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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Things to know about gas engines.

4-Stroke Engines

Check engine oil every hour.

To turn on: Ignition switch ON, turn fuel on (black valve to right), close choke (grey valve to left) and turn throttle to half way.  Engage pull cord - pull quickly at 2 feet maximum pull cord length.

Once started, open choke and let idle for 1-2 minutes.

Engines are designed to run at full throttle only.  Anything less will cause lugging, overheating and clutch damage.  Because engines are designed to run at 3600RPM, if you are running it at 1500-2000RPM, the clutch springs will not be fully engaged causing the clutch to slip and overheat - this will also cause the belt to melt.

When turning off, let idle for a minute, turn ignition off and be sure to shut the fuel off.

2-Stroke Engines

To turn engine on:  Turn ignition switch on, push decompression in, pull choke out, lock throttle and pull to start.  Once engine fires, push choke and decompression in, and pull one last time.

Please note: failed to follow any one of the above instructions will cause the engine to flood.

It's very easy to flood a 2-stroke engine.  All it takes is putting it on its side to refuel, and sometimes just by leaving it in the sun for nothing more than 2 minutes!  The heat of the sun expands the gas and pressures it, therefore filling the engine.  Another cause of flooding is by pulling the pull cord too slowly.

When unflooding a 2-stroke engine, one person must squeeze the trigger to full throttle, and another person must pull the engine over 15-20x to clear it.  Once the engine starts, you must run it at full throttle until the blue smoke has fully escaped the engine.

Frequently Asked Questions

4-Cycle Engine:  Why does this machine only run for a couple minutes then dies?

If you phone First Stop Tool & Equipment Rentals Ltd. we will ask you a few questions;

Is the ignition switch on?

What position is the fuel valve in? - Left or Right?

What position is the choke in?

What position is the throttle in?

Is the engine loaded down? (Belt engaged)

Compactors:  I'm building a 10x10 patio.  What size of compactor do I need?

It's important to know how thick the layers of compaction are to determine the appropriate size of compactor you need.  It is not based on the dimensions, but the weight that determines this.

100lb = 1"-2" layers

160lb = 2"-3" layers

200lb = 3"-4" layers

400lb = 6"-8" layers

800lb = 8"-12" layers

1100lb = 12"-18" layers

1300lb = 12"-24" layers

Compressors:  I plugged in the compressor with the hose attached to the air nailer.  It's been continously running, why won't it shut off?

The valves in the air nailer will not seal until there is enough pressure built up.  You must disconnect the hose.


Jack Hammers & Chippers:  Which one should I use for my job?

Are you trying to chip a wall or a floor? Wall = Chipper, Floor = Jackhammer.

Jack Hammers & Chippers:  Why are the bits dulling so quickly?

You must only use the jack hammers and chippers at a 30 degree angle. If you're using is at a 90 degree angle, the bits will dull almost immediately.

Target Saws:  The wet saw was cutting fine for about 15 minutes and then it stopped.  The motor is warm too. Why did this happen?

This means you've been forcing the tool and it has overheated.  Let the motor cool down, then press the reset button.

Hardwood Nailers/Staplers:  Why are the nails/staples jamming in the gun?

There are two possible reasons for this;

  1. You're hitting directly into the screws of the subfloor.
  2. You're using the wrong gauge of staples/nails. (The Chinese staples are a finer gauge and if used in our staplers/nailers, this will jam and cause damage)


Ceramic Tile Saw:  (see target saw scenario question)

Carpet Cleaner:  Why is there no soap spraying into the carpet?

Check that the switches are in the right position (carpet=floor, upholstry).  Disconnect and reconnect the quick coupler to ensure proper coupling.

Floor Sanders:  What type of floor sander do I need?

Ideally, for a freshly laid floor you would need an orbital sander.  If you're taking lots of varnish or paint off and/or your floors are uneven, you would need a drum sander with the edger.

Why are my circuit breakers tripping?

