While gas siphoning is normally associated with nefarious activities, there are many legitimate reasons to learn this skill. Knowing how to divert gasoline can help you get back on the road if you find yourself stranded far from a gas station. It is also useful for winterizing (or summerizing) lawnmowers, snowblowers, and other gasoline-powered equipment by allowing you to empty the gas tank. You can even pump gas out of your car to fill a lawnmower’s empty tank, or vice versa, in a pinch.
Later, learn how to safely siphon gas from a gas tank with a simple and affordable tool.
BEFORE YOU START
Before learning how to siphon gas, it’s important to remember that siphoning gas from a vehicle you don’t own without permission is illegal. This guide is intended solely to help DIYers divert gasoline from their own vehicles and equipment.
Never attempt to siphon gas without the proper tool. While there are ways to siphon gas without using a pump, these methods involve blowing or vacuuming the gas siphon hose to create suction, which is very dangerous. Siphoning with your mouth can cause you to inhale gas vapors or even ingest gasoline, either of which can cause dizziness, headaches, throat irritation, and vomiting. A siphon pump is by far the safest way to siphon gas and the only method which will be covered below.
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STEP 1: Buy a siphon pump.
In order to extract gasoline from a gas tank, you will need a gas extraction kit, which is a simple device that can be purchased at any auto parts store for around $10. A fuel siphon pump creates the necessary suction to start the siphoning process using a bulb or plunger mechanism powered manually or by a small electric motor.
STEP 2: Install tank and hose.
Place your gas can on the ground near the team’s gas tank. Positioning is crucial, as the siphon uses gravity to transport gas from one container to another. Siphon pumps have one end that receives fluid and the other that expels it. Put the end that takes up liquid in the gas tank and the other end in the gas can. Be sure to place the hose in the gasoline tank of the equipment so that it is submerged in the gasoline.
STEP 3: Start pumping gasoline.
Squeeze the pump mechanism several times to create the suction needed to move the gas from the gas tank through the hose. Note that siphon mechanisms vary by pump design. You may need to squeeze a rubber bulb or manipulate a plunger to get the process started. Gas should start flowing after a few pumps. The vacuum created inside the pump along with gravity will move the gas through the line without the need to continue pumping throughout the siphoning process.
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STEP 4: Monitor the pump.
Monitor the pump as the gasoline leaves the tank and enters the gas can. As the container approaches full, raise the tube or container above the level of the gas tank to stop the siphoning process. Raising the line above the level of the can will reverse the flow, causing any gas left in the line to drain back into the gas tank. After the gas has drained from the line, remove it from the gas tank and close the tank.
STEP 5: Clean the pump.
If you’re pumping gas on the road, store your siphon pump temporarily and safely in your car. Once you’ve returned to civilization, clean your bomb before putting it away. To clean the pump, run a solution of dish soap and water through the lines, then rinse with fresh water. Allow the pump to dry completely before storing to ensure no water remains in the line when it is time to use it again.
Knowing how to siphon gas is a useful skill to dispose of stale gas, in case you run out of gas and get stranded, or when you need borrowed gas for an empty lawnmower or snowplow tank. Remember that getting gas out of a vehicle you don’t own without the owner’s permission is illegal. And while there are ways to siphon gas without using a pump, these methods are dangerous and should never be attempted.
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