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James W
James W, Small Engine Troubleshooting Expert
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3708
Experience:  7 years as Mechanic & Parts Manager for Brother who has Owned Lawn & Garden Repair shop for 35 years
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I have a Briggs and Stratton Intek 20 HP in a riding lawn mower.

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I have a Briggs and Stratton Intek 20 HP in a riding lawn mower. The fuel pumps have been failing every 1 to 2 hours. I put it on my other B&S engine and it does not work. I put the fuel pump from the other engine on the Intek 20, and it works. I've replaced the pump three times and now realize that something else has to be wrong. Do you have a possible explanation as to what may be wrong? Thank you, David


My name isXXXXX and I am here to help the best I can. My goal is 100% satisfaction. Let's get started.


Did you change fuel filter and fuel lines as well as clean the gas tank?


if the screen in the tank or the fuel line or the filter is clogged


The the pump must work too hard and will wear itself out


In addition to that, check to see if the fuel cap vent is working correctly.


Try with the cap off or get a new cap.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Fuel filter looks clean, much cleaner than on my other B&G engine. I will replace them both, though. The fuel tank looks very clean. There is no screen on the pick up tube in the gas tank, just the tube. I blew into the fuel line, and a small amount of black matter was injected into the tank from the hose. But, I could blow easily and the gas flowed easily into the tank. I was thinking that the problem may have been the pressure from the valve cover being too great, contributing to the destruction of the pump. I've never heard of changing the fuel lines.....

As engines sit or get older, fuel that is left in the carburetor can turn to gum and varnish and cause this and other problems.

Also, any gasoline that was left in a gas can for a period of more than 30 days must be discarded because it also has begun to turn to varnish.

Today's gasolines contain MTBE and alcohol. (Ethanol) They turn to "Junk and garbage" very quickly. Alcohol absorbs water. And they call it "Oxygenated fuels! It is the oxygen (and the water) that breaks down the organic compounds in the fuel and turns the gas to "Garbage" (Gum and varnish) The fuels we had just a few years ago had no alcohol in it and would store for longer periods of time before going stale.

Fuel stabilizers do almost nothing to prevent the fuel from going bad with the changes in today's fuels. The whole point of a fuel stabilizer is to form an oily film on the surface of stored gasoline whether in the tank or in a gas can. The idea was to keep oxygen away from the gasoline to prevent breakdown. Since the fuel is already oxygenated, the fuel stabilizer concept is null and void. These fuels start to degrade immediately upon the addition of the ethanol.

Do not buy gas from the "Discount" Stations. The discount stations get a reduced price on gas because they may be buying fuel that is nearly 30 days old already. You may be getting fuel that's nearly stale right from the pump when buying from a discount station. Purchase your fuel from the well-known stations such as Shell, BP, Sonoco, Phillips 66 etc.


ALWAYS clean the fuel tank and replace the fuel line when doing this repair or you may have to do it all over again. The inside of the fuel line disintegrates over time and these small pieces of rubber will plug up the fuel pump and the carburetor too.


Alcohol is very corrosive to rubber especially if it has been allowed to sit and oxidize.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Will I be able to contact you later if this repair does not work? I'm going to get the supplies right now, and the repair should only take about 30-45 minutes.


Just come back here any time.


I have had people with limited time come back multiple times for two weeks.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm new at this, so I must ask - will I be charged for each time we talk about this same problem. What if I do everything you suggest and the pump fails again in a couple of hours?

So far, all you have done is paid a deposit.

Your money stays in your account until you hit accept.

Once you hit accept, the money is transferred to JA and the expert gets a share.

You are welcome to come back for follow ups on the same problem and the same subject without being charged an additional amount.


The only way you would be charged more is if you opened a new question on a different subject.

Or if you hit accept a 2nd time (not advised)

Or if you left a BONUS (experts beg for these) lol...


But I am here for follow ups..


There is no warranty on answers, so I can not PROMISE that we KNOW the problem..


Did the fuel pump have a lot of OIL in it?

If so, your oil level may be too high, or you may have a crankcase pressure problem.


That is any kind of leak where air (or gas) could get into the crankcase such as:


1. If the carburetor is not working correctly, it will bypass fuel through it into the oil. This thins the oil and will cause the oil to go places that it shouldn't. Check your oil ans smell it to see if there is gas in the oil. If there is gas in the oil, you will have to overhaul and clean the carburetor with a COMPLETE carburetor repair kit.


2. If the oil dipstick gaskets are not sealing correctly, it will allow the vacuum.. (Primary compression inside the crankcase) to be at the wrong levels, which will push oil out where yours is coming from.


3. If the valve guides in the engine are worn, it will pressurize the crankcase...pushing the oil out.


4. If the engine had worn out rings or a scored piston, the it will also pressurize the crankcase and push the oil out. The engine will have to be overhauled if this is the problem.


5. If for some reason the engine is running too fast, it will also cause this problem. This happens is someone has messed with the governor to get it to run faster. Also if the governor gear has broken inside the engine this will also cause the engine to run too fast.


6. If you have a blown head gasket, this will also cause the problem. In fact, this is one of the first things I would check.


If you don't feel comfortable with this kind of repair I would suggest sending it to a reputable shop.

Feel free to contact me here at this question anytime ...even after you hit the "ACCEPT" button ...and I will try to help further.

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