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  1. #1
    Silver Member jobguy's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    235
    Location
    MN
    Tractor
    Bobcat CT120

    Default Lawnmower on fire as I finished up mowing.

    I shut down the self-propelled walk-behind mower and headed for the shed. Noticed a whiff of smoke from just above the muffler soon more smoke,,, more smoke and so on. I keep 3 fire extinguishers just inside my garage door,, by now flames about 4 inches tall. Put it out with a couple puffs from the fire extinguisher. The cause was dry dusty chaff/grass clippings.
    Recommendations:
    Blow old dry grass clippings out from under the cowling covering the engine once in awhile.
    Keep fire extinguishers at a couple different locations around the place.
    I had to run 200 feet to the nearest extinguisher.
    Now I have an extinguisher on the tractor (fits perfectly in the round document holder that came with the tractor) just behind the tractor seat (Bobcat CT 120).
    So now I have an Extinguisher in the House, Garage, Boat and the Tractor.
    Thinking of getting more if I see a spot that needs one.

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    5,847
    Location
    SF Bay Area-Ca Olympia WA Salzburg Austria
    Tractor
    Cat D3, Deere 110 TLB, Kubota BX23, Craftsman Mower

    Default Re: Lawnmower on fire as I finished up mowing.

    Another reason... don't ask me how I know.

    Some of the reformulated fuels are murder on rubber fuel system components.

    My little Craftsman caught fire and was being fed from the fuel tank when the rubber supply line leaked.

    Mentioned it to my mower shop friend and he said the new fuels have been great for business... lots of carb rebuilds and new equipment sold because of it here in California.

  3. #3
    Super Member JDgreen227's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    7,269
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Tractor
    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Re: Lawnmower on fire as I finished up mowing.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, there was a thread recently here about having a fire extinguisher on your tractor and the discussion also included having one in your home, car, outbuildings, etc. Whenever I am done with a push mower for the day I leave it outside and blow off any chaff before putting it indoors and let it cool down while outside. Maybe ten years ago I was running a front-drive self propelled push mower and it had such a clipping build up under the shield for the drive belt it was actually smoking from the belt frictioning the clippings. It is a PIB to clean the chaff out from the belt shield but I do it often now.
    Never be ashamed of making a mistake. The only people who never (bleep) up are people who never try to do something new.

    "I have never learned from a man who agreed with me." Attributed to Robert A. Heinlein

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,240
    Tractor
    CNH 4020

    Default Re: Lawnmower on fire as I finished up mowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by jobguy View Post
    I shut down the self-propelled walk-behind mower and headed for the shed. Noticed a whiff of smoke from just above the muffler soon more smoke,,, more smoke and so on. I keep 3 fire extinguishers just inside my garage door,, by now flames about 4 inches tall. Put it out with a couple puffs from the fire extinguisher. The cause was dry dusty chaff/grass clippings.
    Recommendations:
    Blow old dry grass clippings out from under the cowling covering the engine once in awhile.
    Keep fire extinguishers at a couple different locations around the place.
    I had to run 200 feet to the nearest extinguisher.
    Now I have an extinguisher on the tractor (fits perfectly in the round document holder that came with the tractor) just behind the tractor seat (Bobcat CT 120).
    So now I have an Extinguisher in the House, Garage, Boat and the Tractor.
    Thinking of getting more if I see a spot that needs one.
    A lot of the floats don't shut off the fuel well either. A little plastic, inline fuel shutoff valve as close to the tank as possible is also a good idea. Shut off the fuel by turning the knob to kill the engine before putting it away.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member NHmitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    924
    Location
    SW New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Bolens G154/IsekiTX1300F

    Default Re: Lawnmower on fire as I finished up mowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ultrarunner View Post
    Another reason... don't ask me how I know.

    Some of the reformulated fuels are murder on rubber fuel system components.

    My little Craftsman caught fire and was being fed from the fuel tank when the rubber supply line leaked.

    Mentioned it to my mower shop friend and he said the new fuels have been great for business... lots of carb rebuilds and new equipment sold because of it here in California.
    Its the ethanol in the fuel, it reeks havoc on the small engines, and gums ups your carb. You should really use a good gas treatment. We use this type:

    It works great, and we had it highly recommended over Stabil, and a few others that I was using, after we had to have our snow blower, and chain saw carbs rebuilt.

    The link:

    Lubricants
    Mitch

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Dec 2007
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    2,493
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Tractor
    Ford 3930

    Default Re: Lawnmower on fire as I finished up mowing.

    Good reminder for all of us.

    I usually leave my push mower out of the shed to cool off for a while as a general practice. This thread is another reminder to keep doing just that, as well as the maintenance described.

    Being in the People's Republic of California, UR may not have a choice, but for all my small motor stuff I buy premium as I can still get it without alcohol.

    A smart, or even mediocre lawyer could pretty easily put together a class action suit, as there is a significant safety hazard directly created my our gubmints forcing the addition of alcohol to gasoline.

    But, that would be holding gubmint accountable.

    Only in a perfect world..... D.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member phiferpharm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    812
    Location
    Fort McCoy, Florida
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45se HST - Rhino 660 4X4 - Snapper Pro ZTR - Craftsmen mower

    Default Re: Lawnmower on fire as I finished up mowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ultrarunner View Post
    Another reason... don't ask me how I know.

    Some of the reformulated fuels are murder on rubber fuel system components.

    My little Craftsman caught fire and was being fed from the fuel tank when the rubber supply line leaked.

    Mentioned it to my mower shop friend and he said the new fuels have been great for business... lots of carb rebuilds and new equipment sold because of it here in California.
    +1 on the Ethanol. Two weed wackers, Chain Saw,and push mower. All had to have new hoses and carbs cleaned. I am using an additive now and put up extinguishers everywhere. Also pointed them out to folks who are around here with any frequency.
    Doug P

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    14,431
    Location
    Yanceyville, North Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota L4400

    Default Re: Lawnmower on fire as I finished up mowing.

    Thanks for posting. I use my hand blower to clean off my riding mower each and every time that I use it. It amazes me just how much grass clippings accumulate, especially when mowing early in the morning when dew is on the ground. I have an extinguisher on my riding mower, my tractor, one in each of my two sheds, two in my shop, and three in our home. Overkill? I don't regard these measures as being too cautious. Just attempting to be prepared as best as I can.
    The PUPIL who does not surpass his Master, fails his Master.

  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    258
    Location
    Clinton Hollow NY

    Default Re: Lawnmower on fire as I finished up mowing.

    One can also buy canned ethanol free gasoline from the major big box stores, at least some of them, or buy via mail order.

    The canned gas is pretty expensive, but I keep a can around mostly for the shelf life since I don't use much gas. If I buy a gallon half of it is wasted each year (diesel on the other hand is another story altogether).
    TN70a EHSS 16x16, FWD, road transmission, open station with tilt, R4 w/810TL MSL FEL soft ride option, FOPS
    MF1040 w/MF1016 FEL, FWD, R1s, frozen clutch...
    I do know everything, just not all at once. It's a virtual memory problem.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    172
    Location
    west central IL
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520

    Default

    I'm bad about cleaning off the deck on my 855. i've had it on fire twice while mowing in the 12 years I had it. I know they want you to leave the safety shields on the deck but they just pack full of dry grass.

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