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Caution shall be exercised when priming a carburetor.

Does it mean "Caution shall be exercised when filling fuel to a carburetor"?

I searched "prime" in macmillandictionary.com and dic.cambridge.org but I couldn't find any relevant definition that fits in this context. However, when searched in merriam-webster.com, there was a definition, which was "fill, load". So I want to be sure if "prime" has meaning of "fill" or "load", and if this meaning fits in the context.

3 Answers 3

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In the Cambridge Dictionary you can find:

prime = to prepare someone or something for a particular situation:

So the meaning in the context is: to make sure that the carburetor is in good condition to be used. It can include inspecting, cleaning, refilling, painting - whatever work is necessary to make sure that the carburetor is in good condition.

This meaning of the verb is related to the following meaning (as an adjective, see same dictionary page):

prime (adj.) = of the best quality:

So this confirms the explanation: make the carburetor "of the best quality".

NOTE: this answer is about the definition of "to prime". It is not as a manual on how to perform technical activities on a carburetor.

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  • Yes, I found that definition too, but the previous sentence was: Before fueling generator and/or vehicle, the same shall be shut down. So I wasn't sure if this definition is the correct one.
    – jay
    Mar 12, 2019 at 6:40
  • I just updated answer ;) Of course, you do not proceed to maintenance work while the device is running - because of safety reasons, for you and for the device.
    – virolino
    Mar 12, 2019 at 6:43
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Yes, it does mean that,

Caution shall be exercised when priming a carburetor.

= (equals to)

Caution shall be exercised when filling fuel to a carburetor

You can search up on the internet, it is well known.

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Practically, here it means to release undue amount of air from the carburetor so that there won't be cavitation or hammering . You can search self priming pump for instance, and see how it operates. By the way, I'm mechanical engineer and this definition is in relation to my major. When "priming" is mentioned in industry it mostly implies to the air releasing process. At least we do so in oil and gas industry; in particular, for pumps and compressors . However, it can include a set of instructions to fill the fuel to the carburetor

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  • You actually answered the wrong question: "how to prime a carburetor" - you did not go into the effort to answer the real question: "what does prime mean".
    – virolino
    Mar 12, 2019 at 6:53
  • This mechanical engineer agrees with your explanation. Mar 12, 2019 at 7:13
  • Hi all, when "priming" is mentioned in industry it mostly implies to the air releasing process. At least we do so in oil and gas industry; in particular, for pumps and compressors . However, it can include a set of instructions to fill the fuel to the carburetor. Mar 12, 2019 at 7:57

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