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How to Drain Gas From a Pressure Washer: A DIY Guide

Are you stumped on how to keep your pressure washer in optimal condition? We’ve got you covered. Our expert guide simplifies draining gas, an essential aspect of pressure washer maintenance.

How to Drain Gas From a Pressure Washer:

To drain gas from a pressure washer, loosen the drain screw on the Carburetor or use a siphon hose in the tank to pump out the fuel. Also, disconnect the fuel line and collect drained gas. Add stabilizer when storing to prevent stale gas issues.

Step into the world of pressure washer maintenance. Draining gas doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Our expert guide breaks it down for you. Continue with us to keep your machine running smoothly.


What is the Easiest Way to Drain a Gas Tank?

The easiest way to drain a gas tank depends on the tools you have at hand. If you have only a limited amount of gas left, you can let your machine run and use it until it dies. If your pressure washer has a carburetor with a dedicated drain screw, you can loosen the screw and drain the gas that way.

If you own a Siphon Hose, using it is the second most straightforward method. In that case, you only need to open the fuel cap. Another option is to tilt the pressure washer and let the fuel drain from the fill cap if you travel, sell, or store your gas-powered pressure washer.

I recommend draining the gas from the tank. Particularly when you plan to winterize a gas-powered pressure washer for winter. The gas used in most gas-powered pressure washers is unleaded gasoline with an 87% or higher octane rating.

• The Impact of Ethanol on Your Gas Tank

This gasoline also contains ethanol. This ethanol can cause problems and make the gas terrible. If the gas is left inside the tank for more than 30 days, the ethanol in the gasoline can attract water. This can produce an acid that will corrode the inside of the Carburetor.

It leads to difficulty starting or running a pressure washer at the start of the new season. Draining your gas from the tank and Carburetor is the safest way to fix this. Another method is adding a fuel stabilizer to the tank and other gas you store.

If you are de-winterizing your pressure washer, it’s a good idea to check the fuel line and the Carburetor for any signs of this residue. If you find any, you can clean it from the Carburetor using a carburetor cleaner.

• Why You Shouldn’t Leave Gas in a Pressure Washer

Leaving gas in a pressure washer for over a month is not a good idea. So, if you know you won’t be using your pressure washer for more than 30 days, it’s best to winterize it. And when you’re ready to use it again, ensure you properly prepare your pressure washer if you are de-winterizing it.

This includes checking and cleaning the fuel line and Carburetor and ensuring there’s no old gas left in the tank. Finally, always remember to place your pressure washer on a flat and stable surface when draining the gas or doing any maintenance.

This will help prevent any accidental spills or damage to your machine. I hope this guide on winterizing a gas-powered pressure washer and de-winterizing your pressure washer enables you to maintain your machine in the best possible condition. Happy cleaning!

In my 20 years of experience, I’ve seen the damage that can be caused by improper draining gas from a pressure washer. It can lead to gum deposits in the carburetor, harming the engine over time. It’s a risk that’s easily avoidable with regular maintenance.

Drain the gas From the Fuel Tank of a Pressure Washer: 5 easy methods

There are several ways you can drain your pressure washer fuel tank. The five most commonly used methods are:

● Method 1: Use The Remaining Gas:

If the pressure washer gas tank only has a limited amount of gas left, you can use your machine until all is used. If there is still a significant amount of gas in the tank, this is not an environmentally friendly method.

● Method 2: Using The Drain Screw On The Carburetor:

Some pressure washer carburetors have a dedicated drain plug. This is a straightforward method to drain the gas tank and Carburetor. Just unscrew the screw or drain plug and let the gas drain into a gas container.

Keep in mind that not all drain screws on a carburetor also drain the gas from the tank. On some models, it only drains that gas from the Carburetor itself.

