|After an eruption, Sawmill drains, leading many first-time visitors who see the empty crater, to believe that the geyser is dead.
Prior to an eruption, Sawmill, along with the other features in the complex,begin to slowly fill. At this time, Tardy and Spasmodic often start to erupt. preceding Sawmill. As the water rises, a battle often takes place between Penta and Sawmill. Whichever erupts first dooms the other, causing the other to drain without erupting.
Just prior to the eruption, Sawmill will be near or just at overflow. At this time, bubbles start rising in the pool. At first the bubble collapse before they reach the surface but eventually they reach the surface, at which point the eruption is usually near.
After an eruption of Sawmill drains and all of the other features in the complex drop from a few inches to many feet. In general, the longer the eruption the deeper the drain. A long eruption of Sawmill causes a "deep drain" which often accompanies rare behavior in some of the other members of the complex.