So, being the genius that I am, I went back inside my house and grabbed a plastic disposable cup out of the cupboard. I looked on the bottom of the cup and saw the number 6. Even though I graduated from CPS University over a year ago, I could not remember for the life of me what type of plastic 6 was. I went out and started pumping the gasoline/water mixture into the cup. At first this was working. But after a little bit of pumping I noticed the cup started “sweating” out the gasoline and soon started to melt the plastic. At that point, I realized number 6 was also polystyrene. The picture below is the result of that cup:
So after two failed attempts, my wife suggested that I go to the recycling bin and dig out an old milk jug. I verified that the bottle was not polystyrene, but instead HDPE. I went back to the lawn mower and continued to pump out the gasoline/water mixture. HDPE worked. Here’s that picture:
So to conclude this story, I put in new gasoline, and the lawnmower did NOT work; it’s in the small engine repair shop right now. I learned three valuable lessons from this experience.
- I need to understand what the different types of plastics are capable of.
- The fuel line to the engine is easily accessible on a lawnmower and I didn't need to use the sprayer.
- Never let your 3-year-old get near your lawnmower with a hose.
Feel free to share this story with anyone and laugh at me for my inability to recognize the different types of plastic, because my wife sure did.
Take a note from Matt’s example and be prepared. Here’s a plastic comparison chart that can be used as a guideline, but as Matt explained, sometimes it’s a case of trial and error. Keep a few plastic bottles, plastic jars and sprayers on hand. You never know when they might come in handy. Well, that and try to keep your kids away from the lawn mower.