How to Winterize a Pressure Washer: A Step-by-step Guide

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If you don’t have any plan to use the pressure washer for the next couple of months (very likely if the winter is coming), you should take some necessary steps to store it properly.

Winterizing a pressure washer doesn’t involve too many steps, and nothing is complicated or expensive or time-consuming here.

Bear with me as I’m going to elaborately describe the steps on how to winterize a pressure washer.

Why should you consider winterizing the pressure washer?

No matter if you are using a gas pressure washer or an electric pressure washer, storing it properly for winter will certainly save it from invalidating the warranty.

Moreover, it will give the following benefits –

  • Protecting the engine/fuel system.
  • Saving the internal seals.

First, let’s get to know the way to winterize a gas pressure washer.

How to Winterize a Gas Pressure Washer

Once you finish the last project using your pressure washer, follow these simple steps to safeguard it from freezing temperature or damage.

Here are the items you would want to buy to complete the winterizing steps.

Step 1: First off, the obvious: you should focus on protecting the fuel system. To do so, use a fuel stabilizer. Add the stabilizer according to the manufacturer’s direction to the fuel tank. The reason behind adding fuel stabilizers is to protect the fuel line from clogging by the gas. It also prevents fuel from drying.

Step 2: Once you are done with adding fuel stabilizer, run the pressure washer engine for 2-3 minutes. It will help the system to circulate the stabilizer all over the fuel system. After 2-3 minutes of running, shut down the engine.

Step 3: Now, it’s time to take out any remaining cleaning solution and water from the system. First, follow these steps to drain the detergent solution. To do so, place the injection tube into a bucket of tap water (not soapy water), and connect the garden hose to your pressure washer.

Step 4: Turn on the unit and run it for a couple of minutes in low-pressure mode.

Step 5: Pull the trigger to drain out the detergent solution while the system is running. Then turn off the pressure washer, water supply, and detach the garden hose.

Step 6: Next, it’s time to remove all the remaining water. To do so, first, detach the high-pressure hose from the gun and the pump.

Step 7: Decouple the wand from the gun.

Step 8: Pull the trigger of the gun to make sure all the water is drained out. Then engage the trigger lock.

Step 9: Next, hang the hose so that it drains out the water entirely. Then wipe it out using a rag. Store the gun and hose appropriately.

Step 10: At this point, there is a possibility of some remaining water in the pump. To force any remaining water out of the pump, pull the recoil handle a couple of times (preferably six times).

Step 11: In this step, check the oil level to see if it’s full. If you are planning to change the oil, this is probably the best time to do it.

Step 12: Now, it’s time to add the pump saver to the pump system. It’s essential to add a pump saver in order to protect the unit from freezing and mineral deposit. It also keeps it free from corrosion, lubricates the valve and seals. First, bring the unit to a dry place, and wear eye protection.

Step 13: Next, connect the pump saver to the pressure washer directly to the water inlet (follow the manufacturer’s guideline).

Step 14: There are several ways to apply the pump saver. If the pump saver is not pressurized style then pull the starter cord of the pressure washer a couple of times after attaching the pump saver to the unit. Pull the cord until the liquid coming out is entirely the pump saver solution.

On the other hand, if it’s a pressurized style pump saver, then just push the cap of the bottle to apply it into the unit.

Step 15: Take out the spark plug and add one tablespoon of engine oil into the cylinder. Then pull the starter cord again a couple of times. Finally, replace the spark plug.

You are done with all the necessary steps for winterizing the pressure washer. Now, keep it in a clean and dry place.

Next, let’s see the steps involved in winterizing an electric pressure washer.

How to Winterize an Electric Pressure Washer

Winterizing an electric pressure washer requires fewer steps than that of a gas pressure washer. It’s because here you don’t have to deal with protecting the fuel system as the electric unit doesn’t have the gasoline engine.

To complete the entire storing process, you should buy –

The pump saver will help to protect the system from freezing and mineral deposit.

Let me list down the steps required in winterizing an electric pressure washer.

Step 1: If the unit boasts a detergent tank, wash it out with lukewarm water.

Step 2: Now, it’s time to remove all the remaining water and detergent solution from the entire system. For that, get a bucket full of water and put the detergent hose in the bucket. Then connect the garden hose to the unit.

Step 3: Next, run the pressure washer in low pressure for a minute or so. Trigger the gun to flush the residual detergent. Then turn off the system, and the garden hose.

Step 4: Remove the garden hose from the unit, detach the hose from the gun and the pump, detach the wand from the gun.

Step 5: Trigger the gun to drain out the remaining water, hang the hose to drain any water, or blow it dry.

Step 6: Next, turn on the pressure washer again and rock the unit back and forth to remove any remaining water from the system.

Step 7: Now, it’s time to add the pump saver to protect the unit from freezing. Attach the pump saver directly to the water inlet.

Step 8: Depending on the type of the pump saver, either squeeze the bottle (for non-pressurized type) or push the cap of the bottle (for pressurized type) to apply it. Continue applying until the fluid starts to exit from the pump outlet.

Step 9: Store the unit in a clean and dry place after covering it down with the pressure washer cover. When storing, make sure to wound all cords and hoses to avoid kinking.

This is how you should winterize the electric pressure washer following some easy steps.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question #1. How to winterize a pressure washer with antifreeze?

 Answer: Winterizing a pressure washer with antifreeze requires some simple steps to follow.

No matter if you are using a gas pressure washer or an electric pressure washer, the processes to winterize it with antifreeze are pretty similar.

Either you are going to use a pressurized pump saver or a non-pressurized pump saver.

Let’s say you are using a gas pressure washer. To winterize it with antifreeze –

  • Attach the pump saver directly to the water inlet.
  • If it’s a pressurized pump saver, then push the cap of the bottle to release the antifreeze.
  • If it’s not a non-pressurized pump saver, then pull the starter cord a couple of times to release the antifreeze.
  • Do it until the liquid coming out is entirely the pump saver solution.

On the other hand, if you are using an electric pressure washer, the steps to apply the antifreeze are pretty similar.

The only difference is, for the non-pressurized pump saver, you have to squeeze the bottle to release the antifreeze.

Question #2. How to winterize a Generac pressure washer?

Answer: The steps to winterize the Generac gas pressure washer are pretty similar to winterizing the other gas pressure washers.

This time I recommend using the Generac pump saver as the antifreeze solution. It’s a universal pump saver; hence you use it for any other pressure washers other than Generac.

Let me summarize the processes –

  • Add fuel stabilizer to the tank to protect the fuel system.
  • Remove any remaining detergent solution and all the water.
  • Apply antifreeze/pump saver to the water inlet.
  • Add a tablespoon of engine oil to the cylinder.
  • Wipe out the hose and gun with a rag and wound the cords and hoses properly.
  • Store the unit in a dry and clean place.
  • Finally, cover it with a pressure washer cover.

That is how you should follow to store the Generac pressure washer to protect it from possible damage.

Final Words

It’s quite essential to follow the steps properly to winterize the pressure washer.

Otherwise, very likely it is going to cause some trouble when you start reusing it after a long break. That’s certainly going to void the warranty too.

If you’ve gone through this write-up already, I’m sure you are quite familiar with the steps on how to winterize a pressure washer (both gas and electric) at this moment.

Now it’s your turn!

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