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Spark arrester screen question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawn Dog2001, Sep 25, 2001.

  1. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    I am thinking about removing the screens from my trimmers and blowers. I did a search and I saw that alot of you did the same. But my question is, #1 What are they for, #2 will removing them result in any damage to my machines? The reason Im asking is because I removed the screen in an old echo trimmer I had, and about a year later it caught fire. I am not sure it cathing fire had anything to do with the screen, but I have been nervous about removing them ever since. Thanks for the help.
  2. VnDrWLawnCare

    VnDrWLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    Leave the screens on the machines. I just asked that question the other day to my Stihl dealer and he said if the carbon builds up on the muffler and a piece becomes loose it may fall back down into the engine and cause lots of damage. He told me to get a propane torch and hold the screen with plyers and burn the carbon until it becomes brittle and it will fall out when you tap it on something. If they are really bad they are only a few dollars to replace. May be costly if you have alot of equipment. Hope this helps
  3. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    Those screens are called spark arresters. They prevent sparks form coming out of the exhaust and catching things on fire.

    It shouldn't cause any damage to your equipment unless you catch them on fire. ;)
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    I ditch mine, although I have never taken one out of a blower, because I've never had trouble with them like on the trimmers and saws.
  5. sunrise

    sunrise Banned
    Posts: 247

    My Stihl dealer took them out of the blower. I took them out of the others when they start giving me problems. Just don't start a fire in the brush.
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,940

    Blowers seem to do more high RPM operation than a trimmer, thus keeping the gum out. I would be more cautious as blowers are often used in (dry) leaf cleanups where a spark could make for a very bad day~!
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I tossed mine on everything the day I bought them. Open the airway up and let the motor breathe better.
  8. Don't get caught! Big Big Big Fine.

    Every blue moon, Cal-Osha will do an inspection for spark arrestors on any machine when working in some of the commercial areas I work. A company owner that I know professionally got nailed for this. First offense fine was $400. California is big about this stuff due to the potential fire hazard. I only wish they would check the other lco in residential areas.

  9. I was going to take all the screens out of my equipment. It's newer Stihl stuff. Then I switched to Amsoil 100/1 mix. The screens are getting cleaner all by themselves. Dave
  10. UrbanEarth

    UrbanEarth LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    Personally, I would not take them out unless they were causing a problem.


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