Snow Blowers


What Oil to use in Snow Blower Engines

August 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

What oil to use in snow blower enginesThe chart at the left provides consumers with recommendations regarding what oil to use in snow blower engines at various temperatures. Most consumers will end up using 5 W 30 since it is good for temperatures from -22F to 32F and it is cheaper than synthetic oil which has a wider range. Since a snow blower engine is not needed during warm temperatures the wider range of synthetic oil is not really needed and you save money as well since it is more expensive. Always review the owners manual and use whatever is recommended for your snow blower engine. The intent of this post is to provide consumers with a guideline to follow.

What Oil to use in Snow Blower Engines – Fresh Oil

We also recommend that the oil should be changed at the beginning of the season in the late fall period. Run the engine for a few minutes to warm it up and ensure that the oil is hot enough to cleanly drain out of your snow blowers engine. Shut it off, drain the oil and replace the oil with whatever oil you decide to use. Check the oil level, restart the engine and let it run for a few minutes and then shut it off again. Let it sit for a minute before checking the oil one more time to make sure there is the right amount of oil in the engine.

Depending on how much your snow blower is used, you may need to change the oil one more time during the winter season, otherwise you can change it again at the beginning of the next season. Maintaining fresh oil in your snow blowers engine is one of the best ways to maintain your engine and keep it running for a long time. Don’t forget to put gasoline preservative in the gas tank, which you can obtain from most auto stores. Clean the spark plug and re-gap the plug when you change the oil as well.

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Signs of bad spark plug on Snow Blower

August 9th, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

bad spark plug on Snow BlowerSigns of bad spark plug on snow blower engines can be confused with several other issues all of which have similar symptoms. For example if your snow blower engine will not start it could be because there is no gasoline in the tank (don’t smirk this happens a lot), bad gas that has clogged the filters and / or carb, a bad spark plug or no spark at all getting to the spark plug. The easiest way to trouble shoot these problems is to check the easy things first, eliminate them and move onto the more difficult areas. For example, always check that you have gas in the gas tanks and if there is a shut off cock for the gasoline, that it is open! Many people shut this off in the spring and then forget that they did that when it comes to firing the snow blower up in the fall.

Bad Spark Plug on Snow Blower – Check the Plugs

The next easiest thing to check is the spark plug. Remove the wire connected to the plug and hold the metal end of the wire within 1/16th of an inch to the end of the spark plug. Have some one slowly pull the starter chord. You should see a spark. Be careful not to touch anything metal connected to the machine to avoid receiving a shock. It will not hurt you but it will give you a bit of a surprise.

Next remove the plug, clean it and re gap it to the specification in your manual. If the spark plug is badly corroded or cannot be cleaned properly, replace it with a new one. Make sure you also set the gap on this plug as well. If your engine is still running rough or not at all and you confirmed that there was a spark then you will have to search for other solutions.

At this point you know you have gas in the tank, the shuttle cock is open so gas can get to the carb, you know there is spark getting to the spark plug and you have either cleaned the plug or replaced it. What’s next? Turn the engine over a few times, remove the spark plug and check for gasoline on the plug. If the plug is wet, and you can smell gasoline, then gas is getting into the engine, you will need to recheck that it is gaped properly and that the spark plug is actually receiving a jolt of electricity. If it is dry then gas is not getting into the engine and you will need to recheck and / or clean the carb and gas tank.

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Best Snow Blowers for Roofs

July 21st, 2015 prrichar1 Posted in Roof Snow Removal | No Comments »

Best Snow Blowers for RoofsUsing a snow blower on your roof is probably not the best thing to do, given the danger of slipping and also potentially damaging your shingles on your roof. However we know people are going to disregard these suggestions and do things that may compromise their own safety. You are much better to use a snow rake, stand on the ground and pull the snow off the roof rather than lift a snow blower onto the roof. Although a snow rake takes more work, it is by far the safest approach to take. If you are going to use a snow blower on the roof, use one that is meant to be portable, that you can lift with one hand and that you can handle easily while maintaining your balance on a slippery roof.

Best Snow Blowers for Roofs – Portable Snow Blower

Most snow blowers are far to heavy to lift onto the roof and they will definitely damage your roof as well. Use a portable snow blower like the one in the picture. It is an electric blower so no need to worry about spilling gasoline on your roof and it is light enough that it will do less damage to your roof.

The hand held model will handle most snow conditions, however if there is ice or hard packed snow it may have more difficulty removing the icy junks. You probably also blow the snow onto adjacent sidewalks or even your driveway and will have to clear it later on. This is to be expected. If there are shrubs just below your roof, try to avoid dumping too much snow onto the shrubs. The weight of the snow will usually break the branches and flatten them to the ground.

If there is any doubt about your safety, hire someone to do the work on your behalf or use a snow rake to remove the snow.

