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What Gas To Use For A Pressure Washer?

Pressure washers. a.k.a. power washers, use a gas engine or electric motor to power a pump which shoots pressurized water through an adjustable nozzle. The water has enough force to clean grime and dirt off surfaces like siding, concrete, asphalt, wood, stone, brick, etc. There are two main types of pressure washers: electric and gas powered. At the moment, gas is the most common and more powerful than electric power washers. When using a gas powered pressure washer, it’s very important to use the right type of gas in order for it to work properly. The best gas to use for a pressure washer is at least 87 octane with up to 10% ethanol.

The octane rating and ethanol content of gas should be written right on the gas pump at your local gas station. If it isn’t, go somewhere else for gas.

When storing gas for your pressure washer, don’t let it sit in the can for more than 30 days. Moisture can collect inside the can when can damage the engine. If you store gas for long periods of time, do it in a cool dry place and make sure the can is tightly sealed. You can also add a bit of fuel stabilizer to the can.

4 Stroke gas power washers use regular gas from a gas station and not mixed gas. You don’t have to add any oil or other additives to the gas. Although some additives like Sea Foam can help care for the engine. Small engines are not as forgiving as larger car and truck engines so make sure not to use substandard fuel. I always use major gas companies like Exxon, BP, Shell or Chevron when I buy gas for my power washers.

The Best Gas To Use For A Pressure Washer

The type of gas you put in a pressure washer is the same kind you use in a car. Pressure washers don’t need special gas or gas mixes.

Pressure washers use Regular 87 octane gas with no more than 10% ethanol. Use high quality fuel from a reputable gas station because it will contain less water and sediment.

Never use gas that’s been stored over 30 days. When gasoline is stored for longer than 30 days in a can moisture can start to build up. This is very bad for a pressure washer’s engine. Using gas with water in it can cause rough idle, stalling and damaged injectors. And if the water is left inside the engine for too long it can cause rust.

If you think you’re gas has been sitting too long and may contain water throw it out and use fresh gas or add a can of dry gas to it. Dry gas is a gasoline additive that remove moisture from the gas.

Gas that’s been stored for too long can also develop sediment at the bottom of the can. Make sure your gas can has a filter at the nozzle to catch sediment before it ends up in your engine.

Using high quality fuel helps protect and maintain your pressure washer’s engine, fuel pump, filters, injectors, lines and other internal components.

The best place to buy gas is from a reputable gas station. I always use the big companies like Exxon, BP, Shell or Chevron. Small gas stations that don’t sell as much fuel have a higher chance of watered gas or sediment build up. But major companies get regular deliveries so the gas is fresher.

Why Do Pressure Washers Use Regular 87 Octane Gas?

Pressure washers use Regular 87 octane gas because they’re powered by small 4 stroke engines. Small engines have low compression so they need a low octane fuel. Engines with high compression ratios are what need higher octane fuel. If you put high octane in a small power washer engine it shouldn’t do any damage but you won;t get any benefits from it either. It will just be a waste of money.

The lower the ethanol in the fuel the cleaner it will burn. This is why pressure washer fuel should contain no more than 10% ethanol. Another way of looking at it is that pressure washers need at least 90% gas. Too much ethanol will make the engine run rougher and could damage the engine.

Gas mixes are designed for 2 stroke engines. These are used in power tools like weed whackers and chain saws and not power washers.

If you’ve got a gas powered power washer what you want is Regular 87 octane gas with no more than 10% ethanol.You can buy it from just about any gas station.

What Type of Gas Does A Honda Pressure Washer Use?

Honda doesn’t actually make their own pressure washers. But they make the small engines that power most brand name power washers like Simpson, Dewalt, Craftsman, Karcher, Briggs & Stratton, Husqvarna, Generac and Ryobi. They make a smaller engine that powers residential pressure washers and a larger engine for commercial machines. Honda pressure washer engines run on regular fuel at least 87 octane and no more than 10% ethanol.

Modern Honda pressure washers do not run on mixed gas. But when in doubt, check the owners manual or the gas cap for fuel information.

What Type of Gas Does A Ryobi Pressure Washer Use?

