Leaf blowers are one of the most useful and handy portable tools for your garden. The tool is generally used to blow away debris like fallen leaves, or cut grass. Leaf blowers are portable tools that run on either electricity or gasoline. Gas engines are mostly two-stroke engines, but there are also four-stroke engines that are better for the environment. Leaf blowers are used to clean your garden but they also need to be cleaned and maintained themselves from time to time. Not maintaining your machine will make it more prone to get damaged and will make it slowly lose efficiency and eventually die.
To Clean and maintain a Leaf Blower Properly you should follow these steps:
- Set up your workspace
- Remove any debris
- Check and clean the air filter
- Check and clean or change the spark plug
- Check and clean the fuel filter
- Change the Oil
- Check and clean the carburetor
Cleaning an electric leaf blower takes less steps:
- Clean Out Debris
- Clean the outside of your machine
- Check and maintain the extension cable
- Battery maintenance
A leaf blower has many parts that need proper cleaning from time to time. Not cleaning them properly can mean that they are difficult to start, lose efficiency, and eventually can breakdown. The two main types of leaf blowers, electric, and gas leaf blowers, both need to be cleaned differently.
Cleaning a Gas Leaf Blower
Before looking at how to clean your gas leaf blower it is important to understand the most important parts of your machine
– The most important parts of your leaf blower
● Air Filter:
The air filter works as an absorbent which filters the air that enters the carburettor before it is mixed with the fuel. The air filter is a mostly rectangular piece of foam that is mounted on the air intake of the carburettor. The air filter plays a vital role in case of a leaf blower. It is very important for a user to know what the air filter does. If the air filter gets damaged in any way or has a hole in it the filter will not function properly, and dust and other small particles will get inside the carburettor. The machine will get dirtier day by day if this happens.
The carburetor is the part that mixes air with the fuel in a proper proportion which helps to produce the gas which is combustible. The mixtures of gas/air then go into the cylinder where the machine then compresses it by the use of piston and then ignites it by the spark plug which is also a vital part of a leaf blower. The carburetor plays a vital role in running the leaf blower properly.
● Fuel filter:
The fuel tank or gas tank has a filter that cleans the fuel that goes inside the engine and makes sure that no unnecessary particles go inside the engine. The fuel or gas that you normally purchase at the gas station will be clean, but an older jerrycan or older fuel tank can be dirty inside. Dirt entering the engine can be harmful.
● Spark Plug:
The spark plug is the component which ignites the air and fuel mixture. This happens in the engine of gas-powered leaf blowers. The spark plug is an important part of your machine, and if it gets damaged or does not work properly your leaf blower can stop working or will work less efficiently and wear much faster.
– Clean and maintain the leafblower
Knowing the important parts of you leaf blower we can now have a look at how to clean them
● Set up your workspace
Before you start working on your leaf blower make sure that you have a good, clean and strong place to work. This way there is less chance of losing any parts that you remove to clean, and also less chance that dirt can get into your machine. Also collect the tools you need, like spark plug wrench, screwdrivers, a wire brush, and various other wrenches, and put them close to you.
● Remove any debris
Before you make an attempt on cleaning the leaf blower, you should prepare it. First, turn the machine off and put it on the table. Remove all the visible debris. You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions before opening it up. Check google or youtube if you do not know how to open your machine.
● Cleaning the air filter
The first step is to take a look at the air filter. The air filter works as a screening material that filters all the air that goes inside the machine. This means the air filter captures all the dust and debris and prevents them from going inside the machine. This makes it a necessity to clean or replace the air filter from time to time. Take it out from the blower and start cleaning it.
Try to do this outside so you will not dirty your workspace. You can use a vacuum or scrub it to clean so there is no dust and debris left. If it is really dirty and can not be cleaned properly, or it is damaged you should replace the air filter. When you are done, put it aside for the time being until you have cleaned the parts that are connected to the air filter.
● Cleaning the spark plug
The spark plug is a vital part of the machine. Always clean your sparkplug(s) when you clean your air filter. Remove the spark plug cable from the top of the sparkplug. Then use a spark plug wrench to remove the sparkplug(s) from your machine. Make sure that no dirt can get into the hole where the spark plug used to be.
