How to Winterize a Pressure Washer Pump

Winter is a season of coziness, warmth, and comfort, but it can also be a time of challenges and difficulties, especially when it comes to outdoor equipment. One of the most important tools for cleaning the exterior of your home is a pressure washer, but if you don’t properly winterize the pump, you may end up with costly repairs or a broken machine come spring. This is why so many people search for advice on how to winterize a pressure washer pump.

How to Winterize a Pressure Washer Pump? To winterize a pressure washer pump, you should first remove any excess water by running the machine for a few seconds. Next, add a pump saver solution to the water inlet, and let the machine run for a few seconds to circulate the solution. Finally, disconnect hoses and store the machine in a dry place.

Understanding Pressure Washer Pumps

Understanding Pressure Washer Pumps

Before we dive into the process of winterizing your pressure washer pump, it’s essential to understand the pump’s inner workings. Below is a brief overview of pressure washer pumps, their functions, and how they work. Understanding these basics will help you take better care of your pressure washer pump and ensure its longevity.

Types of pressure washer pumps

In the context of winterizing a pressure washer pump, understand the different types of pumps that are commonly used in pressure washers. The two main types of pressure washer pumps are axial cam pumps and triplex plunger pumps.

Axial cam pumps are generally more affordable and are commonly used in residential pressure washers. They operate by using a camshaft to move the pistons back and forth, which creates pressure in the water. However, they are not as durable as triplex plunger pumps and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Triplex plunger pumps are more expensive but are known for their durability and longevity. They use three plungers to create pressure in the water, which makes them more efficient and effective than axial cam pumps. They are commonly used in commercial or industrial pressure washers.

When winterizing a pressure washer pump, know which type of pump you have in order to properly prepare it for storage during the colder months. Both types of pumps should be thoroughly drained of water and treated with a pump antifreeze solution to prevent freezing and damage to the pump components.

Common components and their functions

Pressure washer pumps have several common components, each with their own unique function. The key components include the pump head, pressure regulator, unloader valve, and water inlet and outlet connections.

The pump head is responsible for creating the pressure needed to operate the pressure washer. It consists of several pistons and valves that work together to create a high-pressure stream of water.

The pressure regulator is responsible for controlling the pressure that is created by the pump head. It ensures that the pressure remains within a safe operating range, protecting both the pump and the user.

The unloader valve is designed to divert water flow away from the pump when the trigger is released. This reduces pressure and prolongs the life of the pump.

Finally, the water inlet and outlet connections allow water to flow into and out of the pump. Ensure that these connections are properly sealed to prevent leaks and damage to the pump.

Preparing for Winterization

Preparing for Winterization

Winter is a season that brings joy to many with its festivities and snowfall, but it can also wreak havoc on outdoor equipment. A pressure washer pump is no exception, and neglecting to winterize it properly can cause irreversible damage, resulting in costly repairs or even replacement. To avoid this, it’s essential to prepare your pressure washer pump for winterization.

Following is the step-by-step process of winterizing your pressure washer pump, ensuring it’s protected during the cold months and ready for use when the weather warms up. So let’s get started!

Gathering necessary materials and tools

In order to properly winterize a pressure washer pump, gather all of the necessary materials and tools beforehand. This includes items such as a pump saver solution, a bucket, a hose, and a screwdriver.

By having these materials on hand, you can ensure that the winterization process goes smoothly and that your pressure washer is protected from potential damage caused by freezing temperatures.

Safety precautions to consider

When winterizing a pressure washer pump, it is essential to take proper safety precautions to ensure that you and your equipment are protected. These precautions include wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as eye protection and gloves, and disconnecting the power source before performing any maintenance.

Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions and use only recommended cleaning solutions to avoid damaging your equipment or exposing yourself to harmful chemicals. By taking these safety precautions, you can safely and effectively winterize your pressure washer pump and ensure its longevity.

Step by Step Winterization Process

Step by Step Winterization Process

As winter approaches, properly winterize your pressure washer pump to prevent damage caused by freezing temperatures. Failure to do so could lead to costly repairs or even the need to replace the pump altogether.

Here is the step-by-step process for winterizing your pressure washer pump to ensure it’s ready for use when warmer weather returns. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to protect your investment and extend the lifespan of your pressure washer pump. So, let’s get started with the winterization process!

Step 1: Disconnect and drain hoses

Step 1 in the winterization process of a pressure washer pump involves disconnecting and draining hoses. This is important to prevent any water from freezing inside the hoses and causing damage to the pump.

It is recommended to turn off the pressure washer and disconnect the hoses, then drain any remaining water from the hoses and the pump. This step should not be skipped to ensure the longevity of your pressure washer pump.

Step 2: Turn off and unplug the pressure washer

Step 2 of the winterization process for a pressure washer pump is to turn off and unplug the machine. This is an important safety measure that prevents accidental start-ups during the winter months. It also allows the pump to cool down before proceeding with the remaining steps.

Step 3: Relieve any residual pressure

It’s crucial to relieve any residual pressure before proceeding with the rest of the steps. This helps to prevent damage to the pump and other components of the pressure washer.

To do this, simply turn off the engine and trigger the gun to release any built-up pressure. Wear protective gear such as gloves and eyewear while doing this step.

