confessions of a small engine hitman

only have two gas powered tools and apparently i do not follow best practices when i expect not to use them for 3 months or so
do you empty the gas out or just shut off the gas from the tank to the carb
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On Friday, March 17, 2017 at 7:17:02 PM UTC-4, Electric Comet wrote:

Always put Stabil in all my small engine fuel. Store tool in garage for the winter, engines usually start with reasonable effort in the spring. Other than my 40 year old Dolmar chainsaw...it always gives me fits...
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On 3/17/2017 7:54 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Same here. Snowblower with year old gas started on first pull.
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I use fuel stabilizer - year round. on sale = ~ $ 15 per year. .. a few little 6 ounce containers will go a long way. My 2 lawn mowers < 20 hp rider and 4 hp push > always start well in the springtime after ~ 6 months <southern Canada> I have never drained the gas ; I sometimes run the 4 hp B&S out of gas at the end of autumn - not the rider.. The portable generator - 10 hp Honda - emergency use only - I always test run it at 3 - 4 month intervals - I left it for 6 months once and it didn't like it. I have drained the tank ~ twice in 17 years - bought it used in 1999 - can't say it matters. When test running it, I will run it for 15 - 20 minutes and put some load on it - and usually turn off the gas valve & let it run the carb dry, before storage. This is just my experience. Tiny fussy engines - like weed whackers or chainsaws always seem to give more trouble - I don't own either. The times that I've helped-out with firewood - the chainsaw guy is either really good or really bad with starting their chainsaw. My theory is that the really bad guys are flooding it. John T.
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On Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:12:07 -0400 snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

not sure what stabilizer is or does i have some fuel treatment for next time

need to add a valve and do this as i think this is the most sure fire way

yeah the two stroke is next now that the four stroke is running
combustion engines seem archaic compared to electric but you cannot beat the power and portability and operation time
but they are loud
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I think it's extremely dependent on where you live. My grandpa never drained fuel, I never do, a buddy of mine doesn't, and the tools seem to run fine after sitting for a few months.
In some cases, where the machine has been sitting longer I've had to inject fuel directly into the cylinder through the spark plug hole and try to get it to fire. Once it does, it usually starts pulling fuel through the system and runs fine. Sometimes it takes a second squirt of fuel.
In other areas, I've heard claims that when they let the machine sit for a month the fuel's already gone bad.
Puckdropper
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On 18 Mar 2017 02:24:19 GMT, Puckdropper

The instructions for my tractor specifically said not to drain the gas. It dries out the rubber bits. They did recommend a stabilizer, which I don't bother with.

i have used a shot of ether in the air cleaner. Also, I fill the tank with new gas. One year my snow blower didn't want to run until the old gas ran out but that's the worst I've had.

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snipped-for-privacy@notreal.com wrote in

*trim*
Oh yeah, stabilizer... I don't use it. Stabilizer seems to be one of those "doesn't hurt" products that some areas actually need but others are just wasting money on.
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On 18 Mar 2017 06:27:29 GMT, Puckdropper

I've done the same in VT, AL, and GT, so that covers a lot of areas. I think the problem is the gas not spoiling but drying out and leaving gunk in the carb. Water won't help but fresh gas and perhaps some cranking should clear water or "bad" gas.
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On 3/18/2017 2:27 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

Agreed, although not sure what areas you need stabilizer? I live in Pgh Pa where the weather ranges from 20 below to over 100, so the climate seems to be a non-issue.
Over the past 60+ years my brother an I have owned over 16 gas powered machines. Most of them we still have and use, none of them have we ever used stabilizer or drained the gas. Never had a problem.
My brother, who at one time was a chemical engineer for Gulf Research, said oil companies put additives in gas that keep it good for long periods of time. Gas turning to varnish is probably something that you needed to wring your hands over pre-1950-60's. I don't think they had stabilizer then, when it was needed.
I will add that a friend of my brother gave him an old snow blower that didn't run. There was no gas in it and the carburetor was all gummed up. Turns out the guy USED stabilizer in it, let the gas dry up and the stabilizer turned into gum. The main thing I guess is don't let the gas evaporate if you use stabilizer.
The other issue I never worry about is keep the tank full, otherwise water vapor will condense and you get water in your gas. Never worried about that either, and never had a problem.
Oh, our 1954 and 1956 Gravely Tractors and my 1975 Sears chainsaw can be hard to start, have been that way since birth. A squirt of ether cures that. Older equipment has inferior electrical systems and can be hard to start. Newer stuff seems to fire up first pull. My lawnmower, which I rarely use, has 2 year old gas in it, and it starts first pull every time.
Of course, my 60+ years of first hand experience shouldn't stop anyone from wringing their hands and buying the hype, but since EC asked, I shared...
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On 3/19/2017 9:21 AM, Jack wrote:

