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Flooded Snowblower: Now What? 4 Tips About How To Fix It

Follow these tips to fix flooded snow blower engine:

  1. Leave the machine to sit for a couple of hours.
  2. Put the choke in the off setting.
  3. Move the throttle to the run position.
  4. Keep pulling on the starter cord until you fire up the snow blower.

Did you leave the choke on for too long when starting your snow blower? Or did you prime your engine one too many times? Maybe you forgot to close the fuel shutoff valve?

If you can’t start your snowblower after one of these scenarios, then you have probably flooded the engine. It just means that you have sent too much fresh fuel from the fuel tank to the engine, and now it can’t burn off the excess.

Luckily, you have stumbled upon the right place. I will help you get your snowblower up and running like nothing ever happened! I’ll go over each troubleshooting tip below! Let’s take a look! 

How To Fix A Flooded Snowblower

Signs Of A Flooded Snow Blower

Snowblower stuck in snow
Image credit:

There are many reasons why a snow blower won’t start after sitting. However, it is definitely not the wet snow that prevents the machine from running.

If the flood is not the cause of a stalled engine, you may have to find a new diagnosis and solutions for it

Your snowblower may have a fuel tank full of stale gas, the carburetor could be gummed up with old fuel, your fuel line may be damaged, your air filter could be dirty, or your spark plug may have cracked. 

The possibilities are vast. I dive into these related topics right here.  

So, how can you tell your snowblower is flushed with fuel straight from the tank? Here are 4 signs of a flooded engine:

Your Snowblower Won’t Start

If your snowblower is dealing with a flooding problem, it won’t start, or it will start briefly and cut out right after. But you shouldn’t jump to any conclusions just yet. Snowblowers have trouble starting for other reasons too. You first need to check for other signs of flooding listed below. 

There’s A Strong Smell Of Gasoline 

A healthy engine shouldn’t smell of petrol when operating. That’s because the fuel injectors deliver the exact amount of fuel the motor can burn. When the engine smells of gasoline, it is getting too much fuel, and some of it isn’t getting burned

It Cranks Very Fast

An engine that is flooded with fuel sounds and operates differently. When you try to start the engine, you will hear a whirring sound. Your engine may even sound healthy at first, but it will keep cranking and cranking, faster than usual. 

The Spark Plug Has Gas On It

The most obvious sign that your machine is flooded is finding gas on the tip of the spark plug. Remove the spark plug from your snow blower and carefully inspect it. If there is fuel on it, simply clean it off

You don’t need to replace the spark plug with a new one. You will need to replace it only if the porcelain is cracked or if there is too much carbon buildup on it. Having spare spark plugs, fuel lines, and a bottle of fuel stabilizer in your garage is a must when owning a snow blower. Note that you can buy quality spark plugs in bulk. 

As the last step, put your spark plug back in place. I do, however, recommend you check the gap on your spark plug with a gauge gap measuring tool before you re-install it. 

How To Fix A Flooded Engine In A Snow Blower 

Let It Sit For A Couple Of Hours

Snow blower on stand-by outdoors

If your snow blower is severely flushed, you will need to let it sit for a couple of hours before working on it. The longer you let it rest, the better. By letting it sit undisturbed, you will allow the excess fuel to evaporate from the machine on its own.

Switch To These Settings

Snow blower throttle knob
Image credit:

If your snowblower doesn’t start after sitting, you can try burning the remaining fuel with this simple method. You won’t have to use any tools, not even compressed air to blow out the cylinders. 

First, you will need to put the choke mode in the “OFF” position and move the throttle to the “Run.” If your snowblower doesn’t have a throttle, only set the choke. 

When you adjust your snowblower to these settings, you will let more air through the carburetor and into the engine. The introduction of air makes it easier for the engine to burn the excess gas.

Note: You may have to set the ignition red toggle switch to “RUN” to clear the engine. On top of that, some snow clearing machines have a safety key switch that needs to be properly inserted, as well. 

Keep Starting The Engine 

Pulling the chord to start snow blower

Once your snowblower is set, you can start pulling on the engine’s starter cord. Don’t give up on your first attempt. The key is to keep trying. You may have to pull hard to get any sign of life from the engine. Keep pulling until the engine ignites and starts running smoothly. 

If you have an electric start engine, you won’t have to do as much work. All you need to do is plug one end of the 3-wire extension cord into the wall outlet and the other into the electric start adapter on your snowblower. Press the red start button in short cycles until the engine ignites. 

Here is a complete tutorial on how to unflood any small machine, including a snowblower, lawnmower, or chainsaw:


How long to wait after snowblower is flooded?

How long to wait after snowblower is flooded depends on how much gas leaked into the engine. If your motor is severely affected, wait for a couple of hours for the gas to evaporate. You can repair your car engine the same way by leaving the hood open.

How do I know if my snowblower is flooded?

You know your snowblower is flooded if you notice gas on the spark plug tip. This is a telltale sign of a flood. Your snowblower will also have a strong smell of fresh fuel and make a whirring sound when you try to start it.

What does a flooded engine sound like?

A flooded engine sounds like it is whirring or zinging. The starter motor will produce a distinct high-pitched sound that will remind you of a whine. At first, the engine may sound healthy, but it will keep turning. The engine will crank faster than usual.

How long to wait if engine is flooded?

Wait for a couple of hours if engine is flooded. Trouble starting your car or snow blower engine will be easier if you let the fuel evaporate first. Leave your engine to sit for as long as you can before turning the ignition key over and over again.

Repair Your Snow Blower At Home 

I told you! Fixing your snow blower isn’t difficult at all. Finally, you no longer have to seek services from your local repair shop. You can drain the flood from your snowblower at home without any tools.

All you have to do is:

  1. Let the snow blower sit for a couple of hours.
  2. Turn choke to off.
  3. Fully open the throttle.
  4. Pull the starter cord (for recoil start engines). 
  5. Press the red button (for electric start engines).

These troubleshooting tips will save you money on repairs! You will only need to spend money on new spark plugs from now on.

Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below, and feel free to ask any questions. 

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