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Yes this is the semi automated startup process. If the fuel is bad(old) or the carburetor has residue restricting the fuel passages the engine will run lean requiring some enrichment.(choke) I suspect that the engine may be hunting when warm. Use carburetor cleaner along with a fuel stabilizer.
Check/replace the fuel filter.
Empty fuel tank and purchase some no ethanol from home supply running the engine will assist in cleaning the passages. When engine is running close the choke a fuel times to give the engine a poor mans clean out, Avoid disassemble of the carb with out having technical compliance.(these are delicate and susceptible to contamination).
Never leave fuel in the engine when in storage. Ethanol gums up the fuel passages.
I discovered on a Craftman Riding 3 bladed mower that there is an easy way to replace the belt for the blade pulleys.
The mandrel cover of the Left side blade is the only part you need to remove to replace the belt. You can insert the belt under the right side mandrel cover and onto the clutch pulley before finishing on the left side of the mower.
The tensioner or idler pulleys will contract when you pull on the belt. When you get to the left blade pulley you can turn the pulley with one hand and guide the belt with the other hand. The belt will walk right up onto the pulley. Attach the cover and you're done.
I like my method because you can stay away from a hot engine and replace the belt without waiting for the motor to cool off. You are also not fighting the mower clutch or drivebelt with my method.
Did you check the Seat inside the Carb??
The rubber seat melts with ethanol gas and then the hole is too small to support the running engine even when the Needle valve is allowing gas past.
Did you unscrew the long jet and clean those tiny holes?
from your statement ,it has to assumed that it is a 4 stroke edger and nit 2 stroke
Because this engine is relatively small, some manufacturers omit a drain plug for the sump and advise removing the fill /dip stick and tipping the motor over to drain
next best suggestion is to talk with a service shop and ask where the plug may be.
of course you will need to have such information such as make /model to get a response from them unlike what you have provided here.