Lawn Equipment Storage: 5 Reasons Not To Drain Your Fuel Tank
Storing your outdoor power equipment for the winter happens once a year. Yet no matter how many times you come to this point in the calendar, a single mystery returns without fail:
To drain or not to drain the fuel, that is the question.
But before you launch into a Shakesperean-inspired debate with yourself, we will answer it for you:
You should never store your lawnmower or other outdoor power equipment on an empty fuel tank.
It’s a popular misconception to start your engine up and let the gas run out if you don’t plan on using it for a while. In fact, some manufacturers encourage taking this step, so it’s no wonder why there is much confusion surrounding the topic.
But if you want to protect the valuable lawn care equipment you care about, there’s a better way to store it. Let’s take a look at the five main reasons why you should NOT drain the gasoline in your equipment and follow it up with a better, cleaner, and easier alternative.
Problems caused by draining fuel before storage
1. Residual fuel can be ignited by a static charge.
2. Rubber hoses, gaskets, and seals can dry-rot and crack, increasing the probability of leaks (or even a fire).
3. Condensation can cause moisture to collect, resulting in rust or corrosion.
4. It’s a health and environmental hazard.
5. Transporting flammable liquid is extremely dangerous.
In short, all five of these preceding points can be consolidated into one word, “Danger.”
Draining the fuel in your lawnmower, leaf blower, or other small engines carries the potential of endangering your equipment, and creates a hazardous environment in the process.
While you may believe that one little lawnmower isn’t enough to make an impact, consider the fact that even a small gasoline spill can contaminate soils and wells over a quarter-mile away.
By no accident, there is an alternative in place that will keep the things you love in good condition AND reduce your personal carbon footprint. The best part? It’s easier than draining the fuel anyway, so you can cut the time it takes to conduct your storage routine in half.
The solution: Use a fuel stabilizer
That iconic red bottle pictured next to the five points listed above is called STA-BIL® Fuel Stabilizer, and it has been treating gasoline during storage season for over six decades.
So instead of letting your lawnmower (or other outdoor power equipment) run until there is no gasoline left, pour the additive directly into the fuel reserve. Once added, it will keep the gasoline fresh for up two years, and ensure a smooth startup once you are ready to take it back out in the spring.
For more information on proper outdoor power equipment storage, more specifically for lawnmowers, be sure to read through our helpful nine-step guide.