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Snow Blower for Roof

July 7th, 2015 prrichar1 Posted in Roof Snow Removal | No Comments »

Snow Blower for RoofMany readers are looking for snow blower for roof solutions which we have to say can be very dangerous. We have seen numerous pictures of people using hoists and cranes to lift full size snow blowers onto a sloped roof to clear snow off of them. Not only will you damage your shingles you can slip off the roof and have serious injuries as a result. We strongly encourage readers to never lift a snow blower of any kind onto a roof. There are two possible solutions which are much safer. The electric snow blower shown in this picture would work provided that the snow is not hard packed or has an icy crust on it. Anyone attempting to use this solution needs to be very careful to avoid falling off the roof, but at least it is a light machine and can be controlled much more easily than a full blown powerful snow blower.

Snow Blower for Roof – Use a snow Rake

snow rake for roofThis solution is far better and although it involves much more work and is probably a lot harder, it is much safer than getting onto the roof. The snow rake has several long poles which are connected together so that the user can stand on the ground to pull the snow off the roof. Consumers must be careful to not work too hard especially if you have been a couch potato for many years. With this kind of work, often people who are not fit, suffer heart attacks when they do this type of work.

If you fall into this latter category, hire someone to do the work for you who is younger and fit. While it will cost you some money, it is much better than falling off the roof or suffering a heart attack. Electric snow blowers and roof snow rakes are the best options for clearing snow off of sloped roofs and even those that are flat.

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Leaf Blower for Snow on Roof

June 21st, 2015 prrichar1 Posted in Roof Snow Removal | No Comments »

Leaf Blower for Snow on RoofUsing a leaf blower for snow on roof clearing looks to this writer as an incredibly dangerous activity. These guys on the roof of this house are really taking a chance walking on a slippery icy roof as they attempt to clear a light amount of snow from the roof. It appears that they are using a rope as an attempt at safety, however the second individual has nothing to grab on to if the first should slip and fall. Both are going to go tumbling off the roof and land on whatever is at the bottom. This also looks like a home under construction so there are likely some sharp ragged things on the ground which could hurt them a lot when they do land on the ground. Never try this sort of thing without a lot more security than what these guys currently have.

Leaf Blower for Snow on Roof – Does it work?

Aside from the safety issue, we are wondering if using a leaf blower to clear the snow from the roof would actually work or not? Light, non compacted snow could possibly be blown off the roof, however most snow goes through a compaction cycle of the sun warming the snow slightly during the day so that it melts a bit. At night when the air is colder, the snow forms a crust on the top of the snow. Once the crust has formed it takes much more than a leaf blower to remove any snow on a roof.

As the snow gets deeper on the roof, the snow becomes heavier as well and so really using a leaf blower to clear snow from the roof is a non starter. As we mentioned earlier it is also very dangerous to be on the roof anyway due to the slippery slopes. If you must clear the snow from the roof,  use a snow rake with a long pole to remove the snow. Consumers can remove the snow in this manner while remaining on the ground! Remember stay safe!

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How to get a Snowblower on a Roof

June 7th, 2015 prrichar1 Posted in Roof Snow Removal | No Comments »

How to get a Snowblower on a RoofThe questions in not how to get a snowblower on a roof, but why would you do this or take the chance of an accident and damaging your roof? We hope this picture is photo shopped and not something that really happened. Snow loads on a roof is an important issue and the snow needs to be removed to avoid damage to the roof. Most people will get on the roof to shovel the snow off or use a snow rake while standing on the ground to remove the snow. Raising a heavy snow blower onto the roof is difficult to do and also dangerous. How do you get the snow blower up there? A crane could do the job and if you had one handy, I guess you could lift it up there but most people cannot afford to hire a crane.

How to get a Snowblower on a Roof – Damage to Roof

More importantly is the potential damage you can cause to the shingles as you move the snowblower along the roof. The tires are going to dig in and dislodge shingles. The scraper on the snow blower is going to catch shingles and tear them off. A lot of damage will be done to the roof, which can cause leaks later on when the snow begins to melt.

Whatever you are thinking, don’t try this as a solution. If you cannot get up on the roof yourself, hire someone to clear the snow off and make sure that they do this in a safe manner to avoid any potential injury from falling off the slippery roof. Personally I use a snow rake which allows me to stand on the ground and pull the snow off the roof. It is hard work, but a whole lot safe. If you are the couch potato type, you may want to hire someone to do this, since many heart attacks are caused by unaccustom overwork.

 

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Snow Blower Fuel Stabilizer

May 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

Snow Blower Fuel StablizerPlacing snow blower fuel stabilizer in the gasoline you use in your snow blower or any small engine is one of the best things you can do to keep the engine carburetor and filters from getting fouled.  When this occurs your engine will either run rough or it may not even start. This of course is not something that you want to deal with when there is a foot of snow on the ground. We suggest that you purchase some kind of snow blower stabilizer and regularly add it to your gasoline tank to keep everything clean and working smoothly every year. We do not recommend any particular type of fuel stabilizer, just that you use one recommended for your small engines.