Step 4: Remove and clean inlet filter

Step 4 in the winterization process for a pressure washer pump involves removing and cleaning the inlet filter. This is an important step because it helps to prevent debris from clogging the pump and causing damage during the winter months when the pressure washer is not in use.

Cleaning the inlet filter involves removing it from the pump and using a soft brush to gently remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated on it. Once the filter is clean, it can be reinserted into the pump and the winterization process can continue.

Step 5: Add antifreeze solution to pump

In the winterization process for a pressure washer pump, step 5 involves adding an antifreeze solution to the pump. This is done to protect the pump from freezing temperatures and prevent damage to the internal components.

Use the correct type of antifreeze solution for your specific pressure washer and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. After adding the antifreeze solution, it’s recommended to run the pump briefly to ensure the solution is evenly distributed throughout the system.

Step 6: Run the pressure washer to circulate antifreeze

In Step 6 of the winterization process for a pressure washer pump, run the pressure washer to circulate antifreeze. This helps to protect the pump from freezing and prevents damage to the internal components.

Make sure to use the recommended type and amount of antifreeze for your pressure washer model, and run the machine for a few minutes to ensure that the antifreeze has circulated throughout the pump. After this step, the pressure washer should be stored in a dry, protected area until the next use.

Step 7: Disconnect spark plug (for gas-powered pressure washers)

In the winterization process for gas-powered pressure washers, the seventh step is to disconnect the spark plug. This is important because it will prevent the engine from accidentally starting while you are working on the pressure washer.

By removing the spark plug, you will ensure that there is no spark to ignite any fuel that might be in the engine, which could cause a dangerous situation. Disconnecting the spark plug will allow you to safely drain any remaining fuel from the tank and carburetor as part of the winterization process.

Step 8: Store pressure washer and accessories properly

It’s crucial to store the pressure washer and its accessories properly. After draining all the water from the pump and hoses, make sure to keep them in a dry, protected area away from freezing temperatures. If possible, store them indoors in a heated space.

Make sure to disconnect the spark plug and fuel supply and cover the machine with a protective cover to prevent dust and debris from getting inside. Proper storage will ensure that your pressure washer is ready to use when you need it again.

Tips for Effective Winterization

Tips for Effective Winterization

Following are some tips for effective winterization of your pressure washer pump, so that you can be prepared for the upcoming winter season and protect your investment.

Choosing the right antifreeze solution

When winterizing a pressure washer pump, choose the right antifreeze solution to prevent freezing and damage to the pump. The antifreeze solution should be rated for the lowest expected temperature in your area and should be mixed with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Use a solution that is safe for the environment and to properly dispose of any leftover antifreeze.

Regular maintenance for longer pump life

Regular maintenance is essential for prolonging the life of a pressure washer pump. Proper winterization, including draining the pump of all water and using a pump saver solution, is important before storing the pressure washer for an extended period during the winter months.

Other routine maintenance tasks to keep the pump running smoothly include checking the oil levels, replacing worn or damaged seals and valves, and inspecting the pump for any signs of damage or wear.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your pressure washer pump lasts longer and performs at its best when you need it.

Troubleshooting Common Winterization Issues

Winterizing your pressure washer pump is essential to ensure its longevity and efficiency. However, even after taking all the necessary precautions, you may encounter some common issues during the winterization process.

Troubleshoot these issues early on to avoid any damage to your pressure washer pump. Here are some common winterization issues and provide solutions to help you troubleshoot them effectively.

Dealing with clogged or damaged components

When winterizing a pressure washer pump, check for clogged or damaged components. If the pump is not working properly, it may be due to a clogged or damaged hose, nozzle, or wand.

To fix this issue, remove any debris or buildup in the components or replace damaged parts. Properly store the pump in a dry and protected area to prevent further damage during the winter months.

Addressing leaks or other issues after winterization

After winterization, it is essential to check for any leaks or other issues in the pressure washer pump. If there are leaks, it could be due to damage to the pump seals or valves, and it may require repair or replacement.

It is crucial to ensure that all parts are properly reassembled after winterization to prevent any leaks or other issues from occurring. Regular maintenance and inspection can help prevent any damage or issues from arising in the future.


Protect your pressure washer pump from winter damage by following these steps: drain excess water, add pump saver solution, run for a few seconds, disconnect hoses, and store in a dry place. These simple steps will keep your machine running smoothly and prevent costly repairs.

As we conclude this guide on winterizing your pressure washer pump, emphasize the benefits of regularly maintaining your equipment. By taking the time to properly winterize your pressure washer pump, you’ll ensure that it starts up smoothly and efficiently next season, saving you time and frustration.

Regular maintenance not only prolongs the life of your pressure washer pump, but it also helps to prevent costly repairs and replacements down the line. By flushing out any leftover water and adding a fuel stabilizer, you’re protecting your equipment from potential damage caused by freezing temperatures and corrosion.

Found Interesting? Share with your friends
Andrew Joseph
Andrew Joseph

Introducing Andrew Joseph, a pressure washing expert with 15 years of experience in residential, commercial, and industrial projects. Andrew shares his vast knowledge through insightful blog posts, offering valuable tips and best practices for optimal cleaning results. His passion for educating others, combined with his extensive expertise, makes Andrew an indispensable resource for those looking to master the art of pressure washing.