How To Drain Gas From Generator

Are you looking for a simple and efficient way to drain the gas from your generator? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to safely drain the gas from your generator. Whether you’re storing your generator for the winter or just need to empty the tank for maintenance purposes, our easy-to-follow instructions will ensure that you can remove the gas without any hassle or mess. So let’s get started and learn the proper technique to drain gas from your generator.

Preparing the Generator

Before you begin the process of draining the gas from your generator, it’s important to make sure you’ve properly prepared the equipment. This will help ensure a smooth and safe experience. There are a few steps you should follow:

Turn Off the Generator

The first step is to turn off the generator. This will prevent any accidental starts while you are working on it. Locate the power switch or button on your generator and switch it off. It’s always a good idea to wait a few minutes after shutting off the generator to allow it to cool down before proceeding.

Allow the Generator to Cool Down

Generators can become quite hot during operation, so it’s crucial to let them cool down before attempting any maintenance tasks. This will help prevent burns and other injuries. Allow the generator to sit for at least 15-20 minutes after turning it off to ensure it has reached a safe temperature.

Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

To successfully drain the gas from your generator, you’ll need a few tools and materials. Make sure you have the following items ready before you begin:

  • A container suitable for holding the fuel
  • Siphon pump or hand bulb pump (depending on your preference)
  • Fuel line (if using the tilt method)
  • Proper safety gear, including gloves and safety glasses
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Having these tools and materials readily available will make the process much easier and more efficient.

Locating the Fuel Shut-Off Valve or Fuel Tank

Next, you’ll need to locate the fuel shut-off valve or fuel tank on your generator. The exact location may vary depending on the make and model of your generator, so it’s important to consult your generator manual for specific instructions. Here’s what you need to do:

Identify the Type of Fuel Shut-Off Valve

Generators can have different types of fuel shut-off valves, such as a lever valve or a petcock valve. Identifying the type of valve your generator has will help you determine how to operate it correctly.

Consult the Generator Manual

To avoid any guesswork or potential errors, refer to your generator manual for detailed instructions on locating the fuel shut-off valve or tank. The manual will provide clear diagrams and explanations to guide you through this step.

Locate the Fuel Tank or Fuel Shut-Off Valve

Once you understand the type of fuel shut-off valve and have reviewed the manual, it’s time to physically locate the fuel tank or shut-off valve on your generator. Take your time and carefully inspect different parts of the generator until you find the proper component.

Using the Fuel Shut-Off Valve

Now that you’ve located the fuel shut-off valve, it’s time to learn how to use it effectively. Follow these steps to properly shut off the fuel supply to your generator:

Find and Turn the Fuel Shut-Off Valve

Locate the fuel shut-off valve on your generator and turn it to the “Off” position. Depending on the type of valve, you may need to twist, flip, or push/pull the lever or knob. Make sure the valve is fully closed to stop the fuel flow.

Keep a Container Ready

Before proceeding, have a container ready to collect the fuel that will be drained from the generator. Use a container that is suitable for holding gasoline and ensure it is clean and free from any debris or contaminants.

Let the Generator Run Until It Stalls

Once the fuel shut-off valve is turned off, start the generator and let it run until it stalls. This will help burn off any remaining fuel in the system and ensure a more thorough drain. It’s important to note that a generator may run for a short period before stalling, so be prepared for this when planning your fuel drainage task.

Draining the Fuel Tank

With the fuel shut-off valve turned off and the generator stalled, it’s time to drain the fuel tank. Follow these steps to successfully drain the tank:

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Locate the Fuel Tank Drain

Locate the fuel tank drain on your generator. Depending on the model, there may be a drain plug or valve at the bottom of the tank. Consult your generator manual for specific guidance on finding the fuel tank drain.

Position a Container Under the Drain

Place your container directly under the fuel tank drain to catch the gasoline as it flows out. This will help prevent any spills or messes. Ensure that the container is clean and large enough to hold the expected amount of fuel.

Open the Fuel Tank Drain Valve

If your generator has a drain valve, use a wrench or pliers to open it. If there is a drain plug, unscrew it carefully. Be prepared for the fuel to flow out rapidly once the drain is opened. Keep a firm grip on the container to avoid any accidents.

Using a Siphon Pump

If you prefer to use a siphon pump to drain the fuel from your generator, follow these steps:

Prepare the Siphon Pump

Make sure your siphon pump is clean and in good working condition. Check that all the components are properly assembled and ready to use. Familiarize yourself with the pump’s instructions to use it effectively.

