In Full Flow

Experts at RATO share essential maintenance steps required to getting optimum performance from your pump

The RATO range of petrol-powered high-pressure pumps are reliable and efficient tools for various applications – from transferring water, irrigation to firefighting. However, like any petrol-powered equipment, proper maintenance and storage techniques are essential to ensure longevity and optimal performance. Here are some helpful tips on servicing and storage of your RATO pump to ensure optimum performance and easy starting every time.


Regular servicing of the motor is crucial to keeping your RATO pump running smoothly. 

  • Change the oil every 50 hours. Inspect the oil level before each use to ensure you have the correct level in the motor. Low oil levels can cause destructive damage to the engine. This oil also needs changing every 50 hours. Drain the oil thru the oil drain plug or a fluid extraction tool, and replenish with the recommended grade of oil – which for our market we recommend 10W30 or 10W40 oil.
  • Check the spark plug for any signs of corrosion or damage. Always replace the spark plug if there is fouling, wear on the electrode or corroded. RATO recommends the spark plug be replaced when you perform the 50hr oil change. This ensures reliable easy starting of the engine.
  • Check and clean the air filter every few uses – especially in dry and dusty conditions. Your air filter is the engines ‘lungs’ – if it is dirty and blocked your motor cannot breathe and will not run correctly. Remove the filter, give it a tap on the work bench to dislodge any dirt or debris and blow with an air nozzle. If the filter is too dirty – a replacement filter is recommended.
  • It’s also important to inspect the fuel line, fuel tap and carburettor regularly when doing an engine service to see there are no leaks, which can cause issues with engine performance and may cause a hazard.
  • Tighten the fittings on the pump end and check any plug caps so no leaks or pressure loss occurs when in use.


Another key part of ensuring your RATO pump is ready to work is storing it correctly for extended periods. Proper storage techniques for any petrol pump are vital. Here are some key tips to store your RATO pump correctly.

  • RATO recommends adding a fuel stabiliser.  Modern petrol comprises of many chemicals to ensure it has a high-octane rating and performs well. Unfortunately, most fuel has a shelf life of 4-6 weeks before losing its stability and becoming ‘stale’. Once you have added the stabiliser, run the pump for a few minutes so the stabiliser is run through the entire fuel system (ensure you have water hooked up through the pump still).
  • Once you have finished with the pump, drain all the water out of the pump end, through the drain plug located in the bottom of the pump casing.
  • On any of the plugs/caps that are on the pump casing, add a bead of silicon-based rubber grease to the o-rings – to ensure they stay lubricated and don’t dry out whilst in storage.
  • Store the pump in a clean, dry, ventilated and elevated area, away from any direct sunlight and moisture.  Inspect the pump periodically for any excess buildup of dust, or pests trying to build a new home!

By following these recommendations for regular servicing of your RATO pump, as well as correct storage procedures, you can be assured your RATO pump is ready to go when you need it most, at optimum performance. Doing all these processes will also ensure you get a long life out of your unit.