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Old 05-13-2021, 09:51 AM   #1
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Power washing engine and generator bay

I am considering power washing my engine and generator bay. Before doing something I might regret, I was hoping someone might have had previous experience. High pressure water with detergent on electrical components may not be a good idea...... Or there is a proper way to do it.
Jim & Carol C
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:52 AM   #2
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Particularly with a late model electronic engine, I WOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER DOING IT.

Same for the generator.
Brett Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38FDDS. Ex: 1997 Safari Sahara. Ex: 1993 Foretravel U240
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Old 05-13-2021, 10:05 AM   #3
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It must be do-able because a lot of owners do it. On the other hand...

When we sold our previous motorhome - a 2010 Tiffin Allegro Bus - I decided to clean the engine compartment prior to turning it over to the new owners. As I recall I used two or three cans of Gunk Engine Cleaner, let it soak for ten or fifteen minutes, then hosed it off using a nozzle with a relatively fine spray pattern.

Worked fine, but when I was done and fired the engine to move the coach back into our RV garage, I noticed the alternator was hitting the chassis batteries with something like 15 or 16 volts. I took the coach out for a drive, hoping everything would return to normal after a good heat cycle allowed everything to dry out.

No such luck. Concluded the problem was the voltage regulator which is integrated into the alternator. It's ostensibly a replaceable part, but I couldn't find one readily available from any source, plus the new owners were coming to get the coach in a few days. Bottom line, I had the pleasure of buying a new alternator (not cheap, in case you're wondering), removing the old one, and installing the new one.

But hey, the shiny new alternator looked really nice inside that nice clean engine compartment!
Larry & Amy Beckner
Scottsdale, AZ
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:19 PM   #4
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We pressure wash lots of equipment at work and haven't had any issues. I've washed off my coach and Jeep engines with a hot pressure washer numerous times. Obviously you don't shove the wand right up against an alternator or anything else electrical but those items do take a fair amount of mist, which they get anyway from driving in the rain (or blasting Jeeps through muddy puddles ). I just keep away from sensitive areas with a direct blast.
Mark & Leann Quasius
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2007 Allegro Bus 42QRP (Sold)
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:51 PM   #5
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A generator is in a closed compartment with controlled air flow for a reason, they don't do well when wet. I'd like to see mine cleaner, but I really like to see it making power. I don't know how you could pressure wash it in such a confined space and not end up soaking the generator.

The engine bay is more open and most of the wiring is higher on the engine, which is where you'd be spraying. All you have to do is hit a connector just right and the seal wouldn't keep the water out. It's not worth it IMHO.
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Old 05-13-2021, 03:02 PM   #6
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Wash away, just stay back, so the pressure doesn't blow things apart.

You run your generator in heavy ran at 60 MPH, its getting soaked, so is your engine.

Take you car for a ride in a rain storm. Come how and open the hood, wet engine.

Some air cooled generators are mounted behind the rear tires. They get wet.
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Old 05-13-2021, 04:09 PM   #7
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Like Cruser, I have been pressure misting both compartment for years. I spay everything down with Awesome Cleaner, then just mist the compartment with the pressure washer. No need to blast anything electrical.
Chuck in SW FL
Digital 2021 Cornerstone "B"
A "Digital" 2019 Cornerstone "B" Traded
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Old 05-13-2021, 05:30 PM   #8
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I use the awesome cleaner too, and then rinse like others here with the power washer. I am not cleaning electrical wiring and plugs.

I did wash out my electrical bay at the passenger back one time a while back. Don't do that. My lights were strobing for a while - had to dry it out with a dryer and fans.
Mark & Debra Wood, Las Colinas, TX.
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Old 05-13-2021, 06:50 PM   #9
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I have pressure washed the engine compartment of every vehicle I have owned, including 4 motorhomes and three race cars. Never had an issue. Like Chuck, I use Totally awesome and or purple power and spray if off with my Ryobi PW
Bruce, Lisa and the pups, Charlie, Opie and Rebel
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post
Particularly with a late model electronic engine, I WOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER DOING IT.

Same for the generator.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS
It's so weird being the same age as old people.
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:32 AM   #11
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Thanks to all for saving me from myself.....
Jim & Carol C
2014 Anthem DLQ
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Old 05-14-2021, 06:54 AM   #12
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May I suggest an alternative?

Get a bucket, a sponge, and Dawn dish soap.
On a cold engine, spray a fine mist to wet the entire compartment down.
Wash, yes, by hand, the engine and surrounding areas making sure you do not get the soap on the paint.
Rinse with a fine mist
Let air dry
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