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I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/17/2013 10:29 PM

Okay not normally a big deal (more of a rant) but every single time my wife mows with it she runs out of gas and it's pain ot to re prime the fuel pump and carburetor afterwards. That and she just leaves the lawn mower sit where ever it stalled at which is usually no where near the shop.

Anyway does anyone know of a simple sensor that would be able to read if a fuel tank had less than a inch of fuel in it but not false trigger while the fuel is sloshing around?

What I want is to have it turn on a 120 dB piezo alarm that points right at the driver and does not go of until either the fuel is topped off or the key is turned off.

Seriously. She has been mowing the yard for three summers and I figure she has ran out of gas 40 times by now.

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#1

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/17/2013 10:55 PM

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#2

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/17/2013 11:24 PM

When your wife runs out of gas and walks back to the house, that's the sign that there's no fuel to slosh around in the tank.

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#3

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/17/2013 11:29 PM

Umm, what about just refilling the mower after say every single time it is used. More a common sense solution rather than an Engineering solution.

You mow the grass, you clean the mower, you fill the fuel tank, you put the mower away.

Jack - Wait until it has cooled obviously

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#82
In reply to #3

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/19/2013 1:38 PM

Or perhaps take a chance on a new wife?

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#120
In reply to #82

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/21/2013 3:39 PM

A new mower with a fancier gas gauge is cheaper and easier to acquire and break in.

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#133
In reply to #3

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/22/2013 12:05 PM

That would defeat the purpose of having her do the mowing while tcmtech sips an iced tea on the front porch.

There is a solution for his wife, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING. CHECK THE OIL, CHECK THE GAS LEVEL AS THE YOU'RE MOWING. Although if she has run out 40 times and she still hasn't learned maybe he should start paying little "Johnny" from down the street to do the mowing.

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#4

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/18/2013 2:55 AM
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#5

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/18/2013 3:06 AM

You have a wife that will MOW your grass, and your complaining.

What type of tank is on this? I've seen caps that have a fuel indicator in them. But that was many years ago on a push mower. Works with a floating cork, which has a thin sheet steel helix blade that drives the pointer visible on the cap. Is the tank sheet steel or plastic? I would think you could get a simple pressure switch that you install into the side of the tank. But I've never looked for one that has seals that are gasoline proof.

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#6
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Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/18/2013 3:21 AM

your complaining. you're complaining?

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#9
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Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/18/2013 8:12 AM

TCMTECH, I did a search for "after market fuel gauge". I added in lawn tractor mower low fuel.

The alarm requirement is going to be tough without home grown. Pressure transducer in fuel line, and some sort of OP-AMP circuit, with analog comparator is probably not what you want, but that may be the only way to get you to a audio alarm. I'm just trying to throw dumb ideas out so one of these, triggers the "eureka" solution, in one of these "helpful" engrs here.

eBay, has minions of gas cap fuel level indicators, but none for aftermarket gas engine use with a electrical sending unit, that I could find.

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#11
In reply to #5

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/18/2013 8:40 AM

If you can use this type of cap, I have seen pressure gauges modified with an alarm by affixing a wire to the dial and another through the face. When fuel level falls it will set off the alarm.

Those type of fuel level caps tend to bounce around when jostled so it would probably beep a bit until the level dropped enough for continuous alarm.

Oh...and could you talk to my missus and get her to cut my lawn too?

Drew K

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#209
In reply to #11

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

12/31/2019 12:34 PM

Even better. When fuel gets low enough the ark at the pointer will ignite the fumes and she will notice. Unfortunately it will require replacement of mower as well as wife.

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#7

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/18/2013 3:52 AM

Most people would top-up the tank before starting it, while it is at ambient temperature for safety considerations. It seems there is a training opportunity there somewhere...

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#8

Re: I need a low fuel alarm for my wifes riding lawn mower.

07/18/2013 4:46 AM

When gas is not there every single time and wife mows is pain and fuel the problem afterwards lawn mower sit and simple sensor solve the problem.

You need power to have it turn on a 120 dB piezo alarm

solved....

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#10

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 8:35 AM

You must have a huge lawn or a small mower! I can run my 22hp tractor for 3 hrs on a tank of gas! I agree on fill up first, but it would be a neat device to set off that alarm...you could also rig a shock device to the seat!

