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View Full Version : Spark arrester, does anyone take them off?


Landscraper1
02-28-2012, 09:40 AM
Many, many years ago, I was excited to purchase my first blower, it was an echo. After about a month of use, it was losing power so I returned it to the dealer. The dealer told me that he gave it a cleaning and charged me $40. A couple of months later, it was acting up again. I took it back to the dealer for another $40 cleaning.

By the third time, I figured this was getting costly so, not knowing anything about this, I cleaned it myself. It worked, the blower worked great for another couple of months. By the 4th cleaning, I started wondering about the spark arrester. That thing was always clogged up tight when I checked on it. So, I decided to remove it and see.

Wow, what a difference. I could now go a year without cleaning(other then the filter, of course). I read here on a thread that the first thing many do when they get a new trimmer is take off the gaurd. It got me thinking, the first thing I do is take out the spark arrester.

So, do any of you take it off or is this the first you have heard of this?

bohiaa
02-28-2012, 09:44 AM
Do not remove anything of safety on any equipment !!!!!!!

GMLC
02-28-2012, 10:05 AM
I run Stihl HP Ultra and have never had to clean out carbon. It burns very clean and all my screens stay on.

Ridin' Green
02-28-2012, 10:25 AM
Most of the time, if someone is having issues with their spark arrestor screen fouling out badly, it is either because they are running too much oil in their mix (like Echo used to recommend years ago), or because they are using cheap oil. I never have any issues with any of my screens nor do I have to clean them ( I check them a few times throughout the season, but they are always clean), and I run either stihl HP Ultra, or Amsoil full synthetic.


A good oil can make all the difference.

mikeypizano
02-28-2012, 10:27 AM
My new mower doesn't even HAVE one from the factory! :laughing:

mikeypizano
02-28-2012, 10:29 AM
Most 4 strokes don't bro.:)

Did NOT know that. I think my 4mix Stihl has one though.

Ridin' Green
02-28-2012, 10:33 AM
Did NOT know that. I think my 4mix Stihl has one though.

I was just givin' ya the business 'cause you got a new mower, and I'm jealous.:usflag:

Many small four stroke machines like whips and some WB mowers do, but you don't see them on larger mowers with four stroke engines.

mikeypizano
02-28-2012, 10:38 AM
I was just givin' ya the business 'cause you got a new mower, and I'm jealous.:usflag:

Many small four stroke machines like whips and some WB mowers do, but you don't see them on larger mowers with four stroke engines.

There is just one problem with the new mower... I didn't try it yet! :cry:

crazymike
02-28-2012, 02:09 PM
You should totally remove the spark arrestor.

It's just added weight they put on to charge you more.

What's the worst a loose spark could do while mowing grass during a dry spell? Best case scenario you start a brush fire and don't have to mow for a while.

ALEX'S LANDSCAPING
02-28-2012, 02:29 PM
Do not remove anything of safety on any equipment !!!!!!!

Agreed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

orangemower
02-28-2012, 03:32 PM
I use Amsoil Saber syn in all small engines. One in particular is 14 years old and has never needed anything up until this past season where the carb went bad. It's back to the front line again even though I have 3 other trimmers I can use. Hard to beat a Echo srm210.
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Jason Rose
02-28-2012, 05:51 PM
I use opti-2, sometimes amsoil sabre, both 100:1, and as soon as I buy a new handheld trimmer, blower, edger, etc. the first thing I do to them, besides adjusting the handle, is removing the spark arrester screen. Even when the screen is clean there is a noticeable change in power and exhaust tone after pulling the screen. It's a very fine screen is DOES restrict the exhaust flow a little. Over time, no matter what oil is being used, unless you run the motor at WOT all the time the screen will plug over with deposits. Just the nature of running it at the needed RPM instead of wide open.

Valk
02-28-2012, 06:06 PM
Spark arrestor...does anyone leave them in??? :laugh:

Yup, I prefer trimming at low RPMs...less debris flying around but it will make for more deposits...even with pure synthetic 2-stroke oil. I mostly use Stihl and occasionally RedMax.

Richard Martin
02-28-2012, 06:20 PM
All of my screens are in and have never been cleaned. Amsoil user here and my mix is 80:1.

edensgate7
02-28-2012, 06:21 PM
they all come off mine as soon as I get them home....the low rpms and power loss are too much of a downfall to leave them on. I don't understand what has been said about this being a safety issue.... I thought they were for emmissions control?

crazymike
02-28-2012, 06:26 PM
they all come off mine as soon as I get them home....the low rpms and power loss are too much of a downfall to leave them on. I don't understand what has been said about this being a safety issue.... I thought they were for emmissions control?