3 possible explanations;

  1. You're using an extension cord which is not advised as this can severely damage the equipment.
  2. You have both machines running on the same circuit.
  3. There is bad wiring in the house.


Generators: What size of generator do I need?

After talking with several electricians, a good rule of thumb is 3x your load because it takes 3x as much wattage to get it going than it does to keep it running.

For Example;

1500W electric chipper would need a 4500W generator just to start it.

Formula: Wattage = Voltage X Amperage


When an air compressor starts, it will draw for a split second about 40 amps.  The generator will not be able to handle this, but will keep the air compressor running at a slower RPM (running on start winding).  This will burn out the compressor AND generator.

Heaters:  Are there any requirements to rent a heater?

It is mandatory to have a certificate of training for any propane heaters.

Brush Cutters:  What type of blade do I need?

If you have tall grass you'd like to cut down, a triangle blade is recommended.  However, if you have thick stocky brush up to 1 inch in diameter, the skill saw blade is recommended.


Lawn Aerators:  The belt came off, what do I do?

You are going the length ways of the ditch and are on an angle while running the machine.  Try going up and down a shallow ditch instead if possible.

Do I use a lawn aerator first or a dethatcher/lawn comber?

Dethatch, then aerate.

Lawn Mower:  How tall can my grass be to use a lawn mower?

6-8 inches but only cut half the width of the mower for less stalling.  If it's any taller, you need a brush cutter with a triangle blade.

Log splitter:  Why won't the engine start?

It's possible the log splitter is under load.  Put the lever in neutral and it will start.


Post Hole Augers:  What type of auger will I need?

It depends on how many holes you have to dig as we have 4 different types of post hole augers.

  1. Manual augers.  Appropriate if you're only digging a few holes.
  2. 2-Man Auger:  Appropriate if you're doing up to 10 holes, but this really depends on how much labour you want to put into this, and depending on your partners' strength on handling a two man auger.  The torque on this machine is very strong when you hit a rock or root.  If the operators are not feeling confident, then we suggest;
  3. 1-man hydraulic auger:  Appropriate if you have 10-20 holes.  Less labour in comparison to the manual and 2-man augers.
  4. MT52 Auger Attachment:  Appropriate for 20+ holes.  Perfect for someone who wants to do the least amount of labour with it and to get the job done quickly.  This is a loader unit with a platform you stand on at the back and use the hand controls to drill your holes.

Sod Cutter:  Are there any procedures I need to take prior to renting?

Yes.  Please soak your lawn beforehand.  If your lawn is dry, it will be hard for the blade to cut through the sod and will damage the machine.  Also, to avoid damaging, stop to investigate if you hit a rock and/or root before continuing.

Stump Grinder:  Are there any procedures I need to take prior to renting?

Yes.  Please dig 6 inches around your stumps and hose down the dirt from the stumps the night before.  The stump grinder is just like a chain saw;  you never want to be cutting through dirt with either machines.


Rotto - Tillers:  What type of tiller do I need?

We have 3 types of tillers;

  1. Mini-Tyne Tiller:  Meant for a raised garden bed.
  2. Front-Tyne Tiller:  Meant for an already existing garden that just needs to be tossed up for the season.
  3. Mid-Tyne Tiller:  Meant for creating gardens.

Trencher:  What do I do if the belt starts to squeal?

**Stop Immediately** Shut the engine off.  You have a rock jammed in the chain.  Investigate and remove rock or root from chain before proceeding.

Plumbing: Pipe Thawer - Air Assist.  Why must I unplug the pipe thawer before pressurizing?

When the water comes out, the element will be exposed and will burn out every time.


Pressure Washers - General: Why can't I pull the engine over?  After the 3rd pull it won't pull anymore.

The engine is hydraulically locked.  This happens because the trigger from the wand was not pulled and not releasing the pressure.

Pressure Washers In General:  Why must I bleed the air out before turning it on?

If this procedure is not followed, this will overheat the pump and overheat the motor.  This is a very crucial step to follow.

Pumps:  Why must they be primed prior to use?

Not priming the pump will overheat the the seals with no water.