how to unflood a lawnmower

How to Unflood a Lawnmower

Lawnmowers tend to have trouble starting up especially after long storage in damp cold conditions. Most people will keep on tugging hoping things will work out. If you keep tugging with no positive results, you will probably start feeling that familiar gasoline smell.

This means that your engine is flooded.

Pro Tip: Gasoline goes bad if left to lie in the tank for long and could prevent your mower from turning over.  Siphon out old gas and replace it with a fresh batch before trying to crank a mower that sat idle for over a year.

How Long Does it Take to Unflood a Lawnmower?

Normally, your lawnmower will unflood in about 15 minutes if you let it lie. The gasoline will evaporate from the carburetor giving you the chance to resume your attempt to make it run again. If that is too much for you, try out the following.

Unflooding Your Lawnmower Faster

  • Unscrew the spark plug and remove it from its slot then spray alcohol-based starter fluid. If you don’t have the fluid, just wipe it dry with a clean rag
  • Crank the mower a couple of times with the plug out to draw air into the carburetor and dry it out faster
  • Return the spark plug into the mower, turn off the choke and crank the mower
  • If the mower sputters, crank a few more times until it turns on. If it doesn’t turn it off, you can turn the choke on. Just remember to turn it off after it starts running

If the mower doesn’t sputter after this, you will have to remove the air filter and also spray it with some starter fluid. Try starting the mower again and if it doesn’t, remove the air filter and try cranking it with the filter off (ensure the environment is not so dusty or full of any other debris.)

If your mower sputters with the filter in, you should consider replacing your filter as it is most probably clogged up.

What Causes a Lawn Mower Engine to Flood?

Lawnmowers flood easily. There are three common scenarios:

  • Trying to start the mower engine multiple times in vain will pump gas into the carburetor. Since this gas is not being burned, it will lead to flooding
  • Priming or chocking your mower too much
  • Turning your lawnmower over so as to clean the blades or bottom while it has some gasoline in the tank

How Do You Start a Flooded Lawn Mower?

You can’t start a flooded mower. You will have to follow the above steps to drain and dry it before you attempt to start it again.

The same problem can occur to electric motor started mowers. However, before you decide the mower is flooded, first check your battery to ensure that it is fully charged and is cranking the mower fast enough.

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