Is "Pump Defender" a worthwhile anti-freeze for power washer?


Old 10-04-14, 08:06 PM
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Is "Pump Defender" a worthwhile anti-freeze for power washer?

I need to winterize my power washer. The store guy recommended the basement in the winter but I was raised to beleive that gasoline does NEVER belong in the house. He then recommended "Pump Defender" which I now find is made by a company called "Universal By Apache". Thats a wierd name and maybe I am incorrect but here it is...
Universal by Apache Pump Defender 4 Oz.

My question is what temperature does it protect down to? Does anyone have an answer to this or know where to get an answer? Do you use and recommend this product? Do you have a better product or idea?
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Old 10-05-14, 06:19 AM
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The product you mention connects to the water inlet of the pump and flushes out the water in the pump. Hopefully preventing freezing and it lubricates the pump to prevent corrosion.

The engine is a totally different issue and you are correct to not bring it in the house. Before bringing it inside for the winter drain all the gas from the fuel tank. Then start the engine, make sure water is hooked up to the pump, and let it run until it dies to run the fuel out of the carburetor. Then disconnect the water and try to drain the pump as best possible and use the product you mentioned if you really want to do a proper job. Personally I've never bothered with a pump storage product and have never had trouble but it certainly cannot hurt.
Old 10-05-14, 07:27 AM
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Despite using pressure washers for over 40 yrs, I never knew until a few yrs ago that you were supposed to 'winterize' them. What I have always done prior to putting a PWer up is pull the cord several times after the water is disconnected [ignition off] to expel the majority of water in the system. I've never had any freeze issues using this method. I know it doesn't get as cold in the south as it does up north but we still get numerous days below freezing and occasional nights near zero.
Old 10-05-14, 08:47 AM
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I also just as Marksr said never considered winterizing a PW. And did the same as he when storing for off season. But this Pump Defender intrigues me.
Old 10-05-14, 09:49 AM
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When you winterize a PW for with anti-freeze for below freezing temps you need to make sure that you operate the washer and that it builds up pressure to trip the unloader valve if it has one.
There will be water in a section of the unloader that will not naturally drain.

I have a 3 foot short hose on the machine that I will prop upright, fill with anti-freeze then fire up the washer.
I can then grab the wand, depress the trigger and then pour anti-freeze into the hose.
Once it comes out of the wand release the trigger and keep adding anti-freeze until pressure builds and the unloader trips, sending anti-freeze into the unloader section.

Sounds like more than it actually takes and is less work than rigging up a small tank, valve and fitting to feed anti-freeze from.

Pump Defender looks like a marketer's dream.
$12.50 for a product that will do what $2.00 worth of anti-freeze will.
For DIY types, put a garden hose fitting on a container, fill it with anti-freeze and connect to PW.
Old 10-05-14, 02:02 PM
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I'm in the sub-arctic Michigan. Pump Defender is at Menards for $7. As for putting a hose in a jug of anti-freeze, that sounds great but they say you should never start the washer without PRESSURE on the water inlet.
Old 10-05-14, 03:22 PM
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Who are "they"?

The reason "they" say there must be pressure on the pump is that the mfr wants to reduce the likelihood of damage from running dry.

If you have a hose that is full of water and raised above the pump there will be about 1/2 psi per foot of head which will be some pressure.
Then if you operate the pump and immediately pour antifreeze into the hose the pump will cavitate no more than if you were to hook up a dry hose, turn on the water and start the washer.

I personally am not a huge fan of anecdotal evidence 'cause just because you got away with it it doesn't mean the next person will.
But, I and others regularly operate a pressure washer from a tank of water that has no water pressure pump.
I regularly wash rooftop a/c's by carrying up a small PW and a couple of 5 gal pails of water.
Also have a small enclosed trailer and a 100 gallon water tank with no water pump I used when it was a/c maintenance time.

Now that I have a larger camper I think I will put a valve and hose fitting on a small jug to streamline my winterizing chores.......much easier than pouring it into the hose.

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