Snow blowers

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How to clean a snowblower carburetor without removing it

​How to clean a carburetor without removing it

You occasionally have to clean a dirty snowblower carburetor to avoid facing an impeded performance.

And while you can remove it and scrub the carburetor from outside the blower, knowing how to clean a snowblower carburetor without removing it saves you a lot of time and stress – especially if you passionately dislike opening up machines.

The good thing is that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to hack it- as you will see shortly.

But before we look at that,let’s briefly look at a few issues related to a snowblower’s carburetor:

Signs that your Carburetor is dirty

The lingering question for many snowblower owners surrounds knowing when a carburetor needs cleaning.

Here are the tell tale signs.

Starting problems

If your carburetor is clean (and working smoothly), the snowblower engine should start without much ado.

Carburetors fail to start properly when grimy because the dirt blocks the correct combination of fuel and air from traveling through their usual opening to the engine, bringing all manner of problems.

Poor idling

If you notice that it suddenly develops a habit of rough idling (your blower feeling irregular and bouncy when its engine is running) or it’s idling too fast, then it could be time to cleanse it.

Uneven acceleration

Again if it’s working properly, it should accelerate without stumbling. So unbalanced or start-stop acceleration is another clear sign that you need to clear any deposits.

Greedy fuel consumption

When it develops an increased appetite for gas, then it could be that it’s dirty.

Flooding

Obviously flooding results when too much fuel gets into the cylinders.

A carburetor could be faulty or it may have debris in its needle valve -which makes it stick open causing a spillage.

What to do Before Cleaning your carb

To effectively remove gum, varnish, and dirt from the carburetor, you will need to do some preliminaries.

Revisit your owner’s manual

To have it your way, it’s better to first go back to your snowblower’s owner’s manual.

Your motive will be to re-read everything about the carburetor. You will most likely come across rich information that may help you during the process.

You can download the manual from the manufacturer’s website if you no longer have a copy.

Check the condition of the Air Filter

Start by inspecting the condition of your air filter so as to ensure that only clean air (free of residuals) is coming into your carburetor.

That’s because your snowblower will continue emitting black smoke even after cleaning if the air filter is clogged.

Clean the filter or replace it if it’s nearing the end of its useful life.

Cleaning your snowblower’s carburetor without removing it– step by step

You will use a cleaner to cleanse the carburetor while it’s still in the snowblower.

Carburetor cleaners are liquid solutions made to methodically dissolve layers of dirt and choke from the inside/outside of a carbso to improve engine performance and reduce downtime

Items you need:

  • A socket wrench
  • A wire brush
  • A copper wire (piece)
  • Compressed air can
  • A carburetor cleaning solution

Step 1: Turn off your SnowBlower

Maintaining a machine when its running can be hazardous.

So start by turning off your snowblower.

Also, allow it a couple of minutes to cool off.

Step 2: Remove the Muffler

To fully access the carburetor, you have to remove the muffler.

Using your socket wrench, remove the bolts/nuts holding the snowblower’s muffler in place.

The manual should help you locate the muffler on your engine assembly.

Step 3: Take out the gas tank

Here you have to be mindful not to spill fuel.

Still using your socket wrench, remove the bolts holding the snowblower’s gas tank.

Then slide it carefully off and place it aside.

Step 4: Place an Empty Pan/Container under the Bowl

You will be draining fuel from the carburetor in the next stage and to do this, you require a collecting container.

So, site your snowblower’s carburetor bowl – check your manual- and place a container or apan under it.

Step 5: Drain The Fuel

It’s almost impossible to effectively unclutter your carburetor without emptying fuel.

To do this, remove the nuts on the base of the bowl. Fuel willstart drainingfrom the carburetor.

Wait until your carb is fully emptied before removing the pan.

Step 6: Clean The Bowl

By now, your carburetor’s bowl is loose.

Twist it off.

Now wet a piece of clothusing your carburetor cleaning solution.

You can now clean the bowl’s inside.

Step 7: Scrub The Nuts

Some residue normally remains on the nuts.

