Snowblowers aren’t just popular; they’re likely to reach over eight hundred billion in sales in the next two years.
Climate change weakening the jet stream means a more negligible difference between the temperature up by the north pole and the rest of the northern hemisphere.
That means colder winters as the global temps rise, but the heat makes snowmelt. Can a snowblower get wet? I’ll explain everything you need to know.
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Can Snow Blower Get Wet
A single stage snowblower can handle a little wet snow, while two or three stage snowblowers are better built to handle heavy wet snow. When snow is wet, move slower to take in less snow at a time so your snowblower doesn’t clog due to ice and snow buildup. Using a quality deicer on your augur and chute will help wet snow move instead of refreezing.
What Happens If A Snowblower Gets Wet
There are three ways a snowblower is prone to problems when it gets wet. Firstly, the augur and chute can ice over or become impacted and stop moving snow.
Secondly, you can end up with carburetor icing. Third, over time excess moisture will get into the metal pieces causing rust damage from oxidation.
- Augur and Chute – It is vital to use a good quality deicer on your augur and chute to help wet snow move instead of refreezing and clogging up the works. Your machine will freeze up instantly when it gets too impacted, and you may have to stop, turn it off and handle the problem manually. Using a suitable machine for the job will also help. Choose a two-stage snowblower. These blowers typically have power-assisted wheels, a slightly elevated pair of augurs, and an impeller fan to help blow the snow faster and further.
- Carburetor Icing – Carburetor icing is a common problem for snowblowers. When moisture gets inside, it can condense on your carb. This will cause the engine to sputter and even die on you. A temporary solution is to use the choke while running, but you need a better long-term solution. A baffle to keep snow out of your carburetor will help a great deal.
- Rust Prevention – Although this may seem obvious, it’s also easy to forget. Just as a car undercarriage tends to rust if you drive in snow, a snowblower will also have trouble. The combination of salt and moisture is tough on metals. The salt wears protective coatings off and scratches the surface, leaving it exposed so the water can seep in and jumpstart the oxidation process. Sadly, even without salt, water will rust your machine parts over time. The best solution is regular maintenance and replacing parts promptly.
Can You Use A Snowblower In The Rain
You can use a snowblower in the rain. However, it will be more prone to icing up. Additionally, it’s essential to check the owner’s manual because some blowers have starters you cannot use in wet conditions.
The good news is that you can still turn on your snowblower. If you take the machine inside and start it in dry conditions like a garage open, then you should be fine to take it outdoors as soon as it’s on.
Please remember that you should never start a snowblower over the carpet or in a fully enclosed space for your safety.
When your starter plugs into a wall, you need to keep this away from rain when you’re using it because it increases the risk of electric shock.
Never operate a snowblower if the user guide contraindicates the conditions.
The other reason you may not want to run a snowblower in the rain is that it’s a health hazard for you. Sure, you can hold onto the handles to help stabilize yourself, but that doesn’t prevent the wet ground under your feet and the machine wheels.
Moreover, once the rain hits the freezing ground, it will start to freeze into a sheet. Your snowblower is removing the snow and creating a nice, smooth surface for that ice sheet. It’s a trip and fall hazard.
Can A Snowblower Be Left Out In The Rain
You can leave a snowblower out in the rain, but water will get inside and freeze if you don’t cover it. More than mere carburetor icing, this will cause icing throughout the machine anywhere the water collects.
Notably, if you put away your blower while it’s warm from use, some of that water will evaporate inside. If the temperature is freezing where you store it, then the evaporated water will create a layer of ice virtually everywhere.
I recommend placing it on high ground, away from any drainage channels, and covering it with a tarp or other waterproof cloth.
Doing this will help minimize the water that gets inside. Sadly, in addition to icing over, water inside your snowblower will contribute to parts rusting.
Water droplets expand as they freeze into jagged crystals, which causes scraping and surface scratches. This minute damage increases the surface area of the metal parts, which, in turn, oxidize from the moisture.
Storing a snowblower in wet conditions can cause it to lock up with ice and break down from rust.
It is a far better idea to store your snowblower indoors. A garage or entryway is ideal. However, you can put your blower away in a linen closet or wherever it’s convenient for you.
Just ensure that you place a tarp underneath and let it dry first, so you don’t end up with a puddle on your floor.
Can You Use A Snowblower In Heavy Wet Snow
The smallest single stage snowblowers have trouble with heavy and wet snow. If it’s not too deep, you may be able to clear a small driveway.
However, it’s not the best plan between the augur, which sits nearer to the ground, the smaller size, which offers less internal space, and the tendency to freeze inside the chute and clog.
A two-stage snowblower will fare better against heavy wet snow. In general, these models are set higher off the ground, so they work better on inclines, gravel, and cement.
Additionally, they usually offer more space for the snow to move inside the machine and have an impeller fan to help the process.
Whatever the usual snow-depth your particular blower can handle, cut that in half when the snow is heavy and wet.
Three-stage snow blowers have the best chance against heavy wet snow. These models are larger, more powerful, and often self-propelled.
You won’t have to push to get this style to move, and it has a third augur, which is also set far enough above ground level to handle rougher terrain.
Although you should still aim to blow about half the usual depth, these bigger, more powerful snow blowers are the most capable under these conditions.
Helpful Tips To Know If A Snow Blower Can Get Wet
Snowblowers, like other outdoor equipment, are pretty durable. While they are susceptible to moisture-related issues, it’s nothing unexpected, and most of the time, you can prevent problems with common sense.
Here are a few additional tips to know if a snowblower can get wet.
- A three-stage snowblower can handle the most considerable amount of wet snow at twelve to twenty-four inches deep. Using smaller blowers to tackle these depths will likely result in a locked up, icy chute and augur(s).
- Never clean the chute and augurs with your hands or any part of your body. Instead, wait until the machine is completely turned off, with no key in the ignition, and use a long sturdy stick or tool to keep your appendages safe.
- Only use a single stage snowblower if your driveway has nine inches or less of snow. Moreover, this style is meant for flat terrain and cannot handle inclines or gravel.
- If you have to blow wet snow and slush, begin by letting your snowblower idle for a couple of minutes first to warm up. Similarly, when finished, it’s a good idea to let it idyl again (outdoors) to allow the machine to dry thoroughly.
Snow is made of water, so it may seem like a snowblower ought to be near aquatic. After all, you can press it into a bank of frozen water.
Sadly, the effect of snow and ice isn’t the same as that of rain since up to ninety-five percent of fresh snow is made of air.
Regardless, an iced carburetor won’t run, and you’re not going anywhere with a wet starter because electricity and water don’t mix. Be smart and keep your snowblower out of the rain. It’s worth the wait to clear your path safely.