Outdoor tools of the trade
Tips for care of your power tools!
- Ensure your blade is sharpened at the beginning of each mowing season. A dull blade results in “ripping” the lawn versus cutting the lawn. This promotes healthy growth and even cutting.
- Change your oil at the beginning of the season and always check the oil level before each mow. Without enough oil, your engine may begin to overheat or worse, fail to lubricate the engine properly. The latter WILL result in seizing of the engine.
- It is recommended to change the spark plug, particularly if you experience issues starting your mower. Ensure you purchase the correct spark plug!
- Clean or change your air filter at the beginning of the season and check periodically, particularly in dusty conditions. Without enough air, your engine will consume more gas or even fail to operate.
- Use the self-clean option after every use! Remove your bag (if used), ensure the discharge is closed, hook up the hose, turn on the water, start it up and let it run for 30 seconds to a minute. This will prevent caking of grass/debris in the underside of the mower needed for proper operation (mulch/bagging).
GAS-POWERED & ELECTRIC TRIMMERS:
- Unlike the mower above, some gas trimmers (weed whackers) are 2-cycle and some are 4-cycle. The easiest way to tell? If you have to mix the gas & oil, or purchase pre-mixed fuel, you have a 2-cycle. If your oil and gas are separate, then you have a 4-cycle. As for the electric trimmers, obviously you have no engine components to worry about! Either way, both are relatively easy to maintain, comparable to the mower.
- Check the amount of string left, especially if you are one who hits solid objects often (we have all done it, even the best!). However, this is NOT good practice as it quickly reduces the amount of remaining line.
- Always get the proper size replacement string! This is specified for your make/model and the use of under/over-sized line will cause your trimmer to not work properly, including premature failure. Follow the instructions on how to remove & replace and you’ll be good-to-go!
- Check your oil & gas levels before each use.
- Check & ensure your water inlet screen is clean, free of debris, and intact. Replace if it is damaged in any way. Further, if your model has an inline screen (in the extension wand), check, clean, & replace the same way you did with the water inlet screen.
- Ensure your spray gun, extension, high-pressure hose, and tip(s) are all secured; also ensure your locking mechanism is working properly by giving the spray gun a trial-run before firing it up. If the trigger & lock are not functioning, replace the spray gun.
- Look for any cuts, bulging, or leaking in your high-pressure line along with all couplings used for connections. Never try to repair these – always replace them due to the high-pressure during use. If your model has a siphoning option for using detergents, ensure it is free/clear of any debris.
- Last but not least, let the garden hose run for about 30-60 seconds before connecting as this will allow any debris to be flushed out beforehand, thus eliminating any clogs at the screens. NOTE: Due to many variations in models, always refer to your manual or check online for the proper use & care of your particular pressure washer.