After removing the spark plug, clean the part that was in the engine properly. You can use a wire brush for this. Also, check that the top part that is used to connect with the spark plug cable is clean. Once you are done cleaning it, put it back into the machine. Make sure that you do not put to much force on your wrench, as it can hurt the screw thread. If you are not sure how tight it should be you can use a torque wrench.
● Clean the fuel filter
Check if your fuel filter is clogged. If this is the case you should replace it. We do not recommend cleaning the fuel filter as it is really delicate and can be easily broken during the cleaning process.
● Oil change
Most 2-cycle leaf blowers are using a mixture of fuel and engine oil in their tanks, but 4-cycle leaf blowers will have a separate tank for oil and fuel. Similar to your car, this oil needs to be replaced regularly. To do this drain the oil that is currently inside. Your leaf blower will have a drain plug for this.
After you removed all the oil fill it up again with the correct oil, check the manual what type of oil is needed. Always ensure that your leaf blower contains enough oil.
● Cleaning the carburetor
The carburetor is an important component of a leaf blower and needs to be maintained correctly. To clean it remove the carburetor from your machine. Fill a bowl or other container, that is big enough with carburetor cleaner, and put the dirty carburetor in the solution. Leave it in the container and let it soak for a while. After the solution has had enough time to do its work take the carburetor out, let the liquid drain out of the carburetor, and wipe it clean. When there is no cleaner left inside you can attach it back to the place where you removed it from the machine and attach it firmly. Take care that you do not tighten the screws too much as this can hurt the screw thread.
Cleaning a Corded or Battery powered Leaf Blower
An electric leaf blower has fewer parts, and is easier to maintain than a gas-powered leafblower:
● Clean Out Debris
Check your leaf blower for any debris that is in it. If you have an air compressor, you can use it to blow away dirt from hard to reach areas.
● Cleaning the outside of your machine
You can use some soap mixed with warm water to clean your machine. But make sure that you stay out of the motor area.
● Extension cable maintenance
If you have a corded leaf blower, check the extension cable that you use carefully. It should not have any damage. If for whatever reason the cable is damaged you should replace it.
● Battery maintenance
If you are using a battery-powered leaf blower you should take good care of your battery. Each rechargeable battery loses efficiency when it is chared. To make it last longer you should only charge it when you really need it.
If you notice that your battery degraded a lot after the winter period that you can not charge it, it is possible to revive it, but this takes some skill. If recovery is not possible, or is to complex you should replace it.
Storing your leaf blower
Storing your leaf blower in a safe location at the end of the seaon is important to keep your machine in good order for many years to come. After you have cleaned your blower and want to store it, think about the following aspects:
● Empty the fuel tank
If you have a gas leaf blower and you know you will not need your machine for a long time you should empty the fuel tank. Leaving the gas in the tank can make it evaporate, dry up and create a fuel mixture that is advisiable for your leaf blower.
● Remove the extension cord
If you have an electric lead blower you should remove the extension cord from your blower, roll it up properly, and put it away safely.
● Storing in a dry place
The leaf blower should always be kept in a dry place. Putting it in a wet place will result in the machine rusting and also the rubber parts can wear out more easily. If possible find a place with low humidity, that will keep the machine clean and ready to be used for a long time.
● Protect it from the sun
The uv from the sun can damage the plastic parts of your leaf blower, so always keep it away from direct sunlight contact. Keep the machine in a shaded location, preferably in a closet or cabinet withour direct. If this is not possible you can also cover your blower.
● Keep it away from small animals
Make sure that you store your lead blower such that small animals like mice can not reach it. Those animals can put there teath in the rubber parts of your machine, like the fuel line.
● Keeping it Dust Free
Try to find dust free place, or cover the machine after cleaning.
Maintaining and storing your leaf blower well will give you much better user experience. That way your blower will start when you need it and do not lose efficiency over time. Even though it is named a leaf blower, it can easily be used to blow away debris, dust, and snow. Also when you do not use your blower that often, taking good care, and maintaining it well, will make it last much longer.