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Thread: OT – Weedeater Gas Leak
08-20-2011, 11:03 PM #1
OT – Weedeater Gas Leak
My Ryobi weedeater leaks about as much gas as it uses thanks to the “press fit” fuel lines going into the bottom of the plastic (polyethylene??) fuel tank. I have had to replace the gas lines several times as they crumble to nothingness (thank you, E10), but between replacements the “press fit” leaks just gets worse as the hose takes a set. Anyone come up with a fix for this? (I am almost thinking about plugging up the holes in the bottom and drilling two new holes in the top and running the hoses through those. What would I use to seal the bottom holes?)
(I cannot believe that a manufacturer can get away with such shoddy design for a consumer product. I wonder how many fires have been caused by these leaks.)
08-21-2011, 01:05 AM #2
I had the same problem with my John Deere, the lines rotted off & I had to replace them.
The new ones started leaking soon after. I went back to the John Deere parts dealer & he gave me a couple of the connectors used to splice lines together. If you cut the line & place the connector in the end then you can stuff the line & connector into the hole in the tank.It is a tight fit but it didn't leak anymore!
08-21-2011, 10:54 AM #3
Fuel Line O.D.
If you go to your local lawn mower shop he should have some different sized fuel line. It does come in various sizes. Just have to make sure it will still fit on the carb or pressure bulb fittings.
I use a diameter that you have to squeeze just a little to get it into the tank. Also, to aid getting it pressed into the tank, just cut the tubing on a sharp angle and then you can get it though the hole. Then get a pair of surgical pliers and go though the fuel cap and pull enough through the put the fuel filter on. Of course, you have to re-trim the end of the hose to get rid of the sharp angle and adjust the length of the hose for proper fuel pickup.
08-21-2011, 11:27 AM #4
I ran into the same situation and after replacing the (shrunken and stiff) fuel line for the third time, I finally got so fed up that I made brass feedthroughs for the transition through the tank. Turned and threaded them on the lathe such that they would form threads directly into the plastic of the tank. Turned out fantastic and hasn't leaked a drop since!!
08-21-2011, 11:34 AM #5
I don't use the E10 stuff so maybe that's the difference, but my Stihl weed-eater has the same fuel tank setup you describe, and nary a leak.
I replaced the in-tank pickup/filter which consists of a length of tube plus filter. I greased it up with Vaseline, grabbed it with pliers and pulled it through the rubber grommet in the tank...no leaks, no runs, no errors.
08-21-2011, 11:44 AM #6
I don't know if you are talking a new on or an old one, but my new one doesn't leak.
The old one did, and I replaced the line a dozen times, with some difficulty. I am assuming you have the rubber line with the barbed filter stone, and the sleeve that goes over the barbed hose coming out of the tank.
I, too, made a brass fitting with O rings and nut to try to eliminate that bichin' press fit that didn't work..
I finally took a closer look and found it was a minute crack in the plastic bottom of the tank that was the actual leak.
I don't know if I could have bought, from Ryobi. This tool was approx. 25 years old, but, it was a VERY good machine for all those years. The main reason I replaced it WITH a Ryobi, this one with what seems to be now discontinued, 12 V electric start. Same battery as their power tools use, but it and presumably the starter motor makes for a pretty heavy machine.
My old one kind of gives the lie to a poster on another thread who says "Consumer Level" string trimmers are made with a 10 hour life span. I probably put 500 or so hours on that tool over the 25 or more years I used it.
08-21-2011, 11:46 AM #7
I had considered adding grommets to mine, but in order to do so, I would have to open up the hole in the tank. Problem was if something didn't work, there was no going back. My thinking was that if my feedthroughs didn't work, I could still open up the holes later if I needed to.
And yes... It was much more cost in labor than the string trimmer was worth.
08-21-2011, 12:17 PM #8
You all should be thanking your lawmakers for making mandatory the use of ethonol fuel. That is your problem, go back to straight petroleum gasolines for your weedeaters, chainsaws, hedgtrimmers, and leaf blowers and your problems are through. It will harden up many plastics and man made rubber compounds. I know you will be putting corn growers out of business, but we have to draw the line somewhere.
08-21-2011, 12:21 PM #9
i see FTF is using a good quality tubing-tagon tubing is about the best you can buy.if its clear or pink it isnt worth the bag it came in.another thing i have done is a piece of nylon tube inside the fuel line to aid in a tight fit.the brass fitting is a great idea,a tiny o-ring may help.a person could slip a nut inside the tank and really improve the seal.question is-how much is the trimmer worth to you?even stihl and husqvarna use that type of setup.the shihls put the line in top of the tank.
08-21-2011, 10:46 PM #10
The details are that the original tubing of unknown age leaked because it had hardened and shrunken, so I went to the big box store and bought some "fuel line" from the small engine parts area of the lawn and garden section. It was clear like the original, and I believe the package said it was "vinyl". Put it on and life was good.
For about two weeks.
After only two weeks, that vinyl tubing had become stiff and shrunken to the point that it too had started to leak. So I went to my local lawn and garden service center, and bought some high quality Tygon tubing. The best they had! Put it on, and life was good.
