How to start a flooded chainsaw

Monday, December 17, 2018
how to start a flooded chainsaw

One of my youngest memories is being with a father in an orchard somewhere cutting firewood.

When we were done, the car, stacked up with firewood wouldn't start. 

We had to wait for what felt like forever for my mum to turn up to take me home while Dad tended to the car. 

And what does that have to do with starting flooded chainsaw engines? 

Nothing, except to say my dad was pretty handy with a chainsaw. He had a green Poulan and as a kid it just seemed the coolest thing in the world. 

Anyways, enough of this chit chat here are some:

Tips on starting a flooded chainsaw


Before we get into it, make sure you have fresh petrol in your engine. 

If you've got an old mixture of oil and gas that's older than a month, it will be harder for your engine to start. We suggest you drain and add fresh petrol to ensure a good start. 

If you have tried several times unsuccessfully to start your unit, it is most likely flooded, especially so if you can smell gas. 

Flooded means there is excessive fuel pumped into the engine which as displaced the vital ingredient of oxygen for starting. 

Do not prime the engine again as you will add to the problem!

There are two ways you can try to clear the unit of the excess fuel and get it chopping wood.

The first is the easiest and most common method.  Let yoru chainsaw sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the fuel to evaporate from the engine and then to repeat the starting instructions. Maybe go make a cup of tea while you wait. 

This method will work best with a mildly flooded engine. 

The more hands-on method:
  • Have the chain break on
  • Turn the choke off
  • Activate the fast idle (by engaging the throttle lock/trigger assembly or pulling the choke out and pushing it back in
  • Turn the on/off switch on
  • Hold the saw firmly on the ground as you do during normal starting, and pull the starter rope sharply until the saw starts. Do not to pull the starter rope out to its full length. Employe short, brisk pulls when you do this
If the engine does not start in 15 pulls then the spark plug may be 'wet fouled'. If you suspect this has occurred, remove the spark plug and look for moist wet deposits on the electrode. 

While the plug is out, here's a chance to remove any fuel in the engine via the spark plug hole. 

Here's a great video tutorial on starting your saw:

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