Using starter fluid

I've got an old leaf blower with a fair amount of use on it. It always started easily until recently, but now will not start without a squirt of starter fluid. Without the fluid, no amount of pulling the rope will produce even a cough from it, but with a small squirt of starter fluid it will start on the first pull and run fine. What would cause this? My first thought was carb or compression, but it runs fine once it starts. The fuel is from the same container I use for my other 2 cycle engines and they all start fine.
KC
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The gaskets in the carburetor have dried out. Get a rebuilding kit.

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[Top-posting fixed]
Stubby said:

If that were the case, it wouldn't "run fine" after starting, now would, it?
Unsubscribe, dumbass. You're as clooless as you've ever been.
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When running, the throttle is controlled by the airflow hitting a control vane. So when initially started there is no airflow and the throttle is held wide open. Then it gets cut back to what should be the normal running setting. But as the carb ages and dries out, the mechanism doesn't work well won't support normal operation. A rebuilding kit contains new gaskets and acceleration pump.

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Thanks Eggs. Makes sense, but why would starter fluid not stick to the walls also? It seems that when starter fluid is used the warmup time is greatly reduced. Is that because it burns hotter?

No leaks.

Compression was my first thought but then I talked myself out of it because it runs good after it starts. But then again I can't tell the difference between 150mph air from a new unit and 120mph air from a worn unit, can I.

I tend to keep things until they just get to be too much trouble to fix. Since this one runs ok after it starts, its not quite time to dump it. Just a PITA to remember where I left the can of starter fluid after I used it last.
KC
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KC said:

Some does, but since it's much more flammable than gasoline, once any ignition source is applied... *boom*.

Yep. Much hotter.

Starting fluid, used in emergency situations is fine. Used all the time, is not good, and can do damage to the cylinders, that will eventually wear the parts quicker (resulting in even lower compression).

Maybe take it to a local small engine repair shop and have them give it a once-over. I keep stuff a long time too, but you just reach a point. Ya know?
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indeed. worked in a lab once where somebody had the bright idea to put an open can of ether (i.e. starting fluid) in the fridge, so it wouldn't all evaporate before tomorrow. middle of the night when the thermostat cycled on with a little bitty spark, it blew the door off the fridge.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Same Stub magic.
Hello Eggs, is spring ever going to arrive in N Ohio? Sheesh!!
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Steve said:

I wish, man. We got serious flooding going on here. Intestate 44 will most likely be shut down in both directions in a couple hours. It's already closed in one direction, near Rolla, Mo (they got >12"). My backyard looked like a lake for the past week. 5 1/2" of rain in two days can wreak havoc on a lawn, heh.
It's almost time to pre-emerge (they did that at work last week, tho I told em it was probably too early. The rain washed a lot (maybe most) of it into the bunkers. LOL). I'd like to get that out of the way, but it will probably be a waste. The city is supposed to put in a new 24" stormwater pipe right along the edge of my property line, and a nice berm across the back. No complaints though. If it'll fix the stormwater issues I've experienced for the past few years, I can deal with a few more weeds than usual. =)
On a happier, more spring-like note, I got all my onion [1] transplants and lettuce seeds sown, yesterday. =) I would have put some peas in the ground, but I think one of the raised beds will have to be pulled up until the construction is finished (sometime in April). So, this year the only spring crop from my garden will be lettuce. Oh, well. Maybe I'll have a bumper crop of something else this summer to take my mind off the fact I won't have fresh peas.
[1]. I always plant yellow, red, and white onions. This year, the cultivar for the red ones I chose was: Red Zeppelin. =D
You been hibernating? Haven't seen you post in a while. And, why the nymshift?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Big leap from steveo to steve eh? That's my name, Steven Parks.
Egg fart smell emulates.
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Steve said:

Nope, no big leap. =) I updated my scorefile the first time I saw and identified the change. Just never asked yet. =)

That'll be tomorrow (and how!). =)
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You are a liar, that is not your name. Did she get the clippers yet?
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KC wrote:

It is possible that the seals on the crankcase or the cylinder gaskets are beginning to fail. A lack of good seal will reduce the vacuum available to operate the carb. By injecting fuel (starting fluid) you are manually priming the cylinder. But starting fluid contains no lubrication, causing accelerated cylinder and ring wear, reducing vacuum even further. If you must prime the engine with additional (spray) fuel, use WD-40, as the oil in it will provide SOME lubrication, and it is very flammable.
The other possibility is the carburetor is dirty and the gaskets are drying out. Regardless of what some others here have said, dried gaskets in the carb limit the availability of fuel during all phases of operation. Proper fuel availability is critical during starting, as the cold engine requires more fuel to sustain operation. A stiff diaphragm may move far enough to pump and meter sufficient fuel to run a hot engine, but not enough to make that cold engine start. And the primers on most new diaphragm carburetors only "prime" the carburetor itself with fresh fuel.
Also, the engine may seem to run fine after you get it started, but most two strokes will run very well even when they are running damagingly lean. So although it seems to run well, it may be doing even more damage. If this is a profession grade blower, get it service soon. Otherwise, dump it and get a new one, as the cost of a good carb repair will be as much as a new consumer grade blower.
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