Planting, sowing, cleaning, watering, fertilising, mowing, harvesting, pruning, and the list goes on: in the countryside as well as the garden, there’s no end of work to be done. Many of these gardening activities can be performed quicker using a blower, a highly effective workmate that can also include a vacuum and even a shredding function. In this guide, we find out how to maintain a blower in order to keep it working efficiently for a long time.
How blowers and vacuum cleaners work
How does a blower work? A blower is a gardening tool that generates an air jet with a speed and flow rate proportional to its power output. This air jet can be used to clear and pile up leaves, grass clippings, small pruning debris or rubbish; collect fallen olives and hazelnuts; or clean and dry outdoor paving.
And how does a leaf vacuum work? A leaf vacuum combines the function of a blower with that of a vacuum cleaner and even a shredder. For example, with the Oleo-Mac BV 250 you get an air jet with a flow rate of 12 m³/min and a speed of 70 m/sec. In addition, thanks to the standard 4-blade shredder knife, you simply need to mount the appropriate kit—essentially made up of a vacuum tube and a 36 l collection bag—to convert it into a vacuum cleaner for sucking up and shredding leaves, as well as twigs, bark, pieces of cardboard and more.
With a blower-vacuum-shredder you can therefore greatly reduce the volume of green waste and other rubbish that you need to dispose of. In addition, any plant residues can be chopped up ready for adding to a compost bin, which you can use a few months later as an excellent organic fertiliser for your garden and vegetable patch.
Extremely lightweight and ergonomic, with a telescopic S-tube: take a look at this video which summarises all the features of the new BV 250 blower from Oleo-Mac.
How to maintain a petrol engine blower
Now let's see how to perform simple routine maintenance on a petrol engine blower. For non-routine maintenance and a check-up of our models at the end of the season (or at least every two years), we recommend that you contact an Oleo-Mac dealer or service centre.
Before handling your blower, switch off the engine, wait until it has cooled down, and always wear utility gloves.
First of all check the air filter: to clean it, simply tap it against a hard surface, or if that's not enough use a brush, or gently blow compressed air through the filter. Cleaning should be done often, such as after using the blower, whereas the air filter should be changed if it’s clogged or damaged (or in any case, approximately every six months).
Periodically check the fuel filter inside the tank and have it changed by an authorised service centre at least once a year. You can trust an Oleo-Mac service centre to carry out a thorough service using only original spare parts.
Regularly clean the cylinder fins of the blower’s engine using a brush or compressed air. Also check the cleanliness of the spark plug and inspect the gap between the electrodes. Replace the spark plug if it is worn or there are any abnormalities. In general, it's best to replace the spark plug every six months.
Before and after using the blower, give the machine a general check-over: are there any breaks, signs of wear or leaks? Always keep the fan protection grille clean from dust and debris so that the engine does not overheat. On the BV 250 model, the protective grille of the engine fan also acts as a casing for the shredder blade, so make sure that it is intact and fully functional.
In addition to performing the above blower maintenance steps, if you use a vacuum blower like the BV 250:
Clean dirt and debris from inside of the impeller housing on a regular basis.
Check that the fan blades are clean and undamaged.
Wash the collection bag regularly.
Check that the bag is not broken and that the zips work properly.
How to maintain a battery-powered blower
Before doing any maintenance on the blower, remove the battery and check that all of its parts are intact, including the contacts with the machine. Then, follow the steps below for routine maintenance of a battery-powered blower:
Check that the external parts of the blower are in working order.
Clean the exterior with a dry cloth, without using water.
Clear leaves or other debris from the cooling air intake grilles.
Remove any traces of oil and grease from the handles.
As you can see, routine maintenance of a battery-powered blower is much simpler compared with a petrol engine blower. For non-routine maintenance of our battery-powered blowers, we recommend instead visiting your nearest Oleo-Mac service centre.
Among the models in our blower range, the battery-powered blowers stand out for their practicality, because they remove the need to handle fuel or work within range of a mains socket. But how much work can you do in the garden with a battery-powered blower? Find the answer in our article How much can you get done on one battery.