Spring Pressure Washer Maintenance

Getting Your Pressure Washer Out of StorageBilly Goat may have phased out their pressure washer line, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your equipment. Here’s everything you need to know to get your pressure washer out of storage and ready for a new season of cleaning.

The Initial Inspection

You should have stored your pressure washer with the pump full of pump saver or RV antifreeze.

Inspect the hoses, wand and spark plug cable. The rubber insulation on these parts is a common target for mice. Likewise, make sure the engine air filter hasn’t been torn apart to make a nest.

Check the pump inlet for the seal and screen. If these parts fell out, putting them back in now will keep you from having to hunt them down. While you’re at it, make sure that the pressure washer tips are in their places on the handle.

Air up the tires. Attempting to roll the washer with flats may cause the tires to roll off the beads.

Check the pump oil by looking at the sight glass on the side of the pump. The oil should come up to the middle of the glass. If the oil looks cloudy, replace it. While you can use SAE 20 non-detergent oil, AR and CAT Pumps both make pump-specific oil with seal conditioners that will help your pump last longer.

Engine

If you left the tank full of fuel, drain it and add new gas. Honda GX engines have a sediment cup built into the base of the carburetor. You can drain the fuel by removing this cup and turning on the fuel valve. On other engines, use a siphon to drain the tank, then get the rest of the fuel out by disconnecting the hose that leads to the carburetor.

If the carburetor sits with fuel inside of it, deposits can form around the carburetor jets. To clean these jets, remove the air filter and spray carburetor cleaner around the jet openings. Major buildup may need to be removed by taking the carburetor off the engine and spraying the jets from the inside. Never use a needle to remove clogged passages: this can widen the jet openings, throwing off the air/fuel mixture.

Check the oil, adding more as needed. If the oil looks slightly milky, it’s contaminated with water. Drain and replace the oil before starting the engine.

The First Start

Prime the pump by connecting the inlet hose and holding down the trigger until you see water dripping out of the nozzle. Start the engine and let it warm up. If you added oil to the combustion chamber before storage, expect to see some black exhaust smoke. This is just the oil burning off.

Both pump saver and RV antifreeze are non-toxic. You can spray either chemical over a wide patch of ground, or spray into a bucket and pour the liquid down a drain. Once the water looks clear, your pressure washer is ready to use.

Addressing Common Problems

Low water pressure: Check the hoses and pump for leaks. If there’s a crack in the wand or high pressure hose, shut off the washer. Replace these parts before using your machine again. If you let the engine idle too long, the unloader valve will open to relieve pressure on the pump. Shut off the engine and give the pump at least 5 minutes to cool down. Most leaks at the pump are caused by loose connections or bad seals on the inlet or outlet. If the pump still leaks, it may need some new internal seals or a complete rebuilt.

Running rough: If you’re using a long garden hose, it can take a lot of priming to purge all of the air. Shut off the engine and hold down the trigger until you get a steady, consistent stream of water out of the nozzle.

Billy Goat’s pressure washers are designed to use cold water. Water above 100°F can cause problems with the pump seals. Even if you’re using a cold faucet, water inside the inlet hose can heat up in the sun. Shut off the washer, disconnect the hose, and let the water run until it turns cold.

Spikes in water pressure: The unloader valve is jammed or isn’t set correctly. This keeps water from recirculating back into the pump. Check the pump owner’s manual for instructions on how to set this valve.

Keep Your Equipment Running

Billy Goat Parts is your one-stop shop for everything on your pressure washer. We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat, as well as their manufacturing partners including CAT and AR Pumps. That means you can get replacements for everything on your machine from one source. Our search engine lets you find parts specifically for your model and serial number, so you’ll always order exactly what you need. Visit us at www.billygoatparts.com. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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