primer bulb not sucking fuel.

May 17, 2011
The bulb aint sucking fuel at all.

I just built a new ski.
It has brand new fuel line and primer bulb.
It has rear fuel tank. It has two fuel line pickups, one for each carb (first time i done duel pickups).
It has 2 new fuel filters (first time i have used paper filters and not just mesh filters as this what i got off supplier).
It has primer bulb tee on one of the fuel pickups.

Attached a crude diagram of fuel line routing. Attached some pictures of the fuel lines around the bulb area and show my fuel filters.

Anyone got an idea whats wrong with this setup. Is it my fuel filters ? Or is it because i have used duel fuel line pickup and only teeing off one for the bulb. I didnt want the buld to tee before the fuel filters.

in the picture the gold thing in the fuel line is the tee to the bulb which is stuck through the hull.


Jan 26, 2014
You might have the small hoses reversed on the Primer Bulb. Switch them and try again.

The Primer Bulb is like a Check Valve, it will only pump/flow in one direction.

Also. blow thru the Return Line (into Tank) to prime all the Lines and Carburetors till Fuel flows out of the Carb Return Nipple.vThen reconnect Return Line to Carb.


Site Supporter
Jun 23, 2013
Oh that's the better bulb of the different models. Even so they can be defective brand new, I have 3 new defective versions one being that model. Disconnect the hose from the T to your fuel line and primer fitting and put your tongue on one hose bulb and see if you can feel it suck when pushing bulb. If nothing is felt try the other hose, if nothing is felt it's junk.

just joe

Site Supporter
Apr 4, 2006
Newark, DE
From 20 years experience with ski’s, primers always fail. Always. Plunger, bulb, turkey baster, weedwacker micro bulb... all have failed me one way or another.

I stopped using them, but I don’t ride surf. If you feel you must use one, return line tap is critically important as I’ve lost one motor and almost two due to sucking air. Which means turning the motor over a few seconds without ignition to get fuel flowing through the carbs.

I hand choke stock air intakes/spark arrestors or use a paint mixing cup over A/M filters to choke. Not as convenient as dumping fuel into the motor, but it’s once a day. If you need a primer to start more than the first time of the day, your carb tuning could be improved.

Plus it’s a much more sanitary look, fewer fuel/air leak paths, fewer zip ties, fewer spare parts to carry, etc.

I vote pull it out.

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Jun 9, 2015
I have run primers for years and never had an issue other than they crap out after a year or so.

Now I have no primer or choke. Most times I need to prime with fuel from my priming bottle I keep with me on the first start of the day. Sometimes not at all. It is not a necessary piece of equipment to have installed IMO. Extra lines and T's are asking for trouble at some point. Fuel leaks can be a proper hazard in a ski, air leaks into fuel likes can be a proper hazard to a wallet.
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