Ryobi doesn’t actually make the engines that power their pressure washers. They’re generally made by Honda. Small Honda engines run on regular fuel at least 87 octane with no more than 10% ethanol.

The small Honda engines that power Ryobi pressure washers are 4 stroke and run on regular 87 octane gas. They do not take mixed gas/oil solutions. But when in doubt, check the owners manual or the gas cap for fuel information.

What Type of Gas Does A Dewalt Pressure Washer Use?

Dewalt doesn’t actually make the engines that power their pressure washers. They’re generally made by Honda. Small Honda engines run on regular fuel at least 87 octane with no more than 10% ethanol.

The small Honda engines that power Dewalt pressure washers are 4 stroke and run on regular 87 octane gas. They do not take mixed gas/oil solutions. But when in doubt, check the owners manual or the gas cap for fuel information.

What Type of Gas Does A Simpson Pressure Washer Use?

Simpson doesn’t actually make the engines that power their pressure washers. They’re generally made by Honda. Small Honda engines run on regular fuel at least 87 octane with no more than 10% ethanol.

The small Honda engines that power Simpson pressure washers are 4 stroke and run on regular 87 octane gas. They do not take mixed gas/oil solutions. But when in doubt, check the owners manual or the gas cap for fuel information.

What Type of Gas Does A Generac Pressure Washer Use?

Generac doesn’t actually make the engines that power their pressure washers. They’re generally made by Honda. Small Honda engines run on regular fuel at least 87 octane with no more than 10% ethanol.

The small Honda engines that power Generac pressure washers are 4 stroke and run on regular 87 octane gas. They do not take mixed gas/oil solutions. But when in doubt, check the owners manual or the gas cap for fuel information.

Does A Pressure Washer Use Mixed Gas?

Almost all modern pressure washers use regular gasoline you can buy from any gas station. it’s the exact same gas you’d put in your car. Use fuel that’s at least 87 octane and no more than 10% ethanol. Do not use mixed gas unless the engine specifically states that’s what it needs. If your power washer needs mixed gas it should say so on the fuel tank or cap. If it’s not listed there check the owners manual.

Two-stroke engines require a mixed gas which is oil and gas mixed together. The gas/oil mixture is either 40:1 or 50:1. Always check your owner’s manual for your specific model before mixing and adding the fuel.

Does A Pressure Washer Use Gasoline?

Gas-powered pressure washers use gasoline. The best gas for a pressure washer is at least 87 octane and no more than 10% ethanol. They don’t typically run on mixed gas. Use the same gas in a power washer as you would in a car. Just make sure the gas is fresh. If gas has been sitting in a can or the machine for over 30 days moisture can build up which can damage the engine.

Some pressure washers run on electricity. They have a battery and charge by plugging them into and standard outlet just like any power tool.

How Much Gas Is Needed For A Pressure Washer?

Most small residential pressure washers with around 3200 psi have a 1/2 gallon tank. But larger power washers that spray at over 4000 psi like the Simpson Water Blaster have a 1.6 gallon tank. In general, residential pressure washers have a much smaller gas tank than larger commercial units. You can tell the difference by the size of the motor and the psi is sprays at.

Many commercial grade pressure washers that spray at 5000 psi have large gas tanks of over 5 gallons. They need larger engines to create more pressure so they also need a bigger tank.

Does A Pressure Washer Use A 2 Stroke Or 4 Stroke Engine?

Gas-powered pressure washers almost always use a four-stroke ( four-cycle) engine. This is the same basic engine design as a car or ride on mower. Which is why they use regular gas just like a car and not a mixed gas/oil solution. Most modern pressure washers use a 4 stroke engine built by Honda.

Two-stroke engines are used for tools like chainsaws and weed whackers because they’re lighter and spin faster.

Is A Honda Pressure Washer 2 Stroke Or 4 Stroke?

The Honda engine used in both residential and commercial pressure washers is a 4 stroke engine. They’re air cooled with an over head cam (OHC) and a single cylinder.

