Troubleshooting Electric Leaf Blowers

A man uses an electric leaf blower.
What You'll Need
Leaf blower
Leaf blower owners manual
Mains tester
Circuit tester
What You'll Need
Leaf blower
Leaf blower owners manual
Mains tester
Circuit tester

Electric leaf blowers are a straightforward piece of equipment that many gardeners use. If one is not working properly, the problem will be small and probably not difficult to locate. Here's a routine to check your leaf blower from plug to mouth.

1. Owner's Manual

Check the manual for any instructions that might relate to the problem you are experiencing.

2. Power Supply

Make sure there's power in the socket you have the leaf blower plugged into.

3. Plug and Cable

The plug and cable are basic leaf blower parts that can give trouble because of the treatment they receive.

To check the plug (unless it is welded to the cable) you need to take the cover off. Look to see if the terminals inside the plug have come loose. To correct this problem, reconnect the terminals.

To check the cable, examine it inch by inch to make sure it has not been cut or worn, causing a short circuit or no circuit at all.

4. Leaf Blower Terminals

An electric leaf blower.

Use a mains tester to check that power is arriving at the terminals in the leaf blower.

5. Impeller or Fan

Unplug the leaf blower and check that the impeller or fan has not been jammed by a stick or other object so that it cannot turn. If the impeller can move, turn it by hand to see if you can hear a grinding noise. If the bearings on the impeller have worn out, they could lock up when power is applied to the shaft.

6. Electric Motor

Open the inspection hatch for the electric motor and check that the central spindle will turn.

7. Check Again

Plug the leaf blower in again and test it. If it still will not work and if there is power arriving at the leaf blower, you now need to check the on/off switch. Unplug the leaf blower and use a circuit tester to ensure that the on/off switch is working properly.

8. Electric Motor

A man uses an electric leaf blower.

When everything else checks out, there are only two possibilities left. The first is that there is a thermal cut out on the leaf blower. The second is that the electric motor is not working.

9. Thermal Cut Out

A thermal cut out will usually reset itself after about 30 minutes, or there will be a reset button on the machine. If there isn’t a reset button and the machine still won’t work, the final possibility is that the electric motor needs new brushes.

Replacing the brushes in the motor will require purchasing some new parts for your electric leaf blower.

Electric Leaf Blowers FAQ

Why is my electric leaf blower not blowing air?

A leaf blower that is not blowing could be affected by a number of different problems, some of which are pretty easy to check.

Unplug or power down the blower to check for clogs or debris which might be blocking the blower. You should also check the air filters and clean them, because dirty air filters could prevent the blower from getting the necessary air it needs.

If your leaf blower runs on batteries instead, the batteries could be dead. Switch these out and test the blower to see if that helps.

Other problems that could keep the blower from working include a faulty power switch or a blown fuse.

Why does my electric leaf blower keep cutting out?

A leaf blower that keeps turning itself off when you're trying to use it could have a clogged filter. Turn off the blower and attempt to clean it out to see if this solves the problem.

An overheating motor can also cause the leaf blower to shut itself off. Use your hand to check the housing of the blower and see if it feels excessively hot after the blower has been in use.

How long do electric leaf blowers last?

Electric leaf blowers will give you about 30 minutes of power before they need to be re-chared, though some models may last for as long as one hour before running out of power.

How do you clean an electric leaf blower?

To clean an electric leaf blower, first make sure it is totally powered off. Clean out any debris inside the leaf blower and then use compressed air to get gunk out of areas you can't reach.

Wipe away any visible grime with a damp cloth or a little soap and water, but avoid getting any moisture near the engine.

Replace the filter at least once a year or every few months, depending on how often you use your leaf blower.

What are common problems with leaf blowers?

Electric leaf blowers can get clogged, filters can get dirty, and problems can occur with the battery itself. On the whole, however, electric leaf blowers are fairly low-maintenance and very easy to use.