Pressure washers are great for household and industrial uses that require high-pressure spraying to remove dirt and grime from any surface. You probably have seen pressure washers used by professional cleaning companies to clean large surfaces such as concrete structures and buildings.
Check out our complete buyer’s guide to the Best Electric Pressure Washers.
More commercially sized pressure washers are common for the do-it-yourselfers who use the high-pressure water spray to clean surfaces and objects such as their vehicles, homes, and driveways. When you own a piece of mechanical equipment it’s important to take proper care of it so you avoid risking breakdowns and further damage to your machine. Pressure washer maintenance is a requirement to keep from wasting money.
Keeping up with general maintenance of your pressure washer also helps in making it last longer, saving you more money in the end. Helpful pressure washer maintenance tips like the ones below assist in the process. Less damage to your machine means less money and time you must spend fixing it.
Having trouble using your electric pressure washer? Check out this article for more information about How to Use an Electric Pressure Washer.
If you are unsure of where to start with the maintenance of your machine, you will find that there are simple tasks you can do to ensure the proper function of your pressure washer. Routine maintenance will prevent breakdowns, avoid costly repairs, and avoid any inconvenience these things might bring. Below are your top ten tips and tricks for the do-it-yourselfers for pressure washer maintenance.
Ten Tips and Tricks for Pressure Washer Maintenance
Invest In a Pump Protector Product
Perhaps one of the most simple and basic pressure washer maintenance tip to keeping your pressure washer working properly is to invest in a “Pump Saver.” One of the biggest mistakes you can make after operating your machine is to leave water in the pump. The machine should be emptied after each use to ensure no sort of mineral buildup or corrosion occurs. If this does happen, it could set your back on your budget and cause a delay in use of your machine while you wait for the repair.
For a much more affordable preventative solution you can invest in a $10 bottle of pump lube or antifreeze solution that will do the job. This product will protect your pump by lubing it and provided freeze protection if you live in a winter climate. To use you simply plug the hose adaptor into your pump and release the foam from the can. This will provide a coating to your pump as well as clean out the grime.
Only Use Cleaning Products that are Specifically Designed for Pressure Washers
Another solid pressure washer maintenance tip to keep your machine in working order is to only use pressure washer fluids that are designed specifically for pressure washers. The pressure washer soap dispenser is not designed for general-purpose cleaners, bleach, acids, and heavy-duty cleaning liquids.
You need to make sure that the soap you use is rated for pressure washer use, as well as pick a soap dependent on the job you are doing. After each use, make sure you flush the machine with clean water until all of the water has been removed.
Lube Pressure Washer Hose Connectors
A super easy DIY trick is to use plumber’s grease to lube the pressure washer hose connectors. If your O-rings are dry in the pressure washer hose connector they are more susceptible to tearing whenever you make a connection to the hose. The plumber’s grease will provide protection to the O-rings, allowing them to last longer and keep the machine running smoothly.
Change the Oil
Changing the oil in your pressure washer for fresh oil will prolong the life of your engine. Make sure you use to manufacturer’s specified oil grade. When you change your oil, make sure you run the machine so the oil coats all parts of the engine. It is important to only empty the oil after your engine has been running because this ensures the oil is warm so it can completely flow out of the engine.
You pressure washer requires clean oil to run properly. In addition to changing the oil, you will want to check the oil levels. Some pressure washers have an oil indicator which will directly tell you when your machine needs additional oil. If your pressure washer doesn’t have the indicator then simply check the levels manually.
Use a Fuel Stabilizer
When you get your pressure washer, you will find that it probably recommends a fuel stabilizer. The fuel stabilizer prevents engine corrosion as well as keeps the gasoline in the fuel tank clean. Treating your fuel with a stabilizer will add life to not only the engine but the fuel as well.
If you plan on storing your pressure washer for a while and don’t plan on emptying the fuel tank, you will need to use the fuel stabilizer. When you add the fuel stabilizer, run the engine so it can circulate throughout before storage.
Clean and Replace the Air Filter
The air filter in your pressure washer is designed to capture debris and prevent it from damaging the carburetor and engine. Without the air filter, debris could easily cause engine failure. You will want to check the air filter often and clean it when necessary.
Reference your manufacturer’s manual for specific air filter cleaning techniques. When it is time to replace the air filter, the manufacturer’s manual will also contain the product number for the specific type of air filter replacement.
Maintain the Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are very cheap to replace. Before each use make sure you disconnect the spark plug and ensure the area is clean of any dirt. You can tell when the spark plug needs to be replaced based on its condition. Reference the manufacturer’s manual for specific installation instructions. This is one of the most important pressure washer maintenance pointers that is often overlooked.
Check the Fuel Lines, Tank and Fuel Filter
Verify the fuel line and filter are free of any obstructions. Eventually, after much use, the fuel line may need replacing. Just as you verified the air filter was clean, you should do the same for the fuel filter. When inspecting the fuel line, you will want to look for any types of cracks or fraying occurring. Verify all connections are firm and fully connected at each end. For the fuel tank, make sure it is clean of debris and has clean gasoline.
Check the Nozzle
Before and after each use, check the nozzle at the end of the wand to make sure it is secured safely in place. You should also be sure that the nozzle is clean of any dirt or debris. You will also want to make sure you are using the right pressure washer nozzle for a specific job.
The nozzle type, which varies by degree and spray, will depend on the type of job you will be doing. Before you use your pressure washer, you will take the type of surface you are cleaning into consideration. You will need something that can get the job done but won’t damage the surface you are working on. Test the area first and back the tip of the nozzle away from the surface if any damage occurs. Change the nozzle if necessary for ideal pressure washer maintenance.
Use Proper Fittings
Not all fittings are created equal when it comes to pressure washing. The best fittings to use will be made of brass, have quick connection capability, and have a swivel fitting at the pressure gun. A quick connection will allow easy connection and separation. A brass material is necessary because it will last longer without the risk of leaking. Sometimes the stock fittings that come with your pressure washer are plastic and will wear down quickly with use. A swivel feature at the pressure gun will aid in the prevention from your hose kinking.
Pressure Washer Maintenance is a Breeze
If you have never performed general maintenance on your pressure washer, you will find that the tips and tricks in this article are easy to perform and will greatly increase your pressure washer’s performance. If you have any additional questions for how to perform these tasks you will find plenty of online tutorials on how to complete them with ease.
Your manufacturer’s operation manual will also come with tips for your specific pressure washer model that will help you keep proper care of your machine and extend its working life. Regular maintenance will also ensure your safety as it increases the safe operation of your pressure washer. By keeping up with your machine’s maintenance you will also extend its life. If you didn’t take proper care of the machine it would wear down quickly and you would have to replace it sooner.
The more you maintain your machine, the better its performance will be. Simple tasks such as cleaning the fuel line, making sure the gasoline is clean, having a good spark plug, and using a fuel stabilizer will go a long way. Pressure washers are like a smaller version of your car.
You wouldn’t want to skip an oil change or service visit on your car because it could cause further damage and set you back with fees and time for repairs. Similarly, taking care of your pressure washer can save you time and money because it won’t be prone to frequent breakdowns and backups if it is properly maintained.