THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2013
Blog By: Perian Heffner, CIC
Do you own a snow blower? Another name for this device might be finger chopper because that’s what snow blowers do hundreds of times each winter. Almost without exception it’s the fault of the user.
Snow can sometimes clog the snow blower’s outflow chute, especially when there are wet, heavy snow conditions. When this happens, the machine stops working until the chute is cleared. Sticking your hand in the chute is something that should never be done, not even just a little way.
There’s a part called the impeller in the exit chute that spins rapidly to expel snow. It stops spinning when the chute is clogged, then starts spinning again when the chute is cleared. The impeller is much closer to the end of the chute than people with more fingers on one hand than the other ever imagined.
Even turning off the snow blower before clearing it is no guarantee you’ll be able to give high fives with both hands. There can be torque built up when the machine jams. When the snow is cleared, even if the motor isn’t running, the impeller could start spinning again from the built up torque. You don’t want your hand in there if that happens.
Turning the snow blower off and using a sturdy stick or broom handle to clear the chute is the best way to deal with the problem.