What's a Good Antifreeze for a Pressure Washer?

Old 10-14-07, 01:32 PM
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What's a Good Antifreeze for a Pressure Washer?

I've got a big shed that is partially insulated. If you put a
hose in the shed it won't freeze solid, but some chunks of
ice will form in the hose.

I've got one of more expensive electric pressure washers,
and so far it works great. I'd like to keep it in my shed over
the winter. Can someone suggest an antifreeze I could add
to the detergent tank? In my part of the country there are
many winter days that are well above freezing. When
you've got three cars to keep clean a pressure washer is
really the only way to remove road salt and grime.

I think Home Depot sells a product that is suppose to
prevent ice buildup in your pressure washer. That's great
if you plan to store your pressure washer for the entire
winter without using it.
Old 10-14-07, 01:49 PM
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I would be more concerned with damaging the pump and bypass mechanism by having the water contained in it than the soap tank.

If kept in freezing temperatures you would need use camper antifreeze to flush the pump until anti-freeze comes out of the nozzle.
Once the antifreeze comes out of the nozzle you would let go of the trigger and add antifreeze untill the pressure builds and the unloader kicks in.
This will clear water from the unloader area.
You need to use non-toxic recreational vehicle antifreeze that is alcohol based rather than automotive type.

You can make up a short garden hose to be able to pour antifreeze directly into the running washer.
Make sure you do not run it for extended periods without water or antifreeze in it as it could overheat the pump.

As far as the soap tank goes you could add methyl hydrate to it but have to make sure it the soap system can handle alcohol.

My way of thinking is it may be less trouble to bring it indoors.
Old 10-14-07, 07:38 PM
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Or you could set a Pelonis ceramic heater next to it plugged into a Thermoblock. On at 35, off at 42 or so.
Old 10-15-07, 03:58 AM
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Maybe because I live in the south but I never realized you were supposed to winterize a pressure washer until reading about it in these forums. What I have always done [and had no problems] is to remove the hose from the pump and let all the water drain out and tip the pump slightly to drain it also.

I store my PW in the barn and we do get many winter nights that are around 20 degrees.
Old 10-15-07, 06:58 AM
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Thank you GregH, chandler, and marksr.

Until the age of ten or eleven my family lived in a small,
mostly rural town. I remember watching folks pour
alcohol into their radiators. It may have been methanol,
I'm not really sure.

The last thing you said GregH, about bringing the washer
indoors is the first thing I thought of. Most electric washers
are small enough to fit in a closet and don't weigh very
much. They also tend to fail very rapidly!

I purchased mine through a business contact. He got me
an industrial quality unit at cost. Companies like Northern
Tools sell contractor or industrial grade electric washers.
That's the kind I have.

Anyway, if I can find someplace to put the darn thing I'll
bring it indoors.
Old 10-15-07, 12:31 PM
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I have a Karcher electric 10 yrs old,always put in the basement for winter and it still works great.
Old 10-16-07, 02:17 AM
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Winter hints for Pressure Washers...

Hi Rewinder (et al),

I have a similar problem - in the North of England our winters can get pretty cold, so I have looked into this quite extensively. I have attached a link that I first found a couple of years ago (I checked this morning and it's still active), which has been my Autumn Bible when it comes to preparing my pressure washer of the winter. It is Delco's hints for industrial contract cleaners for their pressure washers...what's good enough for them is sure as hell good enough for me!

Check this out...


All the best

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