Propane pressure washers


New member
As some of you may know, I am a dealer development salesman for Epps Products, for those that did not now yopu do. I have been encouraged to post here so that you can find out about new products or to encourage you to ask us questions. Here goes, sure hope this works out? Time and feedback will tell :)

Epps has a unique product available for some applications; a Kohler OHC propane only engine complete with a propane fired burner
, Honda engine version shown.

The Kohler unit is available in either gear reduction or belt drive configurations. OSHA has recommended that only propane be used when cleaning parking garages. Reduced emissions and no objectionable fumes could open up more business opportunities. Now you can bring the unit into a commercial kitchen or almost anywhere as it is compact and portable.

For details or the name of a dealer near you contact Epps via or call us toll-free in North America at 1-888-826-9191.

Hope this helps? Cheers, Michael


Michael, It looks like a nice machine but you state that there are "no objectionable fumes" As I recall from science class many years ago Carbon Monoxide is a by product of combustion that most would consider to be objectionable! As an outdoor unit, it is probably a fine piece of equipment but to "bring the unit into a commercial kitchen" could not only leave a sooty residue on the ceilings and possibly set off the water sprinkler system due to the exhaust temperature but the carbon monoxide can kill anyone in the same room!
"compact and portable" yes
"almost anywhere" NO!


New member
Grant, you are correct that part of the combustion process with hydrocarbon based fuels is carbon monoxide (CO). Add carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H20). There is little if any soot due to the reduced numbers of carbon bonds in the chemical makeup of propane which supports more complete combustion.

However, you may have forgotten that CO, CO2 and H20 are all odourless and colourless.

Diesel fumes are a result of incomplete combustion and the sulfur found in diesel fuel. Propane does not have as high a concentration of sulfur and it's combustion is more complete. Therefore propane units emit lower overall combustion by-products than diesel, without the objectionable smell.

A commercial kitchen will have enough volume and/or ventilation to allow for the use of propane indoors, most use very high btu natural gas or propane burners (40,000+).

Technically propane should be vented to the exterior even when used as a forklift fuel but common use allows for them to be vented to the interior. As a matter of fact, OSHA specifically bans the use of gasoline or diesel fired engines or burners in parking structures but it specifically mentions using propane in this application as a recommended alternative.

Exhaust stack temperatures within six inches of the coil outlet are ~500 degrees and in a commercial kitchen there are appliances (like a salamander) that emit heat in excess of this. Also most commercial kitchens have a manual/automatic fire extinguisher in the vent hoods and rarely a sprinkler due to the fact that oil/grease and water do not mix.

As to CO build up there are very inexpensive paper monitors that you clip to your clothing that are used in many industrial applications every day. I even wear one when I fly my General Aviation aircraft as a precaution; you must agree that a small airplane is very much outdoors but there is a small chance that when using carb heat or cabin heat that you could be breathing CO's unknowingly.

Again, compact, portable and useable almost anywhere.



Michael, You are well versed in the chemistry, but you say that "A commercial kitchen will have enough volume and/or ventilation to allow for the use of propane indoors" but when you clean an exhaust hood, the ventilation is turned off. therefore, with the exception of an open door and a make -up air unit (if not wired with the exhaust fan) you have little fresh air supply being reintroduced into the kitchen with no exhausted air.
Parking structures have little in common with commercial kitchens.
As for the exhaust temps, yes a salamander generates in excess of 500 degrees and there a other appliances that generate much higher temps, but remember, they are located under a hood designed to capture and exhaust the heat and fumes. you cannot put a portable steam cleaner under the hood you are cleaning and you cannot keep the exhuast fan running, therefore the steam cleaner is sitting on the floor in the kitchen with the exhaust going to the cieling which is protected by a water sprinkler system with sprinkler heads that release at 150 - 165 degrees F. (hood system fusible links activate at 450 degrees F)This water system does not interconnect with the hood fire system for the very reason you state.
Your airplanes carb heat and cabin heat do not use the combustion by product to do the actual heating, much the same as in a car heater, the cumbustion by product is run through a radiator that fresh air is directed through, and heats the fresh air. You could not run the exhaust of your planes engine through the cabin.
Not trying to be an instigator, but do your family a favor and don't run any fuel fired burners indoors (except parking structures).


