How to Drain Gas from Lawn Mower: Easy Tips for Beginners!

We’ve compiled an article highlighting everything you need to know about draining gas from your lawnmower!
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Last updated: August 14, 2023
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In the last few weeks of summer, it’s standard procedure to mow the lawn for the last time in the season and prepare your mower for winter storage. One of the steps is draining gas from the lawnmower. Alternatively, you might need to drain old gas from your lawnmower after it has already spent a few months in storage. If you’re wondering just how you should do that, then this article is for you. The good news is, there are a few easy ways you can do that. We’ll discuss the reason why you drain the lawnmower and also look at a few of the simple ways to get the job done. Keep reading for a few tips for making this end-of-season task of how to drain gas from your lawnmower quick and easy! What equipment is needed for siphoning gas? For the most part, you only need a few simple items to siphon fuel from your gas lawnmower’s fuel tank.

Why do you need to drain your lawnmower?

If you plan to store your lawnmower for the winter season (or any other long period), it’s best to drain the gas from it. Essentially, unused gas that remains in the fuel tank can get stale over time. What generally happens is the gas forms sticky deposits and causes the carburetor to choke. In some instances, rust can form in various components, which affects the performance of your machine. That being said, it makes great sense to always drain the fuel tank before you place the machine in storage for the winter.

You’ll need:

  • Siphon pump
  • Empty jerry can or suitable airtight container
  • Long plastic hose that’s about 2.5cm in diameter
  • In some instances, a shorter pipe is also required
  • A clean, lint-free cloth
  • For maintenance purposes, a new air filter and even an oil filter

Pro tip: We recommend draining gas if you’re not going to use the lawnmower for three or more months. If you’ve forgotten to do this, simply drain the gas before starting the lawnmower up again.

How to drain it with a siphon?

Generally, the most common way to siphon gas out of your lawnmower is by using some sort of tubing and pump. The principle is to generate enough air pressure into the tank to force gas into the tubing, after which the gas is forced into the tubing. Gravity then takes the gas into the jerry can.

Siphoning works well because it works great for mowers that don’t use fuel lines and are easy to reach and disconnect. It’s crucial to remember that while siphoning might empty the fuel tank, it often leaves a small amount of gas in the fuel filter, line, and even carburetor. Read on for the easiest steps to drain gas with a siphon.

Prepare the engine

The first step to effectively siphoning your engine is to add a fuel stabilizer, Trusted Source Advantages And Disadvantages Of Fuel Additives | The assumption has long been that diesel is dying out, which means less and less automotive brands are producing products for diesel engines. which in short, is a treatment that extends the life of gas in the engine. A stabilizer works because it contains additives that minimize the fuel from breaking into tacky deposits. This also keeps the fuel fresher for longer.

How to Drain Gas from Lawn Mower: Easy Tips for Beginners!
Before draining, add a few fuel stabilizers.

Follow these few simple steps to prepare your engine:

  • Allow the engine to run for a few minutes to circulate through the fuel.
  • The stabilizer circulates through the fuel line, filter, and carburetor.
  • The fuel is then treated and remains combustible and preventing any damage to the engine components.

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The next step in draining with a siphon involves cooling down the lawnmower on a flat surface. To correctly perform this step, follow the next few steps:

  • Allow the fuel mixed with the stabilizer to circulate through the engine completely.
  • After the stabilizer has circulated, let the mower cool down.
  • Ensure that the mower is standing on a flat surface to prevent oil from pouring out from the oil reservoir and spilling onto other components of the engine.
  • It’s always important to ensure that the emergency brake is engaged if you’re working on a riding mower.
  • The effectiveness of siphoning relies on gravity. This means that the container or jerry can that you’re going to be siphoning the fuel into must be lower than the actual mower tank.
  • Where possible, place the mower on two even workbenches or one broad-sized one that fits safely within the mower’s wheelbase.

Pull the plug

Whether the lawnmower is on the ground or upon a workbench or sawhorse, it’s important to ensure there’s no risk of injury or accident. Follow these few steps to ensure the siphoning process gets off to a safe start.

  • Disconnect the spark plug wire and remove it to ensure that the motor doesn’t accidentally startup.
  • By removing the spark plug, you’re also ensuring that an accidental spark doesn’t come in contact with a combustible liquid that flows out of the tank.

Choose a method

Essentially, there are three methods that you can opt for to empty a lawnmower tank. For each method, you’ll need an airtight fuel-safe container, a clear hose, and of course, gravity. Read on as we discuss these three methods in a little more detail.

Siphon pump

How to Drain Gas from Lawn Mower: Easy Tips for Beginners!
Without a doubt, the safest, most convenient, and even fastest way to siphon gas is with a siphon pump.

When it comes to siphoning pumps, you can either opt for a manual or automatic choice which simply works by flipping a switch. All siphon pumps work pretty much the same way and consist of a simple, clear tubing with a pump in the center. As expected, the pump creates the initial suction required to get the fuel flowing. When you get the flow through the tubing, gravity will do the rest. Be sure to always put the right end of the siphon pump into the fuel tank. This is usually the end with the brass fitting. Once this end has been submerged into the tank, simply squeeze the pump a few times until the gas begins to flow. Always allow the tank to air dry for a few minutes to ensure that as much fuel as possible is out.

