Take Charge of Winter: Prepare Your Trash Pump for Lower Temperatures
Winterizing a trash pump is a vital step to protect it from winter’s cold and wet elements. Since it is designed to move any type of water, it is important to make sure all the steps are taken to properly winterize the pump so it can be used in the spring or summer.
The first step is to drain any water left in the pump. It is essential that the ambient temperature not dip below 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the pump has cooled off, locate the drain plug and remove it. It should be easily accessible and should require no special tools to open. Allow gravity to remove most of the water and then tilt the unit, if small enough, to pour out the remaining water. If it is a large unit, you may have to leave the plug open for a few days to completely evaporate the water.
The next step is to take off the pump cover and clean it. This includes both the cover itself as well as the inside of the pump housing to remove any debris and/or grease. You can use an industrial cleaner if there is a lot of debris or a bucket of warm soapy water. Make sure the pump and housing are dried completely. Then lightly oil the inside with a light oil to help reduce corrosion and rust.
The third step is to secure the discharge and suction ports. This is done with durable duct or heavy duty tape to prevent any items like insects from entering the pump.
The fourth step is to remove any old oil from the engine with a suction pump and pour fresh oil into the engine compartment. Be sure to check the owner’s manual or speak to a staff member from a local hardware store as to what type of oil should be used. Then remove the air filter and dispose of it. This is important as you do not want to forget there is no air filter and accidentally reinstall it.
The fifth step is to unscrew the fuel tank cap and remove any remaining fuel from the tank. Depending on the size of the unit, one can secure the trash pump with a wrap of large cotton towels and/or an old cotton sheet and rope or twine. The unit should then be stored in a dry, clean place.
If one takes the time to properly winterize a trash pump, it can increase its life and reduce the chance of water freezing inside and damaging it. Following these steps will ensure the unit is ready to go when the weather warms up.