Getting Ready to Mow

Dear Friends,

It is that time of the year where I get questions about taking care of the lawn equipment. If you take the time to treat your tools well they will in turn last a long time and save you a lot of money in replacement costs.

Here is my lawn equipment maintenance routine:

Gas, I treat all my gas with a fuel stabilizer. This keeps the gas fresh and keeps from clogging up your carburetor with varnish. It also allows you to store your equipment over winter without emptying the gas tanks. You add it to the gas can, not the lawn mower. Here is what I use.

http://www.goldeagle.com/products/8_oz_Treats_20_gallons.aspx

I also include it in the gas that has oil mixed in it (for the weed wacker, leaf blower, etc.)

Lawn Mower-

1. Change oil yearly
2. Clean or replace air filter yearly.
3. Sharpen blades yearly
4. Replace spark plugs every two years

Leaf blower, weed eater, etc.

1. Clean the air filter yearly. They usually have a sponge type filter. Clean the filter with soap and water and let dry. Then put a few drops of oil on sponge and squeeze it so it is spread evenly through the sponge. It is not supposed to be dripping wet. Then replace it.

2. Replace spark plugs every two years.
3. Inspect edger blades weekly and replace when they no longer work properly or are cracked.

To sharpen the blades on a walk-behind mower:

1. Turn off gas to the carburetor if you have a shut-off valve.
2. Take off spark plug wire
3. Turn lawn mower on its side. Keep the gas cap to the up side.
4. There will be a 1 or two bolts the will need to be removed from the center of the blade. Wedge a 2×4 between the blade and the lawnmower deck to keep the blade from moving while you are unscrewing the bolt. Remember, turn left to loosen. ( Lefty loosey, righty tighty)
5. Sharpen the blade using a blade sharpener that attaches to a drill. You can get a sharpening kit at most hardware stores. Make sure you buy a blade balancer. Do not make the blade razor sharp. It will not last; you want to make it approximately 1/8 th of an inch thick. When the blade is satisfactory then sit the blade on the balancer. It acts like a see saw. The blade should be perfectly balanced. If one side sinks down, then you will need to take some more off on the heavy side.

Here is an example of the blade sharpening kit that I use.
http://lawn-and-garden.hardwarestore.com/78-496-lawn-mower-blade-sharpener/blade-balance-and-sharpener-kit–684409.aspx

 

FlyLady here: Thanks for helping us keep our tools in good working order. Our crew helped me make a Home Maintenance Control Journal. It is yours for FREE. All you have to do is download it and print it off.

Home Maintenance Control Journal

 

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