Now that winter is upon us, cleaning snow can be a daunting task for most residence. Especially in more recent winters our region has received it’s fair share of snowfall and storms. It’s important to be prepared with the right tools to weather any storm safely.
Safety while using a snowblower:
Is it OK to blend fuels from season to season? What's the difference between summer and winter fuel?
Published 12/03/2012 11:47 AM | Updated 06/14/2013 12:12 PM
Depending on your state's regulations, there could be up to a 30+ blend of fuel each year depending on the outside temperature. Purchase fresh fuel for your lawn and snow equipment in smaller quantities and just prior to using it for the season. It is not recommended that fuel be used from the prior season. (This applies to all fuels with 10% ethanol or less.)
Winter fuel is blended to have a higher amount of vapor coming off the fuel. This helps winter equipment start in cold temperatures. However, this also causes the fuel to age quicker and if the fuel is not treated with a fuel stabilizer it will start to break down after (approximately) 30 days, causing the carburetor to plug.
(This is a common scenario between winter seasons when untreated fuel is left in the fuel system.)
Note: Winter fuel will breakdown at an accelerated rate, if not treated, when the temperature starts to rise in the spring of the year. So, winter fuel will work in summer engines because it is very highly volatile due to the high amount vapor coming off the fuel.
Summer blended fuel will give off far less vapors and is designed for warm weather equipment use. Summer fuel has a longer life span with less need for a stabilizer. Summer fuel doesn't work well in winter equipment when trying to start an engine in 30 degree weather.
Note: Fuel stabilizer is also recommended for summer fuel, due to its detergent additives that help to keep the fuel system clean at all times.
Why do I need to pay attention to the fuel?
If you buy your gas at a gas station in North America then more than likely what you are buying contains corn-based ethanol.
Because today’s gasoline contains ethanol and alcohol, it absorbs water if exposed to air. In many cases the operator is unaware that their gasoline has become contaminated with water and unintentionally pours it into their unit. This is because your fuel mixture will separate into layers if it contains a high enough percentage of water. If you don’t shake your mixture, you may unintentionally pour a damaging concentration of water into your unit. Always vigorously shake the fuel mixture immediately before pouring. Always stabilize your fuel to minimize this problem.
Ethanol fuel or ethyl alcohol is an alcohol additive that is commonly used in nearly all gasoline. It is derived from renewable resources such as corn, sugarcane and wheat. We recommend using at least 89- octane which is the mid-grade between medium and premium gasoline. Fuel that is labelled E-15, E-20, E-85 and Diesel fuel are not acceptable fuels and will cause significant damage to outdoor power equipment.
Possible Symptoms related to fuel:
> engine is difficult to start
> engine starts but doesn't run smooth
> gas is leaking from carburetor
> Cracked/damaged fuel line
If any of these symptoms apply to your equipment, it may require a carburetor overhaul. After carburetor has been overhauled, follow the following preventative steps to avoid the problem in the future.
PREVENTATIVE ACTION STEPS RECOMMENDED:
1. DO NOT use any old gas sitting in your fuel container for more than 30 days.
2. Get some premium (at least 89 octane) fresh fuel. Only get enough for the season.
3. Add fuel stabilizer into the fuel container as soon as you get the gas.
(use stabilizer with advanced formula that can treat ethanol blend)
4. Storage procedure:
a. Fill up gas tank to the top
b. Add some more fuel stabilizer to the gas tank.
c. Run machine for 2-3 minutes to circulate fuel. Store machine safely.
Related Post: http://www.ottawachainsaws.com/1/post/2012/08/what-type-of-fuel-to-use-avoid-gas-with-ethanol.html
For more information contact the experts: www.OttawaSnowBlowers.com Ph: 613-724-4332
You may find that during a snowstorm the snowblower auger (s) stops turning all of a sudden.
This may be due to broken auger shear bolts. Luckily it's a simple and inexpensive fix.The purpose of auger pins or bolts are to act as a safety mechanism to prevent any severe damage due to overload. So, if you were to go thru heavy snow or catch something in the auger, the bolts 'shear' to prevent any damage to the auger differential gears.
When you break a shear pin, make sure to replace it with the proper bolts or pin made for your machine. Don't use any ordinary bolt or nail because they may not break under heavy load and can cause major damage. It's always a good idea to keep couple of spares in case you need them .
Other causes of snowblower not throwing snow:
- Loose/worn Auger belt
- Worn impeller bearing
- Broken impeller bolts
- Worn differential gears