Ellicott City
10325 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042
(410) 465-9633
Store Hours:
Mon-Sat 7AM-8PM
Sunday 9AM-6PM
Repair Shop Hours:
Mon-Fri 8AM-5PM
Saturday 9AM-2PM

Columbia
8895 McGaw Road
Columbia, MD, 21045
(410) 465-0500
Store Hours:
Mon-Sat 7AM-8PM
Sunday 9AM-6PM

Ellicott City
10325 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042
(410) 465-9633
Store Hours:
Mon-Sat 7AM-8PM
Sunday 9AM-6PM

Repair Shop Hours:
Mon-Fri 8AM-5PM
Saturday 9AM-2PM

Columbia
8895 McGaw Road
Columbia, MD, 21045
(410) 465-0500
Store Hours:
Mon-Sat 7AM-8PM
Sunday 9AM-6PM

Just as it’s important to use the right tool for the job, it’s important to use the tool in the right way. This includes the actual usage of the tool as well as the prep and maintenance work required to operate at its best. Today, we’re going to talk about how to use and maintain a common winter power tool, the snow blower.

Pre-Use Preparations

1. Checking the Fuel and Oil Levels

If you don’t have enough fuel, your snow blower will give out before the job is done. Without enough oil, you could cause expensive damage to the machine.

2. Inspecting Belts and Shear Pins for Wear or Damage

Several parts of the machine can wear out over time. The most consequential of these are the belts and shear pins. Also, make sure each of these parts is securely fastened and not worn.

3. Ensuring the Chute Is Not Blocked

The snow blower chute can become clogged with use. Take a moment to make sure the chute was properly cleared the last time the machine was used.

Safe Operating Practices

4. Clearing the Area of Any Debris or Obstacles

To avoid damage to the machine and your property, first clear the areas you plan on working in from any debris or obstacles. 

5. Wearing Appropriate Clothing and Protective Gear

Hearing and eye protection will protect you from the machine and non-slip shoes and water-resistant clothing will protect you from the elements.

6. Maintaining a Steady Pace and Not Overloading the Machine

Removing snow too quickly can overload the machine, clog the chute, and produce suboptimal results. 

7. Being Aware of the Surroundings

Always be aware of your surroundings and make sure you aren’t shooting debris in the way of a person or other object that might be damaged by it.

Post-Use Procedures

8. Removing Any Snow buildup From the Machine

After the device has had time to cool down, remove any snow buildup from the chute or other areas of the device. 

9. Checking and Tightening Any Loose Parts

Vibration during operation can loosen some of the parts of the machine. Ensure that nuts, bolts, shear pins, belts, and other parts are still tight.

Regular Maintenance Tips

10. Changing the Oil at Recommended Intervals

Failure to keep the oil fresh and topped off can significantly reduce the life of the machine. Change the oil and oil filter at regular intervals.

11. Cleaning or Replacing Air Filters

The engine needs clean air to operate properly. A clogged air filter will starve the engine of air. 

12. Storing in a Dry Place

A snow blower will get wet enough during its operation. Make sure to store it in a dry place afterward to prevent rust.

End-of-Season Storage Tips

13. Draining the Fuel or Using a Fuel Stabilizer

Fuel that sits over the winter can gel up and cause problems when winter next comes. Draining the fuel or using a stabilizer prevents this.

14. Removing the Spark Plug and Spraying a Bit of Oil Into the Cylinder

Sitting too long can also cause the engine to seize up. Removing the spark plug and spraying a bit of oil in the cylinder can also stop this from happening.

15. Storing Away From Direct Sunlight and Moisture

When it’s time for storage, keeping the machine in a dry, relatively cool place away from direct sunlight can prevent damage to it.

Get Winter Ready at Clarks Ace Hardware

Get ready for winter weather with a quick trip to Clarks Ace Hardware! We’ve got all of the supplies and rental┬áservices you’ll need to get through the season with ease. Visit one of our convenient locations today:

CLARKS ACE HARDWARE
Ellicott City

10325 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042

(410) 465-9633 GET DIRECTIONS
 

CLARKS ACE HARDWARE
Columbia

8895 McGaw Rd
Columbia, MD 21045

(410) 465-0500 GET DIRECTIONS