Cold Climate Jetter Storage 101

Do you know how to protect your jetter when temps drop? It’s crucial to give your jetter some extra TLC during cold months.
Cold Climate Jetter Storage 101
The Performance line of trailer-mounted jetter/pressure washer combo units from Amazing Machinery is designed for easy trailering, and the large water supply tank eliminates the need for a water source.

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As temps threaten to dip below freezing, it’s that time of year for plumbers and drain cleaners in cold-weather climates to take note and ensure a key piece of equipment is being properly used, protected and stored. 

Waterjetters range widely in size and cost, but regardless of the type, it’s crucial that you give it some extra TLC during cold months to protect against the elements and maximize cold-weather capabilities. Doing so could have you warming up to thankful customers who appreciate your dependability. 

Winterize wisely

“There are a couple of different ways to winterize jetters or treat them for cold weather,” says Eric Loucks, national sales manager with Shark Pressure Washers & Jetters. “One way is to hook up air and blow air through it, which helps push the water out.” Any air compressor can be utilized to accomplish this, he says.

“Some people also run RV antifreeze through the jetter,” Loucks says. “You want to make sure it’s RV and not just any antifreeze because if you put in a car-type antifreeze it’s too caustic.” In addition, some jetters come equipped with a built-in antifreeze tank, which can help facilitate this process. 

With gas-powered jetters, you should make sure to keep the tank full in the same way you would with any type of vehicle during winter, he adds. Using these strategies can help ward off freezing and keep your jetter ready for action. 

Transportation tips

The way you store the jetter in your service vehicle to take it from job to job can be crucial as well, specifically the way you handle the hose. “You want to wrap the hose up in way that’s pushing the water out the other end,” he says. Think of the way you might do the same with a garden hose before putting it away for the winter — hold it up high and allow gravity to help out. 

When a valve froze up and cracked on Bill Smith’s first waterjetter, the lost time, lost work, and extra repair costs helped him learn the importance of taking precautionary measures to avoid future damage. 

Today, Smith, the owner of Lincoln Plumbing & Drain based in Mishawaka, Ind., diligently protects his equipment and ensures it’s up to the unique challenges of a harsh season. With average winter temps in northern Indiana of 20 to 30 degrees F, he preheats the water in his jetter using either an electric water heater or a boiler attached to the jetter.

Storage solutions

Storage options depend on your unique situation, including the type of jetter you own and available space. While truck and trailer jetters might have a garage or other cozy overnight home to rest in, storing portable and cart jetters can be more of challenge. 

If you need to leave the jetter in the back of a truck, you can cover it with a blanket to help protect against the elements, says Loucks. It’s even better if it’s inside a canopy. As long as a source of electricity is available, cargo box trailers parked outdoors can potentially be heated with a small electric heater, Smith adds. 

Both agree, however, that a heated garage or building is the way to go if at all possible. And that doesn’t have to mean big or fancy. For years, Smith says he stored a jetter in a single stall, well-insulated garage using just a 1,500-watt heater run at about 40 percent power. 

If you’re putting the jetter in long-term storage, be sure to drain the gas out or use a fuel additive for gas jetters. “I always recommend changing the oil on the pump and changing the oil on the engine itself so that it’s serviced properly before you begin it again,” he adds.

From portable and compact to trailer- and truck-mounted, we have every type of jetter you’ll ever need:

  • The Performance line of trailer-mounted jetter/pressure washer combo units from Amazing Machinery is designed for easy trailering, and the large water supply tank eliminates the need for a water source.
  • The E Series trailer jetter from American Jetter offers protection from the elements in a compact enclosed package, with water flows from 7 to 40 gpm up to 5,000 psi.
  • Hot Shot high-pressure water jet machines from Vac-Con are used for obstructions in sanitary sewer and/or storm drainlines.
  • The truck-mounted Vactor Ramjet from Vactor Manufacturing comes equipped with a Jet Rodder water pump.
  • The 125 Series convertible water jet unit from NLB Corp. converts in about 20 minutes to any of eight operating pressures, from 6,000 to 40,000 psi.
  • The Mongoose Model 254 jetter from Sewer Equipment Co. of America has a “Run Dry” pump that operates at 25 gpm at 4,000 psi, a tubular steel frame, corrosion-resistant, prepainted subassemblies and more.
  • The O’Brien 7000-T hydrojetter from Hi-Vac Corporation includes all of the features of the O’Brien 7000 Series trailer jetter but is designed for true truck-mounted applications.
  • The Camel Jet 1600 truck-mounted, high-pressure water jetting system from Super Products utilizes three modular tanks to carry up to 1,600 gallons of water.
  • The Crap Shooter sewer jetter from BullFrog Industries weighs less than 25 pounds and offers 1,500 psi running off a 15-amp circuit without losing any water pressure.
  • The RCJ Series skid-mounted jetter from Cam Spray is offered in flows and pressures of 8 gpm at 3,500 psi and 7 gpm at 4,000 psi.
  • The JM-3080 Jet-Set water jet drain cleaning machine from General Pipe Cleaners can clear grease stoppages, sand, sludge and ice clogs.
  • The SJPE-1500 portable, compact jetter from Shark Pressure Washers & Jetters has a detachable hose reel and a retractable handle that accommodates easy loading and unloading into vehicles, and allows for transport around work sites.
  • The 15J41 jetter from Water Cannon has a Honda GX 390 engine, flow rates of up to 4 gpm, pressure up to 4,200 psi and a 200-foot 3/8-inch jetter hose. 

Want to learn more? Check out complete product listing and manufacturer contact information.


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