If you are a truly caring homeowner, you would want to know how to drain gas from the lawnmower, especially if it has already gone bad. However, you will soon find out that it is not that straightforward as you might have thought.
But dealing with especially dangerous liquids like gasoline should not be treated lightly and given due diligence as it should be. And knowing the proper way to drain gas from a lawnmower is essential knowledge for a homeowner who only wants the best for his or her home.
But before learning the techniques in draining gasoline from a lawnmower tank, there are other equally important things you should know, like:
How To Know If The Gasoline Has Gone Bad In The Lawnmower Tank?
Your gas-powered lawnmower needs gasoline to do its grass-cutting task, and it has to be relatively fresh so it can do the work properly.
In general, gasoline lasts six months or so in a container, and longer than that, it will lose its volatility. And once it reaches that stage, it will proceed to cause problems to types of machinery which need it like lawnmowers.
If you have intimate knowledge about gasoline, then you would quickly know if it has gone bad. But if you are like the majority of people that lack that type of know-how, you would prefer to learn beforehand.
Here are a few signs that gasoline has gone bad in your lawn mower tank:
- It does no smell like gasoline anymore, or it smells different
- Its color has changed
- There are dirt and debris in it
- There is water present
FYI: If you are planning to store your gasoline for as long as twelve months, add a gasoline-stabilizing product in it.
How To Dispose Gasoline The Right Way?
Once you are certain that the gasoline in your lawnmower tank has gone bad, there are a few steps you need to follow to get rid of it properly:
- Pour the gas inside a government-approved container, along with a tight cap
- Call your local waste management office for an ideal disposal site for the gas
- Throw the gasoline at the established disposal area
If you do not like to undergo that disposal process for your gasoline, there are other options you can do:
Other Gasoline Disposal Methods
- Mix it with fresh gasoline- As you know, the price of gasoline is always increasing, and even throwing away bad gas seems to be a waste.
However, you can still mix fifty percent of the bad gas with fifty percent of the good stuff and use it in small engines like your lawnmower.
Also, larger vehicles like cars can burn bad gas better the lawnmowers, so you have that as an alternative.
But you have to make sure that there is no water or dirt in the bad gas, or else the engine will have problems.
- Bad gasoline as a weed killer is NOT a good alternative- You might have heard from someone that this is a good option, and it might be effective.
Even though the gas has gone bad, it is still regarded as a hazardous liquid even to plants, so never use it for that purpose.
- Leaving the top off- Some homeowners have said that they only leave the container open and let the gas evaporate away. You can do this, but experts recommend against it.
Just remember that gas fumes are dangerous if left in an enclosed area and may cause fire or health hazards.
How To Drain Gas From Lawn Mower
There are two methods in draining gasoline from a lawnmower: either with or without a siphon.
Before learning about those two techniques, why does gas need to be drained in a typical gas-powered lawnmower?
You have spent the past months cutting your lawn conscientiously. The weather is starting to become cold, and winter is about to arrive, thus the mowing season has come to a close.
It is time to store your trusty lawnmower in the garage, but what will you do with the gasoline in the tank? Leaving it there unused would not bode well for everyone involved and will become a health hazard.
The combustibility of gasoline relies on its volatility to burn, but as time passes, the compounds that make it combustible and volatile will lose their potency and dry up.
Also, as they evaporate they will create sticky deposits all around the fuel system of the engine. They will descend to the bottom of the tank and lower the gasoline’s quality.
As you turn on the engine, the old gas, along with grimy sediments, will go through the motor and congest the fuel line, carburetor, and filter.
It will cause untoward damage to the mower’s engine and will need repairs.
Before storing it for the winter, you have to drain the gas from the tank. It is a crucial step in the winterization (the process of preparing it for winter) of your lawnmower.
If you are going to leave the gas in the tank, it will become stale in thirty days, so you do have to drain it.
This way, your lawnmower will be in good working condition when spring arrives and the mowing season begins anew.
Using A Siphon To Drain Gas From A Lawn Mower
The siphoning method has been a tried-and-tested technique in removing gas from a tank. It works great for engines that do not have fuel lines, which can easily be reached and disconnected.