● Method 3: Drain the Gas Using a Siphon Hose:

Using a siphon hose makes draining the gas from a pressure washer tank easy. It also avoids any spillage. You can use the following steps:

– Step 1: Put the hose inside:

If you have an entire siphon hose kit, you can see that the hose with the kit has one end with a brass nozzle attached. This end needs to be dipped inside the gas tank.

– Step 2: Make sure that the hose is at the bottom:

This part is crucial. Suppose the end of the hose isn’t entirely at the bottom of the tank. The tank won’t be drained completely.

– Step 3: Clamping the hose:

I recommended securing the hose to the fuel tank’s opening. This way, the pipe doesn’t move or slide out of the tank. A “man clamp” often comes with the siphon kit. Or use a tie wrap or some duct tape to secure it.

– Step 4: Installing the pinch clip:

You can slide the pinch clip onto the hose from the other end. The pinch clip allows you to control the movement of liquid. Suppose you want only to drain a certain amount of gas. Or change the fuel container midway through the process. Pinch the clip and stop the liquid from coming through.

– Step 5: Connecting the bulb valve:

Connect the bulb valve to the other end of the hose. Look for an arrow on the bulb valve. This arrow represents the direction of the flow of liquid. It would be best to connect the hose to the end the arrow is pointing away from.

– Step 6: Pumping the gas out:

Start pumping the bulb valve. This will suck gas from the tank. You have to pump until the gas from the tank reaches the point on the hose where the pinch clip is attached.

Once the gas reaches that point, pinch the clip. Then, you can remove the bulb valve and pour the gasoline into the fuel container. Ensure the pressure washer is placed at an altitude higher than the container draining the fuel.

● Method 4: Draining the Gas by Disconnecting the Fuel Line:

The fuel line connects the gas tank to the Carburetor. You can use the following steps to drain gas by disconnecting the fuel line:

– Step 1: Required Tools:

You will need a fuel line clamper, a pair of pliers, and a fuel storage container.

– Step 2: Finding the fuel line:

Not all gas-powered pressure washers look the same. Some have their fuel tank exposed, while some fuel tanks are covered. Locate the fuel tank. If needed, remove the engine housing. Locate the tuber or pipe going from the side of the fuel tank to the Carburetor.

– Step 3: Clamping the fuel line:

To avoid gas spillage, clamp the fuel line. This will only work when it is a flexible tube.

– Step 4: Loosen the fuel line:

Take a pair of pliers and disconnect the fuel line. Often, the side of the Carburetor is the most accessible location. But the side of the gas tank is fine as well.

– Step 5: Drain the gas into the container:

Ensure that your pressure washer is placed at a higher altitude than your fuel container. This way, the gas can quickly drain. Using a funnel can make this process easier. When all the gas is drained, reattach the fuel line.

● Method 5: Tilting the pressure washer over to drain gas

The last method sounds easy but is often more challenging than you think. It can better be performed with two people. It is limited to pressure washers that can be tilted easily. Before starting, make sure you follow the steps below:

– Step 1: Tilt the pressure washer in the correct direction

Before tilting, make sure that the spark plug wire is disconnected so that there is no risk of your Briggs and Stratton engine starting accidentally. Also, ensure that the air filter assembly points upward when tilting the mower. This step ensures the engine oil does not flow into the fuel tank.

– Step 2: Use a container and funnel

Arrange a plastic container and a funnel to catch the fuel and place it under the fuel cap. Open the fuel cap and allow the fuel to be entirely drained into the container.

– Step 3: Close the fuel cap

Once the empty container is emptied, dispose of the fuel removed and close the fuel cap. Reconnect the spark plug wire.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that difficulty starting the engine or poor performance are often signs that the gas in a pressure washer needs to be drained. Paying attention to these signs is important to keep your equipment running smoothly.