Increased internal pressure

Another simple method of siphoning fuel from your tank requires a clear hose which you’ve cut into two varying lengths – one longer and another slightly shorter. This process involves the following steps:

  • Place the longer hose into the container and the other end in the gas tank.
  • Make sure the end of the longer hose is touching the base of the fuel tank to ensure that it’s properly submerged into the tank.
  • The shorter hose should also be placed into the fuel tank but must stay above the gas line in the tank.
  • You should use an old, wet cloth to seal the gap around the two hoses to avoid air from escaping from the tank.
  • Blow air into the tank via the shorter tube to increase the air pressure within the tank.
  • You can use an air compressor or even your mouth just to get the liquid flowing through the tube and eventually into your container.
  • As the gas begins to flow, you can stop blowing into the shorter piece of the hose.
  • Gravity causes the fuel to flow on its own and will continue to do so until the tank is empty.

Suck it out

How to Drain Gas from Lawn Mower: Easy Tips for Beginners!
One of the more common ways of siphoning gas out is also the one that we don’t really recommend.

This method should only be recommended for extreme emergencies. It involves turning clear tubing into a straw. This is how it works:

  • Take the end of one long piece of clear tubing and insert it into the fuel tank, ensuring that the end of the hose is submerged into the fuel.
  • The other end of the tube goes into your mouth as you’ll be creating the suction required for the fuel to start flowing.
  • Here you want to keep a very close eye on the tube so that you can be sure to know when the gas starts flowing.
  • Bear in mind that Ethanol is very dangerous Trusted Source Gasoline poisoning: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia The poisonous ingredients in gasoline are chemicals called hydrocarbons, which are substances that contain only hydrogen and carbon. Examples are benzene and methane. and shouldn’t really be ingested so ensure that you don’t get any in your mouth.

Pro tip: Wrap your hand around the tube so that it’s easy to pinch it closed as soon as you see the flow of fuel coming out up the tube.

  • When the liquid starts flowing, remove the hose from your mouth and immediately place it in your container, where gravity will take over.
  • This method requires you to be quick as you don’t want to end up with a mouthful of gas as the fuel starts flowing through the tube.

Check the air filter

Many lawnmower owners use this opportunity of draining the fuel as an opportunity to do some additional maintenance before storage. The most important piece of maintenance includes checking the air filter, oil reservoir, and general cleaning. Follow these additional tips to perform some effective maintenance:

  • Carefully check the air filter to ensure it isn’t clogged up with sand and debris – since air filters are an essential component of keeping engines running smoothly, it might be a good idea to change the filter.
  • Check the oil reservoir and make sure it’s full of clean oil and filled to the required level – if the lawnmower seems to be experiencing less performance than usual, it’s a good idea to change the oil filter.

Clean up

During your storage preparation process, another good idea is to pour a small amount of fresh fuel into the tank. The splashing and some movement of the unit will loosen any residual debris. Once you’ve done that, simply drain it out as you did with the old fuel. When you’ve removed all the fuel, replace the spark plug as well as the spark plug wire. Your lawnmower is now ready for storage for the winter months, during which mowing the lawn isn’t necessary.

Pro tip: If you want to remove the very last drop of fuel from the tank, use an air compressor to blow-dry the interior of the tank.

How to drain gas without a siphon

While draining gas using a siphon is considerably easier, the job can also be done using a few other simple methods. Let’s have a look at the best way to drain gas without a siphon.

Start the engine

If you’re not really interested in a method that requires a lot of effort and you don’t mind wasting the last bit of gas in the tank, this method is for you. It involves three simple steps:

  • Add the fuel stabilizer and let it circulate, as discussed in the previous section.
  • Park your lawnmower in a safe spot and start the engine.
  • Your goal here is to run the engine until the mower is out of fuel.
  • Once the mower shuts down by itself, you’ll know that the fuel has run dry, and you can simply place the machine in storage.

If fuel lines are connected directly to carburetors

If you have a lawnmower that features a fuel line that connects directly to the carburetor that is easy to reach, then this next method is an option to consider. For this method, follow the easy steps below:

  • Get an airtight container and then reach over and disconnect the fuel line from the carburetor.
  • Fuel will immediately start flowing from the tank through the line and directly into the container.
  • When the flow slows down and eventually stops, attach the fuel line back to the carburetor.
  • While doing this, consider checking both the oil and air filters as a general service.

Turkey baster method

If you don’t have the tools required to effectively drain the gas from your fuel tank, the good news is that you can use a regular kitchen turkey baster! Simply follow these few simple steps:

  • Put the baster into the tank and squeeze the baster’s bulb for suction.
  • The baster will then fill up with the gas.
  • Place the liquid into a jerry can or suitable and safe container.
  • While it might be time-consuming, it’s an effective way to get the job done.
  • If you mow the lawn before you tackle this, chances are there won’t be too much gas to drain anyway.

This might sound obvious, but please don’t use the baster in the kitchen after using it to drain fuel!

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Final thoughts

We hope this article has shown you just how easy it is to drain gas from your lawnmower. Whether you want to perform a full service at the same time or just park the mower in the corner, there’s a method for you. Preserve the lifespan of your lawnmower, save gas and provide a necessary service on your machine all in one go! Opt for one of the simple solutions on how to drain gas from your lawnmower shown above.


Advantages And Disadvantages Of Fuel Additives |
The assumption has long been that diesel is dying out, which means less and less automotive brands are producing products for diesel engines.
Gasoline poisoning: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
The poisonous ingredients in gasoline are chemicals called hydrocarbons, which are substances that contain only hydrogen and carbon. Examples are benzene and methane.

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