Choose The Best Fuel for Your Power Equipment (Part 2 With Checklist)

stale fuel problems power equipmentSTALE FUEL – Gasoline begins the gradual process of degrading and losing its volatility as soon as it leaves the refinery. Just like milk, bread and other food items, gasoline will eventually spoil or turn stale. You’ll probably get sick if you drink spoiled milk. Leaving stale fuel in an engine will typically first cause non-warrantable fuel system damage. Stale fuel is the number one cause of stiff carburetor metering diaphragms and a leading cause of carburetor replacement. Very often, engines will run on stale fuel for some time. Stale fuel gum & varnish will quickly stick the piston rings of a running engine causing its failure. Stale fuel is nothing new. We have had this problem long before there was any ethanol blended fuel. The difference is that today’s fuel can start to turn bad much sooner than in the past. In fact, today’s fuel can begin to turn stale in as little as 30-days. High temperatures, high humidity and poor fuel storage are all factors in fuel turning stale prematurely. However, the major factor in today’s fuel short shelf life is ethanol. Ethanol absorbs moisture which is a factor in the formation of stale fuel. In addition, ethanol adds more oxygen to the fuel, speeding up the oxidation (stale fuel) process.

Preventing Ethanol Blended Fuel Problems

ethanol fuel problems oxidation1. PURCHASE ONLY RECOMMENDED FUEL

– All ECHO products are designed to run on gasoline blended with no more than 10% ethanol (E10). Do not run your ECHO equipment on E15, E20 and especially not E85. These fuels can result in: poor engine performance, low power, overheating, vapor lock, improper clutch engagement, premature deterioration of fuel lines, premature deterioration of fuel cap gaskets and premature deterioration of carburetors. Using unauthorized fuel in ECHO two-stroke powered products will void your engine warranty.


– Never store fuel in containers with open or leaking spouts. Replace old fuel containers with separate vents. Leaking open fuel containers are a fire safety hazard that promote the absorption of moisture and cause fuel to turn stale quicker. Use only modern self venting fuel containers with “no spill” self sealing spouts.


– Shake the fuel container for 30 seconds just prior to filling your equipment. This practice ensures the fuel is mixed properly and helps to suspend any small amounts of moisture in the mixture.


– Cool controlled temperatures extend fuel life as it slows the aging process. Keeping the can in a dry area will also reduce the formation of condensation inside the fuel container. Caution: Fuel should never be stored in your house or by a flame or ignition source.


– This is one of the best ways to prevent using stale fuel. Only purchase fuel from name brand high volume stations to ensure you get the freshest fuel possible.

6. USE ECHO PowerBlend X™ or Red Armor 2-STROKE OIL

– These oils contain a small quantity of fuel stabilizer to extend the life of the gasoline mixture.


– The fuel stabilizers are effective only if they are mixed with fresh fuel (just bought at the pump) and proper fuel storage remains just as important. Remember nothing will properly rejuvenate old, stale fuel! 8. DRAIN FUEL COMPLETELY FOR STORAGE – If you do not intend to use your ECHO product within a 30 day period, drain the fuel completely from the carburetor and the fuel tank.

We hope that this information helps you understand the importance of proper ethanol fuel storage, helps prevent potential product issues, avoids costly & unnecessary repair bills and enables you to enjoy your ECHO product when you need it.

For additional information concerning fuel and oil please visit Echo’s website at


Choose The Best Fuel for Your ECHO & Shindaiwa Power Equipment (Part One)

The Right Fuel For Your Equipment

Only use Fuels that contain 10% Ethanol blend or less in ECHO and Shindaiwa 2‐Stroke Engines. Look on your gas station’s pump for a sign or decal to identify the percentage of Ethanol in the gasoline. In most states in the U.S. this is required by law.
Use of fuel containing over 10% Ethanol (E10), such as (E15, E20, E30, E50 and E85), or any fuels not meeting ECHO and Shindaiwa requirements, are not approved for use in ECHO and Shindaiwa gasoline engines.

Use Of Fuels Containing over 10% (E10) Ethanol can cause the following problems:

Poor engine performance, loss of power, overheating, fuel vapor lock, improper clutch engagement caused by increased engine idle speeds allowing cutting attachments to turn while unit is idling, premature deterioration of fuel lines, gaskets, carburetors and other engine components. To get the most out of your ECHO and SHINDAIWA products use ECHO PowerFuel. ECHO PowerFuel is a pre‐mixed fuel, containing 93 octane gas, with no ethanol and is specially mixed with ECHO Red Armor Oil™ at a 50:1 ratio. ECHO PowerFuel is recommended for use in all air‐cooled, 2‐stroke engines. With ECHO PowerFuel you never have to worry about problems with ethanol blended fuel or stale fuel problems as it stays stable and usable for up to 2 years after opening.

