How To Winterize Pressure Washer? Step-by-Step Tutorial

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
19 min read

Yes, I am interested in learning how to properly winterize my pressure washer. Squeezing the trigger releases a cleaning solution that must be removed and the system must be flushed according to instructions. Put it away for the winter with an anti-free product.

The machine will continue to function properly if you follow these steps. Unfortunately, damage caused by poor storage or freezing is generally not covered by warranties.

Cracks and seal failure may result from freezing, resulting in poor water pressure and leaks in the housing. There are other complications that arise from the gas engine, which sits up for long periods of time and causes the pressure washer’s gas line to become clogged. It’s great to continue reading this post because there’s so much more to learn!

Steps To Winterize Pressure Washer

So, how do you prepare your pressure washer for the winter? Prepare for the next actions below, which take only a few minutes each:

Step #1. Getting the user’s manual ready

Prepare the pressure washer’s user guide before putting it away for the season. Be aware that each is a one-of-a-kind model with specific needs. After reading the directions in the user manual, winterize the pressure washer.

How To Winterize Your Pressure Washer - YouTube

Step #2. Using fuel stabilizer

Use a gas-enabled washer’s prescribed fuel stabilizer to protect the engine. Leaving fuel out in the cold during the winter might result in accidents. To begin with, it becomes less flammable when it combines with oxygen, making it more difficult to get the engine started. The engine sputters and grinds to a halt as a result. When you compare it to new gas, you’ll notice that it’s already out of date. If you know that the gas is darker, it is bad.

Second, when gasoline hydrocarbons react with oxygen, they produce gum. Because it adheres to the gasoline line’s surfaces, the gum eventually causes engine failure and early water leaking. A fuel stabilizer can come in handy in these situations. It does, in fact, keep the gasoline fresh and extend its shelf life. This does not result in the formation of gum particles. In addition, the stabilizer cleans out any buildup that has already occurred. Products like Sta-Bil and Star Tron have been proven to be effective. Afterwards, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas. Wait a few minutes before shutting down the engine and refueling.

Step #3. Getting rid of the cleaning solution

After squeezing the trigger on the pressure washer, let the water flow out of it. Remove the detergent track’s cleaning solution. The best benefits will be achieved by rinsing it off afterwards.

Step #4. Flushing the pressure washer system

After adding a detergent feeding tube to fresh water, turn on the pressure washer and let it run for a few minutes. It is time to flush the pressure washer of any remaining detergent. Why don’t you just replace the hose and turn it off? Its trigger can then be pressed to release the water from the line. Winterizing and storing your pressure washer may also be of interest to you.

Step #5. Protecting a pressure washer with antifreeze addition

Pressure washers should be stored in a temperature-controlled location that is below freezing. Add antifreeze to keep it from freezing. Try Briggs & Stratton; they’re known for their pump-saver products. However, there are a number of other brands to choose from. You should hook up the pump saver to your washer’s water input while using the pump saver. Foam will begin to come out of the nozzle as soon as you press the button on the device. Once you’re done, detach it from the computer. Freezing protects and lubricates the pressure washer. Antifreeze is no longer needed when the temperature is above freezing. Lubrication is still an important benefit.

Step #6. Storing it

During the winter, keep the pressure washer in a convenient location. If you’re going to be in a more natural setting, it’s best to keep it locked up. Consider a garage or cellar as the best option. The fact that inexpensive coverings can keep the machine dry and dust-free during the winter months is a good thing. As a bonus, you should know how to store your power washer.

Other Tips To Winterize Pressure Washer

Here are some more recommendations for winterizing pressure washers in the most efficient manner possible.

Tips #1. Gasoline

Fuel lines and the carburetor should be drained. Add some washer fuel stabilizer to its tank before refueling. Allow it to run for a few minutes to allow the fuel stabilizer to circulate throughout the system.

Tips #2. Battery

Disconnect the battery to prevent gradual discharge.

Tips #3. Pump saver

Pump seals, manifolds, and pistons are all protected from breaking thanks to the pump saver accessory.

Tips #4. Lubricant

Lubricate cylinders and carburetor after removing spark plugs. Allow the engine to run for a few minutes to coat the parts thoroughly.

Tips #5. Oil

To avoid a sludge buildup throughout the winter, be sure to replace your fuel filter, oil filter, and oil. To learn how to change the oil in a pressure washer, click here.

Tips #6. Hoses

During the winter, disconnect the pressure washer’s hoses. Retain the cleaning solution that was removed to be used at a later time.

Preparing your power washer for winter isn’t difficult, but it’s necessary to keep it running smoothly.

