this, attach the power washer to a garden hose. Place the washing solution feed hose in a container with clean water rather than the normal detergent tank. Turn on the washer and press the trigger with a low-pressure nozzle to allow it spew out water for a couple of minutes to flush out the detergent from the system.
Turn off the hose and detach it from the pump inlet. Press the trigger to flush out water.
Squeeze the trigger of the spray gun to release trapped pressure and set the lock. Disconnect, dry all the components and put them away in their proper place.
If you suspect there is leftover water in the pump, pull the recoil handle several times to get rid of it.
Remove Spark Plugs and Lubricate the Cylinders
Remove all the spark plugs and spray a lubricant into the cylinders and carburetor. Turn over the engine to allow all the components get a good coating of the lubricant.
Disconnect The Battery
To stop the battery from discharging slowly over time, disconnect it.
Change Oil and Filters
Sludge is likely to build up over winter in the oil and fuel filters. To keep these safe, change the oil, oil filter and fuel filter.
While the above steps on how to winterize a pressure washer apply mostly to the gas pressure washer, an electric power washer requires a slightly different approach.
The electric washer does not have a gasoline tank, so you have fewer components to deal with.
Begin by placing the washing solution hose in a water container. Fix the hose and turn on the tap.
Turn the washer on and allow the gun to run for a couple of minutes to clear all the detergent from the system. Disconnect the hose and pull the gun to flush out water from the pump.
Store the power washer in a warm, insulated place to protect against freezing. You can also add pump saver antifreeze solution to the pump to protect the inner seals from extreme weather.
Ultimately, if you have never been concerned about how to winterize a pressure washer, remember you cannot be too cautious about your unit. Keep in mind that the power washer is a great investment and it needs to be prepared for hibernation in order to prolong its life and keep it working optimally.