Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Curbside Treasures

R has been rocking it with the curbside finds this past week.  So let's start with the first find.

A nearly new weed whacker.  Whenever he finds a weed whacker the first thing he does is check to see if it has a spark plug and then he pulls the cord.  If he pulls the cord and he cannot feels any resistant then it means there is no compression and it probably has a broken ring, etc or something that is mechanical and is not worth getting fixed.

If it has compression there is probably a 90% chance that it will run so he'll take it.  When he gets home he checks the gas tank to make sure it has gas.  The next step is to look at the spark plug.  Look for cracks in the porcelain and look at the electrode to make sure it is not broken or heavily corroded. If you have tried to start it a lot, then the electrode might also be wet with raw fuel.  Dry the electrode and I always like to use a fine grit sand paper to clean up the electrode.  Reinstall the plug and try again.  If it still will not start, it is time to look at the fuel.  Here's something our local tractor shop told us about buying gasoline.  The gas that is sold now has a lot of ethanol in it and some lawn equipment and chain saws were not manufactured to run on ethanol so always buy premium gas for your lawn equipment.

Dump out any fuel in the tank and start fresh.  After emptying the tank add a little fresh fuel and swish it around and empty again in case there is dirt in the tank.  R likes to dump the used fuel and swishing fuel into a white throw away plastic container so he can see if any dirt comes out with the fuel.  If everything looks clean then adds some fresh fuel and try again.  By this time most weed whackers will start. But if it sounds like it is not sparking than try a fresh plug.  If it runs but stalls out it is probably a dirty carburetor or what we call as having a slug in the carb.  This is a tiny piece of dirt that gets picks up and plugs the little tiny hole in the jet so that it stops the flow of fuel.  When the engine stops the dirt falls back down or moves so that when it starts back up fuel gets through the jet for just a short time and then stalls out again or it will only run on choke.  This is remedied with a carb cleaning.

Some other easy fixes are it might need a new recoil.  This condition is when the pull cord will not retract. Easy fix for the repair guys or if you are handy you can do it yourself.  It all depends on the value of the weed whacker whether you want to fix the tool or set it back out to the curb for the next person who actually might just need a part off of it.

This particular weed whacker has a slug in the carburetor.  Since the weed whacker is in very good condition we will either clean the carb (if we have time) or take it to our lawn tractor guys for an estimate.  I'll keep you posted.

The other item he found was a potato/onion storage bin.  We are going to use it to store bird seed in the potato area and suet in the onion area.  I will probably paint it and put some hardware on the lid to keep it closed.

On the agenda for Tuesday is to buy grass seed and seed the area around the garden shed.  We have more rain in the forecast for Tuesday so it's the perfect time to seed.  We will also plant the remaining seeds in our garden.  I think we have cucumber, radishes, and beans that we want to plant.  Our tomato and pepper plants are growing fast.  The Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli haven't really done much but look healthy.  The garlic is looking great and the white and red onions are just starting to peek above the dirt.

We also need to hunt through our stash of old hoses to find some 5/8 of an inch in diameter hose for the overflow line on the rain barrel.  We have a stash of hoses because we use old hose to protect the tree truck from the rope when we stake young or bent trees.

So I'm off to bed so I can hit the floor running on Tuesday before the rain starts which I am predicting to happen at 530pm.