Trivia: We spill a lot of gas on our lawnmowers

In a review of the Lehr Eco Trimmer, a weed whacker that uses (sadly proprietary) propane canisters for fuel instead of gasoline, comes this disheartening bit of trivia:

Most impressive to me is the fact (vetted by the EPA), that American homeowners spill 17 million gallons of gasoline annually in their uncoordinated attempts to fuel lawn and garden equipment.

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15 Responses to Trivia: We spill a lot of gas on our lawnmowers

  1. Anonymous says:

    A simple design change on the gas tanks could ease the spillage. Use a smaller gas can, it is easier to manage. Don’t fill from a 5 gallon can.
    Try finding plants and grass that don’t need as much servicing and mowing. Can’t waste the water either.

  2. haineux says:

    Spilled gasoline is a major source of smog, — the State of California says so.

    Propane burns cleaner, anyway.

    And the propane cylinders this uses are standard. You can buy more, get them filled at the usual places.

    What’s proprietary is the attachment device, which means you don’t have to spin the cylinder around as much.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like the state of New York made things worse. Sadly, that’s typical for most bureaucratic mandates.

    If possible, I try to never buy gasoline with ethanol.

  4. dculberson says:

    Chroma, I think modern gasoline has additives that make it last longer. I’ve had gas in a can for six months and it worked fine.

  5. strider_mt2k says:

    Speak for yourself.
    PERFECT fill. -ONE pull start.

    ‘sow I roll.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I never spilled gas filling things until new york mandated gas cans with no vent and a spring-loaded self-closing spout.

  7. jitrobug says:

    I love how domestic the blog has gotten since you moved to Eugene… since I live here too and once the weather gets nice, it seems so natural to start nerding out about lawn mowers and weed whackers.

    I have an electric weed whacker thing – I live on a “half sized” lot and own way too many extension cords, so I never have a problem.. the down side is that it’s just a cruddy cheap black and decker one and the spool is awfully small – so it needs to be re-wound often.

    The other thing that occurs to me is…where does all that plastic go?

  8. dculberson says:

    I have a really big yard and tried a cordless rechargeable weedwhacker. Ha! It is a toy. I bought a 2-smoke gas powered one but realized: there’s too much to enjoy in life to spend it trimming my yard. That’s also “Green!” How convenient for me.

    No way I spill 17/300 gallons of gas a year fueling my mower, though. Well, really it would be 34/100 since there’s two of us living here. That’s a tenth of a gallon. At most I get a few drops on the tank when fueling the riding mower.

    I’m done with the big yard thing, though. I’m moving to a place with a postage stamp sized yard. Still a huge garage, though, and this one is heated. :-)

  9. pork musket says:

    Funnels. They are helpful.

  10. Wordguy says:

    @#9 I think the additives, and especially ethanol, added to modern gas make it go bad sooner, and cause more gumming in your motors.

    @#8 You should add a gas stabilizer like Sta-bil to any gas you will be keeping around. The gas cans in my shed are all treated.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I think the propane tank is standard, the fueling system is proprietary…

    From TFA:

    “[...connect] to any common 16.4 oz propane canister via their proprietary Twist ‘n Go fueling system”

  12. deejayqueue says:

    @ #10 & #12 You’re right. I’ve spoken with numerous bike mechanics who since companies have started upping the ethanol content in gasoline have been inundated with service calls for fuel system cleanouts.

    The ethanol (alcohol) evaporates, leaving water and gasoline. The gas distills into varnish, which gums up the works, and the water rusts out the interior components of the fuel system, as well as the tank.

    The double whammy is that products like Sta-Bil don’t work anymore because of the higher ethanol content. The only thing to do is to go on a final ride when you know you’re putting the bike away and bring it back on vapors, then siphon out what you can and leave the bike as dry as you can get it, then put the sta-bil in with the intention of siphoning that out when the season changes again.

  13. toxonix says:

    I live too close to a gas station (a block away). I think people spill 17 million gallons a year at just this very gas station alone while filling their vehicles.
    Thats OK, most of it evaporates into your lungs!

  14. chroma says:

    Gasoline also tends to go bad when it sits around for several months (like in the winter).

  15. PaulR says:

    Mine’s electric.

    The only thing I spill is my iced tea.

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