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#12

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 8:48 AM

Dr. bigg is putting on his psychologist's hat. Bearing in mind I have never met your wife, much less interviewed her (appointments only $100/hr since I'm not licensed) . . . DO NOT install a low fuel alarm. This would be extremely antagonistic. There is more going on here than simple oversight. Your wife feels subconsciously that she is not getting recognition from you that she is doing a task that is rightfully yours (even if she may enjoy it) and/or you should be more involved in the outside maintenance of your home. Running out of gas is a way to get you up and off the couch and forcing you to recognize, even if in a negative way, what she has done and getting you involved in a small way. Installing an alarm would be like saying not only do you not recognize her efforts, but that you don't wish to be reminded that you don't appreciate her. Now, don't you feel ashamed for having this hare-brained idea?

P.S. Why don't you just fill the mower sometime between mowings? (And check the oil). Surely you don't have her mowing a lawn that takes more than one tank of gas!

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#13

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 9:04 AM
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#49
In reply to #13

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 3:22 AM

That container looks more like a beer keg - I do hope thats for refuelling the driver

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#210
In reply to #13

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

12/31/2019 12:39 PM

Easier to prime but still a hassle carrying propane tank out to mower.

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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 9:42 AM
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#15

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 10:36 AM

Okay to be more clear.

My wife has "Goldfish memory" (Once around the yard and its a whole new yard in her mind apparently) when it comes to this sort of obvious stuff and the lawn mower has a 3 gallon tank with a very obvious fuel level sight line right on the side of the tank which is very obvious to see provided you lean to the left a bit and look down and yes we have a big yard.

Typically when its done being used it's parked by the shop right next to the 3 - 4 five gallon fuel cans which I usually keep at least one full at all times.

Obviously visual reminders don't work here.

What is next is auditory reminders followed by a modified cattle prod shocker mounted in the seat but I need a way to trigger them of course!

I thought about the propane conversion being I have the parts but then again I have to fill the tank every time it runs out so there is no gain for me there either.

BTW I am writing "<--- CHECK/FILL THE GAS." on the dash of the mower in bright red paint pen today when I go out and re prime the fuel system and get it out of the ditch so I will see if that works. Still its visual so the odds are it won't work that well.

BTW we had this conversation last night and she actually asked for a alarm to remind her.

I asked her, How many times have you ran out of gas when you go and mow?

She said, Almost every time.

Then I said, Then why is it so hard to remember to check the gas before you mow?

From there things just sort of spiralled out of reality so in the end the mower needs a alarm now.

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#50
In reply to #15

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 3:42 AM

As for the alarm - is it really not possible to mount a second spark plug on the seat?

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#53
In reply to #15

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 3:50 AM

TCM,

Your wife has you trained very well and I applaud you for tending to your wonderful wife's behaviours.

This really isn't about her 'remembering' to check/fill the fuel (does she routinely run the car out of fuel?).She simply does what she enjoys (mowing) and leaves the unpleasant things for you.

If that fulfills your existance then bravo! (Though I would be inclined to service the mower in between mowing outings rather than torture myself with the burden of retrieving-refilling-repriming etc. (unless I thrived on 'martyrdom' )).

If not,maybe it's time to leave the mower where your wife leaves it.

I'm actually more concerned with her running the mower wearing flip-flops.Or was it sandels?

Sorry,but a 'practical' solution does not exist for this situation.

All the best

Jay (coming out of anon mode)

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#16

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 11:20 AM

How about this.

Your wife mows the freaking lawn <jealous> so YOU fill the tank every week before she starts!

If your lawn is so big that it cannot be mowed with one tank, it's time to get a bigger mower or have a bigger tank installed, and this time fork out the cash to get one with a remote gauge.

Adding any kind of after market level sensing system is either going to GE complicated (strain gauge on the outside of the tank) or expensive (intrinsically safe electrical or electro-mechanical sensors).

Unless the real goal is to get one of us to suggest something that will lead to your wife being incinerated on the lawn mower, then having a good alibi as to how the dangerous level indiication system came about...

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#17

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 11:55 AM

Since there is probably an interlock under the seat which allows starting etc. How about connecting an alarm/automated voice reminder to that. She sits on the mower, the alarm goes off or "tells her to check the gas", she turns the alarm off (it would need a reset timer I think), she fills it, and mows...I know, I know, she'll just shut it off, complain about the noise, start mowing and still run out...which may still happen even if you have an alarm connected to the fuel gauge!

