The post about snow blowers and their throwing ability got me to thinking about another over looked element to consider when dealing with equipment that have belts, including blowers.
Many times that lack of throwing by a snow blower can be attributed to drive belt issues. Its common to have the belt become glazed on the it's sides, which means nothing more than it gets shinny and smooth. When the belt is shinny and smooth, the pulley cannot get adequate contact to drive the belt and it will slip.
>> How can you tell if your belts are glazed? The most tell-tale sign is if you push into the snow and you hear a squealing noise and it stops when you back off. Secondly when you push into the snow, the motor doesn't pull down much or the governor doesn't kick in.
>> How does it become glazed? When the blower is used, the pulley and belt generate friction (i.e. heat) during use. The snow "dust" that is kicked around by use contacts the belt/pulley then melts. When the belt slips in the pulley, it polishes the side of the belt and that is what's called glazing.
>> How do you fix it? Apply belt conditioner/belt dressing. It removes the glazing, allowing the belt and pulleys to work together with out slipping. I've found that when I'm getting the blower ready for use in the early fall, I'll apply the conditioner and only rarely do I have to re-apply during the season. It depends on the type and volume of snowfall.
It's not just snow blowers that can benefit from this...but anything that operates in a environment with dust. Tillers, mowers with belt drive, furnace blowers that are belt driven and car fan belts to name a few.
I've used a couple of different kinds of conditioners and have not noticed any appreciable difference between them...but always have a can on hand.
Please keep in mind though that de-glazing a belt will not compensate for a broken tensioner or other mechanical problems.
i always keep a can of belt dressing around too. it fixed the washer not spinning problem not long ago........ =o)
You know..Ive never used belt dressing. Usually because I just buy a new belt if I suspect it to be worn. But dressing is probaly a good idea to have and apply peridoically.. Good thoughts.
I think people should be aware that if they see glazed belts on their snowblower or rototiller, it's because of the belt slipping and the pulley "polishing" the belt, but the most common cause of that is that the belt wasn't installed sufficiently tight to begin with.
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