Problem with garden tractor fuel filter
The directions in my (Craftsman) owners' manual say to clamp off the fuel lines, replace the filter with the arrow pointing toward the carburetor (nothing about filling it with fuel first), check the clamps and look for leaks, wipe up spilled fuel, and you're done. Not quite. The filter is full of air and so are the lines. I just wasted an hour on the phone with Sears trying to get technical assistance to no avail. The guy at the Sears store says it's a gravity feed tank so the line and filter should fill up by themselves... but they don't.
If I squeeze the bulb of the filter and wiggle and tap the line I can get the filter mostly (4/5th) full of fuel, but the filter fills with more air and runs out of fuel after 500' or so of mowing, a couple minutes. During the hour I was on the phone the filter refilled with fuel, but it filled with air again after running the mower for two minutes.
So what's the correct procedure for replacing an in-line fuel filter or purging the line of air? Should I have some sort of priming bulb? Sears plans to charge $96 for someone to come out here and fix this which is a shame because there was nothing wrong with the engine to begin with. This is just routine annual maintenence suggested in the manual, and I followed the directions.