the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur

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What does this switch do?

Even though there was not a large accumulation of snow behind the garage, I decided that it would probably be a good idea to fire up the snow blower anyway so that I could be sure that it was running smoothly for the first really big snow of the year. I checked that it had gas, made sure that the key was in place, set the choke, gave the primer a couple of pumps and then gave the starter rope an experimental pull.

The rotor spun, and it made the "whupwhupwhup" sound of a motor being turned over, but it gave no indication that it intended to start. So much for starting it on the first pull. I tugged on the rope again. And again.


... and again. It was making no pretence of trying to start, so I swallowed my pride and dug out the extension cord. It would be incapable of resisting the electric start.

[Long stretch of engine turning over and cursing omitted]

... or maybe it could. I took apart the casing and checked the spark plug. I checked the wiring. I removed and reinserted the key several times. Finally I became concerned that I might burn out the electric start, and I unplugged it again. I figured there was no harm in pulling the starter rope a few more times. I grabbed the handle and prepared to give it another pull when I spied something on the back of the motor that had somehow eluded my attention in all the time that I have owned this machine. There was a little rocker switch marked O / l -- and it was set in the "O" position. On a hunch I flicked it over to the "l" position before I pulled the rope again. To my utter lack of amazement, the machine sputtered on the first pull and started on the second.

Our snow blower has an on/off switch. Who knew? I am guessing that the repair guy must have shut it off when he was working on it this fall and just assumed that I knew it was there. Well, now I do.
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