Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What beautiful snow…

2010 Christmas has come and gone. However, this year, it wasn’t the traditional white Christmas until the day after. It was actually a blizzard that hit the northeast. The weather was so strong that a Sunday Night football game in Pennsylvania was postponed to the following Tuesday. In some areas of Massachusetts, snow thickness reached well over a foot.



With a fresh layer of powder on the ground, I awoke to clean the driveway. I walked down to the basement to get the proper equipment to complete the job. My lovely snow blower has been comfortably sitting in the basement next to the B-1 bomber furnace all year. The snow blower has been enjoying a wonderful vacation in the cool basement during the hot summer nights. But now it’s time to get to work.

I went through the pre-start checklist: gas level, oil level and key. Ok, everything is a go… I pulled on the start cord.. But nothing… I repeated to pull on the start cord… but nothing again…I repeated to pull on the start cord for several minutes… But still nothing…Then the first curse word was mentioned…

I realized that I didn’t do my pre-season snow blower preventative maintenance checks. A couple of weeks ago as I was sitting outside enjoying the fall weather, I happened to notice a neighbor doing his preventative maintenance checks to his snow blower. At that time I thought, “Yea, I have to check my snow blower out as well.”

Yea, that is correct, I didn’t do it… So there I was standing there in the cold basement wondering what could be the issue. While I stood there, I happen to realize that my snow blower has an electric starter…Basically I get to press a button and it should start. So I plug in the required cord into their respective outlets. I then pressed the electric start button… The starter whined… But, yet nothing… The second curse word was mentioned…

So there I was standing there in the cold basement wondering what cold be the issue… The next thought was the possibility that the spark plug may be old. I had removed the spark plug to find some carbon build up. With snow still in the driveway, it would be difficult to get another spark plug. Then I had a thought, “Maybe the lawn mower might have the same spark plug”

Bingo… It worked. The spark plugs were the same. But the snow blower was still not starting…I realized that the gas maybe stale. If gas is stored in a snow blower for a long period of time, the potency of the gas will degrade. It’s a good idea to put gas stabilizer into the snow blower at the end of the season if the gas tank is not empty. The stabilizer would refresh the gas for at least two years. The third curse word was mentioned.

I had already installed fresh gas into the snow blower, thus the issue maybe the gas within the fuel lines. So I pressed on the gas primer and the electric starter for several seconds, in hopes that the bad gas would flush out. The snow blower finally cranked over. I was finally able to finish cleaning the driveway.

The lesson here… Do your preventative maintenance checks prior to the season. Anyway, I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year. Until next time… Happy Building…

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