Found a nice little article about ethanol in small engines and how the water seperates out if gas sits for a while which is what probably happened to me.
" 'I wish they'd give us our old gas back.”
That's the consensus from local small-motor mechanics, including John Ferullo, owner of Advanced Power Equipment
in East Lyme, who have been seeing a major influx in business over the past few years, ever since the state started mandating ethanol in the gasoline sold in Connecticut.
Ethanol, often made from corn sugars, is a colorless alcohol fuel that, by law, makes up 10 percent of the product dispensed at Connecticut gasoline pumps.
Ethanol makes a mess of small motors, such as the lawn mowers, snow blowers, trimmers, chain saws and leaf blowers that Ferullo's shop services.
”It's driving us crazy,” said Ferullo. “Now it's to the point that seven to eight machines out of 10 that we service
have fuel issues.”
Ethanol messes with smaller engines because of its tendency to attract moisture over time, local mechanics said. The result is that carburetors get clogged with a crusty film that must be cleaned out if gas is left in the machine too long - and, in some cases, the carburetor must be replaced entirely.
”The fuel goes stale quickly,” Ferullo said. “It turns into a kind of shellac in the carburetor.”
If left over a long period, gasoline, oil and ethanol will start separating from one another in the gas tank and the whole carburetor body of a smaller motor
will start corroding, mechanics said. With oil sinking to the bottom, the engine may not get proper lubrication, he said.
In the past, letting gas sit in a machine with a small motor
wasn't a problem, but now homeowners are looking at a big repair bill - about $100 for lawnmowers -
on motorcycle engines with carburetor problems run $150 to $200."