Echo Products Hard to Start!

homeputter(Arizona)June 14, 2009

After reading good reviews on the web about "easy starting" Echo string edgers, I bought one at HD. I could not start it. Brought it back to HD and their service guy could not start it. Said "usually these start right up." Gave me a new one. It also take 5 to 10 pulls to start. I just live with it.

I just bought a new "quiet" Echo model PB-251 hand held blower. It took about 15- 20 pulls to start out of the box. I used new gasoline and the Echo oil. I did not take it back because I thought I probably flooded the engine. Now several weeks later, with new gasoline mixture, the blower won't start even with 30 pulls. I am so frustrated. I see comments comparing power between makes but much more important to me is one that just STARTS. The quiet Echo has so much power I can't see needing even more power - at least in Phoenix where everything is always hot and dried up (easy to blow).

I pulled the spark plug and cranked to check for spark. How do you do that?!! It is all plastic and there is no place to ground the S/plug while cranking. I made a jumper to ground the plug but could only find a metal bracket on the carb which may not have been grounded.

Is it just me that has trouble starting these Echo products?

My Stihl chainsaw starts pretty easy if it has good gas.

I rented a lawnmower and it started on 1st pull everytime. When emptying the grass catcher you had to shut off the engine. I was amazed how it always started on the 1st pull. How come they can't make these smaller engines to start like that?

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They are a little tricky. When I got my HC151, I have a hack of a time starting it until I find a fomular.

1) Prime the bulb at least 5 or 6 time till the gas going back into the tank from the second tube.
2) Close the choke all the way, make sure the switch is on!!( Don't laugh, happen to the best of us!!!)
3) Pull until it turn over and want to start.
4) Very quickly open the choke all the way and pull again. If it started with full choke, quickly open the choke.

Now My HC151 start at 3 to 4 pull max. all the time. If you do it wrong and it won't start after 10 pull or so, you might be flooding it already. Then you might want to hold the throtle open and pull start with choke open.

Hope this will give you a good starting point. I use this method on all my stuff and I have very good luck with it.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 4:12PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

Multiple pulls out of the box is normal, the fuel system needs to be fully primed. The big problem is not the manufacturer, they need to set the carb overly lean to comply with emission regulations. This can make starting more difficult. My older Echo GT2000 is very easy to start but I was able to adjust it properly.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 6:07PM
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My two echo's usually take about 5-6 pulls each. Then again, my craftsman blower usually takes 7-8 pulls.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 6:10PM
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Yungman is on it. You may have to play around with it to get the best routine for your equipment. Generally for me I close the choke, 2 limp pulls not even trying to start it, open the choke and a pull to start.

The first pulls with the choke are to charge the crankcase with fuel, too many pulls with the choke just flood me out.

If it's cold out I give 2 pulls full choke, open the choke 1/4 and a pull to start.

Funny, I'd tell anybody the stuff starts on the first pull 'cause I don't count the practice yanks.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 9:48PM
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As mentioned many are set to lean and need to be set a little richer to start and run right. Steve

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 7:19AM
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To Ladylake

Problem is a lot of the newer CARB stuff don't have air fuel adjustment. My Honda don't. I know Redmax don't have. I think that's the reason there are so much more complains on RM lately. I looked at Maruyama CER230 engine and Tanaka 2530 trimmer engine, don't have hi-speed needle either.

You pretty much get what you get. I bought Shindaiwa M242 mainly because it is not cold nature and it does have the adjustment and the most important it is not STRATO technology like Redmax, Tanaka, Kawasaki and Maruyama.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 12:50PM
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Ladylake, your tale is typical of most gasoline trimmers and edgers, with some easier than others. I live in a neighborhood where nearly everyone has their yards done by commercial cutters. Even with the better equipment, they carry spares, and must yank their arms off trying to start the things. In this case, modern technology is the same as it was 10 - 15 years ago but with a tiny improvement. My Echo SRM 210 that gets proper maintenance is not terribly difficult to start but requires numerous hard pulls and if the 210 doesn't start within several, it gets flooded.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 7:57AM
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One reason I prefer Stihl products. From my experience, they are really easy to start. My ms250 requires two pulls with the choke on, then move it to half on and usually in one pull it fires up. Same with my BR550 blower. Prime the bulb about 3 times, full choke one maybe two pulls, move it to the middle and it fires right up. I just bought my dad a stihl handheld blower for fathers day. Just as easy to start.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 8:56AM
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Anything under 3 to 4 pulls really don't make much different. My Honda trimmer always start with one pull 100% of the time. Sure don't mean much when the carb crap out after only 10 months!!!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 11:53AM
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If I had a engine without adjusters and it started hard or ran lean I'd take the carb apart and bore out the jet a little. Has to do that on a 6 hp Briggs that wanted to die every time the governor opened up. bored the jet a little and it runs great now. Or get a older carb that is adjustable Steve