New member
These units are now working in beverage bottlers' facilities, paper mills, auto makers, commercial kitchens, parking garages etcetera.

As to carb heat and cabin heat, airplanes use an exhaust by-pass system as they are extremely rare to be found with radiators; airplane engines are almost universally horizontally opposed, 4/6 or 8 cylinder, air cooled motors. That is why it is highly recommended that you wear a disposable CO monitor (available on line at

Using common sense will keep you from using any CO/CO2 producing system in a small volume space. In our plant the sprinkler heads are placed ~ 15' above the test area but we do exhaust ALL pressure washers to the exterior. There is nothing preventing you from using hot water from an external source to clean your hoods, the single largest advantage of these units is their single fuel for both burner and engine. Couple that with the lower fume production, longer life cycle of the engine and oil, reduced maintenance due to fewer moving parts and solution to a perceived problem.

I do not advocate their use in areas that would present a hazard to the operator or facility but I do know of a few commercial kitchens in Casinos around the US that use these exact same units every day for their clean up including hoods.

If you insist on no fumes nor emmissions we do manufacture an electrically heated hot water pressure washer and/or steam cleaner. These too are being used in commercial kitchens, nuclear power plants, on board US Navy vessels, auto plants, brewers, motorcycle manufacturers, food processors et al.

I do not disagree with what you have said but there are solutions available from other sources or using other methods. I hope this clears any misconceptions that may have developed from this thread.

Hope this helps? Cheers, Michael
Grant, very good post. All of the info about sprinklers and hood suppression systems was accurate, except that you may encounter links 212 to 500 degrees. I did hear of one hood cleaner who took his PW inside because he did not have much hose. He found out how fast 155-165 degree sprinkler head activates. He also found out that 1 head would put out the fire in the PW burner.

Douglas Hicks
General Fire Equipment Co of Eastern Oregon, Inc


New member
Hey Guys,

Carbon monoxide isn't a product of complete combustion.

The products of complete combustion are carbon dioxide and water vapor.

Now incomplete combustion is another story and can result when the flame is cooled below it's ignition temp. This cooling of the flame (flame impingement) could occur if the flame comes in contact with a cooler surface within the combustion chamber.

If the flame is cooled by impinging, by-products other than carbon dioxide and water vapor may escape from the flame and these products could include carbon monoxide and aldehydes.


Andy, So during normal combustion, each atom of carbon in the burning fuel joins with two atoms of oxygen - forming a harmless gas called carbon dioxide. When there is a lack of oxygen to ensure complete combustion of the fuel, each atom of carbon links up with only one atom of oxygen - forming carbon monoxide gas.
Therefore, if someone can create and maintain perfect cumbustion, there would be no harmful side effects until the oxygen level is reduced to below 12 -15%?


New member

Yes - in terms of oxygen levels more air (excess air) is needed to facilitate this. Without excess air not all gas molecules would link up with oxygen molecules and you'd still have incomplete combustion.

There are off the wall exceptions also - I was on a service call in which a lady's CO detector went off. When I got there, I only read 1 ppm on my meter, (9 ppm or above could indicate a problem) with the furnace running. To make a long story short, with the door shut and room sealed the furnace pulled the room into a vacuum, there was also a water heater in the room, when the furnace was running and the water heater was calling, the vacuum caused flame impingement in the combustion chamber of the water heater and pulled those flue gases into the room and activated the CO detector.


Boy this could be fun, I think i'm gonna ask for a chemistry set for the holidays and set up shop in the garage and do some testin'


Sirocco Jerry

Active member
Carbon Monoxide and heaters run in confined spaces

Great thread.
very informative !

Workspace safety is ALLways paramount. Eh?

So Grant..
did you ever get that chemistry set ??
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