Insert the Pump into the Fuel Tank

Insert the siphon pump tube into the fuel tank, ensuring it reaches the bottom. A longer tube may be necessary for larger generators. Ensure the pump tube is securely inserted and will not come loose during the siphoning process.

Pump the Fuel Out

Once the pump is properly inserted, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to start the siphoning process. Pump the handle or activate the pump mechanism to create suction, which will draw the fuel from the tank into your container. Continue pumping until the tank is fully empty.

Using a Hand Bulb Pump

Alternatively, you may choose to use a hand bulb pump to drain the fuel from your generator. Here’s how to do it:

Acquire and Prepare the Hand Bulb Pump

Ensure you have a hand bulb pump that is compatible with gasoline. Familiarize yourself with the pump’s instructions and make sure it is clean and ready for use. Check that all connections and components are secure and tight.

Attach the Pump to the Fuel Tank

Attach the hand bulb pump to the fuel tank, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that the pump is securely connected to prevent any fuel leakage during the pumping process.

Squeeze the Bulb to Pump Out the Fuel

Once the pump is properly attached, squeeze the hand bulb repeatedly to create pressure. This pressure will draw the fuel from the tank into your container. Continue squeezing the bulb until the fuel tank is completely empty.

Emptying the Remaining Fuel

After using either the siphon pump or the hand bulb pump, there may still be some residual fuel left in the generator. Follow these steps to empty the remaining fuel:

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Tilt the Generator

Carefully tilt the generator to one side, positioning it at an angle that allows any remaining fuel to flow towards the fuel line or drain. Make sure the fuel tank is higher than the fuel line or drain to facilitate the emptying process.

Use a Fuel Line

If your generator has a fuel line, detach it from the fuel tank and lower it to a level below the tank. This will create a gravity-induced flow that will help empty the remaining fuel. Ensure the other end of the fuel line is securely placed into your container.

Dispose of the Fuel Properly

Once the remaining fuel has been emptied, ensure you dispose of it safely and responsibly. Gasoline is a flammable fluid and should never be poured directly on the ground or down drains. Check with your local authorities for guidelines on proper disposal methods, such as taking it to a designated recycling center.

Cleaning and Storing the Generator

After draining the fuel from your generator, it’s essential to clean and store it properly to ensure its longevity. Follow these steps for an effective cleaning and storage process:

Wipe off Any Spilled Fuel

If any fuel was spilled during the drainage process, wipe it off immediately using a cloth or absorbent material. It’s crucial to keep your generator clean and free from any flammable residue.

Inspect and Clean the Fuel Tank and Lines

Inspect the fuel tank and fuel lines for any signs of dirt, debris, or corrosion. If necessary, carefully clean the tank and lines using a suitable cleaning solution or a mild detergent. Remove any contaminants to prevent issues during future use.

Store the Generator in a Safe Place

Once your generator is clean and dry, choose a safe and dry location to store it. Ideally, this should be a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Secure the generator to prevent any accidental damage or unauthorized use.

Safety Precautions

While draining the gas from your generator, it’s vital to prioritize safety. Take the following precautions to ensure a safe experience:

Work in a Well-Ventilated Area

Perform the fuel draining process in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling harmful fumes. If possible, work outdoors or in a large open space with plenty of fresh air circulation.

Avoid Open Flames and Sparks

Gasoline is highly flammable, so it’s crucial to keep open flames, cigarettes, and other ignition sources away from the fuel draining area. Even small sparks can ignite the gasoline vapors, leading to a dangerous situation.

Use Proper Safety Gear

Always wear appropriate safety gear when working with generators and fuel. Ensure you have gloves, safety glasses, and any other necessary protective equipment to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.


Draining the gas from your generator is an essential maintenance task that should be performed regularly. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can safely and effectively drain the fuel from your generator. Remember to consult your generator manual for specific instructions, as different models may have slight variations in their fuel draining process. By properly preparing the generator, locating the fuel shut-off valve or tank, draining the fuel, and cleaning and storing the generator, you’ll ensure that your equipment stays in optimal condition and is ready for future use. Don’t forget to prioritize safety at all times by working in a well-ventilated area, avoiding open flames and sparks, and using proper safety gear. With these guidelines, you’re well on your way to successfully draining the gas from your generator.

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Albert Stein

Starting this site about today's portable power options was an easy choice as it's one of my passions. Tech changes constantly so you need to make an informed decision before purchasing the wrong products. -Thank you.-

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