Where To Buy Gas For A Pressure Washer

Gas-powered pressure washers with a 4 stroke engine use regular gas just like a car. Buy the gas for a pressure washer at any gas station. The best gas to use in a pressure washer is at least 87 octane Regular gas with no more than 10% ethanol. It’s normal regular gas you can buy at any station.

Make sure to use fresh gas in your power washer. When gas sits for more than 3o days moisture can build up inside the tank which can damage the engine. If you have gas sitting in a storage tank or the washer that’s over 3o days old, buy new gas or use a dry gas additive.

Fuel Stabilizers

A fuel stabilizer can be used when adding fuel to a pressure washer. They help protect the engine from corrosion and keep the gasoline fresh for longer. If you don’t use your pressure washer regularly and keep gas in the tank for weeks they can help maintain the engine.

Ethanol-free fuel stays fresh for longer periods of time which is why gas used in a pressure washer shouldn’t contain more than 10% ethanol.

Can I Use Non Ethanol Gas In A Pressure Washer?

Ethanol can cause damage to small engines like what’s used in a pressure washer. This is why the gas used in pressure washer’s should be regular 87 octane with no more than 10% ethanol. Any more ethanol could damage the engine. Gas bought from a gas station almost always contains ethanol so non ethanol gasoline is hard to come by. However, if you can find some it’s safe to use in a pressure washer. 

Can You Use 93 Octane Premium Gas In A Pressure Washer?

Almost all gas-powered pressure washers use Regular 87 octane fuel with no more than 10% ethanol. None are recommended to use 93 High octane Premium fuel. Small engines have low compression ratios which means they won’t likely benefit from a higher octane rating like 93. Some premium fuels may actually make a small engine harder to start. However using 93 octane Premium gas in a pressure washer engine shouldn’t damage it. But it’s a waste of money.

The Best Way To Store Gas For A Pressure Washer

The best way to store gas for a pressure washer is in a locking gas can. Make sure the can is sealed very tight at all times. The tighter the better. Even a small crack can let moisture in the air seep into the can. Store the gas can in a cool dry place like a shed or garage without too much moisture or humidity in the air.

Keep the gas can away from sparks or other flames. Check the can every month or so for leaks.

Add some fuel stabilizer into the can if the gas will be stored for longer than 30 days.

If you think moisture has built up in the can use some dry gas additive before putting the gas in a pressure washer.

How To Store A Pressure Washer

Knowing how to properly care for and store your pressure washer will help maintain the engine for many years. This includes cleaning the equipment, draining the water and soap, and draining the gas for long term storage.

1. Clean Out The Soap

  • Remove the pipe that supplies soap to the spray.
  • Set the pressure washer to the lowest pressure setting.
  • Spray water for several minutes until all the soap is removed from the machine. When done properly only water will spray from the nozzle.

2. Turn Off The Machine

  • Turn off the pressure washer and water supply.
  • Keep the nozzle pointed down until water stops coming out of the nozzle.

3. Lock The Trigger

  • Locking the trigger protects it while the washer is moved and stored.
  • Let the machine cool down.

4. Disconnect The Hoses

  • Remove the water supply hose.
  • Detach the spray gun.
  • Detach the wand extender and high-pressure hose.
  • Carefully drain water from each hose by holding one end up and working your way down, squeezing the hose as you go.

5. Prepare The Machine For Storage

  • Remove water from the pump.
  • Pulling on the recoil handle a few times will help clear out the system.
  • Brush down the outside of the device including the air intake.

If you’re storing a pressure washer for longer than a month I recommend draining the fuel tank. This will help prevent moisture build up.

6. Storage Location.

  • Store your pressure washer in a cool, dry place like a shed or garage.
  • Cover the washer with a tarp to keep it clean.

How To Start A Gas-Powered Pressure Washer

Before you start up a pressure washer that’s been sitting in storage there’s a checklist of precautions to go through.Making sure you start and run your power washer properly will help keep it in good working condition for many years.

