The Return of the Flaming Mower

It's been a long time.  Last year, or last mowing season, I had the misfortune of blowing up my mower.  Well I nearly blew up my mower. It was close, very close.  While mowing one fine spring day last May the blades ran over a nylon cord and got caught.  I did what any responsible power tool user does in this situation, I pulled the spark plug and removed the nylon cord from underneath the mower deck. Mission accomplished!  I turned the mower back on it's wheels and pulled the cord then"how do I get to a phone to call the fire department?"...panic...hose...water... prayer....whew!

Gas leaked out of the vent holes of the gas cap and I didn't put the spark plug back in place.  This caused an arc that must have rivaled one of Zeus's lightning bolts, OK not really but the electrical arc caused the fumes to ignite which caused the mower to light and gave me a fright! The mower caught on fire and all I could think of was putting out the fire so I grabbed the water hose and sprayed. I managed to get it out in a few minutes.  Just a word of advice, if you ever need turn your mower over unscrew the gas cap and place a piece of plastic over the gas tank opening and replace the cap.  That should keep the mower from losing gas.  Additionally check the mower deck for any spills and let them completely dry before starting.  Lastly replace that spark plug cap!

I took my mower to a repair shop and picked it up last Friday.  Tonight was it's first run since the repair and it worked great!  Repairs are much cheaper than buying a new mower and I really like having the bagger attachment. Bagger's on mowers are useful to collect those grass clippings. Most of the time I mulch the grass into the yard to rejuvenate the soil with organic matter.  That's one reason why regular mowing is important.  With the bagger attachment I can take the clippings and spread them out to dry over new garden bed areas. Anywhere I want to add organic matter will receive clippings. Some of the clippings find their way into the compost bin to add green matter and massive amounts of compostable organic material.  The mower also makes it simple to collect leaves for composting. Just running over leaves with the mower for a short time gathers a bunch of great compostable material.

Keep in mind that a mower is a power tool and things can go wrong. The repairman said after the repairs were done that "I don't know how you kept the fire away from the gas tank!" I was lucky, the carburator wasn't, but I think I like it that way best!