Lawn mower won't start

Ran into an acquaintance who was complaining her one year old mower will not start. Said she drained the gas last winter. Says she put in fresh gas, new oil, changed plug. Knows to prime it by pushing rubber button. I suggested cleaning air filter. I do not know brand, other than she bought it in Home Depot and threw away receipt. It is a high wheeler. Thoughts from those that know mowers?
TIA
LB
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snipped-for-privacy@notmine.com wrote in

The mowers in the old days always started. The new ones, if you look at them they won't start.
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Did she first observe the problem before, or after, doing all this?

Possibly she didn't get the plug wire fully seated after changing the plug. Or the new plug may be defective.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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If she just drained the gas without running the carb dry the carb is gummed up and needs a pro cleaning,
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Doug Miller wrote:

Hi, First thing first. We have to narrow down whether it's fuel or electric(spark) problem. Plugs last more than a season. No need to replace it to begin with. I don't even drain gas for winter. In the spring it starts with ~3 pulls. Mower is John Deere. Tony
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i spray Quick Start into any carb engine that won't start. gets it going IMMEDIATELY. ...thehick
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wrote:

will
I have found that spray carburator cleaner works just as good. In really cold weather just a quick shot and it starts right up. I also use nothing but 5W30 Mobil 1 in my air cooled engines.
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I found this tip on the Briggs site. Their explanation made sense to me but my results were perfect. Anyway.
They listed a tip to help determine if its a gas supply problem or not. Remove spark plug, pour 1 teaspoon of fresh gas in the hole and replace the plug. Re-attach the plug wire. Try and start it. If it starts but then dies it means you have a fuel supply problem otherwise if it doesn't start its engine related.
OK - I did this and my mower started and it has been running fine ever since. Try it.
Let us know if it works for you.

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A teaspoon straight into the cylinder sounds a bit excessive. More likely to flood it methinks.
Instead, I pull off the air filter, and squirt about half as much gas into the air intake on the carb. Gives the engine a chance to run for a while rather than blowing it all out in one belch (or flooding it).
I've had equipment whose priming circuits didn't work, and this allowed me to start them.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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Chris. I used to work same place your e-mail from. Been a few years though.
As for being excessive, it may be for some mowers, I suppose. It worked like a charm for me, fixed my problem right away. I was surprised really. Maybe I got lucky. I got the tip at http://tinyurl.com/ddc7n
To Quote from Briggs - "Remove the spark plug lead and spark plug; pour a teaspoon of fuel directly into the cylinder; reinsert the spark plug and lead; start the engine; if it runs for a moment before quitting, overhaul the carburetor"
Other tips from Briggs here http://faqs.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/faqs.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php?p_prod_lvl1=1&p_cat_lvl1 "
YMMV

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While she drained the gas last winter did she drain the water last week? Could be there's a lot of water (condensed from air as dew) in the tank.
snipped-for-privacy@notmine.com wrote:

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I had a brand new mower that I only used for one summer. I never drained the gas and it sat for over 3 yrs. in the garage. Reason it sat in the garage is because I have a service do my lawn mowing now. Some how it became known at work that I had this mower and some one showed an interest in using it because they could not afford one at this time. I said no problem you can use it until you can afford to buy one your self. Adding "if I can get it started". I dragged it out of the mess of my garage and opened the gas tank lid and it was dry. Gas tank had a lot of white powdery stuff in it. I blew it out with compressed air and put in gas that I had in the garage. Seems the gas in the tank and carb. had dried out. I filled the tank with gas I had in the garage and tried to start it. It wouldn't start until I shot a couple of squirts of starting fluid into the air intake. It then did start but would not keep running unless I kept pushing on the primer button. I kept pushing the primer button hoping the gas would clean out the varnish left over from the old gas drying out. The only way it would keep running was to keep pushing the primer button. Finally thought maybe the gas that I had put in it from the garage was old gas and yes it was. I went out and bought new gas. I drained all of the old gas and put in the new gas. Started it and kept pushing the primer button. After several minutes it did start to run on it's own.
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On Thu, 09 Jun 2005 05:31:19 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@notmine.com wrote:

Please post a photo of this mower and we will tell you precisely what is wrong with it.
If you want detailed repair instructions, take the entire mower and engine apart, and photograph each and every part and upload them. However, you must photograph EVERY part, even all the bolts..
Thank You for your call !
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