2 Easy Ways to Drain the Gas from the Pressure Washer Carburetor:

You must drain the fuel from the Carburetor to remove gas from the pressure washer. There are two main methods to do this:

● Draining Fuel Using a Drain Screw on the Carburetor:

If your gas pressure washer’s engine has a carburetor with a dedicated drain valve. This is the easiest way to drain the gas from the bowl. Use the following steps:

– Step 1: Locate the drain screw:

Locate the drain screw on your Carburetor. It’s usually present on the front of the Carburetor.

– Step 2: Unscrew the drain screw:

Unscrew the drain screw with a screwdriver just enough that the fuel starts pouring out of the valve.

– Step 3: Draining the fuel:

Use a funnel to collect the gas. Depending on the size of your Carburetor, it will not be a lot of gas. I used kitchen paper to collect the remaining gas without much spillage when it was a small carburetor.

If the Carburetor is more extensive, you can use a flexible tube that you hold against the drain. You have to be fast, and you often see pretty some spillage.

● Draining The gas by Removing the Carburetor Bowl:

If your Carburetor doesn’t have a drain screw, you have to remove the carburetor bowl to drain the gas from it. The carburetor bowl is connected with a bolt. Unscrew it and remove the bowl. Drain any gas present in the bowl. Reconnect the bowl to the Carburetor, and you are done.

Is it Bad to Let a Pressure Washer Run Out of Gas?

In general, if you plan to store your pressure washer for the winter season, I always recommend draining the gas. You can do this by letting the pressure washer run out of gas.

Or by draining it using another method. However, if you use your pressure washer regularly and don’t plan to store it for an extended period, I do not recommend letting it run out entirely. This makes starting the engine harder. Suppose you use your pressure washer regularly.

I recommend keeping some gas in the tank. This makes starting more accessible and keeps the fuel lines and Carburetor from drying out. This can also happen when you store your machine for an extended period. But having to deal with lousy fuel is worse.

Use a fuel stabilizer if you plan to store your pressure washer for an extended time:

Suppose you plan to store your pressure washer for an extended period, like for winter. And you do not want to drain your gas tank completely. You can add some fuel stabilizers to your gas.

Check the manufacturer’s instructions on what the ratio should be. Pour the fuel stabilizer into the gas tank. Start the pressure washer so the fuel stabilizer can reach the Carburetor.

The fuel stabilizer will protect the gas from going bad for up to six months. It will save you from draining your gas tank and Carburetor. Do not forget to add it to all stored gas.

Coping with Stale Fuel and Its Troubles

The issue with stale fuel is no strange phenomenon if you manage any engine-dependent equipment. Stale fuel, often contaminated with oxidized gasoline, is a primary culprit for poor engine performance, even when the equipment fails to start.

In situations of fuel contamination, the best resolution strategy is to rid the engine of this degraded petrol mess. I highly recommend draining the old fuel, cleaning, and flushing the fuel tank with carburetor cleaner. Following this, filling the tank with fresh gasoline is imperative.

For top performance, adding a fuel stabilizer to the mix helps keep the fuel fresh. This approach has proven effective in the fuel management of power systems.

● Cleaning a Dirty or Clogged Carburetor

Dealing with a clogged carburetor is another familiar predicament that can restrain your pressure washer from starting. The hindrance is usually attributed to old, decayed gasoline, which sometimes becomes a varnish-like residue. This residue can potentially gum up the Carburetor and initiate corrosion.

Take off the air filter and thoroughly flush the Carburetor using a carburetor cleaner – experience has shown that this is a commendable first step towards resolving this problem. If the problem persists, unfortunately, you might need to rebuild or replace the Carburetor.

● Swiftly Replacing a Fouled or Defective Spark Plug

In the vast landscape of pressure washer troubleshooting, a fouled or defective spark plug is also a likely origin for washer startup issues. In such situations, I strongly recommend replacing the spark plug altogether instead of attempting to clean it, which may not always solve the problem.

In my experience, one common mistake people make when draining gas is not clamping the fuel line, which can lead to spills. It’s a simple step that’s often overlooked and can prevent unnecessary messes.