This procedure is not only for lawn equipment but for vehicular gas tanks.
While using a siphon to empty a tank is effective, remember that there will still be gas remaining in the carburetor, fuel line, and filter.
Removing Gasoline From A Tank With A Siphon:
1. Preparing the engine
Before siphoning out the gasoline in the tank, you need a good quality fuel stabilizer to pour inside.
There are additives in the stabilizer that keeps the gas from breaking down into gluey residue and enable it to be fresh for a long time.
Once poured inside the lawnmower tank, let the engine run for a few minutes to let the stabilizer spread through the carburetor, fuel line, and tank.
The stabilizer and gas mixture is left behind the different components on the fuel system. It will enable the gas to be combustible and hinder the engine from any damage.
2. Let the engine cool down
After circulating the mixture through the engine, let it cool down before continuing with the steps.
You have to make sure that your mower is on a level surface, which will make the task easier. If not, the oil from the reservoir will leak out and spread to the other engine components.
Also, make sure you have engaged the emergency brakes so that the mower will be steady in place and does not move.
Since the power behind the siphoning method is due to gravity, the container that the gas will be poured into has to be elevated lower than the tank.
And the easy way to make sure that the mower is on a flat surface is to situate the mower deck on two sawhorses. Space them close together to the mower’s wheelbase.
3. Disconnect the spark plug
It will also ensure that the spark plug will spark by accident while gas is coursing through the tank. One electric discharge can ignite it and cause a lethal explosion.
4. Select your siphoning technique
At this stage, you will be siphoning the gas from the tank, and there are three ways to do it:
- By making the internal pressure higher- For this technique, you will need two clear hoses: one long and one short.
The longer one will be connected from the gas tank towards the container on the ground. The hose has to be on the bottom of the fuel tank to make sure it is beneath the surface of the gasoline.
The shorter hose will be placed into the tank but should be above the fuel level.
Get a dry rag to create a seal in the gap surrounding the two hoses so that air cannot get out from the tank.
After making sure the gap is sealed, blow air (either with an air compressor or your mouth) through the shorter hose into the tank.
This act will increase the pressure within, cause the gasoline to course through the longer hose and towards the container.
Once you see that the gas is flowing by itself, stop blowing air into the shorter hose. Gravity is doing its job and will do the siphoning job for you.
- Using a siphon pump- Among the three techniques, using a siphon pump is the best one since it is the fastest and safest way to suck gas from a tank.
Some siphon pumps function automatically, wherein you only need to click a switch, and others will only work in manual mode.
A siphon pump is comprised of a pump with a clear tube in the middle. The pump does the first suction task to enable the gas to flow.
As before, once the gasoline will continue flowing, gravity will do the rest.
The clear tube has two ends with different functions, so make sure you do not interchange them. Look for the end with a brass attachment, which goes into the tank.
Insert that end into the tank and submerge it in the gas. Squeeze the pump a couple of times to start the suction process and watch as the gas courses through the tube.
- Last resort- If all else fails or if you do not have access to the materials of the previous techniques, you can try this method.
You will be using the clear tubing as a straw to suck gasoline from the fuel tank.
Put one end to the tank and the other to your mouth. Make sure you are looking intently at the tube to see where the gas is, as once it starts flowing, remove it quickly from your mouth and direct it to the container.
As with the other methods, gravity will finish the job for you. Just make sure that not a drop of gas will come into your mouth, or you might end up having ill effects from drinking it.
5. Do some extra preventive maintenance
After finishing siphoning the gasoline out using any of the techniques mentioned above, clean up any spills, and remove all the hoses.
Then do some preventive maintenance for your lawnmower like:
- Examine the air filter if it is not congested with dirt and debris. If your find any, maybe it is time to replace it.
An air filter is an essential part of the engine of a lawnmower to keep it functioning properly.
- Check on the oil reservoir and make sure it is filled up with clean oil. Unplug the oil filter and examine if the adapter does not have debris on it.
If you notice that the engine is not functioning in maximum capacity, you might need to change the oil filter.
6. Cleaning up
Since the tank is still empty, pour in a small amount of fresh gasoline and move it around to get rid of any deposits remaining. Once done, drain it out as you did before using any of the techniques mentioned above.
