How to Winterize a Pressure Washer in 9 Easy Steps

Victor Hayes - The ExpertBy Victor Hayes Popovics
Power Equipment Expert
Ultimate Washer Inc.
Last Updated: 2013-01-17

If you live in an area where you actually experience a winter season (we're fortunate to be in Florida), one seasonal activity you need to work into your schedule is preparing your power equipment for hibernation. Even if you plan on using it during the winter for such activities as snow and ice removal, you still have to prep the unit for storage. Read the following guide to learn how to winterize a pressure washer properly.

Many people think because they have a power washer stored in a garage or shed that it is protected from the elements. To a degree it is, but you should still winterize it. The main issue is freezing temperatures and since most garages and sheds are not well insulated, additional winterizing steps may need to be taken. The last thing you want to do is roll your power washer out in the spring and discover you have to pay for expensive unanticipated repairs. Not a lesson you want to learn the hard way.

If you think you can be bailed out by a warranty, think again. Most warranties won't cover damage caused by failing to winterize your power washer properly. We may sound like a broken record (for those of you who know what a broken record sounds like) but there's a good reason we recommend checking your owner's manual for specific information about winter storage and power washer maintenance. You want to protect your investment by following the manufacturer's winterizing tips.

You can't be too cautious when you winterize your units during cold weather. Any fluids left inside (water, oil, gas) can potentially cause problems. Water can expand and crack components such as hoses, detergent lines, manifolds etc. Oil, on the other hand, can get thick at low temperatures, and would become ineffective as a lubricant.1 Gas can gum up over time and block fuel lines and your carburetor.2 You must remember that a power washer or generator is an investment.

How to Winterize a Pressure WasherHere you will find steps on how to winterize a pressure washer:

  1. Turn machine switch to STOP position.
  2. Turn off water supply. Detach and drain water supply hose.
  3. Detach and drain high pressure hose and pressure washer trigger gun.
  4. Have approximately 1 Gallon of a 50/50 auto antifreeze solution ready.
  5. Turn machine switch to MOTOR ON and pour antifreeze solution into float tank.
  6. Immerse detergent suction hose in a separate container filled with anti-freeze solution. Set detergent valve to a high position if unit has a control setting. This will only protect the detergent line freezing, not the entire pump.
  7. Allow antifreeze solution to emerge at machine outlet. Protection is now complete.
  8. Turn machine switch to STOP position.
  9. Drain any gas that may be in the tank. Gas can gum up over time and obstruct the lines. Use a fuel stabilizer to store your gas in a gas can.

All of this talk about winterizing may seem a bit extreme but freezing temperatures can be hard on your power washer. The steps outlined above are those recommended by most power washer manufacturers. If you do not take steps to ensure the safety of your equipment over the winter months, damage can occur, and your warranty will not cover it. Plan ahead. Winterizing pressure washer properly will make sure that your equipment is ready to go next time you need it.

The publisher of these pages is in no way responsible for any damage caused to you, your pressure washer, anyone else, your property, or anyone else's property by trying to implement or by successfully implementing the above-mentioned performance and services.