Mowing the lawn is a chore that every homeowner must undertake. It never seems like there’s enough time to do it, and it can be tough on your body if done too often. However, this doesn’t mean that the task is always easy.
For example, what does happen when a lawnmower explodes? There are many different ways that a lawnmower can explode. Some of these are as a result of faulty wiring and poor maintenance, while others could be due to gas leaks or propane tanks nearby.
Knowing how to prevent an explosion may save you from having something like this happen in your own backyard. Read on for some tips and tricks to prevent explosions in lawn mowers.
What Causes a Lawn Mower to Explode?
Have you ever seen a lawn mower explode? It’s not the prettiest sight. If you have, then you know what it’s like to witness a few tons of metal and gasoline create an inferno that cannot be tamed. The most common cause of a lawn mower explosion is using too much gas.
Gasoline is highly flammable, and when it mixes with air (which is always in great supply while operating a lawn mower) the result can be devastating. Here are some other causes of lawn mower explosions.
Too much fuel in the tank
Improperly operating the lawn mower, especially if it’s a gasoline-powered one Erroneous wiring, or the line to the carburetor may not be connected properly Fuel on the lawn mower may have been contaminated with oil, or it was placed too close to the mower’s gas cap Lawn mowers must be maintained at all times to avoid such an accident.
First, mow your lawn once a week, and then rotate the mower tires every 6 weeks. Always check your mower’s fuel tank to make sure that it’s filled to the correct level. Mower tires must be rotated, or the mower will damage its rear tires if they wear out too quickly. You should always replace the spark plugs in a lawn mower every 3 months. There is no greater sign of neglect than a lawn mower that has exploded.
A buildup of gas in the carburetor
A faulty gas regulator, especially on older model mowers Working in a high-heat environment Operating a lawn mower while drunk Lawn mower not using oil Lawn mower cutting uneven areas Parked lawn mower An explosion caused by the lawn mower catching fire
There’s one thing you can do to avoid these disasters: don’t work a lawn mower while intoxicated. Never operate a mower on an uneven surface (grass can change directions quickly). And certainly never operate a lawn mower in a high-heat environment or inside a garage.
The engine is running lean
If the lawn mower isn’t running smoothly, it can cause the operator to use too much fuel. The lawn mower engine works by throwing gas into a tank that holds the fuel. As the lawn mower engine runs, the gas is caught in an “upward funnel” and forced out of the fuel tank.
When the gas is thrown out of the tank, it combines with air, producing lots of pressurized gas inside the engine. When it hits the coolant, the pressurized gas may ignite in a chain reaction. A gasoline lawn mower explosion is usually set off by a failure in the fuel line or a leak of gas from the tank.
The engine was running too hot On a hot day, the lawn mower engine can become so hot that the fuel cannot flow properly. To avoid this, try cranking the lawn mower engine off and on until it cools down.
Electricity doesn’t like static electricity. When gasoline mixes with air, it instantly ignites, turning your lawn mower into a fireball. For an old style lawn mower, gasoline would usually be the cause of the explosion, but lawn mowers today are more powerful, and the explosion occurs when using the push start feature.
An Acid Chemical Mix
When a lawn mower burns, it’s often from the mixture of gasoline and an acidic chemical in the fuel tank. This is why you want to pour an acid like calcium chloride down the gas tank. The acid will neutralize the acid that is burned, and your lawn mower will then stop burning. Of course, you can always pour a liquid nitrogen mixture down the tank too, but that will cause the mower to seize.
A person with a bomb near the lawn mower
A spark caused by an open flame is the second most common cause of lawn mower explosion. If your lawn mower can use an ignition source, such as gasoline or lighter fluid, then it is a good idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a spark, fire, or some other sudden ignition source.
The trouble is that these sparks can often happen when you are in the middle of a mowing. Gasoline runs down the gas line from the fuel tank and mixes with air from the atmosphere. When this air-fuel mixture combusts, it creates sparks.
An open flame on the lawn mower can be just enough to spark the mixture and ignite it. Even if the spark does not ignite a spark, a lawn mower can still explode. It’s not hard to imagine this as being the cause of an explosion in a crowded public park.
How do you prevent an explosion from happening to your lawnmower?
How do you prevent an explosion from happening to your lawnmower? There are a few precautions you can take to ensure that your lawnmower is safe:
Keep the gas tank full or use an appropriate fuel stabilizer
Keep the fuel drain open Don’t store in closed storage Do not store outdoors Make sure it is in a safe environment Electric or cordless models can be dropped and used, but it is still safer to avoid these types of mowers if you can Pick up your lawnmower every day and move it in a wheelbarrow or forklift. Do not move it on an uneven surface, such as concrete, asphalt, or metal pipes.
