If you have to use the choke to keep your edger running, chances are you aren’t getting good power and performance.
An ECHO edger may only run with the choke on when the engine is getting too much air or not enough fuel.
This may be caused by old gas, a punctured fuel line, a plugged fuel filter, a bad carburetor gasket, a dirty carburetor, or plugged fuel tank.
Remove the spark plug wire prior to making any repairs. Be cautious and follow all safety procedures in the ECHO operator’s manual.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
6 Reasons an ECHO Edger Only Runs With the Choke On
1. Old Gas
Gas can wreak havoc on an edger fuel system causing fuel restrictions when it’s been sitting for long periods. The varnish left behind can gum the fuel system reducing the amount of fuel getting to the engine.
In order to maintain the right ratio of gas-to-air required to form combustion, the choke may have to be used.
To reduce fuel-related problems due to old gas in the future, always use the right gas, mix it properly with 2-cycle oil, and consume it promptly.
Because gas can begin to degrade as soon as 30 days after purchase, only purchase enough gas that can be consumed during this time.
An ECHO edger requires gas and oil mixed at a rate of 50:1.
- Unleaded gas with a minimum 89-octane rating and a maximum ethanol content of 10%. Using gas with higher ethanol contents can cause carburetor and engine damage.
- 2-cycle engine oil.
Read more about choosing and caring for the fuel in your ECHO edger here.
SOLUTION: Remove old gasoline from your edger. In an approved container, mix gas and oil at a 50:1 ratio and add an additive like Sea Foam or STA-BIL to stabilize the gas, clean the fuel system, and reduce moisture.
Pour the fresh fuel mix into the fuel tank. Start the ECHO edger and allow it to run to work the treated fuel mixture through the system.
Keep checking other items if you continue to have to use the choke to keep the edger running.
2. Puncture in the Fuel Line
When too much air is getting to the engine, the choke must be engaged to reduce the amount of air entering through the carburetor throat.
Look for a puncture in the fuel line that may cause the ECHO edger to suck in additional air.
SOLUTION: Remove and replace any damaged or cracked fuel line.
3. Plugged Fuel Filter
Another item that can restrict fuel flow is a plugged ECHO fuel filter. A fuel filter is used to prevent dirt and other debris from running through the fuel system and engine.
When the filter isn’t changed regularly or you’re running very dirty fuel, it can become plugged not allowing sufficient fuel to pass through the filter. It’s best to stay on top of your fuel filter maintenance by changing it out annually.
SOLUTION: Replace a plugged fuel filter. The filter is located inside the fuel tank.
Replace an ECHO edger fuel filter:
- Wipe around the fuel cap to remove dirt and debris so they don’t fall into the tank.
- Remove the cap.
- Pull the fuel filter out of the fuel tank. A clean bent wire works well to retrieve the filter.
- Once the filter is out of the tank, remove it from the fuel line.
- Attach the new fuel filter by inserting it into the fuel line.
- Place the fuel filter back inside the fuel tank.
- Install the fuel cap.
4. Bad Carburetor Gasket
The gasket that sits behind the carburetor can deteriorate and become worse over time. When this happens, it no longer seals properly allowing additional air into the system causing it to run lean.
This is when there is a higher concentration of air and less fuel than required by the engine.
SOLUTION: Gain access to the carburetor and carefully remove the linkages and bolts attaching the carburetor. Remove the carburetor and gasket.
Reinstall a new gasket and reattach the carburetor, bolt, and linkages. You may need to clean the carburetor while it is removed from the ECHO edger.
5. Dirty Carburetor
The carburetor’s function is to regulate the amount of fuel that is mixed with air to form combustion to start and run the edger.
A buildup of varnish and deposits can make the carburetor not function right so it isn’t able to get fuel to the engine.
SOLUTION: If you are a little mechanical you should be able to handle cleaning your carburetor. Clean the carburetor by taking it apart and using a carburetor cleaner to remove deposits left behind from old fuel.
If the carburetor does not function after being cleaned, you may need to be able to find a rebuild kit to rebuild the carburetor or you may have to replace it.
A carburetor for an ECHO edger can run between $60-$100 depending on your model.
Before spending money on a replacement carburetor, evaluate the condition of your edger and the cost to replace it with a comparable ECHO edger.
You may be better off replacing the ECHO edger and not replacing the carburetor. It’s a financial decision you will have to make based on the edger model, its age, and the cost of repairs.
6. Plugged Fuel Tank Vent
The fuel tank must vent to allow air to pass through the tank to equalize the tank pressure and air pressure. Without a vent, the fuel tank will create a vacuum that will restrict fuel from getting to the engine.
This may cause you to have to run the edger with the choke on. A good indication you may have a fuel tank vent problem is when your ECHO edger runs for a while before it starts to run sluggish or shuts down.
SOLUTION: Place the edger on a level surface. Loosen the cap and don’t allow gas to spill. Start the edger. Place the choke in the off position.
If the edger runs well with the choke in the off position, tighten the cap and allow it to continue to run with the choke off. If it dies, you may have to replace the plugged fuel tank vent.