Knowing how to correctly store a pressure washer is an important part of having one. This normally signifies winter for the majority of us. For those who live in more moderate areas, that could mean a period of many weeks where you are not utilizing it.

This is a chore that many pressure washer owners despise, and unfortunately, a large number of them simply disregard it. Pressure washers, on the other hand, require only a few minutes of downtime before they are ready for action again.

But why bother with winterizing your pressure washer in the first place?

Winterizing your pressure washer, even if you keep it in an enclosed area like a garage or shed, is essential if you plan on not using it for a long time. Insulation in garages and sheds is typically inadequate to withstand freezing temperatures.

It’s still possible for a pressure washer to be damaged even if it’s kept in a basement or adjoining garage where temperatures don’t drop below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Internal seals can be damaged by long storage periods and freezing temperatures, resulting in dry rot and pump system cracks. The staleness of gasoline in the fuel system might occur within 30 days. Clogs can form in the fuel lines due to corrosion caused by the high concentration of the ethanol. There is a risk that any water left in the machine would freeze and expand, causing water lines to burst. Mold and mildew can form on it, causing the seals and pipes to become clogged.

How to Winterize a Pressure Washer | Winterize Pressure Washer

Suddenly, you’ve got a leaking pressure washer that’s been dumped in the trash. Pressure washers that have been neglected will not be covered under warranty. In other words, you’re wasting hundreds of dollars’ worth of money.

Winterizing both gas and electric pressure washers requires a slightly different strategy, with gas being a little more time consuming.

How to winterize a gas pressure washer in 5 easy steps

For precise instructions, refer to the owner’s manual for your pressure washer.

  1. Purchase antifreeze and fuel stabilizer (pump saver). You can find recommended brands in your owner’s manual.
  2. Stabilize the fuel by adding a stabilizer to it. Run the engine for roughly two minutes to ensure that all of the components are properly circulating.
  3. Add tap water to a clean bucket.
  4. Connect the garden hose as usual to the washer. Add water to the detergent feed hose. The pressure washer should be turned up to full power. Allow it to run until all detergent has been drained from the system by pulling the trigger with a low pressure nozzle. Disconnect the garden hose from the mains water supply. Remove the remaining water from the lines by re-pressing the trigger.
  5. Disconnect all of the hoses and make sure that the gun, extension, and hoses are completely dry. Using the manufacturer’s instructions on the can, add pump saver to the pump’s inlet. Keep the washer covered and dry when not in use.

A few pointers:

  • The spray gun’s trigger lock should be engaged to keep the valves open so that it drains completely.
  • When you’re done draining your washer, use a rag to wipe down the hoses to get rid of any water that could freeze or grow mildew.
  • Remove any remaining water from the pump by pulling the starter cord six times.
  • Always follow the fuel recommendations in your owner’s manual, but use ethanol-free fuel whenever possible. Many gas companies mix ethanol with conventional gas, so you can’t always tell if it contains ethanol. However, it should be clearly labeled. 93 octane (premium) is the best option if you must use ordinary fuel, as it should contain the least ethanol.
  • During the first start-up in the spring, use fuel stabilizer to maintain the fuel flowing smoothly throughout the season.

Winterize your electric pressure washer in 3 steps

Winterizing an electric pressure washer goes more quickly because there isn’t a gasoline system to worry about. Clean, hot water and a pump saver can or bottle are required for this task.

  1. Fill a 5-gallon bucket half-full with boiling water and set it aside. Fill the onboard detergent tanks with hot water, or use the detergent siphon line to connect to the hot water source, depending on your machine.
  2. Turn on the water supply by connecting a garden hose to the faucet’s inlet. The pressure washer should be turned up to full power. To remove any remaining detergent from the pipes, simply squeeze the trigger and let the machine run for up to two minutes. Pull the trigger on the garden hose once more to flush out any remaining water. Afterwards, disconnect the trigger pistol and wand from the high-pressure line and allow them to drain.
  3. Per the manufacturer’s instructions, add antifreeze to the washer’s pump system and keep it in a dry, safe place.

A few pointers:

  • After removing all hoses, start the pressure washer and rock it back and forth for around 10 seconds. This will flush out any remaining water from the system.
  • Because it’s so light and doesn’t require any gas, it’s best to keep the pressure washer inside your home, preferably in a basement or an adjacent garage, to avoid any damage from freezing.

How to use pump saver

Regardless of which brand you choose, you will need to attach the bottle to the water inlet (where you attach the garden hose). Most of the time, you’ll need to squeeze the bottle to get the desired result (or trigger on a can). Four or five times (using about a third of the bottle or can) is about right for the starter cord. Eventually, you’ll see the pump saver streaming from the water exit because of this.