Don’t store the mower with fuel in it
Don’t store the mower in a room that is used for cooking or heating Make sure that the exhaust pipe of your mower is pointed into the air Make sure the pushrod, which runs between the cylinder and the crank, is installed firmly on the crankshaft Make sure the cylinder is strong and that the movement of the crankshaft doesn’t lead to snapping of the cylinder Make sure the teeth are not worn Make sure the cylinder and crank are not damaged or cracked Make sure you take your mower to the repair shop and have them check everything out Be safe this holiday season and enjoy the outdoors!
Preventing explosions while starting the mower.
Some people say you should completely drain the mower of gas before starting it, while others say you should drain just enough to ensure the mower is running. If you do have to start the mower with a gas tank, I would recommend a lighter-fuel gas that is 10 percent alcohol.
This fuel is easy to start with and can usually be found at a discount. Also be sure to purchase a tire air filter and check it frequently. While the air filter will prevent some fuel from becoming trapped in the filter, the O rings inside the air filter will trap most of the fuel.
And if the filter becomes clogged, it will usually start a grass fire. Avoid leaving the mower unattended while you’re not mowing. Â Remove or cover up fuel tank openings.
Preventing explosions while using the mower
Make sure your blades are clean and all edges are straight. Make sure your gas tank is dry. Make sure you change the oil and clean the spark plug “If you’re using the lawn mower for the first time, especially if you’re using gas, make sure you do that and change the oil,” said Leoma Barnes, a victim.
Don’t store the mower with fuel in it
Gasoline acts like a poison, and any fuel with gasoline will act like a chemical weapon, causing an explosion. So keep your mower away from gasoline. If you do get stuck, shut off the engine, and cover the gas tank with a blanket, which will act as a barrier between the gas and the mower.
The best way to handle a stalled lawnmower is to keep in mind two things:
1. Use only a low grade of gasoline if using the throttle handle, and
2. Turn the mower on a level surface to ensure the carburetor is kept clear of vegetation and debris.
Never let the mower idle or let it turn over more than four or five times without discharging the gas tank. Always be extremely careful of how you handle a gasoline-powered engine and remember that it is very dangerous.
Remove anything from under the mower deck before starting
Anybody can do this by removing the lawnmower deck, so before you start it, clear off any unnecessary items from under the deck. Why? The lawnmower must work and run efficiently – so you don’t want any clutter or items in the way of that happening.
This can prevent the mower deck from rotating, damaging the blades, and/or causing sparks. If the engine can’t turn or is stuck, you won’t be able to mow your lawn. The blades could also be damaged if sparks catch the blades. So, the faster you can get off that deck, the better.
Keep children and pets away from the area when operating or storing the machine
Ask your lawn care provider to secure your mower in a locked storage area to prevent theft or vandalism When you’re done using your mower, move it to a garage or shed, and if it’s being stored outdoors, try to leave it in the shade until you’re ready to use it.
Customers in the Fayette County area can ask their home improvement store to rent a new mower for them to avoid an explosion or fire, or they can rent one at their local fire station. There are also some steps that can be taken on your own lawnmower to keep it safe.
Drivers can check the oil, engine coolant, wiper fluid, starter fluid and plug wires before each use. Mowing with the push mower allows you to operate the blades while your hands stay on the handles and you can also work inside your home or shop.
What should you do if the lawnmower has already exploded?
If the lawnmower has already exploded, you should stop what you’re doing immediately and immediately contact a professional to inspect the machine. The following are a few steps you can take to ensure that this doesn’t happen again:
Call for a professional to have a look at the lawnmower. Make sure that there are no combustibles within the machine that could cause an explosion.
Check the valve. If there is a leak of gas, it can cause an explosion. Leave the lawnmower outside. It’s best not to store the mower in the garage because it could explode if there’s a leak of gas.
When a lawnmower explodes, there is usually a lot of damage, but not much can be done. If you’ve had a lawnmower burst into flames and you’re not sure what to do, look for the safety tip to save your home. For example, the general safety tip is to keep the mower out of the house.
A lawnmower in close proximity to the home could be a fire hazard. Most lawnmower fires happen because the owner left it on, and in the process of moving it to the next location, it caught fire. If a lawnmower has already exploded but is still in the house, it can cause some severe damage to the structure.
Although a lawnmower explosion cannot break windows, they can dent them and make it difficult to exit. Even when a lawnmower explodes, most people do not need to leave the home.
Preparing for any lawnmower explosion could be a great way to prevent it. However, this is usually not enough to avoid it. Always make sure that you are in control of your mower and also check to make sure that the propane tank is not leaking or nearby.
Always also check the ignition before you start your mower, and make sure that the engine doesn’t have any other issues. It is also worth investing in a quality gas line, or gas detector to make sure that there are no leaks around your house.