Echo 200 Possibilities for fresh fuel soaking air filter


Forum Newbie
Apr 16, 2015
This is an older Echo curved shaft trimmer (ST-200?). It apparently wasn't used that much, as it runs great... when it starts. Wife uses it, so
I'm looking for various causes of fresh gas/oil soaking the dry "paper" fuel filter, not one that you soak in oil.

It wouldn't start - took air cleaner cover off & immediately saw a lot of fresh gas / oil mix on the almost new filter. Fairly sure that's why it didn't start. Either way, shouldn't do that.
Last year replaced the vent valve that hides under the engine cover, fuel filter, air filter & plug (I gapped). It started & ran great after. It also started easy & ran fine a couple weeks ago. It doesn't smoke when running, so good combustion.

I was wondering if there's anything - common - other than continual flooding that'd cause gas to leak or siphon, etc., out the tank & onto the filter while it's not in use?
The choke / half choke / run positions are marked. Doesn't mean the starting procedure was followed. Has a metal off / on toggle kill switch. It's possible it was on full choke & she kept cranking - she wouldn't remember. Or maybe pumped the primer bulb too much.

She / I could've laid or hung it incorrectly in the shed & forgotten. Maybe got moved so the carb faced down, or just the tank was above the air filter? Lots of gremlins around. There's a place to hang it, so the engine is on top & gas cap pointing up, which has worked fine before, but it could've been hung or moved in another position - really don't know.



Lawn Royalty
Nov 29, 2014
Gravity and pressure from heat will cause the fuel to pass from the tank to the carb then leak out and fill the filter.
There is no off tap for these small hand helds.
Same situation with the breather,'
The cap lets air in and is generally a one way valve
The vent lets excessive pressure out and is usually also a one way valve.
The tank runs at 7 to 10 psi
So try to either empty the tank when you are finished with it , a must at the end of the season, tip fuel out, start up then run dry.
Try storing it with the tank below the engine, so standing on the engine end blade in the air.
If it gets a lot of sun on it during the day or is in a small steel shed that gets very hot, try cracking the fuel cap to prevent excessive pressure build up.
It is a good idea o have a spare air filter on hand , so if yours is fuel damped , swap it with the dry one