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If you’re planning to conduct some power washing in Chicago, Il this season, you may be asking yourself which fuel to use in your machine. We hear this question a lot from our clients, so today we’ll be providing you with a comparison to help!

What is the Difference Between Kerosene and Diesel Fuel?  

Kerosene is #1 fuel oil, and diesel fuel is #2. The paraffin/wax content is higher in diesel, and it produces more BTUs (heat) than Kerosene. Kerosene, however, is often used in very cold temperatures, as it doesn’t thicken as easily as diesel under these conditions. Some people add a bit of kerosene to their diesel fuel during the colder months to lower the temperature at which diesel begins to solidify. Kerosene is usually less expensive than diesel as well, due to the road taxes added to the price of diesel fuel. Although diesel fuel has higher BTU’s than kerosene, kerosene burns cleaner.

In Illinois, on-road diesel fuel contains biodiesel, up to 20% depending on the time of the year.  Some manufacturers have strict requirements about the quantity of biodiesel being used in their fuel burners and could affect the warranty. Check your equipment warranty to see if there are limitations to the use of biodiesel.

Which Fuel is Best for my Hot Water Pressure Washer?

It really depends on your engine. Some newer diesel engines include kerosene on their list of approved fuels. Because kerosene is distilled into a pure fuel, it has no lubricant additives like diesel does, and burns cooler. Therefore, if you choose to run kerosene in your diesel engine, it’s important to add the right lubricant to the fuel – otherwise it can cause strain on your injector pump. Marvel Mystery Oil is a good choice, and proper lubrication can be achieved by adding one quart to every twenty gallons of kerosene.

What are the Benefits of Running Kerosene in a Diesel Engine?

If you are going to be power washing in Chicago, Il in the winter, you may want to substitute kerosene for diesel – as it doesn’t gel as easily in the cold. However, because it produces less BTUs than diesel, it can reduce the power of your engine and lower the efficiency of your washer. Just remember, never use kerosene in your diesel engine unless it’s listed as an approved fuel in your owner’s manual (or you have checked directly with the manufacturer).

Reach Out for Power Washing Help in Chicago, IL

Our top three choices of the type used in hot water pressure washer burners, in order of preference, are Kerosene, Off Road Diesel Fuel, and On Road Diesel Fuel. If you’re still unsure which fuel to pick for your specific set up, please don’t hesitate to contact High PSI with questions or requests.