Originally Posted by brucehawsker
How important is it to run the engine out of fuel each time? I use mine every three to four weeks. But it takes a lot of pulling to get fuel back into the carb if I run it dry.
I have a similar problem with my Yamaha 4hp 4-stroke, which incidentally has an integral tank. Due to the siting of the carburettor so far from the fuel outlet on the tank, it regularly takes up to 10 pulls of the starter cord to draw the fuel into the carb and fire the bitch up. I always run the carb dry after each usage and therefore have to put up with this problem, but I find it preferable to having petrol leaking out of the float chamber after I chuck it in the back of the car and asphixiating the occupants, which is what happens if you don't run it dry!
As JWalker says, the problem should be resolved in your case by pumping the fuel bulb to fill the carb before you pull the starter cord. I don't use a separate tank so I don't have that option.
The issue of stale fuel is interesting. Apparently normal unleaded goes off after 1-2 months, although I once left half a tank of fuel in my Yamaha for 10 months and it still fired up and ran fine when I came to use it. I did, however, top it up with fresh fuel which probably helped.