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Water in engine or fuel

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Toroguy, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    Last night I camped my equipment outdoors. Rain was forecast so I covered my Metro walkbehind with a tarp that had many small holes. Well it rained to the tune of 6". The mower started up fine at the first property, I made it up the driveway when it killed. It started back up again, and died. I do all the regular maintenance so I was miffed. The only thing that was different was that I left it outside...and the 6" of rain.

    I stopped at the Auto parts store and bought some starting fluid and HEET. With the starting fluid the engine came to life again. Only to die out when the fluid was stopped. I added HEET to the tank, which had approx 4 gallons of 87 octane remaining. Engine wouldn't run even with the HEET fuel system dryer.

    So I put to good use my High School drop-out education, I drank the gas...I mean drained the gas. Then I removed the carb from the 16 HP Briggs Vanguard and drained the fuel bowl, filled it with Isopropyl alcohol and drained it again. I reinstalled the carb, refilled the tank with new waterless 85 octane and the mower runs as good as new. It even has a higher rev?

    I dont know if the water was in the tank, or in the carb...or both?

    My question for you all. Is the isopropyl alcohol overkill for drying the carb? And, how often should a guy remove the carb and clean it? The bowl has a bolt on the bottom and a smaller screw into the side of it, what are these for? Any tips or suggestions are appreciated.
  2. Molerj

    Molerj LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 40

    Congratulations on getting your mower running again. The problem was indeed water in the fuel. The nut on the bottom of the bowl is for removing the bowl. Don't know what you mean by screw on the side, unless you are talking about an adjustment screw for the carb. If you aren't experiencing any carb. problems, & are using fresh, clean gas, there is no need to remove and clean the carb. As for the alcohol, I don't think it had anything to do with removing the water. When you drained the carb. the water would have all come out.
  3. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    Thanks Molerj!

    There is a small screw on the side of the bowl. I'll leave it alone...
  4. mower_medic

    mower_medic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    The screw in the side of the carb bowl is usually a drain. If you back the screw out partially(not removing it completely) it should allow any water or sediment to drain through a small hole directly below the screw. Do not allow this to drip on a hot engine as there is a great potential for a fire when the fuel comes in contact with the hot engine.

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