  1. Check the oil level before you start the engine. Running a gas-powered engine that’s low on oil can cause permanent damage.
  2. Don’t add too much oil. Too much oil can be just as bad for a gas engine as too little.
  3. Check the filters and screens. A gas-powered power washer should have a gas, oil and water screen.
  4. Some washers also have a filter in the wand near the nozzle so check that one as well.
  5. Check the spray gun, nozzle, and extender for damage. If there are cracks or missing components fix or replace them before using the washer.
  6. Make sure all the water line connections are secure before starting the engine.
  7. Test the trigger and trigger lock on the spray gun. If the trigger isn’t working properly the washer won’t function.
  8. Check all the hoses for cracks and leaks. Rubber hoses can dry out and become damaged during long term storage.
  9. Check where the detergent goes into the machine. This is an area that frequently gets clogged.
  10. Flush the garden hose before you connect it to the pressure washer.
  11. Fill up the gas tank with fresh gas. Use at least 87 octane and no more than 10% ethanol.
  12. Start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes before spraying water.
  13. Start spraying water on the lowest pressure setting. If there are no problems use the washer at higher levels.

Safety Tips For Using A Gas-Powered Pressure Washer

Using a gas-powered pressure washer is fairly easy. I use them all the time to clean decks, masonry and heavy equipment on all of our job sites. But there are some safety precautions you should follow before, during and after using them.

  • Don’t use a gasoline-powered pressure washer inside a building unless you have proper ventilation or venting. Gas engines create carbon monoxide just like a car does.
  • If you live in a cold area make sure to winterize the pressure washer before storing it.
  • I drain the gas from my washer whenever I won’t be using it for more than 2-3 weeks. This prevents water build up inside the machine.
  • Let the pressure washer cool down after use. The engine can get quite hot.
  • Never aim the nozzle at anyone because it can cause injury. Especially if you have the pressure turned high.
  • Don’t use too much pressure on delicate surfaces like old wood siding because it can cause damage.
  • Wear eye protection while pressure washing to protect against flying debris and detergent.
  • Be careful when using a pressure washer on ladders or up high. The pressure can knock you off balance.
  • Don’t pull the machine by the hose.
  • If your pressure washer has been sitting for over 30 days with old gas, drain it and use fresh fuel or use a dry gas additive.
  • Don’t test the water pressure on your own skin. High pressure can cause injury.

Final Thoughts

Pressure washers use the same gasoline as a car. It should be at least 87 octane and no more than 10% ethanol. Make sure to use fresh gas that’s no more than 30 days old. gas that’s been sitting for longer can have excess moisture and/or sediment. Also make sure the machine is in good working order and has clean oil at the right level before starting the engine.

The safety precautions, information and tips discussed in this article can help you maintain, start, use, and store your pressure washer for many years. I use power washers on just about every job site to clean heavy equipment, masonry, decks, patios, siding, walkways, mixers, etc. When you care for a pressure washer properly and use the right gas they’ll work for years without any problems.

Summary: What Gas To Use For A Pressure Washer?

Pressure washers. a.k.a. power washers, use a gas engine or electric motor to power a pump which shoots pressurized water through an adjustable nozzle. The water has enough force to clean grime and dirt off surfaces like siding, concrete, asphalt, wood, stone, brick, etc. There are two main types of pressure washers: electric and gas powered. At the moment, gas is the most common and more powerful than electric power washers. When using a gas powered pressure washer, it’s very important to use the right type of gas in order for it to work properly. The best gas to use for a pressure washer is at least 87 octane with up to 10% ethanol.

The octane rating and ethanol content of gas should be written right on the gas pump at your local gas station. If it isn’t, go somewhere else for gas.

When storing gas for your pressure washer, don’t let it sit in the can for more than 30 days. Moisture can collect inside the can when can damage the engine. If you store gas for long periods of time, do it in a cool dry place and make sure the can is tightly sealed. You can also add a bit of fuel stabilizer to the can.

4 Stroke gas power washers use regular gas from a gas station and not mixed gas. You don’t have to add any oil or other additives to the gas. Although some additives like Sea Foam can help care for the engine. Small engines are not as forgiving as larger car and truck engines so make sure not to use substandard fuel. I always use major gas companies like Exxon, BP, Shell or Chevron when I buy gas for my power washers.

If you have any questions or comments email any time.

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