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Question DetailsAsked on 7/19/2015

How could water get into a riding lawmower gas tank that was properly drained and sitting in a garage all winter?

Every winter I drain the gas in my mower by running it dry and put stablizer in it when draining. It stays in the garage all winter. I do not usualy close the vent on top of gas cap - never had a problem. This year when trying to start it it wouldn't start. The service center is telling me that there was a "substantial amount of water in the gas tank'. More water then gas!. I probably filled the tank a third to half way with gas this spring - same gas I am now using for the push mower. So problem could no be the with the gas. I am suspicious as the lawn mower sat outside at this service center in a time period when we had a lot of rain.If they negelected to close that vent - it would explain the water.However, I do not know this for sure so I am trying to figure out how all that water could have gotten in my gas tank sitting in the garage. I do rinse my mower off but this was prior to draining the gas out in the Fall. Thank-you.

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2 Answers

Voted Best Answer

Since it would not start BEFORE you took it in for service, hard to blame them - even if rainfall did get in it, because they would assume when you delivered it that it was in "normal" condition, whjich presumably meant vaent closed. By "vent" on top of the gas tank I am not sure what you mean - a "vent" should not let a lot of water in, but if you mean the filler cap then certainly you would get about as much water depth in the tank as the number of inches of rain you had while it was sitting out.

Another possibility - vent was open during your fall washing down, and wash water got into the tank, which then ended up in the gas can for the winter, then back to the mower in the spring.

Other possibility - your gas can picked up a lot of water over the winter, particuylarly if metal and stored in a location where it could warm up during the day (evaporates gas) then as it cools overnight forms a partial vacuum so it pulls in moist air, which then condenses in the can and settles to the bottom. If using normal pour spout, the first thing out of the can in the spring would be the water (would be first into spout as you pour out), so water from the can might have gone into the mower at first filling.

Another possibility which is amazingly common - little Johnny decides to fuel the mower for you and poured water or bug juice or such in there.

BTW - most fuel stabilizers do NOT trap water - fuel stabilizer put a very thin layear on top of the liquid to retart evaporation, so your gaoline does not turn to diesel or sludge. To trap water and keep it from settling out you need alcohol - like Heet. Also, when draining tank, you should drain the first part into a clear containear (mayonnaise jar or such) then after it has settled a few seconds pour back to the can, leaving the water in the bottom of the jar to be disposed of.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


Thank-you LCD for your answer. The vent is a little screw on top of the fuel filter cap on the mower. It is a Snapper rear rider mower and the manual refers to is as a vent that you should open after filling tank with gas. The gas I used to fill the mower was from a gas can that I used all winter to fill my snowblower with. But as said, that gas may have sat there for a month in the gas can between the last snow blower use and the start of mowing season. I live alone so can't blame it on any kids! This is all very helpful. JMB

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_91403377


Hmmmm - vent should not let in much water unless you hit it directly with a hose (which maybe they did washing it off before looking at it) - but I still don't see you could pin it on them.

Could also be vandalism, though if they were honest they would have told you if they had a number of outdoor-stored items vandalized like that.

Could also be a way to make more money, or just said that without it being true to up the bill - no way to know without checking the reputation of the place.

I would say one of those things - get it cleaned out (or do it yourself) inlsuding blowing out the carb and all fuel lines and passages and cleaning/replacing the filter, and get mowing before the summer is over. Then decide in your own mind if you trust that place to go back to again or not.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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