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How To Change A Primer Bulb


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One of the most common repairs that you will carry out on your petrol strimmer is that of replacing the primer bulb. The petrol strimmer is usually powered by a 2 stroke engine which will employ a primer bulb system for cold starting. When it comes to cold starting a petrol strimmer, the process will prove to be extremely difficult without a fresh squirt of fuel in the carburetor. And for this reason alone the primer bulb is often neglected and under appreciated until the user discovers it to be cracked or broken and cannot use it in cold starting. The primer bulb is a very useful and important part of your petrol strimmer and must be well kept, monitored and changed when required. Primer bulbs are usually made out of rubber or plastic and this is why they are susceptible to wear and tear and breaking. If you own a petrol strimmer or any other similar powered tool, it is fair to say that you must expect your primer bulb to wear out. You can of course take your strimmer to a professional to have the primer bulb changed, but in our opinion that is a waste of money as changing the primer bulb is a very simple process. Once you have done it once, it will be like second nature to you.

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Times To Change The Primer Bulb

When the primer bulb is cracked or worn it is time to replace it. Wear and tear is the most contributing factor to changing the primer bulb, but there are other reasons and times that changing the primer bulb are a good idea. Even if the primer bulb has not worn out yet.


Changing Fuel Lines


Fuel lines on your petrol strimmer are made out of plastic as well. These fuel lines can wear and crack in time with age and wear. So if you are changing the strimmer fuel lines you should really change the primer bulb at the same time. The fuel lines will be the same age as the primer bulb and if they have begun to crack and wear out, it is pretty likely that the primer bulb will follow shortly. So when you order new fuel lines for your petrol strimmer, it just makes sense to order a primer bulb as well. The expense is minimal and you are already working on that area of the strimmer. The last thing you want to happen is that you replace the fuel lines and a short time after the primer bulb goes. This means that you will have to go to work again on the same vicinity.

Cleaning The Carburetor


The carburetor on the petrol strimmer requires cleaning on a fairly regular basis to ensure optimum performance. The primer bulb is usually located near and in many cases on the actual carburetor. So when you dismantle the carburetor and clean it, complete the job thoroughly by replacing the primer bulb.

Primer Bulbs On The Carburetor


Primer bulbs will differ in their mounting designs depending upon the petrol strimmer that you have and the particular model and brand. However even with these slight differences in mounting design, changing a primer bulb is very similar on every model. There are steps which apply to every model and if you can successfully change a primer bulb on one model, you will definitely be able to change a primer bulb on a different model. The fundamentals are the same.

Now on many small engine petrol strimmers the primer bulb is mounted directly on to the carburetor and the way to replace it is listed below in convenient to follow steps.


1 - Firstly you need to access the carburetor. To do this you need to remove the air filter cover and then the air filter itself.


2 - Unscrew the carburetor mount screws. Usually the carburetor will have 2 mounting screws. By undoing these you will be able to pull the carburetor away from the petrol strimmer. Once you have done this you need to pull the choke plate away from the carburetor.


3 - Remove the Old Primer Bulb. The primer bulb will have a primer bulb plate that is attached to the carburetor. This bulb plate will have screws holding it in place. Undo the screws and remove. You may experience a petrol leak when you remove the last screw. When the mount has been removed from the carburetor the old primer bulb will simply pop out of the mount.

4 - Clean Everything. After removing the old primer bulb it is a good idea to take a clean rag and wipe away any dirt and grease from the carburetor and any mount parts.


5 - Fitting The New Primer Bulb. You are now in the position to be able to put the new primer bulb in it’s place. Simply place it in the mount plate where the old primer bulb was taken from. Remember to reassemble the carburetor properly before you screw the mount plate back in to place.


6 - Replace The Carburetor. Place the 2 carburetor mount screws through the carburetor and the choke plate and then attach it properly and securely to the engine.


7 - Replace The Air Filter. Once the carburetor is properly mounted, replace the air filter and the air filter cover. Job done!

Remote Primer Bulbs

There are many petrol strimmers where the primer bulb is mounted separately from the carburetor. These particular primer bulbs will use a snap and ring system to secure them in place. It doesn’t matter on the brand and model of petrol strimmer you have, all remote primer bulbs will be changed in the same way. To change this type of primer bulb just follow the easy to follow steps below.

1 - Clamp The Fuel Return Line. To prevent any excess fuel leakage when you replace the primer bulb you need to clamp the return fuel line. Any clamping tool can be used just as long as it will not damage the fuel line. Hemostats can be used.


2 - Remove Fuel Lines. The next step is to remove the fuel lines from the primer bulb. You use a suitable screwdriver for this and simply remove the screws holding the lines to the primer bulb.


3 - Remove Old Primer Bulb. The next step is to remove the old primer bulb. You will see that the primer bulb is attached to plastic tabs which in turn snap in to the mount ring. Simply squeeze the plastic tabs whilst pulling the primer bulb away from the ring. Having done this many times we find that needle nose pliers are the best tool for doing this.


4 - Fit The New Primer Bulb. The mount tabs on the new primer bulb should simply snap in to place in the mount ring.


5 - Connect The Fuel Lines. After snapping the new primer bulb in to place reattach the fuel lines and unclamp the return fuel line. Job done!