Gascolator drain

Has anyone figured how to drain fuel from the gascolator without lying on your back to find it?

Try approaching it from the front, i.e. squat alongside the cowl towards the nose, facing back, and reach under. I find that way easier than trying to get at it from further back, facing the front. The SR20 exhaust pipes get in the way. Don’t know about the '22.

Post deleted by Bill_Dobson

Turn the plane over.:slight_smile:

I use a modification of the technique described by Bill Dobson. Rather than putting my left knee on the floor, I put my right knee down. This seems to make it easier to lean over to the right, toward the gascolator, and place the cup in the appropriate place. I estimate my sight line angle at about 20 degrees below horizontal if I tip my head over slightly and look up at the gascolator. I can’t estimate what the angle would be for a -20 because all of my experience with this procedure relates to the -22, and the -22 sits up a little higher.
I thought about trying the method suggested earlier that involved flipping the plane over. However, the day I was going to try it, the guy in the hangar next to me explained how the gascolator would then be at the top of the tank and that I would be sampling air.
Hope this helps.

Anyone ever try getting a flat mirror (say one foot square), put it on the ground behind the nose wheel and move it around until you see the drain. Haven’t tried this but it ought to work.

Yes, this is how I am able to reach the gascolator drain too (squatting from the front.) The only downside is that my entire body is sitting right there in the prop arc while I drain the gascolator.

Not too big a deal, but it does make me a little nervous, even though I know there’s no way the engine could come to life (especially cold, which is when you most often are draining the fuel)


On the subject of draining fuel…

Once, when I out on the ramp early one morning, draining fuel from a Cessna in substantially sub-freezing temps, a line-guy asked me what I thought I might see… certainly not water! He told me that he had seen an instance of the drain valve sticking open because of a tiny ice crystal lodging in the works, and suggested that “draining fuel in these temps is more likely to cause a problem than prevent one.”

Does anyone have any data or experience to support/refute this?


PS - I get to the gascolator drain the same way Steve and Clyde do.

Boy, Cirrus must have our planes operating well when we have nothing more to talk about than 10 threads on the subject of the most efficient body positioning for draining the gascolator. Way to go. What’s next, whether to use the shoulder or forearm to hold the baggage door while turning the key?

I kneel on left knee on the pilot’s side of the cowl, facing forward at the firewall. I hold the sampler cup in my right hand, left hand on the ground for balance; look over my right arm right in front of the transponder antenna to line up the plunger, and voila! plunger on valve, gas in cup. Job done.
Few people relaize that Cirrus makes available a gascolator drain simulator. For details, click here.
Seriously, we haven’t had any problem on our SR20. Besides, you should humble yourself occasionally in the presence of your airplane.


Usually I just taxi over to the Quick Lube place and use their pit!! No squatting needed. Also works great to get the stains off the belly!! No creeper needed!!

Post deleted by Bill_Dobson


Very good. Now just stretch out your right hand… keep it steady… [;)]

  • M.

What’s next, whether to use the shoulder or forearm to hold the baggage door while turning the key?

I take it that my plan to squawk the difficulty opening the baggage door is a waste of time.

from failed HSI’s, vac pumps, shimmy’s, vibrations, etc…now assumming ‘the position’ for the gascolater is prime discussion…wow!