Are Petrol Pressure Washers Reliable? 

June 30, 2022 @ 6:29 am

The Reliability of a Petrol Pressure Washer

Before we look at how reliable petrol pressure washers are, we first need to see the differences between petrol and electric ones. 

The main difference is obviously that a petrol-powered jet washer is run with a petrol engine, normally 4-stroke.

That being said does the engine play a part in how different they run?

By today’s standards, an electric pressure washer can perform just as well as a petrol one but how reliable are petrol pressure washers?

How long will they last?

This is a little bit of an open-ended question. You can expect a petrol engine to anywhere from 300 hours to as many as 3000 hours. Compared to an electrics 60-100 hours you defiantly get more for your money.

You likely use a pressure washer (domestically) for less than 50 hours per year so keeping your pressure washer working for even the lower end (300 hours) should be a breeze assuming you properly maintain your unit.

How long can they run for at one time?

A pressure washer may overheat if used for too long. Most modern units have an auto switch on/off feature which means when the trigger isn’t held down the motor won’t run.

As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t continuously use your petrol pressure washer for more than 5 minutes. Take a break between blasts and sweep away excess water or reapply detergent.

  • Your pressure washer might overheat if you use it for too long, other reasons you might find its overheating could be that there is excessive fuel pressure which is causing problems.
  • It hasn’t been put together properly and is malfunctioning.
  • The thermostat inside the unit is faulty and needs replacing
  • You are trying to run hot water through a cold water pressure washer.

What can they be used for?

Petrol pressure washers are slightly more industrial than their electric counterparts.

They are commonly used by the military to clean military vehicles. As you can 

imagine, these types of vehicles can get very dirty, especially when they have been driven off-road.

You can use them for pretty much anything though, and the added bonus is that they are suitable for every home job that you can think of.

Can they be unreliable 

Of course, petrol pressure washers can be unreliable, much like any other product. The biggest problem is that you can’t just plug it in and go, they rely on petrol to run the engine and if you find yourself without any, it can be awkward to get started with your job.

They also require oil, failing to top up your oil in your petrol unit can cause some serious damage. 

Some petrol pressure washers have a built-in low oil level indicator that cuts the engine out before any damage can be caused but others don’t have that so be sure to have oil in your engine before attempting to start it.

Petrol pressure washers can be very heavy, and some units don’t come with the most heavy-duty wheels which can make moving them around rather difficult.

final thoughts

In general, we think that petrol pressure washers are a great investment. From our research, we have seen that they are more reliable than electric pressure washers and will last longer.

We would recommend a petrol pressure washer over an electric one and you can see a list of the best petrol pressure washers on our website if you are thinking of buying one.

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