How To Unflood Lawnmower

How To Unflood A Lawnmower?

As a home gardener it is highly likely that you have, at some point, flooded the engine of your lawnmower. It can also become one of the most frustrating things to deal with, especially if, no matter how hard you pull the cord, it refuses to turn over.

Lawnmowers tend to have trouble starting up if they have been in use for a long period of time, or stored in damp cold conditions. You might keep tugging at the string hoping for it to work but by the end of it all you can smell is gasoline, this means your engine is flooded.

How To Unflood Lawnmower

What causes Flooding?

Without even knowing it you might flood your lawnmower. This can happen if you’re cleaning the machine and turn it over to clean the base or remove blades while it has gasoline. This is enough for it to become flooded.

Most commonly flooding is caused by too many attempts to start the engine by not pulling the starter cord firmly or quickly enough for the mower to start. You can also prime it too many times by pushing the primer bulb, causing its engine to flood.

What happens if its Flooded?

If you’ve flooded your lawnmower’s engine, the machine is basically useless until the fuel dissipates. There is a chance that the fuel has made its way to the spark plug, which means it has become too wet to let there be any spark.

Sometimes the air filter is too soaked with gasoline which stops the air flowing into the engine.

How long Does it take to Fix it?

Normally, it will take less than 20 minutes to unflood a lawnmower if you let it lie. The gasoline will evaporate from the carburetor and give you the chance to try to start it again afterwards. However, there are other more quicker ways to fix this.

Fixing a Flooded Lawnmower

  • Unscrew the spark plug and pull it off with a spark plug wrench. It is likely that the plug terminals are probably moistened with gasoline.
  • Dry the plugs with an alcohol-based started fluid on the plug. You can also use a dry cloth to wipe it.
  • Start the engine a few times while the plug is out to draw air through the carburetor and dry it out.
  • Replace the plug and turn off the choke, crank the engine right after. If it is still sputtering, crank the engine a few more times until it starts.
  • If it hasn’t started, turn the choke back on to get it to turn over, but make sure that you turn it off as soon as the engine starts.

If Air Filter is Soaked:

  • If the air filter is soaked, remove the air filter if the engine doesn’t sputter as you start it.
  • The filter is at the top or the side of the mower.
  • Take a screwdriver and unscrew to remove the filter.
  • Spray the filter with starter fluid. Then put it back on and crank the engine right after.
  • If there still isn’t a response, thenremove the filter and leave it off. Meanwhile, crank the engine a few times to empty the carburetor.
  • If it still doesn’t start, or the engine sputters, or turns over while the filter is off, then the filter is dirty and needs to be replaced.

Chances are, if you check both the engine and air filters you’ve successfully been able to unflood your engine, however, if it still doesn’t work, you will have to get it professionally checked out before thinking about replacing the whole thing.

You will not be able to start a flooded lawnmower. You will have to follow the steps mentioned above to drain and dry it before you attempt to start it again. If you use an electric mower, the first thing to look at is the battery, to ensure that it is charged and has the energy to turn the mower on fast enough.

How to Avoid Flooding?

Flooding means you cannot use your lawnmower or delay mowing altogether. Sometimes we’re in a time crunch and a flooded mower just adds to more things that we’re unable to do in the small amount of time that we have. Thus, it is important to take preventative measures to avoid flooding altogether.

Always empty the gas from the lawnmower’s tank before performing the maintenance activities. Make sure you’re reading the instructions on the primer bulb as it tells you how many times you should pump the primer bulb and follow the directions as exactly stated.

Remember to pull the starter cord of the mower quickly so it starts on the first try. If you forget to do this often, put a small line of nail paint with a color of your choice on the mower’s handle, so whenever you’re about to start mowing, you can notice the color and remember to do it.

If the engine isn’t starting, don’t force it to with repeated tries. It only serves to increase the likelihood of a flooded engine.

 Final Word

Having a flooded lawnmower can be extremely inconvenient especially if you’re short on time. Try your best to follow the instructions mentioned above to ensure that the flooding doesn’t happen in the first place. A word of caution: Don’t try to unflood your mower inside the garage or anywhere near your house, car, or anything that is potentially flammable.

It is possible for an engine to backfire and ignite any starting fluid that’s spilled or sprayed.



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