Lawn mowers won't stay running

My neighbor (female with deployed husband) has two lawn mowers that won't s tay running. I drained the old gas from them, put new gas in, and used a li ttle ether to get them started. They run for a bit, then die. They won't st art on their own, without ether. I try priming them, but I'm not sure they are getting gas.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
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On Tue, 3 May 2016 09:36:43 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

.. turn on the gas valve ?
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On Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 11:36:47 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

stay running. I drained the old gas from them, put new gas in, and used a little ether to get them started. They run for a bit, then die. They won't start on their own, without ether. I try priming them, but I'm not sure the y are getting gas.

Remove the air cleaner and see if fuel is spraying when you press the prime r. When cold sometimes after starting, you need to prime it until it can ru n on its own.
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On 5/3/2016 12:36 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I drained the old gas from them, put new gas in, and used a little ether to get them started.
They run for a bit, then die. They won't start on their own, without ether. I try priming them,
but I'm not sure they are getting gas.

Old mower, I used to help by adding carburetor cleaner to the gas.
My newer Honda is hard to start but whiff of carburetor cleaner or ether gets it started with one pull and it runs fine thereafter.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes:

Make sure the vent hole on the gas cap isn't plugged.
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On 5/3/2016 1:24 PM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

>> priming them, but I'm not sure they >> are getting gas.

The symptoms are consistent with bad gasket between the carb and the engine body.
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On Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 2:36:15 PM UTC-5, Stormin Mormon wrote:

You say the same thing every time!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Pull the line to the carburetor. Is gas flowing/dripping?
Pull the air filter. If you can spray fuel/starting fluid into the carb and it continues to run, you're clogged in the carb or in the line.
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On 5/3/2016 12:36 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Walk behind, or riders? Engine size? Self propelled?
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wrote:

Just don't let the engine backfire or you can be on the menu for a bar-b-q.
Get a can of sea-foam. Put some in each tank. Get them started a few times. Let sit for a couple hours and try again. Blow gently into the top of the tank to pressurize a bit to help get gasoline into the carb if necessary. (a piece of mountain bike inner tube stretched over the filler for you to blow into helps)
The Sea-Foam works pretty good at hetting the crud disolved out of the jets and float bowl.
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