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I have a Craftsman Snowblower, model 247.889702. Unit is a few years old, and I can't get it to start. Unfortunately, I left gas in it one winter and over the summer and of course when I tried to get it to start last winter it wouldn't work.

I'm a definite novice when it comes to troubleshooting issues like this, but I took a look at it this afternoon after reading some on the net. I found that the carburetor was all gummed up. I got some carb cleaner and cleaned the carb bowl and the carb itself out pretty good, drained as much of the old gas from it as I could and added new gas. Still couldn't get it to start (even with the electric starter).

While trying to get it to start, I took the carb bowl off and tried hitting the primer. I noticed that while I heard an air sucking/swooshing noise, it didn't seem like any gas was coming through the carb. I was expecting a few drops to drip off the end of the tube. Is that normal? If not, is it possible that the fuel line is clogged?

Thanks in advance.

UPDATE
It turns out the fuel line was clogged. I pulled it and it was completely full of a black tarry gunk that completely blocked the flow. I was able to clear it out but it was so bad I just ordered a new one and a new fitting for the fuel tank. Waiting for them to come in now.

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Your best bet is to get a replacement carb. Some have had good luck rebuilding them, but for the trouble of it, it's just a lot easier to buy a new one off the internet. Personally, I can never get them to run right after a rebuild. You can usually get one for less than $50 depending on the model.

After you put a new one on, ensure you have a cut off valve on your gas line, then when you are done with it for the year, cut the fuel off and then run it until it dies for lack of gas. This will keep your carb clean. Also, use a fuel stabilizer such as Sta-Bil. It will keep the gas fresh until you need it next year.

  • Thanks for the advice. I may have to go that route. But just so I know, if I hit the primer with the carb bowl off, should I see some gas leak out of the carb? Thanks... – rsbarro Oct 13 '14 at 3:21
  • I'm not positive, but my gut check is you wouldn't. I think with the bowl off you won't get any suction and therefor the bulb won't work anyway. I've never tried to pump it with the bowl off, so don't know for sure. I was thinking that the bulb pulled from the bowl (or provided suction to the bowl) so it would fill the bowl, thus priming the entire carb. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 13 '14 at 11:03
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Does it have a vacuum operated fuel valve? If so you need to suck on the vacuum pipe to allow fuel to flow into carburetor. You should then see it gush out if the bowl is removed

  • Hi Dave, thanks for the help. I'm not sure if it has a vacuum operated fuel value. The gas tank fitting is this part (searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/part-number/Mtd-Parts/…). It screws into the gas tank and the fuel line connects to it. From there the fuel line runs right to the carb. When I took the fuel line off, I wasn't able to get gas to flow from the fitting, so I ordered a new one. Should gas pour out of that fitting normally? – rsbarro Oct 28 '14 at 14:34
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the carb bowl has to be on and have a good seal. when you press the primer you are forcing air into the bowl pushing fuel up into the throat of the carb make sure the hose from the back of the primer bulb is connected to the carb

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