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Welcome to the site, BHEATH.

You're right, the increased ethanol in todays gas doesn't help.

Does the machine sit for long periods, say like a couple weeks or more, between uses? If so, I would run the gas out of it each time, assuming it has a fuel shut off valve. If it does not already have a fuel shut off valve, then I would definitely install put one on. They are very easy to install and can be picked up at any lawnmower shop or auto parts store.

Bascially after each use, you turn the valve to the" closed" position and wait a minute or so until it burns out what is left in the fuel system. This way the carburetor is empty of fuel when it sits unused which greatly decreases the chance of the fuel gumming up in the system.
 
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