A pressure washer can be an incredibly useful device. It is, like so many other types of machines, also one that is more fragile than you might think. As such, it’s always a good idea to think about ways that you can protect your pressure washer from hazards like cold weather. If you cannot ensure that your pressure washer is going to be kept in an area that is fully climate-controlled until it starts to get a bit warmer, you’ll need to make sure that you understand exactly how to winterize your pressure washer to keep it safe and functional.
How To Winterize A Pressure Washer By Type
Gas Pressure Washers
Winterizing your gas pressure washer actually isn’t all that tough. You’ll only need a few items, but try to make sure that you have them ahead of time. Before you get ready to winterize your pressure washer, you’ll want to pick up the following:
- Fuel stabilizer
- A bucket
- Access to a water source or a hose
While there are quite a few different kinds of stabilizers and antifreeze out there, it’s usually recommended that you choose the brand that’s indicated in your washer’s manual. Failure to do so probably won’t hurt the pressure washer, but it’s almost always better to be safe than sorry.
Your first step in winterizing is going to be to go ahead and add the fuel stabilizer to your washer, letting the amount specified by the can and/or your owner’s manual cycle through the device for about two minutes while the engine is on. Once you’ve hit the two-minute mark, you can move on to the next step.
Next up is getting the detergent out of the pressure washer. You’ll take your detergent hose and put it in the bucket and then turn on the washer as normal. Run the washer, holding down the detergent dispenser until you’ve removed all of the detergents from the system. You’ll also want to turn off the water supply after this point, letting the rest of the water in the unit drain out.
The next step is to drain absolutely everything out. This means not only the hoses but also the spray gun. This will help you to stop these parts from freezing over the winter, which can create cracks that will make your pressure washer less effective. You should generally try to store both your hose and the spray gun off the ground and away from moisture as best you can for the remainder of the winter.
Finally, you’ll add in the anti-freeze. This goes directly into the pump inlet, and you’ll find the necessary directions for exactly how to do this on the can. Once this is done, just cover up your pressure washer with a good cover and make sure that it’s kept in a cool, dry area. A climate-controlled space is always ideal, but the preparations you’ve taken during this process will help you to ensure that your pressure washer will stay in good shape even if it’s got to stay out in the relative cold.
Electric Pressure Washers
Electric pressure washers take a slightly different path towards being winterized, but they’re actually a bit easier to prepare than their gas-based cousins. You’re not going to have to deal with the first step listed above, though you will have to take some modified steps to ensure that your pressure washer is ready for the winter.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to deal with the detergent tanks. Exactly what you need to do here varies by model. In some cases, you’ll just fill up your detergent tanks with hot water while in others you’ll take the siphon hose from your pressure washer and place it in a gallon bucket of hot water.
The next few steps are exactly the same as those that you would have followed if you had a gas power washer. You’ll hook up your pressure washer to a hose and clean out as much of the detergent from the machine as possible, followed by making sure that you drain all of the water from the hose and spray gun attachment. Once you’re done, make sure to store your hoses and spray gun in a safe, dry place for the winter.
Finally, you’ll need to add in your antifreeze. As always, the instructions you need for this process should be found both on the antifreeze bottle and in your user’s manual. Once you are done, you can cover up your machine and store it somewhere as dry as possible. Your electric washer should quite easily make it through the winter if you have managed to follow all of these steps.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do pressure washers need to be winterized?
Yes, pressure washers need to be winterized whenever you’re not able to ensure that your washer will be kept in an area that’s fully climate controlled. The biggest problem is that most pressure washers tend to be kept in spaces that are dry but that ultimately aren’t all that well insulated – they are kept in garages and sheds where the temperature can drop and where ice can form. Unless you’re going to keep your pressure washer in the house for the entirety of the winter, you’ll need to make sure that you go through a basic winterization process to ensure that it isn’t damaged by the cold during the winter months.
2. How do I winterize my pressure washer?
It largely depends on your pressure washer. You’ll start by making sure that you can drain all of the water out of the device, then make sure that you drain all of the detergent solutions. Once you’re done, you’ll use a pump saver to make sure that you’ve got nothing but antifreeze in the unit. Finally, you’ll make sure that your pressure washer is covered and stored in an area that’s going to stay dry during the winter. This will keep any ice from forming inside your pressure washer and give you a good chance to ensure that your pressure washer will start once the weather gets warm again.
3. How do you drain water out of a pressure washer?
You’re going to take a couple of steps to make sure that this is done properly. First and foremost, you’re going to drain the water out the old-fashioned way by running the machine and spraying it out. Once you’re done with this, you’re going to turn to a pump saver – a clever antifreeze device that’s going to help you to make sure that you get all of the water out of the areas that do not naturally drain. If you can do that, you won’t have to worry about water in your pressure washer in the winter.
4. How do you keep a pressure washer pump from freezing?
The best way to keep a pressure washer from freezing is to make sure that it is properly winterized. In short, this means making sure that you drain all of the liquid that can freeze out of the device and that you use products like antifreeze to make sure that freezing can’t occur. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you keep your pressure washer in an area that’s as dry as possible, as it’s almost impossible to keep the device from freezing if you cannot keep it from getting wet.