How to Drain Gas From a Lawn Mower Without a Siphon

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When the mowing season wraps up, I always make it a point to get my lawn mower ready for safe storage. Many folks typically opt for the siphoning method to empty the mower’s gas tank. However, there’s another handy technique you might not be aware of – using a drain tube.

In this brief guide, I’ll walk you through how to efficiently drain gas from a lawn mower without the need for a siphon pump.

Step #1: Get all the Necessary Tools and Materials

When preparing to drain gas from the fuel tank, the first tool you should have available at your disposal is an empty drain container that’s gas resistant. Along with this, don’t forget to include a drain tube in your list. 

If you have a lawn mower supplies store nearby, you can grab the typical plastic tubes or hoses displayed on the shelves.

It also helps if you have an empty can. Should that be an unavailable option, you can opt for a drain pan for collecting old gas from the lawnmower tank. Having a rag or towel could also be sanitary, especially during the actual draining gas operations.

Step #2: Park the Mower in a Safe Spot

Believe it or not, this draining task could end up damaging your fuel tank or the mower’s engine if handled incorrectly. Park the mower on a flat and stable surface to avoid this disaster from happening.

Toro Lawn Mower

Step #3: Plug the Plastic Tubes

After you disconnect the spark plug, you need to plug the tubes into the mower tank. This will be the substitute method of siphoning gas. For better visibility of how the fuel runs, the hose must be transparent. 

Consider getting a longer hose that can reach the bottom of the tank and one shorter tube for air pressure.

While you do this, don’t forget to put the drain container next to the gas tank. If you want a smooth collection of remaining fuel, the empty can must be located lower than the bottom of your tank.

And then, insert your longer tube or hose deep into the tank and get the other end of the long tube placed unto the drain pan. Once that’s done, grab the shorter tube and place it into the gas tank next to the other tube.

lawn mower fuel hose

The shorter hose must not be submerged into the fuel remaining in the mower. Feeding it a few inches into the tank opening should be enough. Keep in mind that its only purpose is to blow air and make it circulate around the gas tank and fuel line.

You’ll need to create an airflow inside the gas tank, so the fuel caps where the tubes were inserted should be sealed. You can do this by using a wet cloth because this material sticks to the inlet better.

Step #4: Drain the Gas Tank

After setting it up, it’s time to start blowing air and take the too much liquid fuel out of the gas tank. This task can take time when done manually, so I highly suggest using an air pump to make the process faster and easier.

All the openings in the tank and fuel line must be sealed during this procedure. If you’re getting rid of old gas manually, be sure not to inhale the fumes too much as these components could be harmful to your health.

draining fuel from a lawn mower

During this process, the remaining fuel in your tank may start to leak out from the hose. You can stop blowing the tubes when you notice a more continuous airflow and pressure.

Step #5: Disconnect the Carburetor Connections and Open the Drain Tube

One of the two ways to drain the remaining gas on your mower’s fuel system is by disconnecting the carburetor. 

To do this, you must remove the fuel line typically located behind the air filter. It may surprise you, but there’s usually leftover fuel in there when you drain the tank without a siphon pump.

Most lawnmowers have a drain plug or rube connected to the carburetor, so you can easily spot it.

Step #6: Run the Lawnmower

No matter what kind of method you use, it’s normal to have some gas left on the bottom of the tank. So if you want to avoid a bad gasoline situation while your mower is in storage, remove all the tubes you inserted and take the mowing equipment out for a test run.

orange lawn mower

Safety Tips and Reminders

Tip #1: Drain in a Well-Ventilated Area

It’s a no-brainer that this draining job involves the release of carbon monoxide gas. You may not know, but this type of gas is toxic and can harm your health if inhaled excessively. Because of it, it’s wise to do the fuel draining tasks in a well-ventilated area.

Tip #2: Clear the Area From Any Ignition Source

Don’t forget to disconnect the spark plug cables before you start. If you do this task with an active spark plug, you’ll be gambling your safety with unintentional engine ignition that could ultimately result in accidents and injuries [1].

Benefits of Draining Gas From a Lawnmower Without a Siphon

#1: Cleans the Sludge and Grime

Draining the gas tank without a siphon pump meant that you’ll be disconnecting the fuel line. This method will give you the chance to get rid of any dirt residue at the bottom of the tank. Once these components are removed, the engine may run better.

cleaning sludge and grime from lawn mower

#2: Routine Maintenance

Since you’re already prepping for storage, you might check other parts of the mower that need maintenance, like the fuel filter and many more. Trust me, regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your Cub Cadet XT1 mower.

#3: Fuel Line Inspection

While setting up the tubes into the tank, you’ll definitely take notice if there’s a leak on the gas lines or not. Remember that the issue can be very dangerous, especially if you continue using a mower with a leaking fuel line.

Additional Tasks You Can Do

#1: Check the Fuel Line for Leaks

Any damage to the fuel line is an indication for component replacement, no questions asked. Even though the tubes only have cracks and not yet leaking, it could lead to further damage and undesirable accidents if you start using the mower again.

#2: Check the Fuel and Air Filter for Dirt

Other mower components for regular replacement are the fuel and air filters. As you continue to use your mowing equipment, these parts accumulate dirt and may eventually affect your unit’s cutting performance.

#3: Clean the Float Bowl

If your mower has been running with bad gas, cleaning its float bowl is the most sensible thing to do. After all, this method is the only way to drain the mower’s carburetor. Letting stale gas sit in the bowl could also cause several component problems in the long run.


How do you frequently drain gas from a lawnmower?

If you’re storing the lawnmower for more than two months before using the mower for the summer, you must drain its gas tank. Leaving unused gas in the fuel systems isn’t recommended because it can turn bad and lead to damaging other parts of the mower. However, if you have a gas stabilizer, there’s no need to do this.

What happens if I inhale gasoline fumes?

Inhaling gasoline fume is not life-threatening unless inhaled excessively. It’s normal to inhale some during the draining process, especially if you’re a newbie. The petro smell could cause breathing problems, but you should be fine after inhaling fresh air.


To truly master proper equipment maintenance, start with a fundamental skill: learning how to drain gas from a lawn mower without relying on a siphon. This might seem like a small detail, but in the world of mowing, understanding the nuances of each component’s care is crucial. It may feel a bit daunting at first, but if you’re planning to use mowers regularly, it’s essential to get hands-on experience.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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