Most of the time, your snowblower model will determine its throwing range. However, there are occasions when it’s just not performing how it should often because it may have become clogged or its auger belt has somehow gotten damaged.
If you have found your snowblower not throwing far enough and you’re wondering why then keep reading to learn more about the reasons why and how you can fix it.
- Snowblower Not Throwing Far Enough
- How to Make a Snowblower Throw Farther
- Snowblower Won’t Throw Snow at All
- Why Is My Snowblower Just Pushing Snow?
- How to Test a Snowblower Without Snow
- Verdict: Snowblower Not Throwing Far Enough
Snowblower Not Throwing Far Enough
Each snowblower throws snow at a different distance. If you need snow to go farther, you might need to get a higher-powered blower. Regardless, you might still struggle with this issue even if you have the most powerful snowblower available if it gets clogged or damaged.
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How Far Should a Snowblower Throw?
Most multi-stage snowblowers throw snow 15-20 feet. However, the distance depends on many factors, including:
- Chute length
- Motor power
- Clearance area
- Impeller size
- Outer hosing
- Chute rotation
- Number of stages
Outside of the blower itself, weather conditions can impact the distance the snow gets thrown. For instance, colder temperatures usually lead to lighter snow. Lightweight snow requires less power to go the same distance as something heavier. Also, blowing with the wind will increase the distance traveled.
Is My Snowblower Clogged?
Snowblowers can clog after a snowstorm when sticky snow and ice accumulate around the auger or on the chute. The build-up creates a blockage that traps snow in the blower. You can also get a clog if you blow over a hidden object in the snow.
Clogs can also result from not moving the blower forward quickly. You have to move it at an even pace to prevent snow from accumulating in one spot.
You can tell if your snowblower is clogged if no snow will enter or exit it. Often, you can see a physical blockage around the openings, and it will fail to operate.
How Do You Unclog a Snowblower Safely?
Unclogging a snowblower with your hands is the leading cause of snowblower injuries. To unclog it safely, turn off your blower and wait for approximately 30 seconds to let it stop fully. Then, take a broom handle and insert it in the chute or auger.
You can also get a special tool designed for unclogging, but a broom handle will do the trick. Move it around to loosen any random objects, snow, or ice that has clogged the blower.
Is My Snowblower Auger Belt Damaged?
The auger in a snowblower is rotated by a cogged or non-cogged flat belt or V-belt. This belt connects the engine and gearbox. If it gets damaged, your snow blower’s auger won’t turn.
Inspect the belt for damage by turning off the engine and removing the belt cover. The belt should be tight and free from visible damage. You will need to either replace it or adjust the tension to get it running again.
How to Make a Snowblower Throw Farther
If you want your snowblower to throw farther, you can try a few of these kits to optimize the power of your unit.
Lubricant Spray on Snowblower Chute
While snow itself isn’t overly abrasive, your snowblower likely picks up stones, twigs, and debris that create friction and decrease the distance your snowblower throws. You can overcome the frictional force by spraying a lubricant. The lubrication creates a smooth surface that the snow and debris can glide over.
You can purchase a lubricant spray or use household items like WD40, cooking spray, graphite spray, and cooking oil. Spray it on the chute’s inside, fan, auger, and auger belt. You would need to apply graphite spray once a week and the other items every other day.
Install an Impeller Kit
If you have mechanical knowledge, you can install a new impeller. An impeller is a fan that pushes the snow outside. The snow enters the chute and gets shot at a distance. Impellers are often the second stage after the auger.
You can follow the instructions on the impeller kit or get a mechanic to install it for you. These kits can also throw wet snow and slush, and they convert single-stage blowers to double-stage.
Snowblower Gear Lubricant
Regular snowblower maintenance can increase the snow throwing distance. Ensure you lubricate the gear shaft, oil the engine, replace damaged parts, and clean the spark plugs. Furthermore, regularly check for rust to keep everything running smoothly.
Snowblower Won’t Throw Snow at All
If your snowblower isn’t throwing snow at all, you likely have a clog or significant mechanical damage.
Clear a Clogged Snowblower
Use the above techniques to clear a clogged snow blower. If you do not have a broom or unclogger, you can use a firm, wide stick, mop handle, or rod. For persistent clogs, you may need to take your snowblower to a professional.
Snowblower Bogs Down Under Load
If your snowblower bogs down, that means the engine is under a load and won’t operate as expected. You can start by cleaning the carburetor. If that does not work, you may need to replace it.
Also, see if you need to replace other items like spark plugs, fuel lines, or belts. Ensure you check the valve clearance to see if you have valve seat recession. Another potential cause is the float level.
If you cannot determine the cause, take your snowblower to a mechanic or consider replacing it.
Attempting to Clear Too Much Snow in A Single Pass
If you try to clear too much snow at once, you might bog down or clog your snowblower. You can use the above steps to treat these issues. For future clean-ups, start by taking on much smaller loads of snow. Once you push down your driveway, try to clear about half of the auger’s width during each push. Try not to let the snow build up too deep to keep it as light as possible.
Snowblower Common Mechanical Faults
Single-stage snowblowers tend to grab wet and compacted snow since the paddles dig deep to grab everything. Make sure you monitor the space between the spacer bar and paddles. The spacing should not exceed ½”, or else it will stop throwing snow. They will need replacement in this case. The auger belt might need tightening as well.
Two-stage snow blowers do not dig as deep as single-stages, so they have fewer clogs. However, the auger belt may loosen. Other issues you might encounter include broken shear pins, a gearbox that needs some oil, and a poorly maintained blower. In all of these instances, you might need to replace the component.
Why Is My Snowblower Just Pushing Snow?
Your snowblower might just push snow if you have any of the aforementioned issues. Clogs, broken shear pins, and unlubricated chutes and augers can stop it from throwing. Try to use the slower gears to mitigate any problems.
Snowblower Auger Turns Slowly
If your auger turns slowly, check the belt. If the belt is damaged, loose, or slipping, you will need to replace it. Keep in mind that the auger should turn slower than the impeller. However, you will need to check for the above issues if it moves too slow to pick up snow.
How to Test a Snowblower Without Snow
Sometimes you need to test a snowblower in the off-season. Consumer Reports tests snowblowers using wet sawdust in place of snow because the particles behave like wet and heavy snow. Since that is the worst-case scenario, you’d know that your snowblower functions if it can handle the wet sawdust.
Verdict: Snowblower Not Throwing Far Enough
If your snowblower is not throwing far enough, you either need a more powerful blower, or you should check for any problems. A high-quality snowblower can last 20-30 years if maintained in the off-season. Ensure you keep everything lubricated and tight, replacing any parts as needed.