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Can A Lawn Mower Get Flooded? Here's Our Guide On How To Fix It

Written by William
Last Updated on July 19, 2021

Is My Lawn Mowers Engine Flooded? - Our Troubleshooting Guide!

You have a lawn mower that will not start, maybe you've just resurfaced your gas mower from storage or you have been having lawn mower problems for a while, but one key symptom of a problem with your lawn mower is that it smells of gasoline. 

It is common for an idle lawn mower engine to flood when left in storage, or it could be down to other causes such as priming your engine or overuse of the choke on your mower, luckily to fix this issue, all you have to do most of the time is wait. 

So as you can troubleshoot why your lawn mower got flooded in the first place and how to unflood it, we have made you a small guide below to help you out.

Why Did My Lawn Mower Flooding Happen? 

Before you can fix the smell of gasoline and flooding in your lawn mower, you need to address why this issue has happened in the first place. 

We have listed the most common reasons as to why your lawn mower flooded below. 

You Stored Your Mower Wrong 

Storing your mower wrong could potentially lead to a flooded engine and is one of the most common causes. Even if you have your mower on level ground, there is a high chance that the excess fuel could leak into the valve with carburetor and flood the whole engine.

Overuse Of Choke

As we mentioned above, overuse of the choke can flood your engine. Fuel troubles happen when you leave the choke of your mower engaged and try to pull the starter cord to your mower too many times, you would likely have to wait for the excess of gasoline to disappear in this case.

There Is a Defective Spark Plug 

A bad spark plug wire or plug terminals could lead to spark issues and push fresh gasoline into the carburetor of the lawnmower, flooding the engine. It is important to have a spare spark plug on hand for this issue and replace it.

Dirty Air Filter 

Having a blocked air filter in your mower will lead to an excess of unburned fuel in the internal combustion engines model as the fuel to air ratio will not be right, meaning the engine will flood. You would either have to replace or clean the filter and wipe any excess off the spark plug seat.

Blocked Carburetor Air Intake  

Lastly, you could have a flooded engine due to having a blocked carburetor time from sludge or dirt, this will trap gasoline inside and lead to the engine flooding, spraying an engine cleaner inside specifically for the carburetor should fix this problem.

How To Fix a Flooded Lawn Mower 

Now we know all the common causes of a flooded lawnmower and a few of their solutions, we will give you some general steps to take if engine flooding in your lawnmower ever happens to you.

Before we get into the steps below, we would also recommend waiting around 15 minutes for the gas to evaporate from your lawnmower to see if this helps first, if not, then follow the below.

  • Step one - First of all, unscrew the spark plug wrench starter and either wipe it with a dry cloth or spray alcohol-based starter fluid into the electrode spark plug terminal. 
  • Step two - Try cranking the engine a few times to let any air get into the carburettor and help dry it up quicker. 
  • Step three - Put the spark plug back on the mower, make sure that the choke is turned off then try cranking the engine again a few times, if you hear a sputter, continue to crank until the mower turns on.
  • Step four - If nothing happens, you can always try removing the air filter of your mower then trying to crank it, if it starts then, it's probably due to a bad air filter that might need replacing.

Final Words 

Overall, it is very possible for a lawnmower to get flooded, whether it's down to it being stored incorrectly or the overuse of the choke. Luckily, most of these issues can be fixed by waiting or with a few simple steps that we listed above. 

Always maintain your mower well to avoid these problems in the future and empty your mower of gasoline before storing it for long periods.

About the author
Written by William
I have always had a passion for gardening and that with a background in selling lawn mowers for the past 10 years, I have become very knowledgeable in all types of gardening tools. The site TheBestMowers.co.uk was created as a hub where I can review and write about all of the tips around gardening.
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