Should I start this water pump?

Jun 9, 2005
I was given a portable pump as partial trade for something. I’ve never used one before outside of fire department models. I don’t have a use for it and plan to either sell it to a neighbor or give it to a friend it if it doesn’t work.

Model is a Red Lion 6RLAG-2ST.

I haven’t attempted to start the engine yet. I remember someone once telling me not to do so unless the machine had a water load to suction.

Is that a myth or fact? A quick online search shows owners’ manuals seem to indicate to always start the pump with water. However I see some places people not mentioning water and just starting the engine, as I wish to do.
It's a fact actually. It not the actual act of pumping water, but the pump should at least be primed and have something like a garden hose going into the suction loosly. The water acts as a lubricant and cooling for the seal surfaces.
You don't need water for the pump to pump (I mean you do, but that's a different problem), you need water to not burn up the mechanical seal behind the impeller. Those seals live very short lives when the pump is run dry.
Fill the pump chamber with water would be enough to see if the engine starts, but don't let it run for more than a few seconds. Better if you can cap off the outlet somehow so the water doesn't just blow out when it starts.
Or, plumb it so the output pipe is aimed at the intake pipe with either a large cup or 2 liter bottle in it. So if the motor starts, it just recycles the water keeping the packing lubed. The carb will probably need to be cleaned out and possibly the gas tank. A few elbows and pipe nipples is about all you'll need.,,,
Point a garden hose into the pump intake and start it up. You need some water in there to lubricate it. It doesn't have to be actually pumping anything, just needs to be kept wet.