How to drain gas from a lawn mower without a siphon?

Ah, there’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly cut grass. It’s a scent people from all around the world like to sense with their noses. However, there’s something a bit tragic behind this phenomenon. The smell is caused by the distress signals plants give off when they’re damaged. Luckily, we won’t talk about it today!

Let’s skip ruining the rest of your day with various types of myth bustin’. Instead, we’ll try to be a bit more productive! In other words: we’ll show you how to drain gas from a lawn mower without a siphon! Don’t go anywhere!

Obtain the necessary equipment: two tubes and an HDPE gas container. Submerge one end of the larger tube in the gasoline residing inside your tank. The other end should go in the container. The second tube should also connect the two, but not touch the gasoline. Seal the spot with wet cloths and blow air into the shorter tube. 

There’s much more to it than a couple of meatless sentences! Keep on reading to see what’s really the case here!

Table of Contents

It’s that time of the year again…

Yup, it’s time for your lawn mower to lay low until the spring arrives once again. That being said, one will need to vacate their lawn mower’s gas tank. Before you winterize your mower, make sure there’s no gasoline inside its tank. That way, you’ll prolong the lifespan of your mower greatly.

Worried about not having a siphon to drain out the fuel? If so, you’ll wanna know that the process is doable even without it! Here we’ll introduce you to a step-by-side guide on how to do it! Stay tuned! 

How to drain gas from a lawn mower without a siphon?

As we’ve said, there’s nothing to worry about. In other words: a missing siphon shouldn’t give you any headaches or something! Just follow the steps we’ll share with you below!

First of all, let’s just say that the process requires two things:

  • a solid, sturdy connection between the gasoline in the tank and the outside container. 
  • the pressure that will push the gasoline through the tube into the outside container. 

Now that you know that, let’s see those steps (there are five of them)!

#1 Gather the necessary tools

First things first, you’ll need to gather all the required tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Gas-resistant drain container. If you don’t have an HDPE container at hand, you can use a simple drain pan. The latter’s a small metal pan that has raised edges just so it can hold old gas.
  • A drain tube. Obtain two ordinary plastic tubes/hoses. You’ll surely find them at your local lawn mower supplies store.
  • Pieces of cloth (rags/towels). Just so you can handle the potential spillage.

Got ’em all? If so, let’s continue!

#2 Disconnect the spark plug

The next thing you’ll do is place the mower on a flat, solid surface. You’ll wanna make sure that it doesn’t move at all. To guarantee it won’t happen, use the parking brakes. Once you’ve done that, disconnect the spark plugs.

Why should one disconnect the spark plugs? Well, that’s because you wanna do this in the safest manner possible. Trust us, you don’t want the engine to start once you start this process. Finally, turn off the ignition and simply open the gas cap.

A lawn mower on a sunny day beneath a small hill.

#3 Set everything up

As we’ve already said, you’ll need to obtain two plastic tubes/hoses. If possible, see that they’re transparent. Also, one of ’em should be long enough to reach the fuel tank from the container. The other tube/hose can be shorter.

Next up, you’ll wanna put the empty container next to the mower’s fuel tank. Both items should be placed on the ground. Also, you’ll want the empty container lower than the tank. That way, you’ll ensure something you’d call perfect siphoning!

Put the longer tube into the mower’s fuel tank. You’ll want it deep enough inside the tank. It needs to be drowned in gasoline that’s left inside. In an ideal setting, it should hit the lowest point of the fuel tank. The other end of the hose will, of course, go into the container.

What about tube #2? Oh, that’s right! You’ll want to place it inside the tank, but it shouldn’t touch the fuel. It should be placed next to the main tube, but it shouldn’t have contact with the fuel. Its main objective is to make an air channel connecting the tank and the outside atmosphere. 

Your final task during this step is to seal the gas cap through which you’ve pushed the tubes. Here’s why this is important:

  • the air should flow through the shorter tube ONLY! 

That will enable the air pressure to push out the gasoline inside your mower’s tank. Use the abovementioned pieces of wet cloth to seal the joint. Why should the cloth be wet? Because it’ll stick more tightly than a dry one and close the inlet!

#4 It’s draining time

Once you’ve done all the previously mentioned tasks, you’re all set up for the big thing. The thing is: you’ll need to push the liquid out using a single trick. Blow hard into the open end of tube #2 to allow some air into the tank. Of course, if you’ve got an air pump or compressor handy… Yeah, you’ll wanna use them to pump some air into the tank. However, make sure the fuel tank’s opening is covered with cloth.

Now, don’t inhale any of the hazardous gas fumes while you’re doing this. This is very important, as gasoline’s not that healthy for folks to inhale. Anyway, you’ll start to see the fuel coming out of the other tube. Once the flow becomes continuous, it’s completely fine to terminate the blowing. Leave the rest of the task to the dynamic duo known as pressure & gravity!

Here’s a little hint on the side. Imagine that, for some reason, you wanna stop the draining process. If that happens, just raise the container or the tube above the gas level inside the fuel tank.

#5 Handle the rest of the fuel that’s inside the mower

Okay, so once the process is over, it’s time to remove the fuel that’s undrainable from the mower. So, how does one go about it? There are two ways you can do it:

  • drain the fuel from the carburetor. 
  • run the lawn mower until all the fuel’s used up. (if you’re wondering how much gas the lawn mower uses, click right here.)

Let’s consider the first option!

A: Drain the carburetor

First, you’ll wanna disconnect the fuel line between the carburetor and the tank. The thing is: there’s probably some leftover fuel in it. Drain the line in the container you’ve used during the main phase of the process. There are two types of lawn mowers. Ones that have a drain tube located at the fuel tank’s base. And ones that have the tube connecting the tank and the carburetor as a drain plug. If the first scenario didn’t work out, here’s another suggestion. Remove that drain plug and let gasoline drip into the container. 

B: Run your trusty, almost-fuelless lawn mower

Here’s option B. Remove the two tubes you’ve used to drain the fuel from the tank. Afterward, close both the tank and the container. Reattach the spark plugs (we’ve almost forgotten them), and turn the ignition on. Run your mower’s engine until it completely dies out. That way, you’ll know that there’s zero gasoline inside your trusty mower. Therefore, it’s ready for off-season storage!

That’s that on this little guide on how to drain gas from the lawn mower. Now you know how to prepare your trusty machine for winter’s sleep. To reward your kind patience, we’ve prepared a bonus round of tips!

Bonus round: Let’s talk about some safety issues

Everything that’s related to gasoline needs to be handled with great care. There are two main safety issues one must pay attention to when doing the above process. Let’s see ’em!

First of all, never should you work in an unventilated area. In other words: refrain from draining the fuel in a closed environment. Also, one can assume test-running your lawn mower in your garage’s not suggested either. Exhaust fumes are, believe it or not, very poisonous.

The second issue’s all about potential ignition sources that could jeopardize the plan. Not to mention damage your health. Remove all potential heating sources from the area. We don’t wanna repeat the “even the tiniest spark…” story. Just know that gasoline fumes can create a catastrophe of major proportions. 

For more tips on gasoline safety, feel free to follow this link.

Final words

Alright, dear folks! That was all on the how-to-drain-gas-from-lawn-mower subject! Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed reading our step-by-step guide on how one does it! It’s not a piece of cake, but it ain’t that hard either!

Interesting in learning more about various gasoline-related topics? If that’s so, simply follow this link to our blog page!