How to Start a Flooded Chainsaw? Quick 9 Step Guide

How to start a flooded chainsaw? Being a chainsaw owner, you may have this question in your mind. But it is also necessary to talk about the technicalities hidden behind this simple term – yes, the term ‘flooded chainsaw’ might confuse laymen.

Technically, this term is used when the chainsaw is unable to start due to over loading of fuel that fills the combustion chamber beyond its limit. The combustion chamber is responsible for igniting the spark, and when the chamber is filled beyond its capacity, it becomes unable to ignite the spark. This is because, the fuel occupies the whole space in the combustion chamber, and there is no space for oxygen to support ignition. In these circumstances, engine files are to start.

Generally, this is not a problem that can threaten the dignity of your chainsaw, but still, a potential risk that might take a considerable time for you in repairing it (only if you are doing it the first time).

How to Unflood Your Chainsaw? 

Before I start telling you about repairing of flooded chainsaw, let me tell you how to know that your chainsaw is flooded.

Pull the rope off your chainsaw, if it fails to start with a burp, this is the first indication of a flooded chainsaw.

Then replace the air filters of your power tool, if it still doesn’t start, it is confirmed that your chainsaw is flooded.

How to Start a Flooded Chainsaw

Once you are sure that your chainsaw is flooded, you can apply the following step-by-step guide to bring your chainsaw back into a working position.

Before start working with a chainsaw, make sure that your chainsaw isn’t connected to power, and do not forget to wear your safety gloves, and goggles – these are unavoidable things every time you use or repair your chainsaw.

1. Remove the Cover 

In the first step, put your chainsaw on a table or on a flat surface. Clean it thoroughly to eliminate debris from its surface. Once the chainsaw is cleaned, remove its protective cover. Usually, there is a lever attached to the chainsaw which is responsible for holding the protective cover – upon pressing this lever, the protective cover could be separated easily.

Mostly, you will easily find the lever, but if there is any problem in finding the lever, you may consult the user manual. Different brands like Husqvarna, Poulan, Makita have this lever at different positions, so you may need to see the user manual.

2. Check Spark Plug 

Once you have removed the protective cover from the chainsaw, the next step belongs to check the spark plug. A spark plug is a necessary part of every engine; it is mainly responsible for starting the ignition.

The position of the spark plug may be different in different models of chainsaws, so I would recommend you consult the user manual to locate the position of the spark plug.

3. Pull the Spark Plug Cap 

There is a spark plug cap on the spark plug. Pull this cap slowly without damaging any other part of the plug. This is a high-voltage cap attached to the spark plug. After removing the cap, you are ready to move to the next step.

4. Remove the Spark Plug 

Pulling the spark plug cap out, you will have a spark plug in front of you, and now your task is to remove the plug from the chainsaw.

For this purpose, you need a combination wrench, called scrench, this wrench comes in the packing of your chainsaw. Set the wrench around the spark plug, and start untightening it. A spark plug is very tight, so it will not be easy to untighten it.

Keep on rotating the wrench in an anti-clockwise direction unless the spark plug is loose enough to move with your hand. Remove the spark plug from the chainsaw, find the choke control lever and press it.

This is how you will deactivate the chainsaw choke.

5. Dry the Wet Electrode 

You have taken the spark plug out of the chainsaw; the electrode of the spark plug will be wet, take a piece of rag and clean the excessive fuel from the electrode. After cleaning the electrode, put it aside.

6. Remove Excessive Fuel from Combustion Chamber 

In this step, you have to remove the excess fuel from the combustion chamber. Turn the chainsaw to the off position of the lever; this step will ensure that vapors do not catch the spark. Once you have put the chainsaw in the aforementioned position, put one of your feet on the chainsaw, and pull the starter rope.

Pulling the starter rope more than twice or thrice will create space for oxygen in the combustion chamber.

7. Reattach the Spark Plug 

After you have drained excessive fuel from the combustion chamber, there has created space for oxygen in the chamber now. So, this is the time to adjust the spark plug back into its position and tighten it. Take a similar scrench, and move it in a clockwise direction unless the spark plug is tight enough.

8. Adjust the Protective Cover 

Now, there comes the turn of putting the protective cover back in its position. For this purpose, put the cover back on the chainsaw, and engage the lever that holds the cover.

9. Start Chainsaw 

This is the time to start your chainsaw. Pull the rope of your chainsaw while keeping the choke lever in at a fully open position. When the chainsaw starts, turn the choke lever to the off position.

So, here are simple steps in answer to your question about how to start a flooded chainsaw. While doing this, you can also check the condition of the spark plug – if it isn’t well, you may change it right away.


Unflooding your chainsaw becomes inevitable in order to use it for your purpose; otherwise, you will not be able to use it for your cause. You may consider the whole procedure as a time-consuming one, but it does not take more than 10 to 15 minutes.

If you are sure that your chainsaw isn’t starting because it is flooded, it is the best approach to follow the aforementioned steps, and bring your chainsaw back to its working condition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q1. How long does it take a flooded chainsaw to start? 

Usually, the whole procedure does not take more than 10 to 15 minutes. If you are a beginner, it will likely take 30 minutes.

Q2. How do you know if the chainsaw is flooded? 

If your chainsaw isn’t starting, there can be multiple reasons for it. If the engine fails to start even after multiple attempts, change the air filters of the chainsaw. It still it is unable to start, and your chainsaw is flooded.

Q3. What happens when you start a flooded engine?

Flooded engine comprises of too much fuel without necessarily-required oxygen to ignite the engine. The presence of excessive fuel wets the end of plug and it becomes unable to start the engine.

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