How To

How To Siphon Gas – Bob Villa

how to siphon gas

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While gassing is usually associated with nefarious activities, there are many reasons to learn this skill. Knowing how to siphon gas can get you back on the road if you find yourself stranded far from a gas station. It’s also useful for winterizing (or flying) lawn mowers, snow blowers, and other gas-powered equipment, allowing you to clear the gas tank. You can even drain gas from your car to fill an empty lawnmower tank, or vice versa, as a last resort.

Ahead, learn how to safely siphon gas from a gas tank using a simple and affordable tool.

Tools and materials

BEFORE YOU START

Before learning how to siphon gas, it is important to remember that removing gas from a vehicle that is not yours without permission is illegal. This guide is intended solely to assist pets in draining gasoline from their own vehicles and equipment.

Never attempt to siphon gas without the proper tool. Although there are ways to suck out gas without using a pump, these methods involve blowing or suctioning the gas trap hose to create suction, which is very dangerous. Sucking by mouth can lead to inhalation of gas fumes or even ingestion of gasoline, which can cause dizziness, headache, throat irritation and vomiting. A siphon pump is the safest way to suck up gas and the only method that will be discussed below.

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STEP 1: Buy a siphon pump.

how to siphon gas

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To siphon gas from a gas tank, you will need a gas siphon kit, which is a simple device that can be purchased at any auto parts store for about $10. The fuel siphon pump creates the suction needed to initiate the siphoning process using a bulb or piston mechanism driven manually or by a small electric motor.

STEP 2: Install the tank and hose.

Place your gas can on the ground near the equipment’s gas tank. Positioning is critical because siphoning uses gravity to transfer gas from one container to another. Siphon pumps have one end that receives liquid and another that discharges it. Place the end that receives liquid into the gas tank and the other end into the gas can. Be sure to place the hose in the gas tank of the equipment so that it is submerged in the gasoline.

STEP 3: Start pumping gas.

how to siphon gas

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Squeeze the pump mechanism several times to create the suction necessary to move the gas from the gas tank through the hose. Note that siphon mechanisms vary depending on pump design. You may need to squeeze a rubber bulb or manipulate the plunger to start the process. Gas should start flowing after just a few pumps. The vacuum created inside the pump combined with gravity will move the gas through the pipeline without the need to continue pumping throughout the siphoning process.

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STEP 4: Observe the pump.

Watch the pump as the gas leaves the tank and enters the gas can. When the container is full, raise the pipe or container above the level of the gas tank to stop the siphoning process. Raising the line above the canister level will reverse the flow, causing any gas remaining in the line to flow back into the gas tank. After the gas has flowed out of the pipeline, remove it from the gas tank and close the tank.

STEP 5: Clean the pump.

If you are draining gas on the road, temporarily and safely store the siphon pump in your car. Once you’re back in civilization, clean your pump before putting it away. To clean the pump, run a solution of water and dish soap through the lines, then flush with fresh water. Allow the pump to dry completely before putting it away to ensure there is no water left in the piping when it’s time to use it again.

how to siphon gas

Photo: istockphoto.com

Final thoughts

Knowing how to siphon gas is a useful skill to have to dispose of old gas in case you run out of gas and get stuck, or when you need to borrow gas for an empty lawnmower or snowblower tank. Remember that siphoning gas from a vehicle that isn’t yours without the owner’s permission is illegal. And while there are ways to suck up gas without using a pump, these methods are dangerous and should never be attempted.

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