electric leaf blowers ?

I tried my first electric leaf blower/vac (Weed Eater 15 amp) on the 5th, and it was terrific for the first and only 10 minutes. Then the GFIC kicked out and when I reset, and restarted the blower, there was terrible arcing from the brushes, and the smell. I suspect the high amperage kicked out the GFIC. I returned it to WalMart ($39.23), no problems. I was so highly impressed with its operation before its demise that I would buy another, hoping the one I had was a rarity. In fact, I would gamble on the next one being that I could replace the brushes and turn the commutator and remedy the problem. I would prefer a metal turbine but the one I had used a plastic one. The Weed Eater web site comes up POULAN and the impeller and brushes (very decent prices) are available. But the 'motor assembly' is almost $52.00. The way it sucked up the leaves and mulched them really impressed me. In fact, the pile of leaves I faced I thought would take at least 6 trips to empty the bag. I ended up with only a guarter of a bag full of leaves, before it died. Problem now is there are none available in Western Montana (110 mile radius). Prices at the online auctions for a new one are too high. I only need it for about 3 hours per year, in the vacuum configuration. What I read about the small gas types is the starter ropes and return mechanisms are short lived. I have no need of a heavy duty (expensive) type and I would prefer electric, but would be open to a small dependable gas model. Sure would appreciate any imput anyone could provide about their experiences in this area.
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theChas wrote:

I would replace the GFCI.
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. . .I signed up with WalMart to be emailed when the 1200 watt Weed Eater ($40.00) would be in stock at my store. I received the email, the next day they were in stock in my store, so I drove the 27 miles. There were none in stock. Dirty word. At least I got a Chev Geo Metro a year ago and now get up to 53.8 mpg. Been doing 48 mpg going a little faster. Going to put 42 psi in my tires and get even better mileage. 4 tires just cost me $140 mounted, balanced, installed. That's 35 gallons of fuel. I can afford to wear out tires now. . . . .I had ordered a Toro 1200 watt blower/mulcher from TARGET and then found another site where users reported their experiences. At that site those who had the Toro machines for a longer time all experienced motor burn out. Target was real helpful when I attemtped to cancel my order. Just refuse shipment they said, and when they receive it back they will credit my credit card. . . . .My GFIC is okay, the motor smelled and slowed down and one could see the arc between the brushes and the commutator. GFIC did its job and shut down on the high amp draw. A 1200 watt unit should draw 10 amps...since one hp is 6.8 amps (I'm pretty sure) those are real little motors to be rated at just under 1.5 hp. They are quite small (small bearings) and must be at least 3600 rpm...Doesn't take much to break one down. . . . .It seems all electrics have common problems, just like the Weed Eater gas models all have starter recoil rope problems soon after purchase. I canceled my order for the Toro electric and went to Wal Mart and paid $100 for a Poulan (Weed Eater) gas blower/mulcher. So far I have not used it and I am running it for 10 minutes at a time at reduced speed to 'break it in'. At top speed I don't know what the rpm is, but they really fly. It feels too fast for long engine life. I can see why they use 40:1 fuel/oil mix... . . . .My gas Poulan has the primer bulb and it seems to flood real easy. But it clears easy too. Since it is built by Weed Eater, I can expect recoil start problems. I live at 5300 feet asl, and I imagine I should adjust the carb (it has to be running rich), and cut down on the rpms. Man, those 2 cycle units really scream. The electric Weed Eater had a serated plastic impeller and really did a job mulching (16:1). My gas Poulan does have a plastic non-serated impeller, and they claim 14:1 mulch rate. It also has a variable speed throttle trigger.
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don't know about weed eater. i've had toro and black and decker, and both have been unbreakable for a few years. still have both, in fact. both do have plastic impellers, though; like you, i'd prefer metal, on general principles.
moving down from the big 15 amp babies, i also have one of the smaller toro ones, an "electric broom", doesn't do any mulching.
for whatever reason, i seem to be attracting these things, and they don't burn out.
on the other hand, i go through an electric lawn mower every couple of years. go figure.
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