Electric leaf blowers can be a convenient tool for clearing your yard, gutters, and other dirty jobs around your property. However, it can be frustrating if you go to use your leaf blower and it keeps shutting off mid-operation. Before turning your blower over to a repair shop, you can troubleshoot the problem at home.
What Causes An Electric Leaf Blower To Shut Down?
An electric leaf blower may keep shutting off due to battery issues, an overheating motor, or a blown fuse. Inspecting the leaf blower is a good way to figure out how to get the leaf blower working again. Maintaining an electric leaf blower can help prevent mechanical issues.
If you’ve got a leaf blower that keeps shutting off, the problem may be simple to fix. Keep reading to learn more about the potential causes of an electric leaf blower shutting off and how to prevent it from happening.
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Does your electric leaf blower keep shutting off? The first suspect you should look at is your electric leaf blower’s battery. In many cases, battery issues are the most likely reason the leaf blower isn’t working. The good news is that a battery problem is usually easy to fix on your own rather than getting the blower serviced.
Here’s how you should check your electric leaf blower for battery issues to resolve them (Source: Landscaping Planet):
- Check your battery’s charge level. If the charge level on the leaf blower battery is too low, it won’t have enough power to sustain operations. If you didn’t seat the charger correctly or forgot to put the battery back on, it might be too flat to work.
- Let the leaf blower charge longer. An easy way to check to see if the battery power is the issue on your leaf blower is to put the leaf blower battery back on the charger and give it the chance to charge fully. If low battery power is the problem with the leaf blower shutting off, a newly charged battery should fix it.
- Try putting in a spare battery. If you have a spare charged battery for your leaf blower, try putting a new battery in place of the suspected malfunctioning one. If the leaf blower’s problem stems from the battery, changing the battery out should allow it to operate normally.
- Try plugging the electric leaf blower in. Some electric leaf blowers have an option for a wired plug-in and battery operation. Plug the leaf blower in and start it to see if this affects the shutdown issue. If the leaf blower operates fine on a plug but continues to shut off on battery power, the problem is in the battery system.
Replacing or recharging your leaf blower’s battery is one of the easiest solutions to an electric leaf blower that keeps shutting off. During operations, a leaf blower that begins to shut off is usually one of the first signs that the blower’s battery is losing charge. Keeping a spare battery charged can help prevent this problem from stopping you in the middle of a leaf-blowing job.
Power Switch Failure
After checking the battery system, another area of the leaf blower to check out is the power switch. A bad contact in the power switch or a failed switch can prevent the leaf blower from maintaining power, especially under load.
If the power switch on the leaf blower is faulty, it won’t recognize that the switch is in an ON position, and it won’t start the motor. (Source: Repair Clinic)
For those leaf blower owners with some light mechanical skills, it’s possible to check whether the on/off switch on the leaf blower has gone bad by attaching it to a voltmeter. However, if you’re not comfortable testing the blower’s voltage, a repair shop or the manufacturer can also address this problem.
A Blown Fuse
If the electrical circuit fuse in your electric leaf blower malfunctions, this can cause the electric leaf blower to shut off intermittently. This is similar to developing an electrical short in any electronic device. Luckily, a blown fuse is a replaceable part that can be switched out if you suspect that it’s leading to operational issues.
The location of the fuse is different on different leaf blower models, so the best option for replacing the fuse after you have a replacement part is to get your owner’s manual out and check the leaf blower diagram. This should show you exactly where the fuse is located. Swapping out the fuse for a new fuse should solve the problem if the old fuse is blown.
Most leaf blower owner’s manuals will give you a step-by-step instruction on how to change the fuse in your specific model. If you can’t find the original owner’s manual to your machine, many manuals are available as downloadable files online at the manufacturer’s website.
Bad Power Sources
If you’ve checked the battery, the switch, and the fuse, and you’re still having issues, the next area of the leaf blower to check is the power source. A major symptom of this issue is if your plug starts burning the extension cord. Another is that the leaf blower will intermittently shut down.
The cause of a bad power source in a leaf blower is usually a resistance conflict between the plug and the extension socket. Using a cheap extension cord increases the risk that there will be increased resistance between the contacts on the cord and the blower.
