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Gas does not go through the primer bulb, so no gas to primer and get started. Pumping Bulb puts air pressure in the gas tank. Gas appears to be flowing to the carb in the other lines. Bulb will not fill with gas.

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Unless you had the fuel lines off or replaced them, leave them where they are. The problem most likely is in your carb. The diaphragms are possibly brittle or the needle is stuck from varnish from old gas. The easiest solution is to replace the carb.

Posted on Jun 27, 2009

  • Joe V Nov 21, 2011

    ok I have the same probelm. but I had broken fuel lines. I replaced them and put a new primer bulb on and the bulb won't fill..... the only thing i can think of is air leaking around the holes in the tank when the primer bulb is pressed.. how do you fix that?

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Change the gas lines around

Posted on Jun 27, 2009

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1 Answer

Problems getting gas from gas tank to my outboard 15 HP 4 stroke Mercury.


need to clarify your statements
you say-- have replaced flexible lines from the tank to the engine --replaced the primer bulb
well that is all the rubber hoses from the tank to the pump on the engine
Then you further state only parts not replaced are the connections between the
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When you prime/puge your carburetor, make sure fuel (w/ no air) is moving from the fuel tank towards the body of the carb. Also, make sure that there is fuel/air bubbles leaving the primer bulb and going back towards the fuel tank...and that when you push the bulb down and release it, there is no fuel movement in either line. If fuel does move when letting up on the bulb, you either have the fuel lines reversed or, the check valves in the primer base assembly are not functioning. The primer/puge valve's funcion is to draw fresh fuel into the fuel pump side of the carb and to push old fuel/air from the metering chamber side of the carb back to the fuel tank. Here is proper fuel routing:
This is an ongoing issue for users, and rightfully so. Small diameter line out of fuel tank (has filter in-tank on end) connects to the side of the carburetor that has the fuel pump....that is the cover without the hole in it. Other larger diameter fuel line out of tank connects to the longer nipple on the external purge/primer bulb. The bulb "pulls" fresh fuel from the fuel tank to the carb and then out of the carb to itself, where it then pushes any air/old fuel back into the fuel tank. The remaining larger diameter fuel line in this setup goes from the metering chamber (has cover with writing on it and a vent-hole) side of the carburetor to the smaller nipple on the purge/primer bulb. Years ago on 2-stroke trimmers, primers were not even used,...you choked the carb with a slide lever and gravity let fuel enter the carb from above...a few pulls, a "pop"...slide it off of choke and away you went.
If the purge/primer bulb is on top of the carb...small line from carb body to small hole in tank with filter. Larger diameter line goes from the bulb on the fuel pump side of the carb to the larger hole in the fuel tank where the line is held in place with a nylon nipple connector that keeps the line from pulling out of the tank.

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