OPEI offers reminders on fuel handling in off-season

Updated Dec 17, 2018

OPEI - look before you pumpThe Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) knows this is the time of year that both professional landscapers and homeowners are putting away much of their lawn-care equipment for the season. Whatever fuel is remaining in lawn mowers and other seasonal outdoor power equipment should be removed before that long winter nap, the organization says.

“Proper fuel use of outdoor power equipment is easy to accomplish and it’s important to be mindful of as we change seasons,” said Kris Kiser, OPEI president and CEO. “Whether we’re filling our jerry cans at the pump, or putting equipment away for the season, there are some important things to remember in order to protect equipment and avoid costly misuse.”

Here’s a couple of important reminders from OPEI about fuel:

  • “Look Before You Pump”

Most gasoline contains 10 percent ethanol (E10), which is safe for your equipment. But many gas pumps now offer higher ethanol blended gas, such as 15, 30, 50 or 85 percent ethanol gas. These higher blends are not designed for use in outdoor power equipment and may cause damage or failure. And remember, fuels containing ethanol can potentially go stale over time. To be safe, try to avoid purchasing more than what you’ll need for thirty days.

  • Properly dispose of leftover fuel.

Whether left in the tank of your equipment or in a gas can on the shelf, it’s easy to forget how old your fuel is. Take note of when you purchased the fuel and properly dispose of it after a month.

  • Run the tank dry.

A safe and easy way to dispose of fuel is to run the engine until the tank is empty. Alternatively, you can drain unused fuel out of the equipment you are storing. OPEI notes that you may want to consider adding a fuel stabilizer to the gas, then run the engine so the stabilizer circulates throughout the system. Afterward, safely drain the tank. This step ensures that any residual fuel remaining in the equipment after the tank has been drained is treated.

OPEI offers more advice on the use and storage of fuel for power equipment at www.LookBeforeYouPump.com.

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