How To Winterize Pressure Washers

A prevalent error regarding pressure washers that many users make is storing the machine in their shed or garage just like that. Without proper preparation and storage, often times a perfectly good pressure washer can lose its otherwise healthy life very quickly over time. Imagine you are about to go on a hiatus, but you haven’t been given proper clothing or food before leaving. What would that do to you? Definitely nothing positive but the opposite instead. This is exactly what happens when you don’t winterize pressure washers.

By definition, winterize means to prepare something for the cold weather. ​In doing so, you help your machine by providing all the necessary things it will need throughout the entire period of sitting idle. This way, the machine will spring back to life without any issue when you restart it after this long phase of inactivity. Many manufacturers emphasize on this practice and the warranty of a pressure washer does not provide coverage for any damage that could have happened due to improper storage on your part.

Left over water in the pump of a pressure washer can aid in corrosion as contaminants or minerals buildup, which will result in wearing out the pump seals and pistons. And when this happens, it will definitely leave a dent in your wallet. Therefore, it is imperative to flush out the pump after every use and to buy a pump lubricant or antifreeze solution to help you with this. These products fill up the cavities inside the pump and eliminate the possibility of mineral buildup, protecting the pump, along with its pistons and seals.

Winterizing pressure washers are simple. It would take a maximum of 15 minutes of your time, once you get used to it, in exchange of a longer life span of the machine. Keep reading to get a comprehensive tutorial on how to winterize the two types of pressure washers.

For Gas Pressure washers

Gas pressure washers require more attention and are more susceptible to damages of the winter as it runs on gasoline. To winterize gas washers, you will be needing a fuel stabilizer and a pump saver oil; antifreeze solutions can be used too. Stabilizers, as the name suggests, stabilizes the fuel and prevents the different liquids in it from separating and degrading.

1) Start by adding the fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and run the machine for a few minutes to ensure that the stabilizer reaches the entire system.

2) Remove the soap / detergent, if any, from the respective tank and insert the detergent feed in a pool of clean water instead of the soap tank.

3) Connect your garden hose to the machine and turn the machine on with the lowest pressure nozzle attached. Run it for some time so that any previous soap water is flushed out entirely.

4) Once done, stop the water source and remove the garden hose from the inlet. Re-engage the trigger now and continue for some time to remove any remaining water from the system. Then remove the pressure hose along with the nozzle and hang them on hooks for draining.

5) Run the machine for about a minute with everything disconnected to further drain the pump of any liquid.

6) Attach the pump saver oil nozzle to the garden hose inlet and press the trigger until you see the released lubricant shooting out of the outlet. Once it happens, remove the lubricant from the inlet and you are almost done.

7) If there is any other specific instruction on the manual, follow it before cleaning up the unit one last time and storing it away in a warm, dry place. Don’t forget covering it up to keep away dust and rust.

Take a look at the video below:

For ​electric Pressure washers

Winterizing an electric pressure washer is ​even easier.

1) Begin by placing the detergent feed in a bucket of clean warm water or simply add warm water to the detergent tank. This helps removing any stubborn residue.

2) Attach the garden hose and turn the tap on followed by turning the pressure washer on. Press the gun and keep spraying water for 2 minutes. This will remove all the detergent solution from the system.

3) Then disconnect the garden hose and re-press the gun to clear out the system further.

4) Now remove all the attachments from the unit and re-run the machine for a minute without anything attached to it.

5) Give the exterior a good wipe to dry off the surface and store the machine in a warm, dry place after covering it. Make sure there is no chance of water trickling in the unit. Also, don’t forget to drain the hoses properly and hang them up.

6) Adding pump oil or antifreeze solution is optional in this case.

​See the video to get a demo:

​And while you are at it, do take a look at our article on the differences between a gas and an electric pressure washer, along with out review article on some of the top electric pressure washers out there.

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