The solution for a bad socket on the leaf blower is to cut off the bad socket connector and attach a high-current socket connector in its place. However, this is not the most practical solution to the problem since the connectors can be expensive. It’s sometimes a better idea to get a new, better quality extension cord instead.
When a leaf blower starts to shut down during operation at random, the problem could be related to the leaf blower’s motor overheating.
When the motor overheats, most leaf blowers have sensors that automatically shut the engine down to allow the leaf blower to cool to safe temperatures. This helps prevent permanent damage to the engine being operated in an overheated state.
The main cause of a leaf blower motor overheating is usually a build-up of debris on the leaf blower’s cooling fans. These fans are designed to help ventilate the leaf blower engine and keep it cool during operation. Debris such as dust and grass clippings can prevent the blower’s fans from keeping the engine cool. (Source: HomeGuides)
To fix a suspected cooling fan issue in your leaf blower, perform the following:
- Access the leaf blower’s cooling fans. In some leaf blower models, this will require removing the leaf blower’s shroud or engine cover.
- Clean the cooling fans. Once you have access to the cooling fans, they can be brushed clean using a stiff-bristled paintbrush. This will help dislodge any debris which may be preventing the cooling fans from turning.
- Replace the leaf blower shroud. If accessing the engine cooling fans required you to remove the cover on the leaf blower, replace it after the cooling fans have been thoroughly cleaned.
- Check leaf blower operations. After allowing the leaf blower engine to cool down completely, start the leaf blower again and see if the problem has been resolved.
It can be hard to tell if your leaf blower motor is overheating since it’s hard to hear the cooling fans in the machine over the sound of the blower. However, if your leaf blower becomes unnaturally hot to the touch prior to shutting off, an overheating motor is a likely cause.
What to Do If Cleaning the Cooling Fans Doesn’t Work
If you’ve cleaned the cooling fans on your leaf blower and the blower is still shutting off from an overheating motor, there is likely some other issue in the motor’s operation that is causing the overheating issue.
In this case, it’s a good idea to refer your leaf blower to the manufacturer or repair shop to diagnose the issue since internal leaf blower motor repairs are more complicated than most leaf blower owners can handle on their own.
While there are many problems with an electric leaf blower that can be addressed by the person operating it, you might run into an issue where you can’t figure out what the problem with the leaf blower is.
If you’ve exhausted all of your troubleshooting options or you aren’t comfortable performing maintenance repairs on your leaf blower, the next best option is to contact the manufacturer and file a claim for warranty work. This is especially the case if your leaf blower is relatively new, as most leaf blowers come with at least a limited twelve-month warranty for manufacturer defects.
One of the main advantages of getting an electric leaf blower is that they are low-maintenance power tools compared to their gas-powered cousins. However, there is still some regular maintenance work that needs to be performed on electric leaf blowers to help prevent the kinds of running issues that can cause a leaf blower to shut off intermittently.
Here are a few maintenance tasks you should perform on your leaf blower to keep it in good running condition throughout the year:
- Maintain the battery. The leaf blower battery should be visually inspected regularly for any leaks or corrosion that might negatively impact the blower’s performance. The charge on the battery should also be checked prior to every operation to make sure that the battery is maintaining an electrical charge.
- Clean the battery contacts. The battery contacts on the leaf blower should be wiped down at the beginning of the landscaping season and then once a month during operations after that.
- Inspect the cord and connectors. If your electric leaf blower is a corded leaf blower rather than a cordless battery-operated one, it’s important to regularly inspect the cord and connectors for any fraying or damage that could potentially cause the leaf blower to short out or suffer a power failure.
- Clean out the vacuum bag. Cleaning out the vacuum bag on your blower should be undertaken periodically throughout the season. To do so, detach the vacuum bag and turn it inside out, then spray it clean with a garden hose. Allow the bag to dry completely before reattaching it to the leaf blower.
When it comes to preventing electrical leaf blower shutdowns, addressing the health of the battery or power source is crucial. Since battery failures are the most common cause of leaf blower shutdowns, it is worth it to keep a spare charged battery around in case you run into battery problems.
The biggest challenge to fixing an electric leaf blower that keeps shutting off is that the problem can come from several sources. Hopefully, this quick overview of common electric leaf blower issues will give you a jumping-off point to diagnose and fix the problem.
If you are thinking about switching from your gas blower to an electric blower check out Electric vs Gas Leaf Blowers to see the differences.