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Old 08-21-2015, 08:50 PM   #1
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Gas smell in house


I mowed today then ran out of gas. Filled the walk-behind mower an left it in attached garage.

Tonight sitting in LR, my daughter and I smelled gas. (Theres no gas appliances)

Even tho there were 2 other rooms between garage an L.R. The odor traveled that far. We found gas on the garage floor under the mower.

How could it leak? Mower is only 3 yrs old. I didn't overfill it. The only thing I did was try to start it after I filled it but often when its hot and stops, it wont start right away, which is no big deal to me.

Could pulling the start cord a few times somehow release gas?

Thanks
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Old 08-21-2015, 09:13 PM   #2
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What are the make and model of the mower? Is the mower itself wet with gas anywhere?
Are you sure it is gas that you are seeing and not oil? Mower tanks caps generally have vents that will let gas vapors out - most mowers smell like gas normally, especially when they were run recently and are hot.

If it truly is leaking gas, this could be a number of things. Overfilled tank, tilted tank (did you have to tilt the mower for any reason, to adjust the wheel blade height, etc..?). Could be a bad tank (unlikely). Maybe overpriming (you said you had problems with it restarting when hot, are you trying to prime it then?).

More information needed.
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Old 08-21-2015, 09:51 PM   #3
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TC, its a Kohler engine. Self-propelled, Recycling. Yes, its gas I smell.

It never has restarted if I stop briefly. But I just take a break and by the time I go back out it starts. I put the mower outside cause of the odor so can't tell if it was wet or not.

I put the mower outside on a side patio. Right now theres a wet spot (size of a dinner plate) on the patio, front left of the mower.

Could something in the tank be 'open' from me using the pull cord?

Tomorrow will it be safe to try and start it?

Last edited by Startingover; 08-21-2015 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:53 PM   #4
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Look for any gasket leaks on that side of the unit. It's possible that ethanol in your gas has softened a gasket somewhere. Three years is plenty of time for that to happen. A bad carburetor gasket might explain the leaking and your engine behavior.

EDIT: I don't know if this looks like your model, but sounds like your issue.

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Old 08-21-2015, 10:55 PM   #5
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Should be easy to find. Look for the liquid. Fuel line, cracked primer bulb, loose nut on the carburetor bowl, etc.....
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:09 AM   #6
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I'm about ready to sell my gas mower and go battery powered. I hate having to keep gas cans around.
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:56 AM   #7
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Being a SP Walk Behind, I imagine the gas supply is gravity from the tank to the carburetor. The most common problem with a 3 year old would be a leaking needle valve and seat within the carburetor.

Before attempting to start the engine again be certain the oil level is correct even thought this engine seems to have been made so the gasoline leaks externally rather than into the engine crankcase.
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:14 AM   #8
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I appreciate the anwsers.

Two questions. Yesterday I stopped mowing with only half the side done cause the heat got to me. If the mower runs is it safe to use today? I don't want to blow up.

Also, I'd like to mow until remaining gas is used up (unless its all leaked out) so that when I take it to repair shop it doesn't leak in my daughters SUV.

Thanks
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:25 AM   #9
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Use your eyes to check for a broken gas line before starting. If no visible leaks you should be able to mow.

A turkey baster can be used to remove gas from the tank when you need to empty it for travel. After use pull the bulb off the baster and allow it to air dry outside, discard or mark not for food use after using.
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:42 AM   #10
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Turkey baster.......thats really clever! Thanks.


I keep a log on mower repairs and blade sharpening. For my effort an sweat I'm not saving much compared to neighbors who have a guy do their mowing

Actually I've had this mower 4 yrs, not 3.

See the rectangle box with knob. Thats my air filter. Its all wet with gas under there and my fingers got white stuff on them. Whats the white? It smells like gas.


Gas smell in house-image.jpg

Last edited by Startingover; 08-22-2015 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 08-22-2015, 09:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Startingover View Post

I keep a log on mower repairs and blade sharpening. For my effort an sweat I'm not saving much compared to neighbors who have a guy do their mowing Attachment 186161
Small engine repair isn't that hard. Download the service manual for whatever machines you have and use them to troubleshoot the issues.
A 4 yr old mower is a baby. I've had a Lawnboy 2 stroke since 1993.
Cord broke, magneto changed, plug now and then as well as the air filter. Under $100.00 in parts since I bought it.
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:24 AM   #12
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I've got that mower. Odds are pretty good that the needle seat in the carburetor is leaking, letting gas continue to flow into the carb while the mower is not running. It's not a terribly difficult thing to fix, and a complete kit with new needle, seat, and bowl gasket should be $10 or less at any small engine shop.

I like to install a fuel shut-off valve on equipment that doesn't have one. I've come to expect that on any small engine older than brand new, the carb is leaky. A manual fuel shut-off is good insurance against finding your mower with an empty gas tank and a crankcase full of useless gasoline-thinned oil.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:29 PM   #13
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I envy you Startingover. I love it when my stuff breaks down; it gives me a flimsy excuse to tear everything apart, learn about how it works and how to fix it, and great satisfaction when I put it all together again (with no extra parts!), and fire it up and have it working right again.

This is definitely something you can fix, no special tools required, screwdrivers and needlenose pliers mostly, and a small can of carb cleaner. Nitrile disposable gloves are a good idea to keep solvents off your hands. Get the right carburetor rebuild kit with the gaskets, and just carefully disassemble and clean everything as you take it off. You'll see that it's usually pretty obvious how everything goes together. If you're worried about remembering how it went together, take a picture of it before you take it apart.

If you have a bad back, I'd recommend getting someone to help you put it on a table so you can work on it easier (I'm speaking from experience here). Drain the gas and pull the coil off the spark plug to be safe, and go to it!

Last edited by Thunder Chicken; 08-22-2015 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:38 AM   #14
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Mower was repaired.

The needle in the gas tank wore out.

The shop called to tell me. $90. They also installed a filter in the gas line. then said they couldn't sharpen my blade as requested. I asked why? They said one side was broken off.

Thankfully I got rid of a Chinaberry tree that threw off seeds like cherry pits. I knew they were bad for blade, plus our bahaia grass is tough here.

I have my daughters SUV to pick mower up today. A lot of men walk dogs
past my house so I'll wait (lurk) for one and ask if he'll lend a hand lifting mower out of the car.

Thunder chicken, yeah I think I'd enjoy taking mower apart if I had someone to
advise if I had trouble. My dad is gone now but he started driving back when they had Model T's and he could fix anything, self taught.

The best thing about doing my own mowing is that it helps keep my weight down.

Last edited by Startingover; 09-04-2015 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:16 PM   #15
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I find it interesting that people post on a DIY site, seeking help, but then are too afraid to take a stab at actually DIYing.

As kids, ya'll should've played with legos more!

The ENTIRE carburetor for that small engine was likely no more than $50...
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