Whether it’s for summer storage or to change old fuel! With my quick 5 step guide for how to drain gas from a snowblower (note: there’s not much difference between this process when doing it for a single-stage vs two-stage snow blower), you’ll have it done in minutes.
I know it is tempting just to put your snowblower in the shed at the end of winter. But, following the procedures in your manual is really important. This will maintain the performance of your snowblower and help avoid any start problems for next season just as much as regularly changing the oil.
Why You Should Drain Gas From Snow Blowers
Power equipment such as your snow blower and lawnmower should not be stored with gas left in the fuel system and for good reason.
When gasoline is purchased from a gas station it will generally have been blended with approximately 10% ethanol. Ethanol can absorb and mix with water, as the fuel level drops, water vapor can collect. Leading to the possibility of corrosion in the engine.
In addition to that, gas has a very short shelf life of 3-6 months maximum (when properly stored) and that is being generous. After a period of two weeks, it will start to deteriorate and thicken unless treated.
In the worst-case scenario, it could result in having to take the carburetor apart for a full clean.
Storing your Snowblower With Gas
If you really don’t want to drain the fuel before storing your snow blower for the summer. I recommend that you run the tank dry, after which, refill the tank from a can that has had a fuel stabilizer added.
Now run the snowblower for a further 10 minutes to incorporate the new gas and stabilizer throughout the system. Always store flammable liquids in approved, tightly sealed containers of no more than 5 gallons.
Check your Operators’ Manual
Before I start, all models are different I always advise that you have a look at your operators’ manual.
Although I can explain the generic steps to you. You can only find specific maintenance steps for your model from the manufacturer’s manual.
Move to a Safe Space! When working with gasoline it is important to always be in a well-ventilated area. Keep away from sparks or naked flames such as boiler pilot lights, etc.
Ensure that the key is removed, everything is in the off position, and that the spark plug wire is removed.
Have Everything You Need Ready
Make sure that you have everything you need before you start.
- An approved gas can
- A gas siphon (if using)
- A spark plug spanner
- Clean dry cloth
How To Drain Gas From A Snowblower (Quick 5 Step Guide)
I recommend that you use a fuel stabilizer throughout the season. If you have not done this, it is worth adding some now and running your snowblower for approximately 15 mins. This will avoid any gummy deposits from old fuel forming during storage after draining.
Step 1: Empty the Fuel Tank
Firstly, pump the fuel out of the gas tank using a siphon pump or run your engine dry.
Step 2: Move On to the Carburetor
To drain the carburetor it is a simple case of undoing the fuel valve screw or nut on the carb bowl. Be sure to collect it safely into a storage can and don’t forget to close the valve when you have finished this process.
Step 3: Run the Engine
Put all fuel well out of the way and ensure there are no spillages before doing this next step. Restart the engine and run until it naturally stops. Now pull out the choke and pull the starter cord, keep pulling until the engine no longer starts. This will remove any last bit of fuel.
Step 4: Seal the Engine
It is important to seal the engine to prevent any corrosion from occurring. Don’t worry this is a simple process.
Carefully remove the spark plug and put a drop of or two of oil in the combustion chamber. Now pull the starter cord a few times (note: if you have any issues with your pull cord not recoiling, check out this guide). The cylinder wall and piston are now well lubricated.
Replace the spark up and pull the starter cord until you feel it get tight and resist the pull. The piston has now sealed the chamber preventing air and moisture from getting in during storage.
Step 5: Recycle Old Gas
Always ensure the gas containers are appropriate and tightly closed. Dispose of old gasoline safely by taking it to your local gas disposal center or hazardous waste center.
Frequently Asked Questions (People Also Ask)
I hope my blog has helped you on your way to a smooth snow blowing season next year. I have answered a few of the most asked questions below to help you further.
What do I do if I left the gas in my snowblower?
If you have left the gas in your snowblower for any time, your best option is to drain the tank. Then refill with a stabilized fuel and run for 10-15 minutes to circulate it fully through the fuel system.
Doing this should help avoid deposits or gum clogging the system, but I am afraid does not guarantee you won’t have problems.
How to drain gas from a Craftsman snowblower?
To drain the gas from a Craftsman snowblower they have a fuel line, connected to the carburetor. This can be carefully removed to let the fuel run out.
How to drain gas from an Ariens snowblower?
The easiest way to drain gas from an Ariens snowblower is to use a gas siphon. Empty the fuel tank first and then the carburetor. Check your operators’ manual for where to locate the parts and how to open and close them safely.
How long can you leave gas in a snowblower?
You can leave gas in a snowblower for approximately 30 days. Gas has a very short shelf life and will start to break down in as little as 2 weeks.
If you are likely to leave it any longer, I recommend adding a fuel stabilizer to the gas can before filling your tank.
As I have said, personally, I never recommend that any gas be left in your snowblower while it is being stored. Following my simple steps to drain the gas from your snowblower will help ensure a smooth start to the next snow season.
I hope you have found this guide helpful and enjoy your summer.