Clean out fuel tank?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by ron mexico75, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,763

    For things like this, I keep a set of "cotton swap forceps" in the toolbox.
    Mine are about a foot long, and are perfect to pinch a scrap of rag, and wipe way down where even the smallest hands can't reach.
    It's just so much easier to do this, than the take the tank off.

    Now if I were going to take the tank off, I'd blow it out with air, and if that didn't help, I would probably swish some denatured alcohol in there, dump it out, and try the air again.

  2. BigFish

    BigFish LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,192

    How 'bout it Dutch, are you gettin' as big a chuckle out of this as I am?????
    How's that go............ROFLMAO!!!!
  3. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Messages: 2,249

  4. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,054

    Hey buddy, I posted on page 1 if you could post exactly why washing it out with a hose wouldn't be good. I'm asking to see if you know something I haven't thought of. Not a sarcastic reply or asking you to prove something because I think you're wrong. In asking honestly what the negatives would be if done exactly how I explained it on page one.

    It's a walk behind Exmark. Tank is under the hand controls with the line coming out of the bottom and very easy to get to. It's not tucked in on the frame very tightly. I mean if it was like that I could see the chance of water pooling up in a corner not draining out all the way and causing problems.

    I mean, you obviously know of a problem because you responded by saying "NOT!" Why not, specifically , is why I'm asking you now.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    A metal tank no way, but you stated its a plastic tank, so nothing wrong with water, had to pull one of the tanks on my case tractor to clean out, and used water to flush it out.
  6. mcambrose

    mcambrose LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 518

    I took a wooden stick and tied a rag to it and then put it into the tank to get out the debris since I couldn't get my hand through the hole.
  7. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,126

    The reason water is a bad idea is because any water you don't get out can combine with the ethanol in gas and cause something called phase separation, where the gas turns to a goo-type mixture that can clog everything up.
    It is just better not to introduce water into the system anywhere.
    Several other options include taking the tank off, swishing a little gas around and dumping it out - do this several times and you should get most of it. You can dump the gas on some cardboard and burn it to get rid of the gas. After that you can do the rag on a stick routine to get what's left.
    A different way of doing it involves attaching a clear plastic tube to a dowel and starting a siphon. Drain the gas that comes out into another can. Aim the siphon around the tank sucking up all the debris. When you are done, you can pour the gas that got siphoned out thru a coffee filter and catch all the crap you siphoned out. Then you can reuse the gas.
  8. TimTim2008

    TimTim2008 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,772

    glad i read this page
  9. suspicionofignorance

    suspicionofignorance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Don't forget to flush the fuel line, and change the filter...!
  10. Earthquake Landscaping

    Earthquake Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    Northern redneck tank cleaner...

    ( Basic Model )

    Dollar store turkey baster..

    1 ball bearing...

    Some type of sealant for the bulb, after you install the ball bearing..

    ( Custom Mod Model )

    same as basic, but drill a hole in the bulb for "thumb controlled manual partial fill vacuum recharge"

    ( Super custom mod ) as above, but install aquarium air line 1 way valve , to eliminate getting your thumb dirty..

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