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Could be 2 things: a restriction in your fuel line/coming out of the tank, or 2: a dirty carburetor needing to be removed, cleaned and possibly rebuilt and reinstalled. Hope it's one of those.Start with pulling the fuel line loose from the carburetor. If you have fuel flowing freely, plug the hose with a golf tee and move onto removing the carburetor. Carb kits are cheap and easy to install. It's best to rebuild while you have it off to avoid similar problems later.
needs to have carb cleaned out. most likely the main jet in the carb is plugged. symptoms include only running on choke and dies when choke is turned to run. or if you only have a primer bulb, it will only run for only a few seconds every time it is primed. if you are qualified to work on the carb, dont forget to start with fresh gas and possibly new fuel line and filter. R
starving for fuel. first check for bad/old gas, then restrictions in the fuel delivery including fuel line, filter, or buildup of debris in tank or any sharp bends or 90deg. fittings. then pull the float bowl and make sure the float is regulating fuel fuel into the bowl, but most likely your main jet is plugged. use a fine piece of wire like guitar string to runthru the jet located at the lowest part of the carb that hangs down into the float bowl. the jet will be on the side or bottom of this lower piece. put bowl back on, get gas to the carb and recheck starting problem. good luck. R
You have a fuel delivery problem. Main reasons for this is a dirty or plugged up carburator. If you know what you are doing, clean the carburator. If you let gas set in it for more than a month or so without starting it up, the good ole ethonal in the fuel has gummed up inside the carb. Once you get the carb clean (jets, ports, etc) and it still doesn't run replace the fuel pump. Cheap as heck and easy to install. Both items can be done in less than an hour and cost you about 25 bucks.
The jets in carbs are really small and clog easily. If you stored your mower with gas in it start by replacing the gas. Remove the air filter and prime the carb. Start the engine and place your fingers over the air intake on the carb. This will cause the engine to stall as it will be starved for air. It will also create a powerful suction on the jets and possibly dislodge a blockage. Prime the engine again and start. If does not continue to run, repeat the steps again. If after 3-4 tries your engine wont run you will have to remove the carb and clean the jets manually. The reason your engine runs for a short time is because it is burning the fuel that you put in there by priming it. After that the fuel comes through the jets in the carb and if these jets are clogged the engine will die.