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Leaf blowers are every gardener’s go-to tool in dealing with fallen leaves and grass cuttings, as well as in cleaning out gutters.
Basically, it helps save time by guiding debris to an area where you can easily collect them for proper disposal.
To maximize your leaf blower’s potential and capability, you need to know how to operate it correctly.
Of course, this begins with learning how to start a leaf blower.
How To Start a Leaf Blower
Learning how to start a gas leaf blower can be tricky at first. To help you out, here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow.
Step 1: Prepare the gas-oil mixture.
Before you even begin with the process of learning how to start a leaf blower, you have to prepare the gas-oil mixture first.
In a small gas can or container, mix the gas and oil.
Gas-powered units with a two-cycle engine run on a mixture of one part oil and 50 parts gas or a 1:50 ratio.
Most manufacturers recommend a solution of two and a half ounces of oil per one gallon of gas.
Make sure you don’t mix too much oil with gas to prevent issues with the leaf blower, such as spark plug fouling.
You should also check the manufacturer’s manual to ensure the correct solution ratio for your unit.
Usually, you do not need the two-cycle mixture for four-cycle engine models; instead, pure gas will do.
Step 2: Fill the gas tank slowly.
Once you’ve prepared the solution, pour in the gas-oil mixture slowly into your leaf blower’s gas tank.
Step 3: Turn on the switch.
This step is applicable for blowers with an “On” switch. Ensure that the switch is in the “On” position, or else it would not start.
Step 4: Put the choke to a starting position.
The choke should be in the starting position, closed, or the “On” position.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the model’s parts since manipulating the choke lever may vary in different models.
Where Is the Choke on a Leaf Blower?
A choke is a plate in the carburetor (a device that mixes air and fuel for combustion) that controls the engine’s amount of airflow.
It is a lever-like part located before the throttle.
What it does is that it opens and closes to allow more or less air into the engine.
The choke is only used when starting a leaf blower cold.
It should be in a starting position or closed because you want to limit the quantity of air going in.
Less air increases the amount of fuel in the tank, keeping the engine running as it warms up.
Step 5: Prime the engine.
To prime the engine, push the primer bulb in and then release it. Repeat this step carefully about five to six times.
Step 6: Pull the starter cord.
After priming the engine, secure the leaf blower in place with one hand. Using your other hand, take the cord firmly.
Using your full force, give the cord a strong pull quickly. You may need to pull the cord four to five times to fire up the engine.
Next, feed in the cord back slowly.
In between pulls, remember to allow the cord to retract back to the housing before pulling it again.
Step 7: Run, engine, run
Once you’re done pulling the cord trigger a few times, allow the engine to run for a minimum of 10 to 30 seconds.
For units with manual-type choke levers, after letting the engine run for the first few seconds, put the choke into the “Run” or open position.
Some leaf blowers have semi-automatic choke levers that put the choke to the “Run” or open position by itself.
Step 8: Blast away!
After following each step correctly, your engine is now ready to get to work and blast anything in its way.
How Do You Start a Leaf Blower Cold?
When learning how to turn on a leaf blower, you will find that there are two methods in doing so: cold and warm.
Cold starting means firing up the engine at the beginning of the workday. It refers to your first attempt to start-up the engine from its cold state.
On the other hand, warm starting is firing up the leaf blower after warming it up. This just means the engine has already warmed up before you try turning it on again.
That said, you can start a leaf blower cold just by following the same steps mentioned earlier.
What Do You Do When Your Leaf Blower Won’t Start?
Knowing how to start a gas leaf blower is just half of the battle.
Sometimes, you may find yourself having a hard time actually trying to fire up the engine.
Here are possible causes and fixes to the most common leaf blower start-up problems.
1. Old Fuel in the Tank
In time, gas accumulates water and will eventually burn poorly.
Make sure there is always fresh pure gas or a gas-oil mixture in the correct ratio in the tank.
Replace the gas if it is left in the gas tank unused for more than three months.
2. Gas-Oil Mix
Do you own a leaf blower with a two-cycle engine?
In such units, if the gas-oil mixture has been unused for a long time, the fuel mix may separate.
You can solve this issue by shaking the gas tank before starting the engine.
3. Primer Not Pumped
Priming the engine by pumping the primer bulb is essential.
By priming, you ensure the tubes running from the gas tank to the engine have gas to allow a smooth flow.
To solve this issue, pump the primer five to six times and then try pulling the cord again.
4. Faulty Spark Plug
Spark plug-related problems are also common. This component can get easily worn out, damaged, or dirty.
To address this issue, make sure the spark plug is clean and connected securely. If not, clip it back to place or clean it.
However, if there is damage, such as a cracked insulator, burnt electrode, or large carbon build-up, you may need to replace the spark plug.
5. Filthy Air Filter
A dirty air filter prevents fuel and air from mixing correctly in the engine.
The compromised permeability of the filter will cause the leaf blower not to work. To solve this, clean the air filter or replace it if needed.
6. Broken Rewind Spring
The spring that rewinds or retracts the trigger cord can break, resulting in start-up failure.
Since the cord breaks, it will fail to rewind after each pull. When this happens, replacement of the spring is needed.
7. Clogged Parts
Another common reason for leaf blowers not starting up is clogged parts. Here are possible fixes:
- Clogged Spark Arrestor
A spark arrestor is a screen that prevents spark emissions. If it becomes clogged, the leaf blower won’t work. Remove this part and clean it using a brush.
- Clogged Fuel Filter
Old fuel can contribute to blocked fuel filters. In this case, replacing the filter is necessary.
- Clogged Carburetor
This issue can also happen due to old fuel.
If you accidentally used the old fuel, the thick substance can block the carburetor. You can either clean, rebuild, or replace the carburetor.
How Do You Start a Gas Backpack Blower?
Starting a gas backpack blower is no different from the stated step-by-step process earlier.
In fact, the only difference is that using the backpack unit is more convenient.
Take note that when starting a backpack blower, make sure that the leaf blower is on the floor.
After securing its position on the ground, follow the steps mentioned earlier, and you’re good to go.
Starting a Leaf Blower
Now that you know how to turn on a leaf blower, you can go ahead and start with your tasks.
From tidying up your yard to making sure your roof gutters aren’t clogged, this tool has got it all covered.
What’s even more impressive is that it will make your job a whole lot easier.