Leave the engine to dry out for a few minutes. You might think you have emptied the tank of gas, but there is always little fuel remaining.
The best way to make the engine dry is to utilize an air compressor to expunge any remaining liquid.
Once you are confident everything is completely dry, screw in a new spark plug and spark plug wire.
Put the lawnmower back on level ground, and your work is finished.
Draining Gasoline Without A Siphon
There are a few ways you can drain gas from a lawnmower tank without siphoning it:
Running The Engine
This method has only required to keep the engine on until it runs out of fuel.
You only have to be sure to pour in a fuel stabilizer before starting the engine. It will make sure that any little gas remaining in the tank has been treated with the stabilizer and would not break down during the time the lawnmower is unused.
Mower Has A Fuel Line Connected To The Carburetor
You are fortunate enough to have a kind of lawn mower that has a fuel line connected directly to the carburetor.
It will allow you to easily disconnect it and direct the gasoline into a container.
After emptying the tank, reconnect it back to the carburetor, and it is done.
Turkey Baster Technique
If you do not have any siphoning equipment to remove gasoline from your lawnmower tank, there is still something you can use: a turkey baster.
The turkey baster can do the job of sucking gas out in the tank. Set it in the tank opening and squeeze the bulb to allow suction.
Once the baster is filled, let out the gas into a container. It may sound strange, but it is an effective tool for siphoning out the gasoline from your lawnmower tank.
Just be sure you have properly cleaned it before putting it back in the kitchen drawer.
How Often Should I Drain Gasoline From My Lawnmower?
As a guideline for homeowners, you should drain your gas-powered lawnmower if you are planning to store it for more than two months.
If not, the gas will become bad and unusable, and also cause problems to the engine.
Pour in a fuel stabilizer along with the gas, if you are going to store it for as long as the winter period, and this way, you will not need to drain it anymore.
What To Do If I Accidentally Inhale Gas Fumes?
As mentioned earlier, gasoline is a volatile and combustible liquid, so there will always be fumes. Doing one of the siphoning techniques will put your nose close to the gas and inhale it.
If you indeed inhale it, do not worry, and it will not be life-threatening. If you feel something is not right with your respiratory system, then consult a doctor.
Consequently, if you are going to siphon gas from your tank again, cover your nose.
Can I Still Use The Old Fuel?
Yes, your old fuel can still be used, and as mentioned, one way is to mix it with new fuel fifty-fifty.
What Kind Of Gas Should I Put In My Lawnmower?
Putting the wrong type of gasoline in the tank of your lawnmower damage the engine and also void its warranty.
Four-stroke engines need a high-quality unleaded gas with a least an eighty-seven octane rating.
Two-stroke engines can still use the above-mentioned gas, but it has to be mixed with two-cycle engine oil, and how much is indicated on the lid.
For higher-revving lawn-mower engines, the ratio is 50:1 (fuel: oil).
How Much Oil Does A Lawnmower Require?
Push lawn mowers need about two-thirds to three-fourths of quarts of oil to perform optimally.
Riding lawn mowers have larger engines and need more oil. For instance, a nineteen horsepower engine requires about one and one-half quarts, and a twenty-six horsepower one needs about two quarts of oil.
The best way to know how much is to read the user’s manual of the mower about the recommended amount of oil necessary.
How Long Does Gasoline Last Inside A Lawnmower Tank?
Untreated (without a stabilizer) gasoline can last in a tank for about thirty days.
Treated gas (with a stabilizer can stay in the tank for one year without going bad.
How Much Gasoline Does A Typical Lawnmower Need?
For larger tractor style or riding lawn mowers will need up to two to three gallons of gasoline.
Commercial lawn mowers consume more gas per acre than residential ones. The biggest commercial mower can carry five to six gallons, which allows for continuous use throughout the day.
After learning how to drain gas from a lawn mower, you are confident enough to do the draining task yourself. You can just choose from the many techniques, which would suit your best.
Once the mowing season ends, all lawn mower owners have to store their mowers. You can either drain the tank of gas or leave it behind (and add a stabilizer), and it is your choice.