Trouble starting petrol lawnmower

I've just bought my first petrol lawnmower. It's a Gardenmaster SP21, powered by a Honda 5.5 4-stroke engine. It was secondhand, but had never been used. I find it very, very hard to start. My son eventually managed to start it and used it for only about one minute, then stopped it so I could have a go. Very hard to start again. I only went about 10 yards before stalling it. Now it refuses to start. What are we doing wrong? I presume we should have the choke on to start, then move the lever to the fast position in use? Thanks for any tips-I know very little about engines.
--
Contessa

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I could fall in love with a Contessa - but first - are you sure it was "never" used ? Was the gas in it when you got it ? If, so, you might need the carbueator, gas line and fuel tank cleaned out since old gas can crud things up. If not, check the choke operation to make sure it is actually closing to start and opening after it gets running.
Sarge <on his knees professing his love>
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Srgnt Billko;798318 Wrote:

I'm sure it was never used-there was oil but no petrol. Will ckeck ou the choke-the lever is quite stiff. Thanks for your reply- a Contessa really shouldn't have to mow th lawn
-- Contessa
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We have a spray oil called WD-40 over here that loosens things up. I wondered about a Contessa mowing the lawn - let the son do it ? Or better yet, let me, your humble servant do it. As far as the "lever being quite stiff" - that's another story.
Sarge <who's 71 and wrists, knees, shoulders and elbows are stiff - but that's all LOL>
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Contessa wrote:

Did you check the oil? Is there some in it? If yes, then a fuel problem seems likely. Check the air filter too, a dirty one will make it choke out. Water in the gas could make it stop too. Take a flash light and see if a ball of water is rolling around the bottom of the tank as you rock it. A syringe can suck it out. If it's running out of gas the gas flow is being restricted somewhere. Take the carburetor off check the gas flow in the gas line. Disassemble the carburetor and check for dirt and lacquer build up. Blow out the jets. Reassemble the carburetor and reattach it and try it again. If of course if you are not a handy mechanic you can compound the problem.
--
Claude Hopper :)

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