How to Winterize Your Pressure Washer

If you’re located in a part of the country where the winters are harsh, more than likely you’re not going to do any pressure washing during the cold months. That’s why it’s important to winterize your pressure washer, since the cold weather, combined with non-use, can make a pressure washer inoperable. To save money on repair or possibly even having to replace the unit, follow a few easy steps to winterize your pressure washer.

Things You'll Need

  • Fuel stabilizer
  • Pump saver

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Winterize Pressure Washer Engine

Keep water condensation from building up in the gas tank or the gas lines by nearly completely filling the gas tank and its gas lines with gas. Also add any common fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, following the manufacturer’s directions.

Run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the fuel stabilizer through the gas tank, gas lines and carburetor. Run the engine while the pressure washer is hooked up and you’re pressing the trigger of the gun so that water is circulating through the pump.

Remove all gasoline from the gas tank, fuel lines and carburetor as another option for winterizing your pressure washer engine. Follow the engine manufacturer’s instructions for removing all fuel from the fuel system.

Winterize Pressure Washer Water Pump

Remove residual cleaning solution or detergent by placing the injector line in a bucket of water and holding the gun trigger open until all of the water has been used up from the bucket, if the pressure washer setup is one that uses a pre-pump detergent injector. Turn off the engine and water to the pressure washer.

Press the gun trigger once again to remove some of the trapped water in the system, if the unloader on the pressure washer isn’t a flow actuated unloader but a pressure actuated unloader.

Disconnect water hose and pressure washer hoses to the pressure washer. Remove water still remaining in the water pump by pulling the engine starter pull cord until no more water burps from the water pump.

Preserve water pump seals, pistons and manifold--preventing them from sticking and/or cracking from long-time storage or excessively cold weather--by adding a common pump saver to the water pump. Screw the pump saver into the pressure washer water inlet, or where you connect the garden hose to the machine.

Follow pump saver manufacturer’s directions for use. Optionally, consult the pump manufacturer for doing an anti-freeze flush. Store the pressure washer in cool, dry place.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the trigger on the pressure washing gun is difficult to press when releasing trapped water, the pressure washing machine is equipped with a pressure actuated unloader and not a flow actuated unloader. If you cannot start the engine because of pressure on the system, release the pressure in the system by pressing the pressure washer gun trigger, then start the engine while pressing the gun trigger at the same time.
  • Always point the pressure washing gun away from people or breakable material when depressing the gun trigger.


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