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 6:49PM
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I have a CS306, PB251 and an SRM210. They are all easy to start and all start the same way. Do not pump the primer bulb unless the equipment has not been used for a month or so. Lock the throttle wide open or hold it wide open if it doesn't lock. Put the choke on full and pull 2 or 3 times until the engine sputters. Set on half choke and pull once and it starts. An Echo product is easy to flood and that is why its necessary to have the throttle wide open. I like them all and think they are the best homeowner grade products made.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 7:15PM
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Ray I think those are a little older models before the Epa leaned things out and I wouldn't call anything Echo homeowner, everyone that I have is built a lot better than homeowner Husky and Stihl. Steve

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 7:58PM
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I think people call some Echo homeowner because they sell in HD. No Echo is homeowner. Stihl Home Scaper is pretty good too even they are cheap. It is the same engine used in YardBoss and the commercial hand held blowers. I actually bought that engine on ebay and play with it. It is a two ring, full crank, big size bearing. In fact I like the way of the construction. the two half of the crankcase is top and bottom, not front and back. It make changing stuff a lot easier. Only thing I notice is the connecting rod is very thin in the middle. But so far nobody claimed to have connecting rod broken yet, so it must be good enough.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 8:08PM
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I don't like pulling on anything! I use carb cleaner to prime for the hard to start models. Carb cleaner evaporated quickly and DOES NOT HURT the ENGINE IMO when used as a primer or cleaner as directed on the can. naturally we would NOT want to fill the tank up with it and use no oil, but for the few seconds it take to prime an engine it don't hurt a bit IMO, done it for years and have NEVER had and engine failure. A one second blast down the carb throat usually it all it takes.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 3:52PM
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Do you just fill a little so it can suck into the primer bulb when push and try starting it? Does it even start?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 5:37PM
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I don't know why you guys insist on buying from the Mass Merchant. If you bought that product from my shop (Scotty's Lawnmower in Scottsdale), I would gas it up and show you how to start and use it. If it didn't start easily, you wouldn't even buy it. We assemble everything, review safety features, and we make sure we sell you the right machine for the job. And FYI-independent dealers can usually beat HD's price on Echo equip. by 10-20 dollars.

Here is a link that might be useful: scotty's lawnmower home page

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 4:52PM
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Haven't you fellers figured out why those things are hard to start??
Well, it all has to do with the emissions programs.
The emission gurus finally got it all figured out--make something that is extremely hard-starting! A person who buys the product will try and try, to start it, but finally give up--tossing the machine in the scrap, and the machine will no longer be a polluting device! Just think, if none of the new machines would start--no more pollution!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:42AM
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I have an Echo PB-251 that is giving me fits. When I try and start it it floods to the point that fuel comes out of the muffler. I have rebuilt the carburetor twice and checked all the settings etc. I have a lot of experience repairing small engines and I have set this unit aside until I can deal with the frustration again. I think the Zama rotary throttle carburetors are garbage. There are no adjustment screws and the throttle "valve" is subject to wear by IMO a poor design.
They are also expensive to replace at $60.00+ delivery included.
I will try and start the unit at full throttle but "Joe Homeowner" must have fits with these finicky engines.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 7:42PM
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Your Echo PB 251 does have a High speed mixture needle concealed by the little black plastic cap on the side just under the fuel outlet and inlet of the primer base. There is also a black plastic cap on top of the carb that covers the side of the H needle. The needle actually threads thru that cap. Insert a small self tap screw into the cap on the side and pull it off. Under it is the slot head High speed needle. It can be adjusted to a point, then the brass sleeve is in the way. Run a small thread tap into that and it will easily pull out with the tap itself or a small machine screw. Now remove the mixture needle. You can now clean the jet orifice. When reinstalling it, you can set it to be "richer" than before you removed it and your machine should start easier and run better. You may need to experiment with the setting for it. No need for the plastic cap or the brass sleeve to be reinstalled. You can check the factory setting on it by counting how many turns you go turn it in before it seats. Note that, and then adjust accordingly after reinstallment. It is part no. 10 in this diagram.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 6:45PM
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Rusty-- on your tongue in cheek answer--

My Echo weedwacker, was laying on a garbage can one trash day. I took it home and got it going in twenty minutes, with my modest mechanical skills.

So making them them hard to start doesn't help with emissions, I'm sure the tosser bought another one! Now there are two instead of just one (as I'm too cheap to buy one!).

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 4:34PM
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Rob: Rusty's response was almost a year ago and what he described was logical then as it is today . Small engines either lawnmowers or chainsaws or trimmers etc. are all dealing with Epa restrictions !

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 2:38AM
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