Everyone in the industry knows that a quality pressure washer is worth every penny. However, just because a high-end pressure washer is often much more durable doesn’t mean it won’t need the occasional maintenance. With everything you have on your plate as a business owner, it can be easy to lose track of time and forget routine upkeep on your machines, but that can lead to costly problems. These simple steps will help you identify problems and diagnose what pressure washer maintenance is needed to keep it running strong and healthy no matter how tough the job.
Helpful Pressure Washer Maintenance Tips
1. Look for Problems before they occur
Before and after a job, it can be helpful to simply look over your equipment for any signs of wear and tear. Areas like the high-pressure hose and supply hose take a large brunt of wear during the season. These areas should be looked over often. Check hoses for any leaks, kinks, cuts, cracks, fraying areas, or bulges. If you notice these issues, replace the hoses before use to prevent further damage or breaking.
Before starting the unit, always check the pump oil and adjust to the correct level if needed. If the machine is gas powered, use this opportunity to check the engine oil and fuel levels. Running a machine without proper lubrication can cause additional friction and heat damaging internal parts easier.
2. Pump & Engine Check
Every machine has a pump, but there are two common drive types: belt or direct. Although belt-driven machines are designed to last longer, the belts tend to wear out and weaken. Belt driven models should be checked occasionally for wear and proper tension of the belts. On the other hand, direct-driven machines are coupled directly to the engine’s crank-shaft and require no special maintenance.
Check the pump’s hose and fittings for any leaks and change any faulty parts before use.
Pressure washer maintenance also extends to the engine, which may have special care instructions depending on your unit. This including air filters, oil requirements, spark plugs and more. Refer to the engine owner’s manual for specific information on your machine.
Besides routine pressure washer maintenance procedures, it’s also a good idea to know some basic troubleshooting techniques. In many cases, the problem stems from a clogged or dirty part and a simple cleaning or replacement will solve it.
For example, a loss of engine power could be caused by a dirty or clogged air filter. Check the filter and clean or change it. Always listen to the machine for any unusual sounds when running as well. Depending on the sound, it could signal a low oil level, build up or clogged screens and parts or problems with intake valves.
Pressure Wash Maintenance Over the Off-Season
When it’s time to prepare the pressure washer for winter storage, it’s crucial that antifreeze is run through the system because freezing water can easily destroy a pump.
Begin by mixing an antifreeze solution for the typical winter temperatures of the area. Next, remove the pressure tip from the gun assembly. For cold-water units that do not have a float tank, a hose must be attached to the inlet of the unit. Attach a funnel to the end of the hose and begin pouring the antifreeze while the unit is running. For units with a float tank, pour antifreeze directly into the tank. For both cold and hot washers, allow the antifreeze to flow through the bypass system. Then, pull the gun assembly’s trigger until antifreeze comes out of the nozzle. Once antifreeze is run through the system, the unit can be shut down. Leave the antifreeze in the machine during storage.
When the washer is ready to be used again, turn on the machine and pump out the antifreeze. Flush the system with clean water before operating to remove any remaining antifreeze.
Proper pressure washer maintenance on a good unit will ensure your machine withstands years of use. Taking the time to keep your machine running strong will save you time on repairs and will keep you washing and closing new jobs. What are your go to maintenance tips? We’d love to hear how you keep your machines running like new. Tell us in the comments below. For more ways to keep your business running smoothly, just call us at 1-800-878-3808. We’ve exclusively insured power wash and pressure wash professionals for 40 years. We know the coverage your business needs and our one of a kind program will protect your business from almost anything!