Watch: How to Un-Flood a Chainsaw Without Tools


Watch: How to Un-Flood a Chainsaw Without Tools

Flooded carbs are one of the most aggravating things about small 2-stroke engines, and are perhaps the most common ailment they have. And when you are yanking a starter rope over and over in the sweaty summer sun, not knowing whether to choke or not to choke, your blood pressure can spike like nobody’s business.

The first step is identifying the problem, and if you have been pulling that rope for a while with no results and you have good spark, the carb is probably flooded. The typical cure for this is to remove the spark plug and yank the rope several times to blow the excess fuel mix out of the combustion chamber. But what if you left the spark plug tool at home or in the truck and you’re out in the boonies? Well, you can either do what I’ve done in the past (become irate and fling your saw as hard as you possibly can), or follow this guy’s directions.

I can guarantee that this guy’s method is safer for your saw, your wallet, and possibly your blood pressure.

What he does is keep the choke off, hold the throttle wide open, and pull like a madman until it finally starts up. This saw took almost 40 yanks to crank, but it was extra-flooded because he’d poured fuel directly into the spark plug hole to flood it.

If this method doesn’t work, find a tool and try the usual method. If that doesn’t work (I currently have a hedge trimmer that stays flooded no matter what) you have a carburetor problem that will have to be fixed.

Small engines can be frustrating, but once you know what to look for and how to deal with the symptoms, things become a lot less infuriating.

Here’s the video. You’re welcome.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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