For the rest of that season.
By the beginning of the next growing season, even that high quality Tygon tubing had shrunk and become stiff and started to leak. So I went to my local hobby shop and poked around the stuff they use for RC models. They had several varieties, including stuff that was specifically called out for use with "gasoline". Not the traditional RC engine fuel, but straight up gasoline. I bought some of that, put it on, and life was good.
For one season.
So, I made those feedthroughs. Yes, it took a bunch of time standing in front of the lathe, but I probably burned more time than that messing with the durn thing and driving around looking for new tubing.
I'm positive that those feedthroughs are up to E100 resistant. Hasn't made a peep since.
08-22-2011, 02:14 AM #11
I got tired of this problem and the problem of storage and bought a propane fired unit from Ace.
I'll never own a gas weed eater again.
08-22-2011, 02:29 AM #12
I had the same problem a couple years ago. I went to the hardware store and bought a tube of Loctite Stick N Seal Extreme. At that time it was advertized for use where fuel and solvents were present. I see the new add says for "applications requiring solvent resistance".
08-22-2011, 01:38 PM #13
Just replaced lines on my old Poulan. No leaks so far. I stretched the lines as I pulled them through and let them relax back. Worked. Blower is next.
08-23-2011, 04:19 AM #14
I had the same problem with a Ryobi weed eater. The lines have a little fitting, but the one at the bad line is missing, crumbled and fell out, I guess.
I couldn't find tiny fitting locally, so I bought the line anyway and went home. When I installed the line I stood in front of a tool box eyeballing stuff in it; I wrapped the line with teflon tape and built up a good thick layer, pushed the line and teflon into the tank as far as it would go, then pushed on the teflon to jam it into the hole.
Works perfectly. I have a tight enough fit to retain the line and it doesn't leak.
08-23-2011, 04:44 AM #15
Here’s is what I ended up doing: Taking a cue from FTF, I used a couple ¼-20 thread cutting screws to plug the two existing holes in the tank. I wrapped some Teflon pipe tape under the heads to add a little extra protection against leaks – probably overkill.
I drilled two 0.173 holes near the filler cap of the tank for the re-routed tubing.
It has been 24 hours and there is still gas in the tank with no leaks which is better than before when it was dribbling more than the Harlem Globetrotters!
Thanks for everyone's replies.
Last edited by Weirsdale George; 08-23-2011 at 04:45 AM. Reason: Added thanks.
08-23-2011, 10:55 AM #16
Makes you wonder why they put the original holes on the downward side where they are most prone to leak. I know the answer is "because that's where the carb is", but still.
By the way, the tank is supposed to operate under slight vacuum while it's running. That's the only reason they can get away with stuffing the tubes through the tank like they do. At least until the tubing shrinks to the point where "slight" vacuum isn't enough.
08-23-2011, 01:33 PM #17
Another issue you'll have down the road is when the pull start cord breaks, how much of that thing are you going to have to disassemble to replace it? Stilh, first thing that come off is the pull start.
08-23-2011, 04:02 PM #18
67 Cuda wrote, “Well, if you buy cheap, you get cheap.” Yes, but a dangerous design is still a dangerous design. Do you think that the government (along with thousands of lawyers) would allow someone to build and sell to the general public “cheap” cars that leaked gas after one year because deteriorating gas lines? Or maybe “cheap” propane stoves that leaked gas because of faulty materials. Yes, a weedwacker only holds only several ounces of gas/oil mix, but in a closed garage under the right conditions, could still make quite an explosion. (Just think of all the lawsuits that the Corvair and the Pinto created because of bad design.)
I, too, believe in buying quality, but when you get a quality-to-cheap ratio in the range of 2:1 to 6:1 and it is not a life-critical item (like a surgeon or a heart pacemaker) or something I make my living using, I start to think about it and research the options.
Weedeaters, and stuff of that ilk, are pretty much expendable consumer items, but should not be exempt from proper design.
08-23-2011, 04:12 PM #19
Go to your local hobby shop and buy a Sillivan gas tank. Get the opaque tank as they are for gasoline. If you get the translucent tank, they are for nitro based fuels and gas will destroy them on very short order.
Get some yellow fuel line. I forget what it's called, but it's for gas. The stuff for nitro fuels will just disolve.
08-24-2011, 10:38 AM #20
I deal with this everyday - I cannot say for sure what the cause is in each situation, but the Tygon (yellow) tubing seems to work the best (except the OEM lines that Stihl and Husqvarna use.
We have saws and trimmers that seem to need lines every couple of years, and others that go for decades. Not sure if it is storing with fuel that breaks down the line, or UV or what, but some of the Tygon shrinks and leaks while others stay perfect.
One trick I will share - Use a piece of piano wire doubled over to get lines of the proper OD in the tanks. Stick the wire thru the hole in the tank, insert the end of the fuel line and pull thru. We use an old starter handle with the wire secured in it to pull on the line. They have to be pretty snug, and there are many sizes. 0.187 , 0.203, 0.211 are the most popular.
I usually do away with the connector in the tank, and use a proper size line - much less to deal with.