A pressure washer is a fantastic tool that makes outdoor cleaning jobs a breeze. Whether it’s cleaning your patio, your car, or whatever else these tools will save you plenty of time. With a high-pressure stream of water, they make eliminating dirt and grime a snap.
Like any complex piece of machinery though you should make sure you show them proper amounts of care. In colder climates, this includes preparing your washer for the coming winter. Failing to prepare your washer for the winter months can pose a risk that it will cease to function. Not only that, but it can also risk invalidating your warranty.
Thankfully, winterizing your pressure washer doesn’t take much effort. We are going to tell you exactly how to do it on this page.
The Purpose of Winterizing a Pressure Washer
During a cold winter season, it’s unlikely you’ll be using your pressure washer, so you have to prep it for storage. The cold weather can cause issues and damage your cleaner if it isn’t prepared though. For example, any water left inside the lines could freeze and turn into ice. This can end up causing serious problems damaging your pump or tearing a hose. There’s also the risk that rubber gaskets can dry out and crack. When that happens, it can reduce the amount of pressure that the tool can work at or even stop it from functioning at all.
It is worth noting that every pressure washer should have guidelines for winterizing. It is always worth flipping through your manual to find out how to work with your particular model. The following guides are more general guidelines for you to build upon.
Winterize a Gas pressure washer
Gas pressure washers are more difficult to winterize as there are a lot of working parts inside of one. They also need to be winterized a lot more frequently. Generally speaking, if you are not planning to use your gas pressure washer for a period of at least 30-days then you should winterize it.
To start the process, you will need to begin by adding a fuel stabilizer into the gas tank. Read the instructions for the fuel stabilizer you have purchased to determine the correct amount to use. Once you’ve added the stabilizer, flick on the engine and allow everything to run for somewhere between 2 and 3 minutes.
Next up, we are going to flush the system of any water and detergent inside. To do this, you are going to need to fill up a bucket of water. Place the hose that runs to the detergent tank into this bucket and turn on your pressure washer. Use a low-pressure nozzle and pull the trigger to let the water flush out the detergent. A few minutes should be more than enough time to completely flush the detergent. Then, remove the hose from the pump inlet and squeeze the trigger to expel any remaining water from the system.
Finally, locate the ‘pump saver’ inlet on your pressure washer (check your manual if you need help finding it). Add the amount of anti-freeze recommended by the manual. And just like that your gas pressure washer is now winterized.
Winterizing an Electric Pressure Washers
Winterizing an electric pressure washer is much easier than a gas-powered one. This is because you really only need to get rid of the detergent and water from the system.
First, you’ll want to flush clear any detergent from the system. Fill up a bucket full of water and put the detergent tank hose into it. Now connect the pressure washer to your garden hose and power it on. Run the washer while pulling the trigger for at least 2-minutes. This will expel the last of the detergent left inside.
After clearing the detergent line, you can disconnect the pressure washer from the hose. Squeeze the trigger one last time afterward to get rid of any remaining water inside.
Throughout the winter, your electric pressure washer should be stored indoors. This will stop it from freezing and damaging the internal seals. If you aren’t able to store it somewhere warm, then you should add a pump saver to protect the seals through the winter.
How to store your pressure washer during winter
You should ensure that your pressure washer is always stored in a warm and dry location. Inside an indoor storage closet or garage could be a better choice then a shed if you live in an extreme climate.
Purchasing a storage cover can provide even more protection for your tool during the long, cold months.