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How to Troubleshoot a Weedeater

By Joshua Duvauchelle

Though it doesn't actually eat your weeds, a weedeater can quickly trim back vegetation with the roar of its little engine. It can be an indispensable tool for cutting grass alongside walls or sidewalks where a lawn mower cannot venture, as well as for clearing away overgrown bushes, vines and weeds--when it's working correctly. Even the best weedeater can malfunction. Troubleshoot your weedeater to help pinpoint the problem so that you can get back to keeping your landscape controlled and beautiful.

Turn off the weedeater if it is running. Place the tool on the ground on its side. Put on gloves and safety goggles if you are not already wearing them.

Inspect the end of the weedeater. Clear away any debris. Vegetation may collect and wrap itself around the end of the weedeater, especially when you're trimming wet vegetation or vines. This can clog the weedeater and prevent it from starting or running smoothly.

Check the weedeater's string reserves if you are experiencing erratic or poor cutting results. If no string protrudes from its spool head, check the spool head as the string may need replacing. Consult your user manual for replacement instructions, as this varies by make and model. Typically, you must pop off the spool head, wrap new trimming string around the spool and reinsert it with the ends of the string protruding from the spool.

Make sure there is sufficient fuel for the weedeater. Electric weedeaters must have properly charged batteries, while gas-powered weedeaters need gas in their fuel chambers. The batteries or fuel reserves for most makes and models are found at the end closest to you and opposite the string spool.

Service the weedeater if the problem is not resolved, as a significant problem may be occurring with the weedeater's internal engine mechanisms. Contact the toll-free customer service number listed in your weedeater's user manual to find an authorized service center in your area.


About the Author


Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.