Should I Clean Again Or Replace This Carb - Tractors & Mowers - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:28 AM   #1
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Should I clean again or replace this carb


Briggs 550 series motor. I bought the mower new around 5yrs ago. It ran great for 4yrs, and always started right up. Then it got harder to start, requiring more pulls to get it running, eventually not starting at all.

Spark plug, oil, and air filter was replaced once a year.

Since I had another mower, this one sat for a few months. 2 weeks ago, I took the carburetor off, took it apart, and cleaned it. When taking it apart, the problem was obvious. The float was stuck and I could feel a gunky build-up on the parts in the bowl. I cleaned it all with carb cleaner, and put it back together. I also drained the old gas out of the tank, and filled it with new gas. For good measure, I put a new spark plug in it.

I had to use carb cleaner to get it to start up (spraying a shot or two into the carb), most likely due to having an empty float bowl. Once it started, it ran like a brand new mower again. I used it for about an hour with no issues at all. I then let it sit for a few hours to cool down and tried to start it again before putting it away. It started on the first pull.

So, I put it in the shed, where it sat for 2 weeks until I needed to use it again. Now, it won't start at all. I can make it start up by spraying a shot of carb cleaner in the spark plug hole, but it immediately dies.

I'm now thinking that maybe I should have sprayed the carb cleaner all through the gas tank and cleaned it out as well, instead of just draining it and filling with new gas.

Should I try cleaning everything again, including the tank, or replace the carb? The carb is so simple, I can't imagine it would need to be replaced, but thought I would ask.

For reference, this is the carb that my mower comes with.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Briggs-St...3261/205884122
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:18 PM   #2
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Re: Should I clean again or replace this carb


A $23 plastic carb. Brave new world. I think you are guessing correctly. The same crud that the stale fuel deposited in the carb probably did the same in the tank, and now it has likely washed into the carb again. You could try and take the tank off and swish some cleaner around in it and see what comes out. You may have to do the carb again.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:35 PM   #3
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Re: Should I clean again or replace this carb


Definitely made a mistake not cleaning the tank and hose .

Varnish buildup is common if one leaves fuel in them over the winter season.

Which one feels right, spend $25+ on a new carb, and don't clean out the tank, and have it happen again, OR clean tank, fuel line, carb, and save the $25+,

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Old 05-24-2017, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: Should I clean again or replace this carb


I'd suggest replacing the fuel line, not just cleaning it, also if there's room add a fuel filter in line.
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