They're there to stop the engine from throwing stray sparks and starting a fire
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Richard Martin
02-28-2012, 06:28 PM
I don't understand what has been said about this being a safety issue.... I thought they were for emmissions control?

Their sole purpose is as a spark arrestor. It has nothing to do with emissions. Unless you want to call the noise your equipment makes when you remove the spark arrestor emissions.... :laugh:

Ridin' Green
02-28-2012, 07:07 PM
They're there to stop the engine from throwing stray sparks and starting a fire
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Exactly.

I simply don't want to be blowing off a lawn somewhere in the fall, and turn around and find that a bush or some dry leaves were set on fire by a spark that jumped ship and landed where it shouldn't have. If someone else is not worried about it, that's fine with me. We all have our own opinions about it, but mine won't lead to an accidental fire.:)

edensgate7
02-28-2012, 07:33 PM
hmmmm learn somethin new every day:) I've never seen sparks fly off any of my equipment though and I don't operate in that dry of conditions so I am not worried about fires.

crazymike
02-28-2012, 07:38 PM
hmmmm learn somethin new every day:) I've never seen sparks fly off any of my equipment though and I don't operate in that dry of conditions so I am not worried about fires.

lol
I hope you're mowing lawns with your dads mower on weekends.

If you did start a fire and it came back to and they find your equipment has been modified of that - good bye to everything you own.

I'm not sure how you operate your equipment, but I would imagine you're not constantly watching the exhaust.

And you're not in the rain forest. Dry conditions happens everywhere in the US.

weeze
02-28-2012, 07:51 PM
i checked mine on my honda trimmer awhile back. (it's 4 stroke) after 8 years it still doesn't have any carbon buildup on it. i use mobil 1 10w30 oil in it.

edensgate7
02-28-2012, 08:02 PM
If one operates in dry enough conditions that a tiny little spark from a small piece of equipment will light something on fire then they are plain crazy and stupid. I live in an area where it gets in the 90s in the summer and can go a month without rain and yes we have had a few wild fires. I don't operate my equipmet in those conditions because it damages the turf and creates higher pollution in already high pollution conditions. I don't worry about fires from my equipment because I am not an idiot.

I have other work to do that has no risk of fire from equipment like landscape construction or irrigation. I have personally fought field fires that have burned acres and acres of corn and beans in my home town because of stupid people operating in conditions that a small spark will start a fire in. Also ,my house burned down because of a broken chimney when I was in high school so I know what conditions will allow for sparks to start a fire in and have a healthy respect for them. When I do leaves or mow I would laugh to see someone throw a match and try to light a fire without gas let alone a tiny spark from my equipment lol

edensgate7
02-28-2012, 08:03 PM
and yes I am a full-timer that is insured:)

Ridin' Green
02-28-2012, 08:09 PM
and yes I am a full-timer that is insured:)

You can't see sparks from your exhaust in broad daylight. Even at night it's not like there's a shower of them, but they do happen, and a lot more often than you might think. When a small piece of carbon breaks free from anywhere inside your exhaust system, it will fly out, and they can land and be hot/glowing red for several seoncds. More than enough time to start something burning.

edensgate7
02-28-2012, 08:17 PM
This issue isn't even half as dangerous as the idiots I see that toss the cherries off the ends of their cigartetts while they blow leaves around or mow burnt dry grass. I have seen it allot of times and it just floors me that someone is afraid of a little spark off a small machine is going to start a fire and put me out of business. Anyway, I believe you guys that there is higher risk of fire without a spark arrestor than without one. Lets leave it at that so we all don't get into an arguement over who is or is not going to light a fire somewhere and go out of business because of it:)

Richard Martin
02-28-2012, 08:20 PM
Lets leave it at that so we all don't get into an arguement over who is or is not going to light a fire somewhere and go out of business because of it:)

Oh, I think it's a little late for that... :laugh:

Flex-Deck
02-28-2012, 09:53 PM
I run stiel string trimmers, and non of them has a spark arrester on them. They all plug up in the first couple of months of running.

Salcido Lawn
02-28-2012, 10:18 PM
The first thing I do when I buy new equipment is remove the spark arrestor!

rlitman
02-29-2012, 04:32 PM
i checked mine on my honda trimmer awhile back. (it's 4 stroke) after 8 years it still doesn't have any carbon buildup on it. i use mobil 1 10w30 oil in it.

4 stroke engines have much less unburned fuel/oil in the exhaust to contribute to carbon in the exhaust, so they're much less likely to clog a screen.

944own
02-29-2012, 08:27 PM
First thing I do with a new trimmer is take the guard off and remove the spark arrestor. My redmax I bought new last year did not even have one to remove.