To remove such debris, spray a sufficient amount of your cleaning solution on the bowl’s nuts and scrub them using a wire brush.

Step 8: Clean Dirty Holes

Using a copper wire, clean out any visibly tarnished small holes in your carburetor.

Also,spray around the carburetor’s throat to eliminate deposits from its throttle plate area

Step 9: Blow Leftovers

Wipe out any other grim that maybe pending by blowing it out using compressed air.

For maximum efficiency, apply the compressed air can to each hole.

Step 10: Reassembly

Now all the grim should be out in the cold and your carburetor spotless.

Reassemble the carburetor bowl and everything else by following the previous steps in reverse.

Don’t forget to shine the outside of your carburetor plus all other linkages once you put back everything into place.

Precautions:

  • The engine should be off and cool.
  • Never sprayon electrical connections.
  • Some of the sprays deface painted surfaces. In case you accidentally spray on such painted areas, wipe it off at once to avoid damage.

Wrapping it up

Knowing how to clean a snowblower carburetor without removing it saves you time and the stress associated with opening a carb.

And the best part is that it’s as effective as the traditional carburetor removal approach.

You will no longer experience hard starts, sputtering, bouncy idling and all the related teething problems.

So, don’t let carburetor problems to suffocate your snowblower just because you aren’t a fan of opening stuff.

Experiment with our steps and over time; you should become a pro.

gravel driveway snow blower

Snow blower for gravel driveway

​Gravel driveway snow blowers

​​​​When you’re faced with a biting winter, you need to keep the driveways clear of the frost to remain safe…and that’s where a snow blower for gravel driveway comes in.

And there are other time-tested methods of rescuing your gravel driveway from the jaws of ice including:

  • Spraying the frozen pathways with rubbing alcohol
  • Covering your driveways in rock salt
  • shoveling

However, to many, one of the  ways to clear snow from long gravel driveway- is by using the best snow plow for gravel driveway in the market.

What is a snow blower ?

Snow blowers (or snow throwers) are simply machines- in the mode of mini-tractors or lawn mowers- designed to do the heavy lifting when you have a serious ice invasion.

They clear your icy driveway with finesse and are an efficient alternative to other methods.

And provided you know how to clear snow from gravel driveway, you’ll find them outstanding.

Snow blower for gravel driveway ​comparison table

As it is our norm, we prefer giving our readers more value by investigating and briefly highlighting the top notch products in various categories.

By doing this, we hope to make you- our reader- make informed buying decisions

Here is a brief look at the ​highly -rated snow blowers for gravel driveway

Features

Yard Machines 208cc 22-Inch
Yard Machines 357cc 30-Inch
Poulan PRO PR240- 24-Inch
Husqvarna ST224 24-Inch 208cc
Engine

208cc OHV 4-cycle gas engine

357cc OHV 4-cycle engine

179cc Poulan-PRO OHV Engine..

208cc Husqvarna engine

Chute rotation

13” x 4”

16″ x 4.8″

13″ x 4″

15”

Width clearance

22 inches

30 inches

24  inches

24  inches

Ratings

Types of snow blowers

Snow blowers are available in different styles.

Let’s skim through them:

  • Single-Stage snow blowers

These are the most basic. They can be gas powered or electric.

But the auger may also pick up gravel so they are therefore not recommended for gravel driveways.

  • Two-stage snow blowers

These throw the snowfall out the chute twice (hence the name two-stage)

First from the auger and then through the fan-like impeller

Two-stage snow blowers perform well on gravel and concrete driveways since the design of auger prevents it from touching the ground.

If you have a large swath of snow to clear, pick these type of snowblowers.

Three-Stage Gas snow blowers

The difference between these and the 2-stage models is the accelerator which helps to quicken the snow clearing process.

 Otherwise, they excel – just like the two stage siblings- in clearing large areas.

Our Top Picks

Well, all the units present a strong case and fully deserve to be on this list. But we weren’t looking at just the first impressions.

We needed consistency, adjustability, ease of use, and performance.