Snow Blower Fuel Stabilizer – Why

If gasoline sits in a tank for any length of time, for example over a season, the components of the gasoline will tend to separate and settle on the sides of the tank as well as on the filter of the tank. As it is drawn into the carb, it coats the orifice of the carb and restricts gasoline from flowing smoothly and at the correct mixture of gasoline and air. The engine will not start if it is badly coated and insufficient gasoline gets into the engine. If it is not too bad the engine will speed up and then almost stall before repeating the same thing all over again. It makes it really difficult to develop enough power to blow snow properly, especially when you have lots of heavy snow to deal with. A few dollars spent on fuel stabilizer can prevent all of these issues and save you a trip to the local small engine mechanic as well.

Some people have been known to just go and purchase another snow blower instead of getting theirs fixed. Enterprising collectors will take them free of charge and fix them themselves and sell them for a few hundred dollars making a nice little profit.

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Fuel Stabilizer for Engines

May 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

Fuel Stabilizer for EnginesThis is the time to add fuel stabilizer for engines that are going to sit around awhile without being used. Since this is a site that discusses everything about snow blowers and this post is in mid May, it is time to prepare your snow blowers engine for the sitting idle for the next six months. If you have not done so already, add some fuel stabilizer for engines to the gas tank and run the engine for a few minutes to ensure that the gasoline with the fuel stabilizer is properly circulated through everything. We are not recommending any particular stabilizer, but we are recommending that you use some form of stabilizer to ensure that your engines components do not become clogged with the old gas that sits in your gasoline tank.

Fuel Stabilizer for Engines

If you are wondering why you should use a stabilizer, most mechanics will tell you that when gasoline sits around for longer than several months, some of the chemicals will separate and they will form a gummy substance that clogs filters and the orifice in the carburetor. Your engine may not run at all or it may run very rough and only a properly cleaning of all of these parts will bring it back to proper running condition. Spending a few dollars on fuel stabilizer for engines is much less expensive and much less frustrating than having to take your engine in to be repaired.

Most auto parts stores and small engine stores along with the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot will sell these kinds of products. Follow the instructions carefully and add the proper amount to either your gasoline tank on your snow blowers engine or into the portable gasoline tank that you fill at the gas station. In fact if gas is going to sit in this portable tank for any length of time you are better to empty it into your cars tank and use up this gasoline rather than have it sit for a long period.

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Tips for Snow Thrower Maintenance

April 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

Tips for Snow Thrower Maintenanceover the past few weeks we have posted a number of articles about snowblower maintenance. The term snowblower and snow thrower are used interchangeably. We thought we would summarize some of the typical maintenance activities that anyone who owns and operates a snowblower should consider.

Safety

Never allow your children or pets to be near an operating snowblower. The Snowblowers can throw rocks, hard ice and the engine sound can lead to deafness. There’s also a danger of slipping into the spinning blades particularly with active dogs. Always read the safety section of the snowblower manual prior to operating your machine for the first time.

Snow blower maintenance tips and operating tips.

Wear hearing protection and safety glasses

Wear excellent grip footwear to stop you from slipping

In heavy snow conditions try to clear the store more often or only take a half cut with each pass of your snowblower

Always wear lots of protective clothing particularly in windy conditions with dry powder snow.

Always clear your driveway of any rocks and sticks or anything else that could damage the snowblower or be thrown.

Never point the snowblower chute at windows or vehicles or humans.

Lower the speed, the forward speed of the snowblower when you’re dealing with deep snow and heavy wet snow.

Always clear all of the snow from the driveway, since any snow left can freeze and make it difficult to clear the snow next time.

Always clean the auger and the impeller of snow once you’re finished. Make sure you turn the engine off to avoid any potential accident with the moving auger

Always use the proper bolts for shear pins to avoid expensive repairs to the transmission and the gear system of the snowblower.

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Inspecting the belts on your snowblower

April 14th, 2015 prrichar1 Posted in Repairs & Mtce | No Comments »

There are usually two belts on most to stage snowblowers. One belt is required to drive the auger while the other belt is required to drive the wheels. They Usually last for quite a few years however on older snowblowers operators should check them on an annual basis looking for wear and tear, abrasions and cracking. It is fairly easy to inspect the belts on your snowblower and we recommend that you open your manual and confirm the location of the belt cover and how best to remove it.

The plastic belt cover it Sheasley secured by two bolts which can be removed using a small wrench. Once you remove the belt cover on your snowboard, inspect the belt for cracks and where. Replace the belt if needed. If you’re going to replace the belt take a picture first so that you can refer to it when you’re installing the new belt and you want to refer to it and install it exactly as removed.

If you’re finding that the forward motion of the snowboard is slowing down under heavy loads, or the snow is not being shown as far as it normally would there’s a chance that the older belts have begun to stretch. There are two ways to deal with this problem. The first is to adjust the pulleys to make sure that the belt is tight. You will notice the belt tightener probably has an adjustment to allow you to tighten the belt. The second alternative is of course to replace a belt. Make sure that the replacement belt is the right size both in diameter as well is in the width and depth of the belt.

Once the belt is installed replace the cover and test your snow blower by restarting it and confirming that the forward speed as well as the auger is running properly. Most operator owners of snow blowers prefer to do their maintenance during the summer or fall months when it is warmer rather than when it’s very cold outside
and difficult to work.

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