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How to Drain a Gas Tank - Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, and Generators

Updated on July 21, 2015

How do you empty your lanwmower tank at the end of the season?

How do you empty your lanwmower tank at the end of the season?

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Draining Gas at the end of a Season

I've heard you are not suppose to leave gas in your lawnmower when you put it away for the season. I recently bought a used lawnmower via Craigslist and the person I bought it from suggested that the Toro should be drained before the winter. Interestingly enough, my last lawn mower that lasted about 10 years, I never drained the gas out of the tank.

There are three choices to remove all the gas from your lawnmower, snowblower, or electric generator: let the engine run, drain it, or leave it in the tank. Being the one who doesn't like wasting energy, I am not very keen at just running an engine until the gas is gone. Instead, at the end of the season, I use my lawnmower to mulch the leaves that I don't get to the curb. This got me to thinking, how do I get the gas out of the lawnmower so that I don't waste it by needlessly running the engine?

Picture of a gas pump available at Amazon.

A good gas pump

My new philosophy is to drain as much gas as I can from the lawnmower, saving it for the snowblower, and then run the machine until the last bit of gasoline is gone. With gas prices at $4 a gallon, draining a lawnmower, snowblower, and blower should save enough in one or two seasons to pay for this hand gas pump below.

How to video in draining a gas tank

Using a gas pump is useful when you temporarily need a generator during a power outage. A generator is something you want to work when you need it. You don't want to be siphoning off two year old gas, you've got other things to worry about. After the power comes back on, you can use this method to empty your generator.

Electric Gas Pump

For draining bigger gas tanks, use an electric gas pump. Be very careful when using an electric pump as electricity can ignite the gas. The benefit of using an electric pump is that it is quicker and easier to drain larger tanks.

When you drain your gas tank, where do you put the gas?

In an approved gas can of course. I find a 5 gallon gas can is hard to handle when filling a lawnmower or snowblower. I recommend a 2 1/2 gallon can.

Do you have any tips for draining a fuel tank?

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