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Mower won't start unless I put gas in the spark plug well

I have a Briggs and Stratton 4-cycle, OHV, self-propelled mower. It is several years old, we just got it from a friend. It worked the first few times we tried, then just woudn't start. I changed the spark plug and air filter. Still nothing. Then I pulled out the spark plug and put a little bit of gas in the well. It started and ran like a champ for an hour while I finished the lawn. I believe this is a carburetor problem, but don't know for sure and I am a novice repair guy who wants to learn how to do all this myself. What do I need to clean/fix/replace, and how do I do it?

Thanks so much.

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I have the same issue. Fuel is not getting to the plug. The carb is perfect, I don't think a new one could be cleaner, fuel line is clear, bowl is filling nicely, needle and seat working, valves are good. I put fuel in the well and it started, ran a couple seconds and cut out. There's no solenoid on this carb. Help!!!

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First off, I'd clean the carburetor. Take the bowl on the bottom of the carb off. You will see a float and a needle valve. Make sure the float moves and that the needle valve functions properly. Clean your gas line from the tank to the carb as well as make sure that your gas cap is vented, there are either a few holes in it or a washer underneath the cap. If it is not vented you will get a vacuum and fuel will not flow. Good Luck and I hope this helps.

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+ Good advice..

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I cleaned my carb twice and it is still doing the same thing it will crank with fuel poured in cylinder and in inlet of carb but shuts down Replaced primer bulb Mower is 11 yrs old

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i’m like you, in that i wasn’t born with a wrench in my pocket, but i wanted to know how to take care of things on my own. with average aptitude and a few tools, willingness to read and learn, and the internet, and you’re on your way. for me, no matter if it’s a washer or dryer, stove or frig, mower or truck, etc., it always starts with a model number. use it to do a search and you find diagrams and parts as well as troubleshooting guides and repair videos.

one thing i can tell you about small engines (these days) is that the carbs are crap. 85-90% of the problems i run into with small engines is carb related. your problem is very likely solved with carburetor service ( but don’t overlook first checking for other obvious problems, like a cracked primer bulb, etc.).

the answer provided previously is very decent, but assumes you know the language and/or are familiar with the components, which you may or may not be. understanding how a carburetor works or how to service one is not rocket science, but you’ll benefit greatly by reading up on it, first.

if you do get into such things, here’s a couple of thoughts- start by clearing the clippings, grime and grease, etc., from the mower, so these potential contaminates are eliminated. take a picture of the way things are assembled before you start, and at various points along the way, so you can be sure the way things are put back together. also, when you begin to take things apart, do so carefully, as it’s easy for these small parts (including springs) to get away from you and get lost, or at least hard to find. have some bench-top area with a couple of trays (for parts), carb cleaner, degreasing solvent, and some shop rags. you’ll be needing pliers, wrenches, sockets and screwdrivers, and an assortment of small gauge wires. having a compressor and air nozzle to be able to blow things out or off helps too.

finally, when cleaning the carb, bear in mind that in addition to other carb service aspects, the tiny ports the fuel flows thru are easily plugged with some kind of debris or deposit. use carb cleaner and spray all ports (be sure to protect your eyes and hands), and use the appropriate size wire to clear each port, then spray again, and (if you have compressed air) blow out. make sure each and every component is clean, and re-assemble things exactly as designed.

hope you find your problem and in the process get to learn some things, too. Good Luck!!

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Spark plug well is flooding with gas won't start . What can I do to correct this?

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it is likely the fuel continues to leak thru the system after you shut off the mower. just how this is happening in your case depends on the mower design and features. please include mower manufacturer and model number for more help.

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many things can cause this from bad rings to failing gasket even to a faulty carburetor solenoid. if you are not comfortable with small engines I would recommend you take it to an authorized technician.

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