SIMPLE PRESSURE WASHER MAINTENANCE
Caring for your petrol pressure washer will see it give you many years of service so here are some simple tips to keep it in good working condition.
INSPECT FOR DAMAGE
Before using your pressure washer, visually inspect the unit. Check for any leaks from seals and 'o' rings and check the high-pressure hose for any signs of wear and tear.
Damaged 'o' rings can cause leaking which, if not checked and repaired, can cause damage to the engine or pump.
A leaking high-pressure hose can be very dangerous. The smallest pinprick hole in the pressure washer hose can produce a small jet of water capable of cutting into concrete.
Always replace a damaged high-pressure hose as any 'fix' will always fail and place the user in danger of personal injury due to the high-pressure jet from the leak.
CHECK FOR BLOCKAGES
Check the jet wash nozzle for blockage. A blocked nozzle will require higher pressure to make the water flow, making the engine and pressure washer pump work harder causing unnecessary wear.
Your pressure washer may come with a nozzle cleaner to help unclog blocked nozzles or you could use a paperclip or similar to help unclog the nozzle.
Always try to remove the blockage in the direction it entered the nozzle. If using a needle or paperclip doesn't work, then try soaking the nozzle in warm water for 10 minutes and try again.
Stale fuel can make the pressure washer difficult to start, especially if it's been in storage over the winter period.
Drain the fuel from the fuel tank into a suitable container and fill with fresh fuel.
Always take care when handling fuel and wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and always fuel and de-fuel in a well-ventilated area and wipe up any spills immediately.
CHECK SPARK PLUG
Check the spark plug for corrosion, damage or carbon build up.
If the spark plug seems to be in good condition, then simply clean with a soft wire brush and check the spark plug gap (NOTE: refer to the operators manual for plug gap information).
If the spark plug shows signs of wear or damage then replace with the same model of spark plug.
HOW MUCH WATER?
Do not run the pressure washer without an adequate amount of water. Not having enough water in the jet wash will cause the pressure to increase too much, causing unnecessary wear to the engine and pump.
When using the pressure washer, keep the spray nozzle open. A closed spray nozzle will build up pressure within the high-pressure hose and can cause damage.
ONCE YOU'VE FINISHED
Once you've finished using your pressure washer, always turn it off and allow it to cool before storing or carrying out any maintenance.
Wipe down the pressure washer to remove any dirt or debris - do not wash it with a hose pipe as this could allow water to enter the engine and cause irreversible damage.
Drain all excess water from the power washer as water left inside can attract insects, grow mould and produce bacteria.
CLEAN THE SOAP INTAKE
Remove any residue from the detergent intake and clean it thoroughly with water until the intake is clear.
Failure to clean the build up will restrict the flow of detergent and soap and cause the power washer to not perform properly.
Visually inspect the machine again, just to make sure everything is in working order and then, once cooled, store in an upright position away from any sources of ignition.
Following these simple steps will ensure you get a long and healthy life from your pressure washer.