If you live in a cold climate, odds are you know how to prepare for winter.
There are all kinds of things you should do if you want to keep safe when it gets cold. For example, your home and your car need to be prepared for freezing temperatures to stay in good condition.
Your tools are no exception to this, especially if they involve water or liquids in any way.
If you have a power washer, you should prepare it for the winter months. The moisture inside the washer is susceptible to freezing, which could cause problems down the line.
Winterizing a Power Washer: Basic Idea
To winterize your power washer, you will have to prepare all the internal workings. To do this, you should:
- Add fuel stabilizer
- Run the motor
- Flush the tanks
- Drain the hoses
Why Winterize Your Power Washer?
A power washer is a complicated piece of machinery that uses a gas engine to create pressure.
Any time an internal combustion engine is left to sit in the cold, it is at risk for damage. This is especially true if there is water involved in the mechanism.
Low temperatures can cause fuel to separate, which then clogs filters and causes rough running. It can also cause moving parts like pistons to seize up and cause severe damage.
When water expands in hoses and lines, it can crack them and cause leaks. Properly winterizing your power washer will help prevent these internal changes from happening.
Add Fuel Stabilizer to the Tank
To help prevent the separation of fuel, add a fuel stabilizer to your washer’s tank.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the type of stabilizer to use. This is incredibly important since some power washer engines don’t require it.
Fuel stabilizer helps stop the corrosion of parts inside the washer’s engine at cold temperatures. It will also keep the fuel viable and prevent it from freezing inside the gas tank.
Run the Engine
After you have added the fuel stabilizer, you should run the engine for 2-3 minutes.
Doing this will allow the stabilizer to make its way through the engine. It will also keep it from settling in the bottom of the tank.
Not only will this process keep your engine from seizing, it will save fuel.
It can be very difficult to remove fuel completely from the engine. If you are not able to remove it all, you could end up with degraded parts at the end of the winter.
Flush the Detergent
Once you have stabilized the fuel system, you will have to drain the detergent tank.
Hook up the washer to a garden hose like you would for normal operation. Then, put the detergent feed hose into a bucket of water.
Then, turn off the garden hose and run the washer until all the water has been flushed.
Disconnect and Drain all Hoses
Disconnect all the hoses and let them drain out naturally.
Store your hoses somewhere relatively warm where they will not freeze up. Also, make sure that you store your washer in a similar environment.
If you like, you can also get a pressure washer storage cover. These covers can help protect your washer from dust and rust when it is not in use.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I leave my power washer outside?
You should not leave your power washer outside, especially not in the rain.
The moving parts on your power washer can rust and corrode just like any engine. Always store it inside where it can stay warm and dry.
- Is it okay to start a power washer without water?
While you can start your power washer without water, you should not run it for long
Running your washer without hooking up the hose will make the pump work too hard. This can wear out the pump incredibly quickly and force you to replace it.
- How long can you run a power washer?
If you are not pressing the trigger, don’t run your power washer or carpet washer for more than five minutes.
Without the trigger engaged, pressure can build up in the washer. This can damage parts of the tank and engine and wear the pump out.
Taking care of your tools during the winter is the key to a long life for them.
By properly winterizing your power washer, you can keep it running for years and years. Plus, you won’t have to interrupt your work to get it fixed the next time you turn it on to do a job.