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#18

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 11:56 AM

Not only that, what makes you think she won't just park it and walk away when the alarm goes off?

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#19

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 12:14 PM

I wrote the "CHECK/FILL GAS & OIL" on the dash in big white letters where no one can miss it.

I was going to use red but then again she might have used color blindness as an excuse for not reading it. (Believe me she would.)

As far as getting a new mower are you kidding? It took weeks to get her to drive this one and it has a hydrostatic transmission. I am into this training for three summer now and I have yet to get her to stop wearing flip flop sandals when she mows. I quit with that argument and figure that until she lops of a few toes at some point she can do it however she wants.

(And no the toes will never be found or reattached and I will call her stumpy from then on!)

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#20

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 12:15 PM

Had a similar problem... kids in lieu of wife.

I modified the fuel tank, making it along the line of a motorcycle tank. Main pickup tube was half an inch or so from the bottom of the tank.

When the fuel hit this level, she quit. Kid left the mower where it sat. I flipped the lever (hidden, so the kids would not use it), selecting the pickup tube that was on the bottom.

Fuel to get back to the garage, gas 'er up, get the kid back outside on the mower. Worked like a charm.

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#21
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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 12:36 PM

I was looking through eBay and saw small fuel primer squeeze bulbs for snowmobiles. I am thinking I will spend the $8 - $10 and get one next time I am in town. At least then getting it re primed and restarted will be easy.

Also thinking of making a rule that whomever runs the mower out of gas while the gas cans still have fuel has to drive to town and fill all of them at their own expense! By god if she has to put forth an effort and spend her own money she sure doesn't have trouble remembering things!

Over all the running out of gas itself is not such a big deal it's just the doing it once or twice a week every week all summer for three summers is what is getting old real fast. I have nieces that are 10 and 7 years old who are better about these sorts of things.

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#23
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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 12:51 PM

A wise choice.

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#22

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 12:40 PM

I think this problem is serious one. Have a reserve switch and ask her to use reserve only to move out to safer location. Bikes have this. Good luck.

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#24

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 1:28 PM
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#25
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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 1:57 PM

His wife might not take too kindly to being replaced by sheep.

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#26
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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 2:05 PM

Baaaaaaaaaad boy!

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#27
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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 2:56 PM

We had sheep on the farm many years ago. Worthless damn things and far too much effort to keep in a fence.

I will stick with using a whiney wife who can't remember anything from one day to the next.

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#28
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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 3:32 PM

We had sheep...always looking for someplace to get killed/hurt! Intelligence someplace between a chicken and a rock!

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In reply to #24

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/20/2013 2:41 PM

"Honest, officer, I was just helping the sheep over the fence"

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#29

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 8:30 PM

As I think about this more, I come to the conclusion that this is similar to the battles I have with my wife too, just over a different technology. She has to use computers, but hates them, hates everything about them, and somehow, blames me for having introduced her to them 25 years ago. It really doesn't matter how many times I show her how to find and open files, she just "doesn't remember" next time she has to. If I intervene, she gets mad at me for being a bad teacher, if I don't, she gets angry that I don't seem to care. Lose lose.

So your flaw is actually in thinking that there is any technical solution that will make a difference. There isn't. I'd venture to say that in reality, your wife does NOT want to have anything to do with the lawn, she wants to be a princess and have "people" to do that stuff for her. But she married you, and you are NEVER going to live up to her Prince Charming expectations. So by god, she is going to make you suffer... It come with the ring.

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#30
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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 8:53 PM

Actually she likes mowing the yard and I don't have to tell her to do it. She goes free will on that one. In fact she wanted to learn how in the beginning.

As far as the princes thing I made it clear before she ever moved here that I am more of a Shrek than a prince anything and I don't go for the spoiled princess type.

That said she does have the issue of only wanting to learn what she want to learn about something. It's sort of like having someone decide they want to learn to drive but will not learn to do left hand turns because they are harder than right hand turns.

Yea it makes no sense to me but thats how she works.

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#34
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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 10:34 PM

Would there be any advantage in getting an alternative wife, convenience, financial or both?

