I Have an Ariens with a Snow King HMSK 80 engine. Won't start this year, 12 years old and never had a problem. While fooling with it, I discovered several things.
1. When I hit the prime pump, no fuel was comeing through, just air.
2. Fuel came out of the tank fine.
3. I in adverntly messed up the settings of the two screws under the float bowl. I dont know which screw does what, drain/float and how to adjust back.
4. Guessing my main cause is that i have to get to the priming pump, which looks like a pain.
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If you have an adjustable main jet on your carb. Which is a screw sticking out of the bottom of the carb bowl. And you tried turning it and nothing happened. Then chances are your carbs main jet is just partially blocked. So no amount of adjusting will richen the mixture up. If your snow blower has a few years on it you may also be suffering from poor valve clearance which can sometimes cause erratic operation. A compression gauge will let you know if you are in need of a valve grinding or not. Finally you can try draining your fuel out and getting fresh fuel. Also be sure the fuel doesn't go into any can with old fuel in it. Be safe and good luck!
If the snow thrower worked last year I would suspect old fuel in the tank. Dump out the old fuel in the tank and put in fresh. Put a squirt of starting fluid in the carb and try to start it. If it fires the ignition is good. Do this a few times to pull the old fuel through the carb and fuel line. When the new fuel gets through the fuel system to the engine it will stay running. The spark plug in the engine will have number on it. Get one with the same number if you want to replace it.
When you drained the gas from the gas tank did you also take the carb apart and clean it. There should be a bowl that the fuel line from the gas tank goes to. There is a float in that bowl that has to go up and down to regulate how much gas goes into the engine. You may have a build up of varnish from old gas on the piece that the float moves up and down. Also there should be an idle jet that you screw in and out to adjust the idle. That also could be junked up.
As you said, it's probably got a stuck float. If stored without draining and fuel petcock turned off, gas evaporates from carb bowl and sticks float down, allowing fuel to flow all the time.
Solution: Remove carb and fully clean. Carb dip can be effective if left long enough but it will not clean out totally closed-up holes or clogged passages. Cleaners can only dissolve varnish if they can get to it and totally clogged passages won't allow cleaner to flow to where it's needed. Pros use a hot bath of cleaner and/or ultrasonic cleaners.
Start with a carburetor rebuild kit and use as many parts as necessary. Be careful to remove rubber parts like O-rings and gaskets before cleaning with solvents. Adjust mixture screws to factory recommendations and fine tune after you get it running. Good idea to purchase an engine service manual for you particular engine.
The Tecumseh snow motors are notorious for idling rough. Especially the last few years of production. Most service techs just say "live with it" But there are a couple of things you can do to help.
It is not a carb adjustment issue. It's usually a fuel, clean carb issue.
First, use a premium grade fuel without ethanol and a fuel stabilizer. This will give you the best fuel mix.
Second, Remove the carburetor shield and clean the inside and outside of the carb with carb cleaner. Even though you can't see the carb usually, they do get varnish build up and cleaning it will help some.
Third, Put the recommended amount of fuel system cleaner in the gas. I use Sea Foam brand. Over a tank full or two you will notice a difference in how the engine idles.
Fourth, Use a high quality spark plug and use a new one every year. Make sure the gap is correct.
Good Luck! Feel free to as any other questions you may have. Don't forget to rate this answer!