Pressure Washing Annual Maintenance Items
So it spring time right? Time to bust out the ol power washer and go to town and to spruce up your home after that nasty winter dust, dirt and grime right? I’d suggest before firing up the engine on your power washer you think back to when the last time you changed the oil in the engine, and the pressure washer’s pump (where all the magic happens).
A Few Basic Pointers to Get The Most Life Out Of Your Pressure Washer
1. Change the oil in both the engine and the pressure washer’s pump.
You may not think much of it, but over the course of the winter months oil that sits around and experience extremely cold temperatures can break down and lose its effectiveness. For such a small cost of oil vs the cost of a new pressure washer, it is so worth it.
Now with that being said there are two types of oils. Detergent and non detergent. The pressure washer’s engine will take a detergent style typically rated 5w-30 and pump oil is typically NON detergent straight weight such as 40W.
ALWAYS CHECK THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE PROPER TYPE OF OIL AND WEIGHT – A single google search of the pressure washers make and model should find you results.
It is imperative you do not use a detergent style oil in you pressure washers pump housing.
2. Check belt tension
There are three types of drive systems found on a pressure washers. Direct drive, gear driven, and belt driven.
1. Direct drive – the crank from the engine goes directly into the pump
2. Gear drive – there is a gear box between the engine and pressure pump that lowers the RPMS of the pump
3. Belt drive – similar to gear driven but instead of a gear box there is a pulley and belt system between the pump and engine.
Gear and belt driven extend the life of the pump due to the lower RPMS on the pump and less vibration.
If you have a pump driven unit, ensure to check the tension on the belts otherwise under max load the belt can slip on the pressure washers pulley an not have maximum water flow rate or proper rater PSI (Pounds per square inch)
3. Check all filters and screens
Ensure the inlet to your pressure washer is clear of any debris. If dirt or debris make its way into the pump it can cause intermittent run issues or possible catastrophic failure.
If you have an inline filter before the inlet flush it out as well.
In addition, ensure all yoru seals are not dry rotted on the inlet to ensure air doesn’t make its way into the pressure pump and cause cavitation.
4. Check and most likely flush out old gas!
With any small engine it’s good practice to always use a stabilizer in the fuel if it will sit for an extend period of time, however if you missed using fuel stabilizer I always recommend flushing the old gas so it does not”gum” up the carburetor on the pressure washers engine.
5 – Check o rings on high pressure hoses
Another small but important maintenance item is the O rings on the high pressure hoses. A slight crack and ruin your morning by trying to track down a size that fits. It doesn’t take much for an o ring to go bad and its a .50 cent peice that can road block your cleaning experience!