And all factors remaining constant, the Husqvarna st224 24-inch 208cc two stage electric start snow blower as the star of the show.

With a 208cc Husqvarna engine and a remote chute deflector, this is a high-performance snowblower and should clear snow from all large gravel driveways and paths.

Thanks to its adjustable skid shoes, it will work on any surface type

The handle is also adjustable and very comfortable use.

And it has all the essentials to enable it to work regardless of the prevailing weather including heated handle grips, an electric starter, and LED headlights.

Snow blower for gravel driveway 2018 reviews

  • 1. Yard Machines 208cc 22-Inch Two Stage Gas Snow Thrower 

        PROS
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    It churns out the snow effectively at the first attempt.
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    It is effective even in dense snow making it suitable for areas which traditionally snow heavily
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    This snow blower for gravel driveway is fairly quiet.
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    With all its components being well-built, the thrower seems very durable
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    Its engine requires minimum maintenance
          CONS
  • This two-stage snowblower lacks an electric start and may take more time to start.

In fact, this snowblower can throw ice up to 50 feet away.

Its chute rotates 180 degrees and at a good speed meaning that there’s hardly any snow blow back when running this.

Of course, this – plus the other performance features- help it to clear gravel driveways up to 22-inches wide on at the first attempt.

Additionally, it comes with an extended 2-year warranty.

  • 2. Yard Machines 357cc 30-Inch Two-Stage Gas Snow Thrower

The yard machines 208cc 22-inch two stage is by all standards a very good snowblower.

And it has quite a following.

But there’s a group which – typically homeowners with expansive driveways- could do with a mightier machine.

And this is the category which inspired Yard machines to invent this upgrade to the previous model.

I am talking about those who often times need to clear driveways as wide as 30-inches.


        PROS
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    The machine is very versatile and works on various surfaces-smooth, carved, rough, graveled surfaces etc
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    It’s has a convenient electric starter. This means it starts with a simple press if the button- rather than cumbersome pull starts
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    It has an interesting engine: quite powerful yet requiring very little maintenance.
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    It clears larger driveways (up to 30-inches) efficiently
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    Its wheels are very, very good- at 24” and with an anti-slide feature, they maneuver admirably even in extreme conditions.
          CONS
  • It costs a little bit more- compared with its cousins.

Now, the installed 357cc OHV 4-cycle engine has more power and is more resilient meaning that if yours is an extended and winding driveway, this could be the machine to do the job.

You see, the manufacturer has also fine-tuned the auger and impeller:

It now comes with a 12-inches steel auger and a reinforced impeller

These further enable it to easily penetrate and cut even extremely deep snow areas.

Even the tires are bigger. And better.

This time they measure 16 by 4.8 inches. Plus, they have a deluxe steel slidable part in case you may want to reverse.

And a total of 7 speeds- 6 forward, 1 reverse

All these points to a much improved maneuverability!

The chute rotates 200 degrees but the warranty stands at 2 years- like its counterpart.

Also note worthy are the four-way controllers which allow you operate it with a lot of ease.

  • 3. Poulan PRO PR240 – 24-Inch 179cc Two-Stage Snowthrower 

Designed to clear 24-inch driveways, the PR240 model is just like many of the top-quality two-stage snowblowers:

It has a good engine, a functional set of augers, and a nice ampeller.

It comes with a powerful 179cc Poulan PRO OHV Engine. This energizes it to clear up significantly huge gravel driveways.

It’s easier to operate and control thanks to its improved control panel plus an improved power steering

Then, instead of steel shoes, it has plastic skid shoes – these are not only smoother but also tender on delicate surfaces which means you can use it on more surfaces.

        PROS
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    Very powerful even in harsh conditions. It’s,therefore, a unit you can rely on whatever the conditions.
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    Easy to start and work with since it has a pretty simple assembly
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    The adjustable handle makes it cool even for taller users as they can adjust until they establish a comfortable position
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    Its spare parts are readily available
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    This unit is well balanced and rarely tips over
          CONS
  • It sometimes becomes too loud – especially when the snow is very thick.