● Dealing with a Bad Ignition Coil

A malfunctioning ignition coil, the core component responsible for dispatching high voltage to the spark plug, can also lead to the pressure washer refusing to start. If you find no visible spark, it arguably suggests the need for replacing the ignition coil.

● Aligning a Broken Flywheel Key

A compromised flywheel key, a small yet vital component that links the crankshaft with the flywheel, might be another stumbling block in your pressure washer starting path.

This issue is more complex, and it might call for replacement by a professional, ideally one with relevant mechanical skills.

● Tackling Excessive Pump Pressure

In certain instances, excessive pump pressure may challenge starting the pressure washer. In such cases, a practical approach would be to eliminate the unrequired pressure. You can accomplish this by pointing the spray gun away and pulling its trigger.

● The Need for Proper Maintenance

A frequently overlooked aspect, but of primary importance, in the durability and functionality of pressure washers is proper maintenance. It is critical to ensure the pressure washer is never started or run without water flowing through the pump to avoid damaging it.

Annual preventive maintenance is advised to maintain optimal performance and extend the washer’s longevity. Steps like draining all the water from the pump and flushing it with pump anti-freeze/lubricant uphold this machine’s stability.

The University of Nevada’s extension publication provides comprehensive advice on maintenance practices for garden equipment, including pressure washers, that could further enlighten users on this matter.

• Maintenance of Spark Plug

Regular check-ups of the spark plugs are pivotal to ensuring optimal pressure washer performance. Wear and tear can occur over time due to continuous usage.

If the spark plug appears discolored, corroded, or misfired, replace it immediately. Refer to This Link for further information on environmentally safe spark plug disposal approaches.

• Cleaning a Clogged Carburetor

Fuel flow might be obstructed due to a clogged carburetor. To clean it, you first need to detach it from the engine. Soak it in a carb cleaner overnight, then scrub it using a wire brush. Make sure you replace the carburetor parts precisely as they were before.

• Checking Ignition Coil

Testing the ignition coil is a crucial step in pressure washer maintenance. If it is defective, the engine will not start. Use a multimeter to test for connectivity if a deficit indicates a problem. In this case, immediate replacement is warranted.

• Flywheel Key Condition

The function of the flywheel key is to ensure proper ignition timing. If damaged, it could lead to a misfire or prevent the engine from starting. Therefore, periodically checking and replacing a damaged flywheel key is essential.

• Adjusting Pressure Washer’s Pump Pressure

You must adjust the pump pressure accordingly to prevent the pressure washer exceeding the recommended limits. If I remember correctly, the unloader valve manipulates the pump pressure. Rotate it counterclockwise to reduce pressure and clockwise to increase.

• Troubleshooting an Overheating Fuel Pump

An overheating fuel pump can lead to numerous issues. To troubleshoot it, initiate by inspecting for blockages in the air vent. If the problem persists, I recommend replacing the entire fuel pump.

• Oil Changes in the Pressure Washer Engine

The recommendation is to change the oil in the pressure washer’s engine after every 50-100 hours of operation. This is necessary because oil lubricates the engine’s internal components, reducing wear and enhancing efficiency.

• Air Filter Maintenance

Positive airflow is pivotal for optimal engine performance. Keep the air filter free from dust and debris, and replace it per the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.

• Winter Storage of Pressure Washer

Improperly stored equipment during winter can lead to fuel degradation. To avoid this, always keep your pressure washer in a frost-free location. The advice is to drain the fuel from the tank or stabilize it using a fuel stabilizer to preserve it.

• Turning On a Pressure Washer Safely

After troubleshooting and fixing potential issues, turn on your pressure washer by first pulling the trigger of the spray wand. This releases pressure, making it easier to start the engine.

• Disposal of Old Fuel or Oil

When discarding old fuel or oil, it is crucial to do so in an environmentally friendly manner. Most local recycling centers accept old oil and fuel. Check the guidelines on This link for more details.