You do not need gas stabilizer,,,,until you do. Bigger cities that have pollution problems tend to use fuels that seem more prone to go bad.
My 30 year old Honda never needed special stabilized gas,,,, until it did, starting about 6~7 years ago. Still runs like a top with a single pull to get it started after using gas stabilizers.
Just because you have not had gas issues does not dictate what other regions of the country experience.
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Now that you mention bigger cities, I wonder if their special blends (AKA wallet lining) of pollution control fuels introduce additives that need stabilizer.
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On 3/19/2017 2:03 PM, Puckdropper wrote:

No doubt at all. Houston has a winter and "special" summer formula.
All I know is that for years I did not have to use stabilizer additives for 2 cycle or 4 cycle gas. And in the last 10 or so years I do have to use the stabilizer if I buy more than a seasons worth of gas.
My dad bought a new Honda lawn mower about 12 years ago, it replaced his other 12 year old Honda. The new one passes California emissions but is sold in all states. He immediately had problems with the new one and even had to have the carb replaced within the first year. He had to start using additives in his new mower.
It seems, the newer the equipment, the more Californicated they are and less tolerant of less then fresh fuel.
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On 3/19/2017 1:00 PM, Leon wrote:

60 years of not needing stabilizer seems somewhat significant.
Bigger cities that have

I live in Pgh. Pa., actually Allegheny County. It is not well known for it's pollution free environment, particularly when steel mills lived here. Also not particularly small, with population of over a million it's considered large.

Our 61 year old Gravely never needed special stabilized gas, and still doesn't. Perhaps Texas is selling inferior gas to the rest of the country?
Still runs like a top with a single

All our equipment runs like a top, some of it for over 60 years. None of it is Honda though, perhaps Honda has a defect that requires brand new inferior Texas gas?

True enough. Just wondering what those other experiences are? Pgh weather is all over the place, from hot and humid to cold and dry? I guess northern Alaska or the desert might get significantly extreme weather that could effect things, but most weather experienced in the US also occurs in Pgh. I think more likely it is the Texas gas, or even more likely, the imagination and hype.
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*snip*

What's your averages? We run about 55-60F with 40-60% RH on average for the year. The range is more like 0-100F, with 30-100% RH normal.
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On 3/20/2017 11:41 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

Pittsburgh weather averages Annual high temperature: 61.4°F Annual low temperature:     42.6°F Average temperature:     52°F Average annual precipitation - rainfall:    34.8 inch
The range is from -20 to around 105. this is from memory, could be a few degrees different. Averages mean something I guess, but if it is 0 for 6 months and 100 for 6 months, the average is 50, so averages don't paint a clear picture by themselves. I really doubt weather or pollution has anything at all to do with it. If you need additives in your gas, I'm thinking it is a problem more with your gas than anything else. I doubt gas in Pgh has needed more additives than the refinery puts in our gas for over 50 years. Oh, both my, and my brothers equipment lives in unheated garage/shed, so weather could effect things, but doesn't seem too at all.
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On 3/20/2017 9:23 AM, Jack wrote:

A tiny town compared to the Houston metro area and the pollution we are talking about is from gasoline engines. Pittsburgh is about 5% of Houston.

Special formula gas.

New Honda's probably do have defects, the have been tweaked to prevent cancer in California.

Not the imagination when you have to use the additives to keep the equipment running. I did not start with additives but ended up there.
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On 3/20/2017 2:23 PM, Leon wrote:

Well, anything over 300,000 is considered large. Houston is 626 sq miles with population of 2.2 million. Allegheny County is 745 sq miles with a population of 1.2 million. Closer to 50% than 5% I think. Still, don't see what that has to do with anything as far as gas going stale is concerned.

True that. All I could add is if you own Honda, or buy gas in Houston, use gas stabilizer.
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On 3/20/2017 4:45 PM, Jack wrote:

Maybe to you. ;~) I grew up in corpus Christi, Tx. I consider it a small place, 305,000.
Houston is 626 sq

I said, Houston Metro, 6 million. That would be 8,928 square miles, 12 times larger than Allegheny County. Houston encompasses at least 9 small cities and is adjacent to probably a dozen others. And the metro area includes everything between Houston and Galveston with little open land to distinguish city limits.
That is why we have the special fuels that don't last.
Snip

Or any other brand yard equipment.
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On 3/20/2017 7:32 PM, Leon wrote:

Not to me, the National league of Cities. I found it on-line when looking up population and and square miles of various cities. Note it says "very large" not simply "large" ;~)
http://www.nlc.org/number-of-municipal-governments-population-distribution
"The U.S.'s 19,492 municipal governments range in population size from very large (over 300,000) to very small (under 1,000). The vast majority (over 90%) of municipal governments in the U.S. have populations under 25,000."
You want to argue that, you can tell them.

A great reason to not live in Houston Metro. If my gas suddenly started to go bad like it used to in the 1920's, I'd be looking for some explanations from someone. Is everything in Texas this backward? Perhaps all the chemical plants are affecting judgement?
Would seem to me that if adding stabilizers to fuel fixed the problem, then why on earth would the refractories not do it for you, like they have been doing for us for over 50 years?
At any rate, just because Houston has problems, doesn't mean the rest of the country does.

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