Saturday, April 10, 2010

It Wasn't The Spark Plug

The hedges along the side of my house needed trimming today. Actually, they needed trimming several months ago, by today, they needed a major chopping.

I headed to the church mower shed to get the hedge trimmer (I maintain the church property beside and behind my house and I get to use the church of the "perks" of living on property"). First thing I noticed was the electric trimmer was not there. Could have sworn I'd seen it recently.

OK, no electric trimmer...where's that gas powered thing? There it is! So I filled it with gas (the gas oil mix), primed it, choked it and yanked on the pull cord. Then I pulled again. And again. And I repeated this until my arm hurt all the while the thing never even began to fire.

I know NOTHING about fixing this kind of equipment, but it seemed to me that there were only a couple things that could go wrong. I primed it again to make sure it was getting gas since the tank had been empty. Gas started shooting out, so I figured it was getting enough gas. Only other thing I could think of was the spark plug. Called my Dad, got some advice and headed to Auto Zone to get a new spark plug.

I got the spark plug installed and started yanking the pull cord again. NOTHING. Primed it again and thought it odd that gas seemed to be shooting out. Checked it out and had a "Oh, duh" moment. The little plastic tubing taking fuel from the tank to the motor was disconnected. Tried to reconnect it and discovered that the tubing had broken. I pulled the broken piece off the fitting and shoved what was left onto the fitting. It immediately split! I then pulled on it a bit to see how much extra I had to work with. After that little maneuver, I had 3 pieces of broke in 2 places.

I took the thing apart and, if I can find the manual, I'm fairly confident I can order replacement tubing and fix the problem. Made a quick phone call, found the electric hedge clippers and chopped down the hedges at home.

Stay tuned for part two. Whenever I'm "fairly confident" that I can fix something like this, things NEVER turn out like I pictured them in my mind.

No comments: