Winterizing Industrial Equipment Guide

Posted on: November 8th, 2016 by McHenry PCS

As the leaves change color and temperatures drop, the time has come to begin thinking about winter days ahead.  More than just thinking about cold, snowy winter months, it’s not too early to begin preparing and winterizing your expensive tools and machines. November is an ideal month to prepare your pressure washing equipment/system, air compressors and generators for the upcoming winter season.

A common mistake amongst pressure washer owners is waiting too long to winterize the machine.  To prevent costly repairs and downtime, equipment and systems must be ready for the upcoming winter.

Do you plan to use your pressure washer system throughout the winter months?  If so, ensuring the pressure washer is in a properly insulated environment is crucial.  The following tips will help you protect and maintain the life of your pressure washer as it is used throughout the winter months.

Prepare the Equipment Room or Shop

  • Ensure the equipment room heaters work properly and are kept at a temperature that will not harm the machine or fluids inside it.
  • To avoid frozen fluids or pipes, ensure proper and adequate insulation is installed around pipes and tubing coming into wash bay or equipment rooms.
  • Check seals around doors and openings to ensure freezing is not a factor.

Perform Maintenance on Machine

  • Avoid the hassle of having malfunctions in the cold weather, and examine equipment for proper operation now. It is always better to fix issues during fair weather than when freezing temperatures arrive.
  • Tighten, clean, or replace spray nozzles. Be sure to size the nozzles correctly for best operation and results.
  • Change filters and oils/fluids in preparation for hard winter months.
  • Examine pressure hose, wands and jumper lines going to the equipment for wear, cracks and fittings leaking, and replace as needed.
  • Take inventory on chemical and fluid supply. Increase capacity to withstand the possibility that difficult weather could inhibit your ability to get deliveries in a timely manner.

Storing Your Pressure Washer for Winter

If your pressure washer is not used indoors during winter months, the machine must be winterized prior to storing.  Check the following items off your list as you winterize your machine:

  • Flush all water from the machine, connector lines, hoses and fittings
  • Protect the engine by stabilizing the fuel
  • Prevent rust and freezing by running pump saver completely/properly thru the pressure washer. (available at McHenry PCS)
  • Wipe machine clean of dirt and grime
  • Store in a dry, clean space

Air Compressors

Gas/Electric Portable Air Compressor

portable air compressor

  • deplete air from the tank with an attached air tool or by pulling on the safety release valve
  • the air tank pressure gauge should be under 10 lbs. before you open the drain valve under each tank to drain any excess moisture.
  • allow the compressor to cool
  • wipe it down and store in a non-freezing area


shop_air_compressors7612Stationary Air Compressors: If your compressor is located outside (subject to cold temps) make sure you prepare it as well.  Some customers do not remember that air compressors produce moisture while running, that moisture can stay in lines and valves and freeze while not being used. Make sure you compressor is protected from sub-freezing temps, so lines and components do not freeze while not is use. These problems will usually occur when you first start units in the morning or after a weekend.


If you aren’t planning on using your generator for a while, it may be best to prep it for storage. Follow the easy guidelines below to get your generator ready for storage.

Portable Gas Generator Storage

portable generators

  • add a fuel conditioner and stabilizer at the concentration level specified on instructions. Run the unit for two minutes to make sure fuel is throughout the whole fuel system, close the fuel valve and run generator until it stops.
  • pull out the spark plug and put in 1-2 tablespoons of engine oil into the cylinder, pull the pull-cord 2-3 times then put the spark plug back in.
  • clean the outside of the generator, applying a rush inhibitor
  • store in a dry place

For assistance winterizing your machine, please contact McHenry PCS or by phone at (301)663-4683.  We will be happy to assist you!