New one may be easier to train.

Stu.

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#37
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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 11:22 PM

I met her online when I wasn't really looking for anyone for a relationship. In the end it came down to her a cute filipina and a rather hot looking astronomer from S Africa.

I am thinking the filipino would have done anything I wanted and been happy to do it and the astronomer would have taught me things I never knew.

Some days I think I should have flipped the coins 3 out of 5 instead of 2 out of three.

Let this be a lesson to all of you guys. Never get a wife on eBay on a $29.95 by it now deal. There is no warranty or returns on those sales.

(I really wish there was a wiring harness or some connector to jiggle when she acts up. I always get the impression it's all just a bad connection someplace between the main processor and the hard drive. That or the power supply is going bad. It would explain the constant whining sounds.)

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#47
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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 1:05 AM

Well! Just thinking about the problem how about this:

Rig the machine so that it won't start and/ or run without the operator wearing an approved hard hat.

Rig a cord on a float down thro' the gas cap onto a float which floats on top of the gasoline.

Rig a pawl mechanism activated by low fuel pulling the cord to trip a 2oz hammer mounted just aft and above the operator's hat.

Fuel gets low and "CRASH" [you won't believe how much din even a slight blow to a hard hat makes]---the warning.

Note: Doesn't matter if the wearer/operator is hard of hearing/ listening to an ipod/texting/ making calls, or you're running the machine without a muffler, he/she WILL hear that warning.

Patent anyone?

Stu.

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#59
In reply to #37

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 8:39 AM

Wait...does she have an account here?!?!

Perhaps she would understand your thinking better if she were to read our antics

Drew K

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#100
In reply to #30

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/20/2013 11:01 AM

Add a small auxiliary tank beside or above the normal one with a turn off valve- this can be constantly kept full and just turn the lever when the normal tank runs out

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#102
In reply to #100

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/20/2013 12:27 PM

And, when that tank runs dry????????????????????????????????

We're dealing with Mensa rejects here.

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#31

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 9:30 PM

LOL...ok that just made my night...

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#33
In reply to #31

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 10:31 PM

Get a new wife

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#40
In reply to #33

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 11:54 PM

Nah - too expensive ! I'm at wife number three - with TWO 'girls' chasing me !

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#42
In reply to #40

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 12:13 AM

Maybe you should have changed religion ... that allows multiple lawn mower operators in the hope that one of them might check the fuel level now and again.

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#32

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 10:30 PM

Possible solutions:

Get another wife
Get the handyman to check the fuel level each time he/she walks past the mower
Check the fuel level yourself (and complain) after every time the mower is used
Change mower to an energy saving push model
Buy grass eating cow
Take care, one or more of the above may see you lose ownership of the lawn.
I guess loss of the wife / handyperson / lawn will solve the issue.

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#35

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 10:34 PM

My neighbor used to mow an acre of lawn with a push mower by mowing a little every day. It was his exercise program and he had the tidiest lawn on the block.

My mower holds just enough gas to do the yard it I don't let the grass get too tall. I also quit watering and let the lawn go au natural and now I don't have to mow past midsummer. I also no longer have a $200 water bill in the fall.

After my neighbor's wife stuck her foot in the power mower they got rid of it and used a push mower from that point on.

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#36

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 11:04 PM

I have a mate working on slow grow technology for trees so the annual pruning under power lines is less expensive for we ratepayers ... so if you regard grass as a form of 'nano trees', immediately rip out the pesky stuff and replace with (green painted) porous pavers decorated with plastic roses jammed in the cracks. Now when the slow grow nano trees hit the market, you can instantly offer your expanse for use as the free local demonstration lawn site on how to do it.

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#38

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 11:35 PM

What about re-filling it before she starts (or just after she finishes each time) so she has a full tank to start with?

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#39

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/18/2013 11:44 PM

Use a "liquid level gauge for fuel", McMaster #3610K41 for example. Mirror the needle in the gauge and mount a light source/photocell (or comparable laser device) about the needle where you want the alarm to sound. Liquid level goes down, mirror reflects light into photocell, alarm sounds, (wife has ear protectors on so she can't hear the alarm) persons are notified of low fuel level.

