We talked to a few power washer fanatics and several manufacturers to learn the best tips for using and maintaining a pressure washer. And we learned how to avoid the most common mistakes DIYers make.
Make Your Pressure Washer Pump Last Longer With a Pump Protector Product
Leaving water in the pump can result in mineral buildup and corrosion, which wear out the pump seals and pistons which in the long run make up for an expensive pressure washer repair. (a $200 repair). So it pays to flush the pump after every use—a quick job. Pick up a can of pump lube/ antifreeze solution. Screw the garden hose adapter onto the pump inlet and press the trigger until you see foamy liquid shoot out the other port. That means the pump is fully lubed and protected against freeze damage. Flush after every use: Attach the lubricant can to the garden hose port. Press the trigger for about two seconds, until water and lube shoot out the other port.
Prep a Pressure Washer Engine for Storage
The small engines on residential pressure washers have a limited life span (sometimes less than 200 hours). But you can extend the life of the engine by following these simple pre-storage tips. Even if you have only a few hours’ use on the crankcase oil, drain the oil and refill with fresh oil (follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for viscosity and type). Then run the engine for a few minutes to coat all the internal parts with clean oil and fresh anti-corrosion additives. This will provide the best protection during storage, and you’ll be ready to go at the start of the next season. Whether you run the engine dry or fill the tank to the brim, always run the engine with fresh gas treated with fresh fuel stabilizer first. Run the engine for a few minutes so the treated gas fills the carburetor. Then drain the tank and run it dry. Or fill the tank to the brim. Also, be sure to flush out the pump before putting your pressure washer away for the winter. If you leave the pump full of water and you live in a freezing climate, your pump will be ruined. Check out these tips for additional small engine maintenance and repair tips.
Lube Pressure Washer Hose Connectors
Dry O-rings in a pressure washer hose connector can twist slightly and tear as you make the connection, causing them to fail. Since regular oil washes off when it gets wet, buy a small container of silicone plumber’s grease instead. It doesn’t wash off and it’s compatible with all types of O-ring materials. Tape the container to your machine so you’ll always have it handy. Then apply a new coating every five uses or anytime the O-rings look dry. Explore the unusual uses of pressure washers.
Pressure Washer Safety
Don’t park the pressure washer unit too close to structures. Hot exhaust can melt vinyl siding and start fires. This damage was caused in less than two minutes. Are you familiar with hot pressure washers?Never run a gas-powered pressure washer in the garage while you clean the garage floor. Move it well away from the house (at least 5 ft.) to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.Never use a strong spray to remove caulk around windows. The stream can force water behind the siding, causing extensive water damage.