Winterize Your Pressure Washer With These Tips
Whether a gas pressure washer, electric pressure washer, or even just your garden hose, it is important to prevent the winter from wrecking your valuable home maintenance equipment. If you’re not careful, the hostile, sub-zero conditions can permanently damage such items, so when you need to use them again in spring or summer, they’re effectively useless! By following some basic steps, explained below, you’ll be able to rest assured that you won’t have to fork out for replacement or repair costs when you get to those glorious months.
1. Gas pressure washer
Harsh winter weather can damage your gas pressure washer’s fuel system and pump, so you need to be being as proactive as possible once you approach those dark, potentially destructive months. The following steps should help:
- Switch off the pressure washer and separate its water supply hose completely.
- Separate the spray gun from the pressure washer hose, as well as the hose from the high-pressure outlet.
- Ensure all water has been drained from the hose, gun, and nozzle extension; then, wipe dry with a cloth.
- Yank the pressure washer’s recoil several times to ensure no liquid is left therein.
- Wind the pressure hose around the hose wrap on the pressure washer’s accessory tray.
- Activate the Pump Saver to maintain the pistons’ and seals’ lubrication and minimize freezing in the pump.
- Completely remove any residual gasoline from the fuel tank; burn off any remaining fuel, if necessary. You can put in a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank to stop the fuel from partially congealing, potentially damaging the fuel system.
- Store in a dry area.
2. Electric pressure washer
If you can get your hands on some sort of specially formulated ‘pump guard’ or ‘pump saver’ additive, it will help preserve your electric pressure washer from corrosion, wear and tear, freezing conditions (-25F), as well as generally keeping seals and valves lubricated during those bitter months.
Before you get to that step, here are some other simple steps to take, so as your electric pressure washer will be in good working order throughout the times when you most need it:
- Turn your electric pressure washer off and wrap it up.
- Turn off the spigot; press the gun’s trigger a few times so that the remaining water pressure is released, any remaining water dispersed.
- Separate the hose from the spigot, then separate the detergent tank from the pressure cleaner, rinsing thoroughly. Detergent can cause clogs over time, if not removed.
- Coil up the power cord, untangling knots as applicable, winding it around the machine’s storage hooks.
- Keep your electric pressure washer stored safely on its storage hooks in winter months. Store it on a wall-hook so it remains dry and easily accessible.
- Ensure that the storage place isn’t subject to freezing conditions, else all your meticulous work might become null and void. If you’re keeping it in a cold garage, consider running ‘pump saver’ or ‘pump guard’ through it in order to prevent cracks when the temperature drops.
3. Garden hose
It’s not just your high-powered equipment that needs to be winterized but also your garden hose. Hose taps need to be closed off and drained, if possible. Here are a few more steps it would be prudent for you to take:
- Disconnect all hoses from external lawn faucets.
- Switch off the water valve that is inside your house.
- Open up the hose bib outside, which should contain very little to no water.
- Open up the bleeder cap on the valve, holding a bucket to catch any remaining water. Leave the cap closed over winter; don’t open again until spring.
- Purchase some “freeze-proof” hose bibs for your shut off valve, if you have one. This is a common problem; it’s often the so-called “freeze-proof” hose taps that need replacing, so clothing them in hose bibs could end up saving you money.
- If you have a long run of pipe outside your home, ensure all the water has been completely drained from it; this includes any dips which exist in the pipe because these can retain water and end up freezing. The overall trajectory of your pipe should be sloped downward.
- If the shutoff inside your house is hard to close, or continually leaking water, be sure to have this valve replaced.
It is worth investing in a little bit of TLC with regard to your pressure washer and a garden hose. Pressure washers can be extremely useful in cleaning a whole range of items, from patio slabs to fascias to wall moss to driveway detritus. You don’t need to do that much to preserve the equipment, and when you think how much benefit you’ll gain it is certainly worth the effort. A garden hose will keep your garden healthy, connect to a sprinkler, fill up a paddling pool, and help you clean your car. Hopefully, the tips shared above will help you get the most out of these valuable pieces of useful equipment.