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Power Equipment Preparation For All Seasons

January 29, 2017

I am thankful to Gold Eagle Co for sharing this extremely important information. Although it is well into the Winter season, there is still time to stay on top of the winter maintenance! In case you have not done the proper maintenance on your power tools…it’s not too late! 1, 2, or even 3 months into winter… you should still try and winterize your power tools, as it will help prolong it’s value.

I am a person that strives to learn something new each and every day. I love sharing information that will help benefit others. With sharing our experiences among each other… what has worked…or has not worked… can only help us all grow our knowledge! So, if you have something you feel is valuable to others regarding facility maintenance or home repairs, please feel free to send it to me for possible inclusion on this blog site. I will do my best to offer guest writer spots through out the year, such as the article below.

Power Equipment Preparation For All Seasons provided by Gold Eagle Co.

 

  1. When autumn and winter seasons seem to appear out of nowhere every year, many people are caught with their lawn tools not ready for storage and their winter power equipment unprepared for the cold and snow. Improperly stored gear often becomes less effective in the spring season, a problem that could easily be prevented with a little preventative maintenance. POWER EQUIPMENT PREPARATION FOR ALL SEASONS
  2. Rather than waiting until the last minute to pack up lawn and garden equipment, potentially causing issues in the spring, each one should be carefully checked over and prepared for a season off. These are a few of the ways that several common power tools should be readied for the winter:
  3. SAFETY FIRST –
    • Remove the spark plug wire before working on engine-powered equipment.
    • Wear proper safety equipment, including glasses and gloves where appropriate.
    • Assemble the proper tools for all maintenance as described in the equipment owner’s manual; make sure tools are in good working order.
    •  Gasoline-powered equipment should be worked on outside or in a well-ventilated place with no potential ignition sources (water, space heater, etc.).
  4. LAWNMOWERS One of the largest pieces of equipment and one of the most important to fix if a problem occurs is the lawnmower. While homeowners need to replace their mowers approximately every six years, that figure could become much more frequent without proper winter storage precautions.
  5. With such a large apparatus, there are many different parts that need attention prior to winter storage:
    • Give the mower a thorough cleaning, making sure that all mud, leaves and debris are removed from the body and the blades.
    • Really work to clean the mowing deck which can become caked with grass clippings and mosses. This process will likely require a strong scraper to pry off the caked bits and a hose to rinse it completely clean.
    • Remove the mowing blade and sharpen it now rather than waiting until one day in the spring when it is time to mow and the blade is too dull.
    • Change the oil in the mower.
  6. Remove the spark plug wire and old spark plug. Add one (1) teaspoon of oil to the spark plug hole. Install a new, properly gapped spark plug. Slowly pull the engine rope a couple of times to distribute the oil. Replace the spark plug wire when all maintenance is complete.
    • Check the air filters, replacing old paper filters or cleaning foam ones.
    • Examine all the belts, cables and gear drives, looking for signs of overuse or the need for lubrication. Replace or lubricate as required.
  7. Make sure all the wheels are sturdy and do not need to be replaced.
    • Run all existing/old fuel out of the equipment, or drain the tank and safely dispose of the fuel. Fill the unit’s tank to 95 percent capacity with fresh fuel treated with fuel stabilizer, and run the engine for two (2) minutes to distribute the treated fuel. If no fresh fuel is available, leave the tank empty — no fuel is better than old fuel!
    • Store the mower a safe distance from fertilizers, cleaners and chemicals that could cause corrosion if in contact with the mower.
  8. GARDEN TILLERS Whether a garden tiller was recently used to turn over the soil of a completed plot or was not used since last spring, care must be given to this equipment because it will be one of the first tools enacted once warm weather returns.
  9. Run all existing/old fuel out of the equipment, or drain the tank and safely dispose of the fuel. Fill the unit’s tank to 95 percent capacity with fresh fuel treated with fuel stabilizer, and run the engine for two (2) minutes to distribute the treated fuel. If no fresh fuel is available, leave the tank empty — no fuel is better than old fuel!
    • Carefully clean the body of the tiller, washing off caked mud and plant pieces.
    • Check the tiller blades, and sharpen or replace them as needed.
    • Make sure that all the nuts and bolts of the equipment are properly tightened, and lubricate connections, cables and levers so they move easily.
    • Check that tires are properly filled to optimal pressure.
    • Remove the spark plug wire and old spark plug. Add one (1) teaspoon of oil to the spark plug hole. Install a new, properly gapped spark plug. Slowly pull the engine rope a few times to distribute the oil. Replace the spark plug wire when all maintenance is complete.
    • Store the tiller in a dry location that is kept under cover and out of the winter weather.
  10. STRING TRIMMERS After the final grass mowing of the season, it is time to clean up and store string trimmers as well. Proper care for this equipment is somewhat dependent on its type.
  11. Electric – and battery-powered string trimmers should be checked to ensure that all the fasteners are tight. Unplug electric trimmers and fully charge the batteries for cordless trimmers. Store them in a dry, protected place.
    • Gas-powered string trimmers need to have the spark plugs and filters checked for maintenance or replacement. Run all of the old fuel out of the equipment, or drain the tank and safely dispose of the fuel. Fill the unit’s fuel tank to 95 percent capacity with fresh fuel treated with fuel stabilizer. If none is available, leave the tank empty — no fuel is better than old fuel!
    • Check the trimming line to be sure that it is full and wound correctly. It is a good idea to replace the line each year, and this is the perfect time to do it for next year.
    • Clean the string head, and sharpen the string-cutting blade as necessary.
    • Store a string trimmer by hanging it or placing it in a clean, dry location.
  12. FUEL STORAGE There are some differing opinions about the best methods for storing fuel. While most manufacturers encourage users to run all lawn and power equipment until leftover gas is gone, others recommend adding a stabilizer to fresh fuel and storing it virtually full (95 percent) instead. This prevents water contamination of the fuel. In any case, storing the equipment with old, unstabilized fuel is a recipe for problems next spring.
  13. Adding a stabilizer to fresh fuel, fueling the unit with this fresh fuel, and running the engine for a few minutes has been proven to prevent fuel problems for up to 12-24 months. This is more than enough time until spring and summer weather return.
  14. CHAINSAWS Although a chainsaw can be run during any season, most are not frequently utilized during winter when it can be difficult to access, cut and haul trees or tree branches. If it is a possibility that the chainsaw will not be used in the next 60 days, there are a few maintenance suggestions that can save a lot of time and effort the next time the saw is needed.
  15. Instead of using regular fuel, carefully mix fresh high-octane fuel, 2-stroke oil and fuel stabilizer to help protect the chainsaw’s engine during storage.
    • Check the spark plug and replace if necessary.
    • Very thoroughly examine the chain for damage. Sharpen a dull chain! Dull chains make the saw work harder, cut more slowly and can cause clutch damage. Always keep an extra chain on hand, as well as bar and chain oil.
  16. SNOWBLOWERS as the most frequently used piece of winter power equipment, it is imperative that the snowblower be in perfect working order when winter begins.
  17. Follow many of the same provisions suggested for a lawnmower or string trimmer to get the snowblower in good working order before the first big snowfall.
  18. Autumn and winter seem to appear out of nowhere every year. Many people are caught off guard with their lawn tools not ready for storage and their winter power equipment unprepared for the cold and snow. Improperly stored gear is often hard or impossible to start and less effective at doing the job when spring returns — a problem that could easily be prevented with a little preventative maintenance.

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