How to Drain Gas Out of a Lawn Mower?

The sweet, pungent smell of gasoline is often associated with summertime fun and outdoor chores. But what happens when the season ends, and you’re left with a half-full tank of fuel in your lawn mower? Leaving gas in your mower over the winter can lead to gumming and varnish buildup in the carburetor, making your engine sluggish or even impossible to start in the spring. That’s where draining the gas comes in. This article will guide you through the steps of safely and efficiently draining gas from your lawn mower, ensuring your engine runs smoothly for years to come.

A Quick Overview:

Draining the gas from your lawn mower is a simple process that involves a few steps. First, you’ll need to locate the fuel tank’s drain valve. Then, you’ll need to prepare a suitable container to collect the gasoline. Finally, you’ll open the valve and allow the gas to drain into the container. Once complete, you’ll have a safe and clean fuel system ready for the next mowing season.

Locating the Drain Valve

The first step in draining gas from your lawn mower is finding the fuel tank’s drain valve. This valve is typically located on the bottom of the tank, sometimes concealed beneath a plastic cover or a small metal plate. Look for a small, round valve with a threaded hole.

Identifying the Drain Valve

Not all lawn mowers have drain valves. If you can’t find one, you can often use a siphon to remove the gas. However, if a drain valve is present, it’s generally the preferred method.

Understanding the Drain Valve

The drain valve usually has a small lever or a knob that needs to be turned to open and close the flow of gasoline. Some valves may require a wrench or pliers to turn them.

Preparing for the Drainage

Before you start draining the gas, you’ll need to prepare a few things:

Selecting a Suitable Container

Choose a container that is specifically designed for gasoline. Avoid using plastic containers, as they may be damaged by the fuel. A metal gas can or a dedicated fuel container is ideal.

Ensuring Safety Precautions

When working with gasoline, safety is paramount. Ensure that you are working in a well-ventilated area, and keep the container away from any heat sources or open flames. It’s also a good idea to wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from potential spills.

Draining the Gas

Now, you’re ready to drain the gas:

Opening the Drain Valve

Carefully open the drain valve. You may need to turn the valve counterclockwise to open it.

Allowing the Gas to Drain

Once the valve is open, allow the gasoline to drain into the container you’ve prepared. This may take a few minutes, depending on the amount of fuel in the tank.

Closing the Drain Valve

Once the gas has drained, close the valve by turning it clockwise.

Disposing of the Old Gas

You have a few options for disposing of the drained gasoline:


Many gas stations and automotive repair shops offer gasoline recycling programs. Check with your local facilities to see if they accept gasoline for recycling.

Using in Other Equipment

If you have other gasoline-powered equipment, you can safely use the drained gasoline in those machines. However, it’s best to use it quickly, as the gas will start to deteriorate over time.

Proper Disposal

If recycling or using in other equipment is not possible, dispose of the gasoline properly. Contact your local waste management agency for guidance on how to dispose of gasoline safely.

Running the Engine to Empty the Lines

After draining the tank, it’s crucial to run the engine until it sputters and dies. This will ensure that all the gas in the fuel lines is used up, preventing gumming and varnish buildup in the carburetor.

Starting the Engine

Start the engine and let it run until it sputters and dies. This may take a few minutes.

Checking for Remaining Gas

Once the engine has stopped, check the carburetor for any remaining gas. If you see any, you may need to run the engine again or use a siphon to remove the remaining fuel.

Storing the Lawn Mower

Once the gas is drained and the engine has run dry, you can store your lawn mower for the winter.

Cleaning the Mower

Before storing your lawn mower, it’s a good idea to give it a thorough cleaning. This will help prevent rust and corrosion.

Storing the Mower Properly

Store your lawn mower in a dry, well-ventilated area. If possible, cover it with a tarp or a lawn mower cover to protect it from dust and debris.


Draining the gas from your lawn mower is a simple yet essential maintenance task that can prolong the life of your engine and ensure smooth operation in the spring. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can safely and efficiently remove the gasoline from your mower, leaving your engine ready for the next mowing season. Remember, always prioritize safety when working with gasoline, and dispose of the drained fuel responsibly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Drain the Gas From My Lawn Mower?

Draining the gas from your lawn mower is essential for a few reasons. First, it helps to prevent the fuel from going bad. Gasoline can deteriorate over time, especially when exposed to air and heat. This can lead to engine problems and even damage. Second, draining the gas makes it safer to store your lawn mower. A full gas tank can be a fire hazard, especially if the mower is stored in a closed space. Finally, draining the gas allows you to perform routine maintenance tasks more easily, such as cleaning the carburetor or replacing the spark plug.

How Often Should I Drain the Gas From My Lawn Mower?

The frequency with which you should drain the gas from your lawn mower depends on a few factors, including the type of fuel you use, the age of the fuel, and the storage conditions. In general, it’s a good idea to drain the gas every few months, especially if you don’t use your mower regularly. If you’re using older gas, it’s even more important to drain it more frequently. If you are using your mower regularly, you may only need to drain the gas once or twice per year.

What Supplies Do I Need to Drain the Gas From My Lawn Mower?

To drain the gas from your lawn mower, you will need a few basic supplies. First, you’ll need a gas can or other suitable container to collect the fuel. Make sure the container is clean and free of any contaminants. You’ll also need a wrench or socket to loosen the gas cap. Finally, you’ll need some rags or paper towels to clean up any spills.

How Do I Safely Drain the Gas From My Lawn Mower?

Draining gas from a lawn mower should always be done in a safe and responsible manner. First, make sure the engine is cool and that the mower is turned off. Next, move the mower to a well-ventilated area, away from any heat sources or open flames. Then, loosen the gas cap and carefully pour the fuel into your container. Be sure to hold the container upright to prevent spills. Once the gas is drained, tighten the cap and dispose of the fuel properly.

What Should I Do With the Drained Gas?

Once you have drained the gas from your lawn mower, you need to dispose of it properly. Do not pour it down the drain or into the ground. This can contaminate the water supply and is illegal in many areas. Instead, take the gas to a local recycling center or hazardous waste disposal facility. Many gas stations will also accept used gas for disposal.

Can I Use Drained Gas in Other Machines?

While you might be tempted to use the drained gas in another machine, it is not recommended. This is because gas can deteriorate over time, even if it is stored properly. Using old gas can cause engine problems and damage, so it is best to dispose of it properly.

What if I Can’t Drain the Gas Immediately?

If you are unable to drain the gas from your lawn mower immediately, you can add a fuel stabilizer to the tank. Fuel stabilizer helps to prevent the gas from going bad and keeps it usable for a longer period of time. You can find fuel stabilizer at most auto parts stores. Even with fuel stabilizer, it is still best to drain the gas as soon as possible.

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