I have a WeedEater gas-powered trimmer. It has a plastic bulb that you squeeze in order to prime the engine. One of the problems with this system is that the bulb tends to crack and fail after exposure to gasoline containing ethanol. That's just another unfortunate result of the move to ethanol.
This story begins when I take a trip to the store to get a new bulb. I get there and find that they cost up to $8 -- for a little piece of plastic!
Alas, in the process of taking off the small plastic retaining ring that attaches the ($8) bulb to the carburetor, I managed to break it. I tried using J-B Weld, Gorilla Glue, and duct tape, but nothing I tried would fix it, so I had to begin the search for a replacement retaining ring. A quick look through the bone yard at the yard equipment repair shop didn't produce anything I could possibly use as a substitute for the retaining ring.
So I looked further for the part itself and found that no such single part is available for this model -- you have to buy a whole new carburetor. Individual parts are not sold separately. Luckily, I found a carburetor for $24, and I was able to put it on myself, saving the $20 minimum that the repair shop charges.
Chalk up another one for ethanol-based fuel. Add to that problem the inability of the WeedEater folks to use the right material in the primer bulb that would be resistant to the corrosion from ethanol. So I had to go through all that trouble to buy what was probably a 25-cent part.
This entry was submitted by A.K. Rosenhan, PE, and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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