How to Start a Flooded Chainsaw? A Complete Guide for 2024

how to start a flooded chainsaw

As a chainsaw owner, it’s crucial to know how to properly maintain your equipment. Two common issues that can arise are a flooded chainsaw engine and a Stihl chainsaw not oiling the bar. Both problems can render your chainsaw useless until fixed, so understanding the causes and solutions is key.

In this blog post, I’ll explain the signs of a flooded chainsaw, walk through the steps to start one, discuss why a Stihl chainsaw may stop oiling, and provide solutions to fix it. Proper chainsaw maintenance like regular cleaning, lubrication, and part replacement will also be covered. With the right knowledge and preventative care, you can keep your chainsaw running smoothly for years to come.

How to Start a Flooded Chainsaw? A Complete Guide for 2024

How to Start a Flooded Chainsaw

It can be incredibly frustrating when you go to start your chainsaw and it just won’t turn over. More often than not, this means your chainsaw is flooded with excess fuel. Flooding occurs when too much fuel enters the combustion chamber and fouls the spark plug so it can’t ignite. Some common signs your chainsaw is flooded include:

  • Wet spark plug electrodes from fuel
  • Difficulty starting the engine, even after several pulls of the starter cord
  • Strong fuel smell emanating from the chainsaw
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If you suspect your chainsaw is flooded, here are the steps to get it started again:

Wait 15-20 Minutes

Before doing anything else, wait at least 15-20 minutes to allow any excess fuel to evaporate. This helps dry out the spark plug so it can actually ignite. Be patient during this time and don’t try pulling the starter cord.

Remove and Clean the Spark Plug

After letting the chainsaw sit, remove the spark plug by unscrewing it from the cylinder head. Check for wetness on the electrodes and use a wire brush or sandpaper to gently clean until dry. This removes any fuel residue so the plug can spark properly.

Turn Off the Choke and Open the Throttle

Before reinstalling the spark plug, turn the choke lever to the off position. The choke helps start a cold engine by restricting air flow, so it’s not needed here. Also hold the throttle trigger wide open to allow as much air flow as possible.

Pull the Starter Cord 15-20 Times

Reinstall the cleaned spark plug and make sure the ignition is switched on. Now grab the starter cord handle firmly and pull it out quickly about 15-20 times. This helps clear any remaining excess fuel from the combustion chamber so the spark plug can ignite the fuel-air mixture.

Start the Chainsaw

If it still doesn’t start, repeat the process. If all goes well though, your flooded chainsaw should roar back to life! Just remember to let it fully warm up before using and be cautious not to flood it again.

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In summary, wait 15-20 minutes, remove and clean the spark plug, turn the choke off, hold the throttle open, and pull the cord 15-20 times. This process evacuates excess fuel and allows the spark plug to operate properly so the engine can start.

What are the Steps to Start a Poulan Chainsaw if it’s Flooded?

If you’re dealing with a flooded Poulan chainsaw, follow these steps from the starting a poulan chainsaw guide. First, fully engage the chain brake and push the choke lever to the ON position. Then, gently pull the starter rope a few times to clear excess fuel. Next, move the choke lever to the OFF position and attempt to start the chainsaw.


As you can see, starting a flooded chainsaw and fixing oiling issues are straightforward with the proper techniques. The key is acting fast when problems arise to prevent costly damage. Performing routine maintenance like cleaning, lubricating, and inspecting components will also keep your chainsaw in tip-top shape for years of use.

Whether you’re facing a flooded engine that won’t start or a bar and chain running dry, this guide has provided the steps needed to identify and correct the most common chainsaw problems. Just remember patience and care are needed when handling any small engine issue. With the right knowledge and tools, you can feel confident tackling basic chainsaw troubleshooting and repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean my chainsaw?

It’s recommended to clean your chainsaw after every use to remove sawdust, dirt and debris. Pay special attention to the chain, bar, sprocket, oil distribution hole and air filter.

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What type of oil should I use for my chainsaw’s bar and chain?

Use the bar and chain oil type specifically recommended for your chainsaw model. Most are specially formulated for chainsaw lubrication. Never use plain engine oil.

How can I prevent my chainsaw from flooding?

Don’t over-choke the engine when starting and allow it to warm up properly. Use fresh fuel mixes and refrain from pumping the throttle when already running. Proper carburetor adjustments can also prevent flooding.

How do I know if my chainsaw’s oil pump is working properly?

Check that oil is coming out of the lubrication hole while running. The bar surface should be visibly oily. If not, the pump may be faulty and require replacement.

Can I use engine oil as bar and chain oil for my chainsaw?

No, plain engine oils are too thin for proper bar and chain lubrication. Always use the oil type specified for your chainsaw model to prevent insufficient lubrication and wear.

How often should I replace the spark plug and air filter on my chainsaw?

The spark plug and air filter on a chainsaw should be replaced yearly or after around 100 hours of use. If damaged or fouled sooner, replace immediately so the engine runs properly.

What are the signs that my chainsaw needs maintenance?

Hard starting, rough idling, stalling, lack of power, excessive vibration and lubrication issues all indicate potential chainsaw problems requiring maintenance or repair. Address any symptoms promptly.

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