ECHO handheld power equipment is designed to tolerate up to 10% ethanol blended fuel and cannot compensate for higher concentrations of ethanol like your car. Hand held power equipment is not used as often, so fuel is often stored much longer than two weeks. Therefore, engine and carburetor problems can still occur when running your equipment on the approved 10% or less ethanol content depending on how your fuel is stored and when the fuel that you are using becomes older than 30 days.


WATER – Ethanol in blended fuel attracts moisture as soon as it’s exposed to air. High humidity and fuel cans with poor sealing or missing spout covers or vents accelerate the problem. Get ideal, No-Spill Gas Cans here.
best fuel can
Ethanol will absorb a small amount of moisture and stay in suspension within the gasoline for awhile. However, the ethanol will only absorb up to ¾ of an ounce of water in a gallon of gas before it reaches its saturation point.


Once the ethanol has absorbed enough moisture to reach its saturation, point, phase separation occurs. Phase separation means the ethanol and absorbed water drop to the bottom of the fuel container because it is heavier than the gas and oil. Floating on top now is the gasoline and oil mixture. Most operators never notice water in the can when they refuel their equipment. The end result is most often ruined carburetors with rust and corrosion. These expensive repairs can cost over $75.00 and are not typically covered by warranty.
phase separation oilgas & oil separationengine water damage and rust
Remember, as the ethanol and water drop to the bottom of the fuel container, the 2-Stroke oil stays mixed with the gasoline on top. If engines are run on the ethanol water mixture, serious engine failures may occur. Most often these non-warranty failures mean replacement of the carburetor, engine or complete unit.

How To Find Your Engine’s Model Number

Knowing the model number of your engine will make it easy to order maintenance or repair parts either online or from your local dealer. This article will walk you through how to find your engine’s model and serial number so you can easily have this handy when you need to contact your dealer about maintenance, parts, replacement engines, or whatever it may be.

Honda EnginesHonda Engines

For Honda Engines, to find the model number you need to look for a model number sticker on the engine.
All Honda engines model numbers start with the letter “G,” such as “G100”, “GX610”, or “GXV160.”
This is the base engine model. The engine model and serial number should be adequate for most of your needs.
The engine serial number is stamped into the side of the engine. All Honda engine serial numbers have a 4 or 5 letter prefix followed by a 7 digit number. View Images below if you are having trouble find your Honda engine’s model number.

Kawasaki Engines

kawasaki engines

The model number and serial number on your Kawasaki Engine is located at the rear of the engine on the engine housing.
The model number and serial number label in the image is located on your Kawasaki Engine. The CODE number above the barcode is made of the model and the spec number. The first number refers to the model number and the second number refers to the spec number.
The E/NO number under the barcode refers to the serial number.
For Example:
Model Number: FS481V-BS26S
Spec Number: BS26S
Serial Number: FS481vb31313

Briggs Enginesbriggs & stratton engines

The engine model number is generally a number stamped into metal directly on your engine . Some push mower engines come with a cover or “shroud”. It should be noted that these covers come in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes. Regardless of your cover the engine model number will be in one of 3 locations .

1. Above the spark plug – May need a flashlight and screwdriver

push mower engine location

2. On the valve cover
Stamped on metal plate in between the overhead valve cover (OHV) and the air to find briggs engine serial number front


3. Above the muffler

Stamped on the sheet metal above the muffler, which can be on the right or left side of the engine.locate briggs engine model above muffler




Kohler Engineskohler engines

Located on the sticker – KOHLER engine identification numbers (model, specification and serial) hold the keys to efficient repair, ordering the correct parts and engine replacement. These are printed on a silver decal, which is normally affixed to the blower housing of the engine. Make a note of your engine identification numbers in your owner’s manual for handy reference.

How To Replace Trimmer Line

String Spool Disassembly

Do not push center spool in. Hold the outer cutter housing firmly and turn the spool clockwise until the slack is taken up. Continue further clockwise with a hard snap to release the spool from the housing.



– Remove the spool from the housing.

– Remove the remaining worn line from the spool.



String Spool Loading

Cut a line about 20 ft (6m) long.
cutting line for line trimmer



Thread the line through the cutter spool hole until both ends of the line are an equal length.direction
Keep the lines separated while winding the line in the direction of the arrow on the spool. Twisted line will cause a feeding problem.

Approximately 6 inches (150mm) of line should extend from each spool slot (A).

locationsWhether using the 2-prong or 4-prong cutter head, it’s important to align the pegs (C) and eyelet (B) on the cutter housing with the slots in the cutter spool.

Line Trimmer Head Housing Assembly

Feed the ends of the lines through the eyelets on the cutter housing, allowing for approximately 6 inches (150 mm) of additional line.addhead
When using the 4-prong cutter head, hold the housing firmly, twisting the spool counterclockwise until the pegs lock the spool into the housing. Lightly pull on the trimmer lines.twiston


When using the 2-prong cutter head, firmly grasp the lines and tug at the ends with a quick snap and the spool will automatically lock into place. tightenstring
Cut the lines to about 4 inches (100 mm) long.finished
CAUTION: Inspect the cutter head assembly for secure fastening before use.