Hopefully this is a simple device to make and maintain. I haven' made one so I can not relate any history to you. Just remember- "KISS" Keep It Simple Stupid. Make sure you wire it into the ignition key or it might go off at 2am if there is any vaporization or leaks.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#41

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 12:08 AM

I have an obsolete beer keg. Make a good gas tank.

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#43
In reply to #41

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 12:15 AM

waste of a good beer keg !

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#44
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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 12:20 AM

It's an obsolete beer keg of a design no longer used. Can't sell it back to the brewery. I already tried. I have seen people use beer kegs for gas tanks on Model T Roadsters.

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#45

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 12:52 AM

Most low fuel indicators are thermister based. Uses self-heating.

https://www.spiyda.com/magento/index.php/low-fuel-warning-light-module-thermistor-sender-61.html

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#46

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 12:53 AM

Sounds like my wife she likes to now but refuses to mess with the gas can. Says its too heavy and smells funny. So a alarm is going to work just like the low gas alarm in her car doesn't affect her. .

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#48

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 2:57 AM

The sheer sexism and bad vibes from this thread are what's wrong with this forum.

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#51
In reply to #48

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 3:43 AM

Align culture with nature...sexism comes with the marriage, and guy talk. This lil' chat has been mighty tame. You ever insult any of your friends ? If not, don't you think they feel insulted ? Know anything about oedipus complex ?

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#52
In reply to #48

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 3:50 AM

Wrong?

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#63
In reply to #48

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 8:58 AM

So interjects the man with no sense of humor lacking the ability to read the tongue in cheek humor.

You are welcome...even encouraged (by me at least) to eff off if you think this forum is so wrong.

Drew K

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Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 9:26 AM
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#54

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 4:12 AM

As soon as the mowing starts, go out for a few hours.

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#55

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 7:29 AM

Boy you can tell we all like to work on projects that take a lot of thought!

I asked my wife about this. She didn't see any problem with what your wife is doing! She said, "Obviously, mowing is her job, gas is his!" She hates to put gas in her car and waits for me to drive it so I have to fill it if possible. If, on the rare occasion she gets behind the self propelled mower, she asks me to check the gas for her, AND I usually have to start it the first time.

She is NOT mechanical at all...she's the one that once pushed the self propelled mower for an hour and complained how hard it was...was amazed when I showed her she forgot to engage the power and just walk behind it!

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#56

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 7:33 AM

This is 120v but they may have a 12v version available

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#57

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 8:03 AM

I didn't read all of the other replies or suggestions, but I did catch the shocker seat and I do feel your pain. If it "don't do right" then it automatically shows up on the honey-do list. Here's some info for you though.

Finding a piezo alarm shouldn't be difficult. Get a simple low fuel sensor thermistor for a motorcycle. May need an op-amp to give the alarm maximum "operator attention getting" potential. I would retrofit a petcock from an ATV or motorcycle with "reserve" on it, just as a failsafe to keep from running from the West 40 to East Bumble in the event it does run out. Good luck! Oh, and I like the shocker seat idea too, though that probably would fast track you to the doghouse.

These links may help with the alarm and thermistor, and can be adapted for your application:

Piezo alarm datasheet: http://challengeelectronics.com/downloads/piezo_alarms/continuous_alarms/CE-CU628BS.pdf

GE thermistor datasheet: http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/172544.pdf

Thermistor above available here: http://www.newark.com/ge-measurement-control-ge-sensing/rl2004-582-97-d1/ntc-thermistor/dp/20F735?Ntt=20F735

Instructions here: http://www.st-riders.net/index.php?topic=976.msg6775#msg6775

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#58

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 8:08 AM

Hey! At least she mows the lawn. My wife couldn't even start our mower. Her parents had no sons, so as the oldest daughter, she had to mow the lawn when she was growing up and wants absolutely nothing to do with mowing ever again. (her Dad was a perfectionist so she had to re-mow many areas) I've tried to show her how to run the mower and she walks away and won't listen.

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#60

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 8:43 AM

Take the key out of the ignition until the gas tank is full.

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#61

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 8:47 AM

A manual float gauge with limit switch that activates a shock collar should do it.

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#62

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 8:57 AM

If you have a sight glass in the line just put a 12 v eye with built in time delay looking at that then run the alarm. both are easly installed but pizzo alarms may not be that loud

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#64

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 9:05 AM

When our lawn mower broke and wouldn't run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed. But, somehow I always had something else to take care of first, the shed, the boat, making beer.. Always something more important to me.

Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point. When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. I was gone only a minute, and when I came out again I handed her a toothbrush. I said, "When you finish cutting the grass, you might as well sweep the driveway."

The doctors say I will walk again, but I will always have a limp.

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#205
In reply to #64

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

01/13/2017 1:19 PM

Priceless.

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#65

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 9:08 AM

OK looks like this thread has gone full circle...outta here.

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#67

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 9:31 AM

I have enjoyed this thread immensely - the problem statement and replies, especially the dubious replies - and now I feel I must comment. A simpler alarm would notify Mrs. tcmtech that the time has come to refuel, perhaps 1½ hours in. That's probably what most of us would do ourselves. We would plan the pattern to bring us close to the shop after that time, get a beer while it cools, fuel her up and go. And I agree with everyone who says you got something good here, so keep the alarm friendly, not alarming. Maybe "Classical Gas" or a Mowtown song.

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 9:36 AM

Classical gas Mowtown... nice!

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#69

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 9:45 AM

tcmtech, if you install a simple gas tank cap with the floating cork that would work, MAYBE. If she's too lazy to lift the lawn tractor's hood to check the fuel level from time-to-time, or even fill the gas tank before cutting the lawn, then you're sunk pal. Really sunk. She has you well trained or is getting even for some reason....busting your chops perhaps?

Have you thought of RETRAINING her? There must be classes for this sort of thing...somewhere.

You'd have better luck by obtaining a trained chimp to mow the lawn, or cutting the grass yourself. I went through the very same things with the Mrs. a half dozen years ago. Nothing worked. She also had an odd habit of running over garden hoses all too many times resulting in the freaking hoses being wound tight around the blades and bearings....she was too freaking lazy to wind them up after watering the bushes and flowers!!!!

Or you can get one of these puppies and have a ball of fun cutting the lawn yourself (if the time factor is an issue):

http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1085617_honda-uk-builds-100-mph-lawn-mower-video

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#70

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 9:53 AM

O.K. Being a woman myself and being married to an engineer, I feel that I have some authority on this subject. My first suggestion would be to have your wife contact me so that I can slap her face and ask her "Why are you mowing the lawn and taking public criticism for it from a husband who can't even fill the gas tank for you????" May I suggest that you try really really hard to remember to fill the tank yourself or, better yet, mow the lawn yourself. If that doesn't work for you, you can always hire a service to do it if you are physically unable to do so. Feeling better about helping your incredibly sweet and, I strongly suspect, overworked wife yet, lol???

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#73
In reply to #70

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 10:13 AM

If the truth hurts, maybe it should!

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#74
In reply to #70

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 10:14 AM

I have some authority on this subject.

You are missing a point here Specifier...

Do you seriously think Mrs Tcmtech is excercising authority here ? Playing blonde is a strategy, not an IQ deficiency!

As a woman, do you not consider the possibility that Mr Tcmtech is undergoing training?

Been there, done that, more than once!

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#75
In reply to #74

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 10:19 AM

Ahem... should read "not excercising authority"

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#71

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 9:56 AM

My company makes a broken finger style level switch approved for volatile liquids, P/N 205 KS 120 that can be wired to a piezo device. Call me to discuss.

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#72

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 10:01 AM

You could look into one of these and both of you enjoy a cold drink while watching the dog run in fear : )

Lawn Mower

Drew K

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#76

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 11:23 AM

Personally I rather like mowing the lawn myself and don't have an issue with doing it.

The main bug for me is having someone who wants to mow it for me but doesn't want to take the full responsibility of running and maintaining the machine properly which takes at most a minute to do out of every three hours of run time. That's what bugs me.

In the past I have left the mower sit for over a week before she felt that the yard needed mowing and she filled the tank up and managed to get it running just fine herself so I know the capacity and knowledge is there to do it.

My next step in this is to fix up my old 1968 Cub Cadet 122 mower and have that waiting on standby. When her fancy hydrostatic drive 20 HP one hand steering mulching mower runs out of gas its time to fire up the old 12 Hp cast iron 3 speed strong arm steering grass storm blowing relic and finish the job.

