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Servicing the fuel tank

What is the proper procedure for servicing the fuel tank?

Fuel tanks are designed to keep your engine's fuel clean, vented and secure. If you spot debris in the tank or leaking gasoline, it's time for fuel tank maintenance. Never attempt to repair a damaged tank. It poses a risk of leakage, fire or fuel contamination. If you're replacing a fuel tank, use only parts recommended by the engine manufacturer. These parts will attach securely to your engine in the space provided.

Many fuel tanks are designed to use a vented fuel cap to prevent a vacuum from forming in the fuel line. If fuel is leaking from the cap, a properly fitted replacement cap can solve the problem.

Your tank may also contain a fuel filter (see "Servicing the Fuel Filter"). Check it occasionally for debris.

Inside The Fuel Tank

Fuel tanks must be constructed of a noncorrosive material or coated with a corrosion-resistant layer to protect against the damaging effects of water, alcohol and salt. If the tank is designed to deliver fuel through a fuel line, a convex fuel filter may be located at the base of the tank, where fuel from the tank enters the fuel line. A filter can also be located outside the tank, midway along the fuel line.

If your tank must sustain excessive vibrations, you can install a labyrinth-equipped tank on some models. The labyrinth, available from your Authorized Dealer, contains a set of baffles and/or a foam insert to reduce the sloshing and vaporization of fuel.

Removing And Cleaning The Tank

  1. Remove the spark plug lead and secure it away from the plug.

  2. Use a fuel line clamp or other smooth-faced clamp to seal the fuel line where it attaches to the carburetor. Then, disconnect the line from the carburetor, hold the line over a bucket or fuel can and release the clamp (image A). Dispose of all fuel in a safe manner.

  3. Check with a flashlight for debris and beads of light that indicate holes or cracks. Use a baster to remove loose debris (image B). If you find damage, replace the tank with originalmanufacturer's equipment.

  4. Inspect the fuel filter (see "Servicing the Fuel Filter") for debris or deposits.

  5. Reattach the fuel tank or install a new tank, fastening it firmly with the cap screws. This is a good opportunity to replace the fuel line and filter, using original manufacturer's equipment.

NOTE: Please read and abide by any applicable Safety Information (PDF) before performing any engine work. This information is not meant to take the place of work performed by a Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealer. Terms and Conditions apply to all of our information provided on this website. Always be sure to read and understand your engine Operator's Manual. 

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