Just keep squeezing the bottle or trigger on an electric pressure washer until the fluid comes out of the outlet.

Don’t forget the cover!

Protection from dust, bugs, spider webs and dampness as well as mice and rust is provided by pressure washer storage covers. To protect your pressure washer from the sun and rain, as well as bird excrement, you’ll need a cover for it to be kept outside.

Polyethylene, a water-resistant layer made of cloth (typically canvas or polyester), protects them from moisture damage while allowing them to breathe. As a result, they can be water-resistant, or they can be water-proof. As a general rule, the more waterproof the cover is, the better off you’ll be.

Although many coverings are one-size-fits-all, measuring your own body is a good idea just in case. Ideally, you want a snug but not too tight fit. A tarp or BBQ grill cover can be used as a temporary solution if necessary.

How to Winterize a Pressure Washer

Each time your machine is put away for more than 30 days, the following simple instructions must be followed. If you overlook this problem, you run the risk of damaging or even breaking your pump.

1. Stabilize the Gasoline

Fuel Stabilizer should be added to the fuel tank to prevent the gas from clogging the fuel lines while the vehicle is in storage. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions before adding the stabilizer. Stabilizer is circulated via the fuel system for 2 minutes, then it is turned off.

When purchasing fuel, it is necessary to add a stabilizer to it. The gasoline will not be preserved by adding a fuel stabilizer to fuel that has been sitting in the pressure washer for over 30 days. Only the fuel’s original state is preserved by the stabilizer.

How To Winterize a Pressure Washer- In 3 Easy Steps - YouTube

2. Flush Out Remaining Water

The system must be flushed of any remaining water and detergent. Fill a bucket halfway with clean water and insert the injection line from your power washer. Turn off the engine and water supply and run the device for a few seconds at a low-pressure setting.

Relieve any retained pressure by pressing on the spray gun’s trigger. All attachments should be disconnected and dried before being stored in their proper locations. The pump may still contain some water. When this happens, all you have to do is pull the recoil handle many times.

3. Add Pump Saver

Pump saver is the final step. Pump Saver prevents the pump from freezing by keeping moisture from collecting inside it. Mineral deposits are prevented from forming as a result of this method.

Fill the chamber of your pump with the pump saver using the garden hose inlet. Drain it in the spring after it has been allowed to sit for the duration of the winter.

Winterize & Store Your Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are more powerful and more efficient than garden hoses, delivering a vigorous stream of water to remove dirt and grime. Power washers, another name for pressure washers, are more commonly used in the spring and less frequently in the autumn and winter.

By correctly storing your pressure washer throughout the winter, you may extend the life of your investment. A two-minute video is all that is needed to learn the proper way to winterize and store your Briggs & Stratton pressure washer this season.

Protect Your Engine

Take care of your Briggs & Stratton engine during winter to ensure that your pressure washer is ready for spring.

Stale gas can cause costly component failures and breakdowns, and it takes roughly 30 days for gasoline to go bad. Additionally, ethanol blends account for 90% of all gasoline marketed in the United States. In the fuel tank, ethanol-blends degrade nearly immediately, leading to rust, corrosion, and gun/varnish buildup. Add fuel treatment to fresh fuel before filling the tank and then use a pressure washer to circulate the treated fuel through the fuel system for a few minutes to protect your engine. The fuel stabilizer should be circulated through the system for two minutes. Turn off the pressure washer after you’re finished.

Flush Out the System

It’s critical that the pump of your pressure washer be completely dry before being stored.

Using the low-pressure setting, operate the pressure washer for 2 minutes with an injection tube inserted into a clean water pail. If you live in a cold region, you may also want to flush your pressure washer’s anti-freeze system. Afterwards, shut down the engine and the main water supply.

Squeeze the trigger on the spary pistol to release the trapped pressure. Spray gun trigger locks can be engaged at this point.

Maintain the Pump System

Move the pressure washer pump system to a clean, dry location once all liquids have been removed. Make sure your eyes are protected by laying down a tarp. Connect a short garden hose (approximately a yard long) to the inlet adapter on your pressure washer and add pump saver oil. This will prevents pistons and seals from drying out and rusting.

Two recoil handles pulled twice completes the procedure.

Storing Your Pressure Washer

Clean and dry your pressure washer before storing it in a cold, dry location.

Check out Briggs & Stratton’s website for further information. Pressure washing 101 can be found here.

It’s A Wrap!

Pressure washers can be protected from wear and tear throughout the winter months by following these simple steps. To keep its high pressure, the pressure washer does an excellent job. As a result, you’re less likely to come across an equipment that’s been damaged or broken. Before it’s too late, winterize your pressure washer!

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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