I figure about 15 minutes with that should be enough to imprint "check the Gas more often" permanently in to her memory. Plus if it doesn't the nice part about the old Cub Cadet is the fuel tank is above the carburetor so it's self priming when it does run out of gas!

As for those whining about sexism I did state that this was more of a rant than a serious topic!

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#77

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 12:00 PM

I would think that if you put the gas into smaller cans (1 or 2 gallon) she could lift them easier and not spill gas on herself or the mower. Might even put some impermeable gloves with the cans so she won't end up smelling of it.

I wouldn't even want to pour into the smallish opening of the gas tank with a 5 gallon can.

(especially if it was one of those idiotic EPA "non-spill" spilling all over freakin' creation cans!)

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#78
In reply to #77

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 12:07 PM

My wife is more than capable of lifting and handling a 5 gallon gas can. Infact I have seen her lift 100+ pound things without difficulty (until I told her how heavy they were then suddenly she couldn't budge one.)

As far as gas on herself again not a issue. She was painting something the other day and used a rage with gas on it clean the paint off her hands.

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#81
In reply to #78

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 1:36 PM

Last time I used a rage to clean something I needed to clean up my clean up later...

...just sayin...

Drew K

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#87
In reply to #81

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 4:14 PM

I for one have never found rage to be for cleaning up anything!

Makes me feel better afterwards though.

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#79

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 1:19 PM

My wife mows with the tractor and push mower and weed eats.

I am happy to fuel, restring, sharpen blades and everything else to keep her busy.

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#80

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 1:33 PM

Try one of these ATV spare fuel tanks, A simple bracket on the mower should do it.

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#83

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 1:49 PM


25 gallon tank & trailer
for lawn mowers and ATVs.

Maybe you can adapt this↑ to your lawn mower. Enough gas for the whole season. What is your season? 4 months?

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#88
In reply to #83

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 4:26 PM

Well today I was pondering on making a gas can holder that fits behind the seat so she always has a full can with her.

I figure I can get two of those five gallon military surplus Jerry cans to fit nice and neat back there without adding any extra weight or causing any other problems.

It may be what's the most rational fix for this yet!

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#89
In reply to #88

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 5:32 PM

But you still have the priming problem. I do like the idea of the inline bulb pump. I might look for something that was a bit more rugged though.

Drew K

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#90
In reply to #89

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 6:37 PM

If it works on a snowmobile or boat it should do just fine on a lawnmower.

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#108
In reply to #90

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/20/2013 4:19 PM

True.

Drew K

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#141
In reply to #88

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/24/2013 7:15 AM

You could easily retrofit a petcock from an ATV or motorcycle with "reserve" on it, just as a failsafe to keep from running from the West 40 to East Bumble in the event it does run out. That, along with an inline bulb pump for priming, is an easy fix, relatively speaking, compared to installing a thermistor and piezo alarm, though the thermistor in the link below can be had for under $3 and a piezo for about $20.

These links may help with the alarm and thermistor idea, and can be adapted for your application, if that floats your boat:

Piezo alarm datasheet: http://challengeelectronics.com/downloads/piezo_alarms/continuous_alarms/CE-CU628BS.pdf

GE thermistor datasheet: http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/172544.pdf

Thermistor above available here: http://www.newark.com/ge-measurement-control-ge-sensing/rl2004-582-97-d1/ntc-thermistor/dp/20F735?Ntt=20F735

Instructions here: http://www.st-riders.net/index.php?topic=976.msg6775#msg6775

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#142
In reply to #141

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/24/2013 11:02 AM

Actually I have been looking at the low fuel sensor systems for motorcycles. Most of them can be bought for less than $20 and many are already designed to trigger a light so triggering a piezo alarm is not a problem as well.

As far as piezo alarms go I scrap out industrial electronics systems from time to time so I have loads of them! I have a few high output ones that can make a persons teeth itch when they go off if you are within 20 feet of them!

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#143
In reply to #142

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/24/2013 11:34 AM

That actually sounds like an excellent idea! There are several pieces of machinery that I'd love to put "idiot alert" alarms on, maybe along with a video camera to record reactions!

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#84

Re: I Need a Low Fuel Alarm for My Wifes Riding Lawn Mower

07/19/2013 2:50 PM

Here's is something, she can both carry extra fuel and eat the grass...

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