How to Drain Gas From Lawn Mower? Easy & Effective Ways

One of the crucial steps towards maintaining your lawn mower is draining gasoline from it. However, letting the gas set in the lawn mowers’ tank before garaging it for the winters can cause sputtering engines, hard to start, and slow performance.

Therefore, you must know the steps of how to drain gas from the lawn mower before you store it for the close season. This is, however, applicable only if you are planning to undertake this task without calling for any expert help.

In the following sections, you will get a detailed guideline on the easiest ways to drain your lawn mower, things you would need, precautions to be adopted, and other tips.

So, stick with us!

Why and When to Drain Gas From the Lawn Mower?

Why and When to Drain Gas From the Lawn Mower

Before approaching the actual steps, let us explore the reasons for draining the lawn mower.

Typically you would not need to drain gas from the lawn mower now and then. But there are some scenarios where you should do it, like

1. Before Garaging it

So, you have diligently used the lawn mower throughout the year, and now winter is coming! It is the perfect time to drain your lawn mower.

If this is the scenario, we suggest you drain your lawn mower before putting it away for the closing season. Undrained gasoline may settle in the tank, sinking at the bottom, and create issues like clogs, sputtering the engine, etc., causing the mower to go out of function or seize of lawn mower’s engine.

2. Taking a Long Break

You should know that there are high chances that the fuel can go stale in as little as 30 days. So, consider draining its tank if you plan to take a break from using and maintaining the lawn mower for an extended period.

3. Draining the Old Fuel

If you have a lawn mower which is sitting for years with fuel inside, consider drawing it. Old gasoline won’t combust appropriately and can put undue pressure on the engine of the mower. So, you will need to drain the tank and add fresh fuel before using it.

4. Carburetor Replacement

If the carburetor of your lawn mower is not working correctly and you are planning to cleaning the carburetor or replace it, we suggest you to draining the tank first.

Tools Required

So, you are ready to learn how to drain gas from the lawn mower. But before that, let us find out the things we would require to undertake the process.

To drain your lawn mower, you would need:

  • Siphon Hose (if you are planning to use the Siphon Hose method)
  • Gas can
  • Kitty Litter
  • Work gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Plastic tarp
  • Mask

Also Read: How to Winterize a Lawn Mower?

How to Drain Gas From Lawn Mower?

How to Drain Gas From Lawn Mower

Now let us jump directly into the steps involved in draining the lawn mower. Here you must remember that there are two ways you can drain a lawn mower’s tank- with a siphon and without a siphon.

We will discuss both methods in this section.

#1. Drain Gas From a Lawn Mower With a Siphon

It is one of the most common and tried-and-true methods of draining a lawn mower. The siphon method works best for those mowers with fuel lines hard to reach and disconnect.

However, remember that the siphoning method will not drain the whole fuel and leave some liquid in the fuel line, filter, and carburetor.

Here are the steps to undertake if you are using the siphoning method:

  1. Park the mower in a flat position in an open-air setting to access the fuel tank’s cap.
  2. Make sure there is no source of ignition nearby.
  3. Run a fuel stabilizer for a few minutes to circulate it through the fuel, line, filter, tank, and carburetor. It will prevent the fuel from breaking down into gummy deposits.
  4. Place an empty container or can to beneath the fuel tank of the mower.
  5. Unscrew to open the cap of the tank.
  6. Take the siphon pump and insert its tube into the tank. Make sure that the tube is submerged into the gasoline. Also, check its angle for proper drainage.
  7. Taking the other end of the tube, place it in the container deep enough. But make sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the container.
  8. Pump the siphon’s handle a couple of times to initiate the flow of the fuel. 
  9. Although an optional step, we would recommend you do it. After pumping the fuel altogether, put some fresh fuel in the tank and slosh it around. It will help to unclog any residual debris. Afterwards, drain it as you just drained the old fuel from the tank. 

It is essential to note that you would need to pump the siphon’s handle a couple of times to initiate it for some lawn mower brands. This is because once the flow gets activated, the gravity will keep it on.

On the other hand, some other brands may require you to keep pumping the handle until all the liquid gets transferred from the tank to the container.

You May Also Read: When to Replace Lawn Mower Or Should You Just Repair?

#2. Drain Gas From a Lawn Mower Without a Siphon

Some brands of lawn mowers come with anti-siphon barriers. If your lawn mower belongs to such a brand, it may be challenging to follow the above process of gas draining. So, here, we have focused on using the non-siphon method to drain your lawn mower.

For this method, you would need two plastic tubes or hoses, preferably transparent. Ensure that one of the tubes is long enough to reach the gas tank, and the other can be shorter.

  1. Like the above method, place the collecting container or pan underneath the gas tank.
  2. Park the mower on a flat surface and, using the park brakes stop it from moving.
  3. Feed the longer tube or hose into the tank deep enough that it gets submerged into the fuel.
  4. Place the opposite end of the same tube into the drain container.
  5. Next, place the shorter tube or hose into the task to lay side by side with the longer one. But do not submerge it.
  6. Seal the openings through which the tubes were inserted with a towel or old rag. It will prevent air from escaping to maintain a proper air balance. 
  7. Now, on the opening end of the shorter tube, blowhard until you see gasoline flowing out. But, again, please exercise caution to not breath-in the fumes. 
  8. Once the flow continues, you can stop breathing in, as gravity and air pressure will keep up the process. 

If you wish to stop draining at any stage, just raise the container or the plastic tube a level higher than the fuel level in the tank.

As we have already stated, some fuel tends to remain inside the tank even after draining the mower. So, to make sure to drain the entire gasoline, you can either drain the carburetor or run the lawn mower until it has used all the gas.

Also Check: How to Change a Lawn Mower Blade?

Safety Tips

It is highly essential that you should adopt safety measures before starting to drain out your lawn mower to avoid any mishaps. Some of the safety tips to can follow are:

  • Always undertake the drainage process in an open-air setting.
  • Set the lawn mower away from any ignition source.
  • Use working gloves while working.
  • When using the breath-in method, make sure you do not inhale any gasoline fume.
  • Clean up the spills to prevent any unnecessary staining and fuming.
  • A proper disposal plan for the old gas is also essential for which you can contact your local government.


Q. How often should I drain gas from my lawn mower?

A. One of the most common questions arising in the mind of gardeners is how often they should drain their lawn mower. Of course, the answer is before garaging your mower for the winter season. Also, you should drain it if you are not going to use it for three or more months.

Here, you should also note that if you have a used mower filled with gas, you must drain it before using it.

Q. Are gasoline fumes harmful?

A. Yes, gasoline fumes could be harmful to humans. But do not worry if you inhale some while working to drain your lawn mower, as it is not life-threatening. That being said, if you feel breathlessness, take a break and breathe some fresh air. If the condition persists, consult a doctor soon.

Q. What is the best time to drain gas from the lawn mower?

A. It should take around 25- 30 minutes to drain your lawn mower.

Q. What should be the length of the siphon pump?

A. The ideal length of the siphon pump should depend on the size and depth of the receiving container and the gas tank.


So, you can use any of the above-stated methods and steps to drain gas from your lawn mower, depending on the type of mower you have. If followed correctly, you can drain the fuel from your mower in no time.

Here, you may think of leaving the mower engine on until all the gasoline is burnt as an alternative method. But this way, you will increase the chances of harming the engine as well. So, it is wiser to use either the siphoning method or the plastic tube method to drain your mower before you pack it for the winter months.

We have explained the methods in the simplest of words. But every unit is different from the other, which makes it essential to read the user manual of your mower before initiating any action.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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