Need help with lawn mower

I have a 6 year old White LC210 push mower which has been terrific until now. It has a 6.0 HP B&S Quantum engine that includes a shut off key. Symptoms: mower runs for a few seconds until the prime is burned off and then stops. Background: I've been using the mower with no problem this year (so that probably rules out bad gas which I replaced with a fresh fill anyway). I may have changed the position of the shut off key (but then restored it). I have checked the plug and air filter and don't see any problem. I have replaced the gasket between the carburator and air cleaner to no avail. I removed the carburator and did not see anything unusual. When I changed the oil at the beginning of the season by flipping the mower upside down (can't get to the oil plug without out removing the engine from the deck - my only serious problem with the design so far), some oil leaked into the air cleaner. I replaced the filter and have since used the mower with no problem although there was some smoke until the oil residue had been burned off.
The only thing that occurs to me as I sit here is that when I moved the shut off key, I did not get it back to the correct position. I'm not sure what this key does. If it stops the flow of gas, than I may need to play with the key. If it shuts off the spark, then I doubt that it is the problem since I can get it to run, just not beyond burning the prime. Looks like I need to take a closer look at the shut off key mechanism. Any thoughts?
Thanks.
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Squirt some fuel in it after it dies, if it starts its a fuel issue likely a dirty carb.
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Do you have a fuel filter? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Lou
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No. No fuel filter on this engine.
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Six HP Briggs? Very unlikely.
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On May 15, 11:04pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Funny you should say that. The White literature lists it as a 6.5 HP engine, yet the label on the engine clearly says 6.0 HP.
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re: I'm not sure what this key does.
The key typically grounds the electrical system and prevents the plug from firing. If you had a ground problem with the key, I don't think the mower would run for even a few seconds because you'd never get any spark.
At least that's the way it's worked on the 2 snowblowers that I had that had keys - lost a key once and replaced it with a simple toggle switch.
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rit,
I suspect that you are not getting fuel. Focus on the carb. It may need a good cleaning or it may need to be rebuilt. Clearly it starts when primed so you are getting spark. I think that excludes this key
Dave M.
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Thanks, everyone. I'll let you all know how this turns out. I agree that it's the carb. and I will be cleaning it this weekend. After that it goes to the shop.
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wrote:

My best experience is to strip the carb, soak overnight (auto store cleaner kit), compressed air in all jets next, etc....
No need for the shop! It can be made to run again. They are simple engines. Give them, air, fuel, spark and exhaust. Not much else needed but maintenance.
Good luck.
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Thanks, Oren
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If it's like the Tecumsehs I'm used to servicing, the bolt that holds the carb bowl on has a small hole, which meters (regulates) the gas flow. That small hole sometimes gets clogged.
Also, drain all the gas into a sodapop bottle, and look for water. I have a strong sense, that you got water in the gas some how.
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If you take the air filter off, will it continue running? The key would interrupt ignition, not gas, and it sounds like you have spark, so I'd rule out a key problem..
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The engine does not run with the air cleaner removed. I really believe it's a dirty carb. especially considering the fact that oil got into the air cleaner when I tipped the mower to change the oil. The maintenance manual says to keep the air cleaner on top when tipping the mower to change to oil. I didn't do that. I'll know better whan I take the carb. off and clean it. Interestingly, my next door neighbor has a mower showing the identical symptoms. He's waiting for me to figure out what my problem is before he tackles his mower. I just bought a carb. rebuild kit in case I need to rebuild the carb. It was only $12 from B&S.com. I'm betting I won't because the mower isn't that old. Again, thanks for everyone's responses. I'll post again when I figure out what the problem is.
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Well, despite all the much appreciated help I received here, I gave up and delivered my White lawn mower to the place where I bought it. And $57 and one week later, I have my beloved mower back and running like new. I'll never know what they did to it to get it to run. I asked and was told that the carb. was very dirty. I don't doubt that there was dirt somewhere but "very dirty"? I don't think so. Not after I was done cleaning it? I obviously missed something but that carb. was not "very dirity" when I turned the mower in for repair. I was talking to a friend about my experience and he said that the vaste majority of the time, it's the screw that secures the bowel to the carb. that's at fault. I did not pay much attention to this screw when I cleaned the carb. I has holes in it thru which the gas flows. I'll certainly look more closely at this next time.
BTW, I was not aware of how much the performance of the mower had degraded. At high speed it feels like I have to run after the mower to keep up. And it's getting thru grass that used to cause it to bog down. Life is good.
Thanks again for all the help.
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I really need to proof my posts beter. Of course I meant bowl, not bowel.
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