Generator For Your Home

How To Choose a Portable Generator For Your Home

A portable generator for your home is a wise investment for anyone who regularly loses power. Unfortunately for some, choosing the proper generator for your home can be a daunting task. With so many options out there it can be hard to figure out what portable generator is ideal for your specific lifestyle. Taking time to understand your specific wattage needs is crucial to finding the ideal generator for you.

This isn’t an equation, think about in this way: Appliances that use many watts to start, typically don’t require as many to keep running. Also keep in mind that some appliances are used quickly (i.e microwaves, coffee makers, fry pans, etc). That being said, adding up all the wattage of the equipment you’d like to use will over estimate your wattage needs. Take a moment to make a short list of all of your appliances, noting the wattage amounts they typically use (See Chart Below). Curious about noise? Check out our Generator Noise and Wattage Guide

Portable Generator Home Wattage Guide

generator home wattage guide


TIP:Turn off the fridge and furnace for a few minutes while you use the microwave – a small tradeoff like this saves you 1500 watts

Reference:  Honda Wattage Guide –

So, after writing down the amounts of wattage you will need, where do you stand?

If you find yourself not minding turning off the lights and TV when using more powerful appliances, you can use a smaller model. If you don’t want the hassle, go  for a larger generator.

Smaller Model Generator – For the Conservative User

Generator for Small Home
A good generator for your home would be the Honda EU2000i, which harnesses up to 2000 watts.




Larger Model Generator – For the All Out User

Generator for Large Homes
If you are someone who really wouldn’t want to worry about switching appliance on and off to save wattage, you would love they EG Series Generators from Honda. Specifically, the HONDA EG4000CLAT Generator.




Your Perfect Generator is What Matches Your Habits

If you make your list of appliances and see a pattern you could follow of good energy conservation, that will go a long way for you being able to get away with buying a smaller model. Some will feel the need to add up all their wattage and come to the conclusion of how much they want from that. If this is you, and you want a fairly hands-off approach, your best bet is to go with a larger model.

How to Aerate Lawn

How to Aerate Your Lawn

Should I Aerate My Lawn?

Aeration season is here…well, for some of us. Those that have warm-weather grass (Bermuda Grass, Buffalo Grass), now is the perfect time to consider aerating your lawn. If you have primarily cool-weather grass like Kentucky Bluegrass and Ryegrass, your ideal time to aerate is the early to mid fall. Knowing when to aerate is almost as important as how often, which will depend on the density of your soil. If you have more dense, clay-like soil you’ll want to aerate 1-2 times per year as this type of soil is more compacted and would need more stimulation for air and water flow to stay ideal. Now that you know where your lawn’s grass stands, give a check of the grass roots in your soil. A good rule of thumb is that if the grass roots don’t go beyond 2 inches into the soil you are in need of a good aerating.

Aerating Your Lawn

Make sure to mow your lawn and clear it of debris, ensuring proper soil access during aeration. If you have been experiencing dry weather lately, give your lawn a couple days of good watering to ensure proper water levels. Now consider the traffic flow on your lawn. Areas that have heavier foot traffic could be done two times per aeration. Now, let’s get down to the task.

How to Aerate a Lawn

Start in one corner of your lawn and make straight passes parallel to each other (until you reach very compact areas, in which you can then just go over an additional time at the opposite direction). Complete this process until you have done the whole lawn. Finally, keep the soil cores on the lawn as these will compost over time. Add a fertilizer and you are done!

Want to get started on your aerating project? Shop our selection of lawn aerators for your next aeration project!

Spring Mower Maintenance

Spring Mower Maintenance

Taking time to clean your house, outdoor living areas, or whatever it may be, are classic spring past-times. The air is warming, plants are coming alive again and lets be honest…you can feel it, you can smell it. That is why this is an important time to make sure your mowers, string trimmers, and all your powered outdoor equipment is cleaned and ready to tackle all the warm season has to bring. One piece of equipment is crucial to have in tip-top shape, and that’s your lawnmower. Whether you use a riding mower or a push mower, self-propelled or hydrostatic, proper mower maintenance is crucial. Take a look at our top mower maintenance tips below:

Oil Change

This is the most obvious tip. But, you will need to know what sort of oil your equipment needs. Typically, lawn mowers and power equipment in general take 2-Cycle Oil.

Replace Spark Plugs & Air Filter

Changing your oil is probably a no-brainer, but how about your lawn mower spark plugs and Air filter? The air filter is crucial for making sure no particles are floating around in the engine which can cause engine problems and poor engine performance.

Add Fuel Stabilizer

This is a crucial step towards extending engine life. Fuel stabilizer will help stop Gas from clogging anything, which is a primary cause for premature engine failure.