Snow Thrower – How To’s
Congratulations! You’ve decided to replace your old snow thrower, or you have purchased one for the first time. Either way, snow throwers make managing winter snowfall a lot easier. While your owner’s manual will provide more detailed instructions on the use and care of your snow thrower, this guide provides a summary of tips that will help you get the most from your equipment.
Fuel – With battery powered snow throwers, plug in fully charged batteries. On gasoline powered models, add fresh gasoline until full. Never put old fuel in your snow thrower. This may contribute to running issues. You may find this article on fuel helpful. https://mowershop.wpengine.com/the-trouble-with-fuel/
Rotor – On both single stage and two stage snow throwers check the rotor area to ensure that it is free from any debris that will prevent the rotor from turning. Look at the paddles. Paddles have a wear indicator that will let you know when it is time to replace them.
Scraper – Inspect the scraper located on the bottom of the unit. The scraper is wear item that will need to be replaced when worn. Damage to the unit housing will occur if the snow thrower is used without the scraper.
Skid Shoes – Two stage snow throwers have skid shoes on the sides of the unit at the bottom. The skid shoes allow the snow thrower to slide along the sidewalk or driveway. The skid shoes will wear over time and need to be replaced. Many skid shoes are two sided and can be rotated when one side wears out. Damage will occur to the snow thrower housing if used without skid shoes.
Hardware – Inspect the hardware that holds your snow thrower together, especially if you have knobs that hold your folding handle together. Vibration from use can cause these parts to loosen.
Chute – Inspect the discharge chute. Make sure that it is free from blockage.
Plan – Before starting, devise a plan of attack. All the snow must go somewhere. Try to avoid throwing snow against your home. Pay attention to the wind. No one likes getting a face full of snow. If possible, throw the snow in the direction of the prevailing wind.
Starting – For battery powered units, push a button. For gasoline powered units follow the procedure outlined in your owner’s manual. One tip, go easy on the fuel primer button. Many times, units will flood if the button is pushed too many times. Remember, it is not safe to run any gasoline powered machine inside your garage without proper ventilation.
The End of the Driveway – The frozen drifts at the end of the driveway left by the snowplow are a huge pain. Don’t be tempted to use your snow thrower on ice drifts. Snow throwers are great at moving snow, not so much at breaking ice. Damage can occur if your machine is used beyond its limitations.
Refueling – Exercise caution when refueling. If possible, allow your engine to cool before refueling. Hot engines and gasoline do not mix well. If your job requires a refill of fuel, try and refuel outside and not in the garage.
Blockage – If your snow thrower becomes clogged, stop the machine, and turn off the engine before removing the blockage. Never unclog a snow thrower with the engine running.
Oil – Prior to every usage, check the oil in your snow thrower. Air cooled engines will consume oil during operation. Checking the oil prior to each use will ensure your machine operates properly. Perform an initial oil change after 2 hours of operation, then annually.
Spark Plug – Spark plugs may become fouled through operation. Change the spark plug annually.
Paddles – The rubber paddle will wear down through usage. When paddles are excessively worn, performance will decline. Most paddles have a wear indicator, letting you know when it is time for replacement.
Scraper – The snow thrower scraper works in conjunction with the paddles. Both parts typically wear at the same rate. When the scraper shows excessive wear, it is time for replacement. Many owners replace the paddles and scraper at the same time.
Belts – Annual inspection of the belt will make you aware of its condition. Replacing worn belts before failure will ensure that your snow thrower is ready when the snow falls.
Paint Chips – Snow removal and salt application go hand in hand. Salt can corrode metal parts on your snow thrower. If you notice any bare metal on your snow thrower, apply touch up paint to prevent rust.
Clean – When storing you unit between uses and between seasons, make sure to clean any salt residue, dirt, and snow. Drying the unit will prevent corrosion to metal part of the snow thrower.
Fuel – It is necessary to remove the fuel from your snow thrower before storing it for the off season. Run your machine until it stops. Drain the remaining few ounces of fuel from the carburetor by removing the screw on the angled part of the carburetor bowl. Storing your snow thrower without fuel will prevent running issues next season.
Lubrication – Using a spray lubricant, lubricate any control cables you snow thrower may have. Lubrication of these cables will prevent corrosion, and ensure smooth operation next season.
Cover – Covering your snow thrower, especially if stored in a shed or barn, prevents dirt and debris from fouling your machine in the off season.
Following these tips will help you get the most out of your snow thrower, ensuring that it works as well as it should. Proper use and maintenance will extend life of your snow thrower, providing you with many years of reliable service.