How to Install a Primer Bulb in a Chain Saw

Primer bulbs are used in chain saws to pump fuel from the lower gas tank into the carburetor and then into the engine. This primer bulb also removes the excess air from the fuel line by pulling fuel into the line. This helps prime the circuit, which allows your saw to be started. Installing a new primer bulb on most chain saws is easy and will only take a few minutes

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Allen wrench
  • New primer bulb

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Turn off the saw. If it is electric, unplug it.

Use the screwdriver to remove the starter housing. The starter housing is located on the same side as the pull cord. There are usually two to three screws along the starter housing’s outer edge that keep the cover in place over the engine.

Pull off the starter housing cover. Keep the screws and the starter housing cover in a safe place where you won’t lose the screws.

Locate the primer bulb. On most saws it will be located in the upper right-hand corner of the starter housing. Use the Allen wrench to remove the primer bulb's screws. Put the screws in the same safe place as the other screws.

Pull out the primer bulb. It will still be attached to the fuel line, so don’t tug or pull the line too hard or else you will have to replace that as well.

Separate the connected fuel lines from the primer bulb. Squeeze the line with your fingers and pull it away from the primer bulb.

Attach the new primer bulb in the same manner you removed the old one. Make sure the fuel lines are securely fastened to the primer bulb.

Screw the primer bulb’s screws back in place with the Allen wrench. Set the starter housing back in place over the primer bulb and screw it in place with the screwdriver.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may need to use pliers to pull the primer bulb off the fuel line.
  • Be careful not to damage the fuel line when pulling off the primer bulb.
  • Always use caution when working around fuel.


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