A pressure washer has an engine that powers the water pressure spray when you switch it on. You can choose from an electric or a gas-powered pressure washer when you purchase it.
When you pick out a pressure washer that runs on gas, it’s vital that you use the correct type of gas and know how long it’ll safely last in the fuel tank to avoid damaging your pressure washer’s motor.
So, which type of gas can you use in a pressure washer?
The short answer is that your pressure washer uses gas that has a minimum octane rating of 87, is less than 30 days old, and contains up to 10% ethanol.
Gasoline that fits these specific criteria gets used in a gas-powered pressure washer as a safety precaution, and you never want to use standard fuel.
There are several other things you want to keep in mind when you’re figuring out the type of gas to put in your pressure washer, and we’ll help guide you through it. You can read on to learn how to take proper care of your pressure washer, including selecting the correct fuel.
The Correct Gas for Your Pressure Washer
To make it simple, the type of gas that you use to fuel your car is the exact type of gas that a pressure washer uses. Make a point to always use fresh gas that is less than 30 days old.
If your pressure washer has sat for a while and it has gas that is older than this in it, you want to get rid of the gas and add new in before you start it.
Remember that the gas can have up to 10% ethanol, and it has to have an octane rating of 87 or better. If you use gas with a lower octane rating, it could cause damaging buildup in the motor or damage it.
It’s essential that you pay attention to the type of gasoline you put into your pressure washer because you want to do everything you can to maintain and protect all of the internal components of the machine.
Make a point to never purchase or use gas that comes from unreputable gas stations, and make sure your gas doesn’t have sediments in the bottom from a long storage session.
How to Get a Gas Pressure Washer Ready to Use for the Season
Before you start your gas pressure washer for the first time in the season, there are a few things you want to run through. This is especially true if the machine has sat in storage for a few months.
Performing the following steps will ensure that your gas pressure washer is clean and that the motor is running to the best capabilities possible.
- Check the user manual for your pressure washer to see what oil level it needs. Once you know, you can check the oil level and know if you need to top it off or not.
- Don’t overfill the pressure washer with oil. There is usually a glass window that will allow you to see and monitor your oil levels in your pressure washer.
- Check and see the point where water comes into the pressure washer and see if it needs to be replaced or if it’s dirty and needs cleaning. The garden hose will connect to the machine at this point, and water inlet screens can get damaged or dirty.
- A few gas pressure washers come with a filter in the extender wand. If your model does, you’ll want to check it and clean or replace it as needed if you notice damaged or lodged debris.
- The nozzle, spray gun, and extender needs a thorough check to ensure they’re working correctly. If there are cracks, you’ll need to replace them before you fire up your pressure washer. The pressurized hose connections should be secure and snug.
- Test the spray gun’s trigger lock and trigger and see if you need to replace the gun. If the trigger is faulty, your machine won’t work correctly.
- The hoses absolutely have to be crack and hole-free for them to function correctly. This is especially true if you have high-pressure hoses, so give them a thorough inspection before you use them.
- Check where the detergent goes into your pressure washer. You’ll need to clean out the siphoning tube if you notice debris or clogs.
- Finally, flush the garden hose and connect it right to your gas pressure washer. You’re now ready to add your gasoline and fire it up.
Safety Precautions for Using a Gas-Powered Pressure Washer
Gas-powered pressure washers can be powerful tools to have, especially when it’s well-maintained and has the correct fuel in it. This is why it’s so important to keep the following safety precautions in mind before, during, and after you use it.
- Always put on protective safety glasses when you have your pressure washer running. They can protect your eyes from detergent and flying debris that can ricochet off the surface you’re cleaning.
- Make a point to keep a close eye on your surroundings. Never aim your gas-powered pressure washer at anyone because the water jet can cause bad wounds to internal damage that can be severe.
- When you finish using your pressure washer, you want to let it cool down. Don’t try to move it around or perform any maintenance right after you shut it off. Doing so could lead to burns and injuries.
- Don’t ever try to move any items directly with the pressure washer. The pressure washer’s powerful spray can blow objects around at high enough speeds that they could injure someone or damage something. You could also damage the items you want to move.
- Never try and use a gas-powered pressure washer inside a home, building, or in an enclosed space. When gasoline burns as the pressure washer run, it can easily release emissions that can drive carbon monoxide levels up to dangerous territory.
- When you store your pressure washer, make sure you protect it from freezing conditions. Ideally, it’ll be in a climate-controlled storage building on your property.
- At the end of the season, before you store your pressure washer, remember to pump out any unused gasoline into an approved container. You can use it somewhere else or safely dispose of it.
- If you can help it, don’t use the pressure washer on high surfaces or ladders. This machine easily causes high-pressure levels that can cause you to lose your balance and fall. If you lose your balance while you’re high in the air or standing on a ladder, the resulting fall can result in serious injuries.
Pressure washers use the exact same gasoline that you use to fill up your car. You should ensure that you always only use fresh gasoline that you got from your local gas station within the last 30 days.
Also, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for oil and gas filling levels so that you don’t accidentally overflow it and cause burning.
Finally, the safety precautions we went over should ensure that you know how to safely start, use, and get the pressure washer ready for storage at the end of the season. Following this guide can ensure that your pressure washer lasts from season to season and runs at peak levels.