Fuel is essential. Your generator cannot run without it. But what kind of fuel should you buy? Premium gas is expensive, but does that make it the best fuel? This guide will give you the answers to these questions before you waste your hard-earned money on premium gas you don’t even need.
Can You Use Premium Gas In Generator?
You can use premium gas in generators but most generators have small engines that don’t benefit from premium gas because they have low compression ratios. In other words, knocking is not a threat to them. You also know that premium gas is more expensive than regular gas.
But if you’re like most people, you have probably never taken the time to figure out the difference between premium and regular gas.
In case you don’t know, there’s a difference. Premium gas is a type of gasoline whose octane level is 91 or higher. The exact specifications will vary with each location.
For instance, in some places, the gasoline must have an octane level of 93 or higher before it can acquire the ‘Premium’ classification. Regular gas has octane levels of 87, while any gas at 89 is ‘Midgrade.’
But this won’t mean anything to you if octane levels are also new to you. You have to understand why octane levels matter to make sense of the difference they make.
Power Equipment Direct explains octane levels by first dissecting the operations of an engine. From what they have said, it looks like an engine has pistons that move down during the intake stage, pulling an air/fuel mixture into the cylinder.
The pistons compress the mixture when they move up during the compression stage. And then, the spark plug ignites the mixture, generating the explosion that pushes the pistons down.
Modern engines have high compression ratios. Not only do they use air and fuel more efficiently, but the mixture burns hotter. Unfortunately, higher compression ratios can lead to knocking, a phenomenon that occurs when the air/fuel mixture combusts spontaneously, prematurely moving the piston down.
Knocking is not just an inconvenience. It can ruin your engine. This is why high-octane gas is so important. People add it to engines with high compression ratios to avoid knocking.
Premium gas won’t combust spontaneously even when you expose it to higher compression.
While most generators have small engines that don’t benefit from premium gas because they have low compression ratios.
In that regard, they don’t need premium gas. Some people buy it despite the hefty price tags because it is supposedly more efficient. However, those claims are not valid.
A generator won’t perform more efficiently simply because you added premium gas. People think that premium gas guarantees a better performance because of anecdotal evidence.
They have heard other people claim that premium gas is better. But scientific research doesn’t support those suggestions. Premium gas is only beneficial to engines with high compression ratios.
Will Premium Gas Hurt My Generator?
No, premium gas won’t your generator. Regular and premium gas have a lot of similarities. They are both combustible liquids derived from crude oil. Premium gas stands out because it has a higher-octane rating.
It resists knocking associated with high compression ratios. Knocking is not a problem for conventional generators. They don’t need high octane fuel.
That being said, premium gas is not dangerous. You can’t say the same for regular gas. I also don’t want you to use regular gas in engines that require premium gas.
In the base-case scenario, the engine’s performance will deteriorate. If you’re unlucky, you may damage the engine. But premium gas doesn’t have this problem. Generators can burn it without a problem.
However, it doesn’t offer any additional benefits. You will spend more money to get the same performance. Some people think that premium gas allows an engine to run clean. But you can achieve similar results with regular gas if you perform routine maintenance.
If you still have doubts about the ‘Regular Gas VS Premium Gas’ debate, check the manual. Some people want to use premium gas because everyone keeps telling them that it is better.
Rather than listening to laypeople, find out what the manufacturer says. If they want you to use premium gas, they will say so in the manual. If they think regular gas is sufficient, they will say as much.
Pros & Cons of Using Premium Gas In A Generator
- It has a higher-octane rating. This allows premium gas to prevent knocking in engines with high compression ratios
- Engine with premium gas run more smoothly
- Premium gas allows engines with high compression ratios to perform more efficiently
- High-octane gas has additives that remove carbon deposits.
- It can boost fuel economy in engines that use premium gas.
- Premium gas is expensive
- This type of gasoline is not as effective in freezing temperatures as other types
- It doesn’t add anything beneficial to small engines with low compression ratios despite the high cost
- The definition of premium gas varies with each location
- Premium gas is difficult to find in some places
What Type of Gas Should I Use In My Generator?
Use clean, unleaded fuel with an octane rating of 87 or higher. I also recommend you use non-ethanol premium gas. Although, gas with 10 percent ethanol can also work.
There are different categories of generators, and they don’t use the same fuel types. For instance:
1). Propane generators use propane. Propane appeals to people who keep their generators in storage for long periods because the volume of propane in your generator’s tank won’t reduce.
If you don’t expect to make frequent use of your generator, get the propane type. Propane is not as efficient as gasoline, but it has its benefits.
2). Gasoline generators are common because they are cheap. Additionally, the fuel type they use is easily accessible. You can find gas stations on every corner in most countries.
But you have to maintain them regularly. If that wasn’t inconvenient enough, you have to approach the storage of gasoline generators carefully because gasoline is highly flammable.
3). Diesel generators have a lot of power. Storage is less of an issue because diesel is not as flammable as gasoline.
4). E85 generators use a fuel type that features ethanol (85 percent) and gasoline (15 percent).
The octane rating plays a significant role in gasoline and diesel generators. Diesel generators respond positively to low octane fuel while gasoline generators prefer the reverse (High Octane Gas).
Make sure you match the fuel type to the generator type. You don’t want to put propane in a gasoline engine. If you have a gasoline generator, find out what the manual says.
If the manufacturer’s documentation recommends premium gas, go out and buy premium gas. If the manual is convinced that regular gas can work in the generator, you can use either option.
The premium gas doesn’t offer any significant benefits to engines that run on regular gas. In fact, it is problematic because it costs more money even though it doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
But you can still use it. Regardless of what you prefer, pay close attention to the quality of the gas. Find a company that refines their gas. This tells you that the gas you buy is clean and fresh.
Where To Buy Gas For Generator?
You don’t have to overthink this decision. Find a company with a strong reputation. As you now know, it is better to buy gas from places that refine their fuel because this guarantees the cleanest and freshest fuel.
Beyond this variable, there is no other way to judge a fuel supplier. Their reputation is the only factor that can tell you whether or not their gas is suitable for you.
Go online and find out what other generator owners have to say about the fuel sold by the companies that piqued your interest.