Something else I like about it is the adjustable handle height- you can keep moving it upwards/downwards until you feel comfortable.

This makes the snowblower great even for tall people. I also liked the fact that it’s designed in a way that it can hardly tip over- some of the snowblowers for gravel driveways are top-heavy and keep tipping over-making it safe.

Also impressing are the sharp lens headlights which improve the visibility making it easier for you to focus and concentrate

And the Improved ribbon auger which mixes snow and air nicely for a quicker cleaning job.

In summary, this unit is easier to handle and takes a shorter time to clear your spaces!

  • 4. Husqvarna Two-Stage Electric Start Snow Blower

This is yet another impressive snow blower.

The engine is a respectable 208cc Husqvarna engine- only second to the 357cc OHV 4-cycle engine we found in the yard machines 357cc 30-inch two-stage gas snow thrower.

This should give you an idea of what to expect from it… a performance that ranks with the big boys.

One thing the manufacturer has done well here is to prepare it to be ready for all seasons.

        PROS
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    It’s very powerful and works very well
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    The ergonometric handle is supportive even for people with physical challenges.
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    Its versatile and equipped to be used for all seasons- even when the weather is extreme
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    The unit is self-propelling. it thus moves easily- regardless of the type of the surface or the depth of the snow
          CONS
  • The headlights are not strong enough and do not project beyond a few feet.

It has an array of empowering features including headlights, heated handle grip, and an electric starter.

The reason for their inclusion is to make the unit usable even when the weather is extreme- for example when it has a high level of humidity.

It covers a 24-inch width at once and can penetrate snow accumulations of about  2-12 Inches effectively.

When you add its effective chute deflector that makes it possible for you to direct the snow to your preferred direction, you realize that this is a top product.

And by the way, it  can throw snow up to 50 feet.

Moreover, the Husqvarna ST224 has an ergonomic handle. Thus means better you will never need to bend when operating it

 Last but not least, the friction-disc transmission goes a long way in ensuring the whole unit runs smoothly. And efficiently.

Factors to Consider when Buying the lawn tractor for snow removal.

Buying a snow blower require some careful analysis. And you must know precisely what you need.

Here are a few pointers on what constitutes ​highly rated snow blower for gravel driveway

  • Width of your driveway?

Different snowblowers clear different widths. Buy a blower that can clear your width at once.

So, you need to know how wide your driveway is before spending.

  • What’s your budget?

If you are on a budget, you should try to get a snowblower that can perform but is priced within your reach.

The thing is, the ​most expensive isn’t necessarily the best. Neither is the least expensive the worst.

The easiest thing to do is to analyze all the available options and see which model is fitting your requirement and is within your budget.

Nowadays the market is so wide and there’s something for everyone.

  • Maneuverability

You want a unit you can easily steer over dense snow.

Therefore, consider movement enabling options such as the type and size of wheels, inclusion of power steering etc

  • How  Powerful is the unit?

You need decent power to clear deeply entrenched snow. You thus need to choose a model with an engine and a construction built to deliver even in a harsh environment.

  • Extras

certain models like our favored Husqvarna st224 24-inch 208cc two stage electric start snow blower has a wider collection of convenient features such as adjustable skid shoes, heated handle grips, and LED headlights.

Such enhanced snow blows score more marks because being user friendly.

Are acorns becoming a problem for you? We have written  a review on the ​ tools in the market to pick up acorns.

Wrapping up

A snow blower for gravel driveway (or snow throwers) provide a quick and an efficient snow clearance service.

And they come in various designs with the two-stage being the best for larger spaces and gravel driveways because of their well-constructed auger

When buying, you need to have basic information like the width of your driveway.

Plus you must check its maneuverability, power, and even handy extras such as LED headlights.

Now, our post has also introduced to you the top 4 models currently trending in the market with the Husqvarna st224 24-inch 208cc two stage electric start snow blower stealing the show.

We now believe you are now well equipped to start your hunt for the ​right model.

So, can you now take over ?

To buy or not to buy a robotic lawn mower. For more on this read this.