• Reading the Manufacturer’s Manual

Every pressure washer model comes with specific troubleshooting and maintenance guidelines. Hence, referring to the manufacturer’s manual is essential to keep your washer running smoothly.

• Safety Precautions

Your safety comes first. Always wear that protective eye and hearing protection while using the pressure washer. Refrain from wearing loose clothing, and apply proper lifting techniques when handling the device.

• Nozzle and Spray Wand Maintenance

Having a clean nozzle and spray wand ensures your pressure washer functions effectively. Regularly inspect and clean the nozzle using a small needle.

• Keeping Pressure Washer Exterior Clean

Always keep your pressure washer’s exterior clean to avoid clogs and damage. Regularly check it for the buildup of unseen debris and dirt. Use a soft cloth to wipe down the external components after every use.

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  1. Marsha Mitchelle says:

    Can you provide a step-by-step guide on how to check the oil level in a pressure washer?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your interest in pressure washer maintenance! We’ve outlined easy ways to check your oil level in our latest blog post. Hope this helps!

  2. Elsie Neal says:

    What are the signs that indicate the Carburetor needs to be cleaned?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Draining gas from the Carburetor is a crucial step in maintenance. Look for signs like difficulty starting or running to indicate when cleaning is needed.

  3. Leah Watkins says:

    Great guide on how to properly maintain a pressure washer!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Leah! Glad to hear you found the guide helpful. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions about pressure washer maintenance. Happy cleaning!

  4. Shelly Craig says:

    What about tips for safely disposing of the drained gas?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Shelly, thank you for your question! The safest way to dispose of drained gas from your pressure washer is to collect it in a container and take it to a hazardous waste facility for proper disposal.

  5. Nicholas Hopkins says:

    Excellent breakdown of the methods for draining gas from a pressure washer!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Nicholas! We aim to provide helpful maintenance tips for pressure washers. Stay tuned for more useful guides.

  6. Tina Kim says:

    Is there a specific type of fuel that is better for pressure washers?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      To ensure optimal performance, use fresh, high-octane gasoline with an 87% or higher rating in your pressure washer. Stabilize fuel with a stabilizer when storing to prevent issues with ethanol attracting water.

  7. Judy Bates says:

    Is there a recommended brand of fuel stabilizer that works best for gas-powered pressure washers?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Judy, thanks for reaching out! I recommend using a fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL for gas-powered pressure washers. It helps prevent fuel-related issues during storage. Happy cleaning!

  8. Duane Russell says:

    How often should fuel stabilizer be added to the gas tank?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Fuel stabilizer should be added when storing pressure washers. This helps prevent stale gas issues, ensuring optimal performance. Add it before storage to maintain your machine efficiently.

  9. Julio Morrison says:

    What’s the best way to store a pressure washer during the summer months?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      To store your pressure washer during the summer, it’s best to drain the gas. Follow our expert guide for step-by-step instructions. Happy cleaning!

  10. Savannah Sanders says:

    Do you have any tips for cleaning the fuel line of a pressure washer?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thanks for reaching out, Savannah! To clean the fuel line of your pressure washer, try using a siphon hose or loosening the drain screw on the Carburetor. This will help keep your machine running smoothly.

  11. Ian Franklin says:

    I appreciate the detailed explanations of the different methods to drain gas.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Ian! I’m glad you found the detailed explanations helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions about pressure washer maintenance.

  12. Jonathan Hudson says:

    Very helpful tips for winterizing and de-winterizing a pressure washer.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Jonathan! I’m glad you found the tips helpful. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out. Happy winterizing!

  13. Sara Hopkins says:

    Could you explain more about the different types of stabilizers that can be used for gas?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      To learn more about gas stabilizers for your pressure washer maintenance, check out our blog on different methods to drain gas and the importance of adding stabilizer before storage. Hope this helps!