What Gas to Use for a Pressure Washer?

Pressure washers have engines that power the water pressure spray. There are two different types of pressure washers – electric and gas-powered. When using a gas-powered pressure washer, it is vital to use the right type of gas and to know how long the gas will last in the fuel tank to avoid fouling the motor.

What gas can you use for a pressure washer? A pressure washer uses gas that is less than thirty days old, a minimum of 87 octane rating, and up to 10% ethanol.

The type of gasoline used for gas-powered pressure washers is a safety precaution. You do not want to use substandard fuel. There are several other considerations for the kind of gas to use in a pressure washer that this article will help you to navigate and plan for. Read on to learn how to take the best care of your gas-powered pressure washer, starting with the gas you should use!

Gas to Use for a Pressure Washer

The gas you put into your car is the type of gas that you would use in a pressure washer. You should always use fresh gasoline that is not more than thirty days old. If the pressure washer has gas that is older than thirty days, you will want to dump it and use fresh gasoline.

The type of gasoline you put in your pressure washer is also essential to pay attention to so that you can protect and maintain the internal components of the motor. Do not purchase or use gasoline from gas stations that are not reputable and never use gas stored for a long time that has sediment at the bottom of it. 

The gas must have an 87-octane rating or better and can contain up to ten percent ethanol. Using less than 87-octane gasoline could damage the motor or cause damaging build up.

How to Safely Store a Pressure Washer 

Following these easy steps can help you to maintain your pressure washer for years to come:

  1. Clean out the soap.
    • Take off the pipe that supplies the soap to the spray.
    • Set the pressure washer on the lowest pressure setting.
    • Spray water through for several minutes to clean out any soap leftover.
  2. Turn the machine off.
    • Turn off the pressure and water supply.
    • Keep the nozzle pointed down until the water stops coming out of the end.
  3. Lock the trigger.
    • Locking the trigger makes sure that the trigger cannot be damaged while moving it and storing it.
    • Let the machine cool down.
  4. Disconnect all hoses.
    • Take off the water hose.
    • Detach the spray gun.
    • Detach the wand extender and high-pressure hose.
    • Drain the water from each hose carefully by holding the end up in the air and working your way down the hose.
  5. Prep the machine for storage.
    • Take out any water from the pump.
    • Pull on the recoil handle a few times to clear out the system.
    • Brush down the outside of the device, especially the air intake.
  6. Storage location.
    • Try to store in a dry, cool place like a garage or storage shed.
    • Throw a tarp or plastic sheet over the pressure washer to keep it from getting dirty or dusty. 

(Source: Lowe’s)

How to Safely Start a Gas-Powered Pressure Washer

Before you start up your pressure washer, you will want to go through a checklist of precautions, especially if it has been sitting in storage. These simple steps before using your pressure washer can help to keep it clean and to make sure that the motor is running efficiently. 

  1. Checking the oil level requires knowing the correct level. The levels of oil needed can be found in the user manual of the pressure washer.
  2. Do not overfill the level of oil that the manual describes; you should be able to see the oil level in the pump or through a glass window.
  3. Checking where the water comes into the machine requires either cleaning or replacing a dirty or damaged water inlet screen. This is where the garden hose is connected to the machine.
  4. Some pressure washers have filters that are in the extender wand. These also need to be checked, cleaned, or replaced if they are dirty with debris or damaged.
  5. The spray gun, the nozzle, and the extender need to be checked for function. If there are cracks or wishing components, you will need to replace them. The connections should be snug and secure to the pressurized hose.
  6. Testing the trigger and trigger lock of the spray gun will tell you whether you need to replace the spray gun. If the trigger does not function correctly, the pressure washer will not work.
  7. The hoses of the machine are all crucial and need to be hole and crack free to function correctly. This is especially true of the high-pressure hose. 
  8. Finally, check where the detergent goes into the machine. If this siphoning tube is clogged, you will need to clean it out.
  9. Flush the garden hose and then connect it to the pressure washer. You are ready to start pressure washing. 

Additional Safety for Using a Gas-Powered Pressure Washer

Here are a few more safety precautions to keep in mind before, during, and after operating a gasoline-powered pressure washer:

  • Never use a gasoline-powered pressure washer inside of a building or home. The fuel burning can cause harmful carbon monoxide levels.
  • Protect your pressure washer from freezing conditions during storage.
  • Pump out any unused gasoline at the end of use from the pressure washer into an approved gasoline container.
  • Let the pressure washer cool down after use. Do not try to move or do maintenance on the pressure washer when it is hot, as this could cause injury and burns.
  • Be aware of your surroundings; never aim the nozzle at anyone because it can cause serious wounds that may not seem bad at first but can cause internal damage and even death.
  • Never try to move items with a pressure washer. The powerful spray of a pressure washer can blow objects at high speeds and could injure yourself or others. Also, you could cause damage to items you are trying to move.
  • Always wear protective eye equipment while pressure washing to protect against flying debris and detergent that can bounce off the surface you are cleaning.
  • Try not to use pressure washers on ladders or high surfaces. The pressure washer can cause high levels of pressure that can cause you to lose your balance. If you lose your balance on a ladder or an elevated surface like a roof, you could fall and cause severe or mortal injury.

Final Thoughts

Pressure washers use much the same gasoline that you might use in your automobile. Make sure that you use only fresh gasoline that you got from the gas station within the last thirty days. Also, follow instructions for filling levels of gas and oil so that you do not risk overflow and burning. 

Finally, the safety precautions in this article should help you to start, use, and store your pressure washer so that it maintains its power and keeps you from being injured. Following these easy steps can give your pressure washer longevity and keep you and those around you safe while operating the pressure washer.

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