Snowblowers are meant to make your life easier, but a snow-clogged chute can make the job much more difficult, especially when the snow is wet, heavy or packed.
It can be a frustrating experience, but it's extremely dangerous to unclog your chute by hand. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do so you never have to.
1. Use a Non-Stick Spray
Snowblower non-stick spray coats the chute and auger just like a cooking spray, shielding the metal so snow passes through without sticking, clumping, or clogging.
We've heard that people will try just about anything to avoid this nuisance in a pinch, even coating their chute with grease or vegetable oil. It's messy and doesn't last long.
The best lubricant for a snowblower is a non-stick spray, which creates a protective shield for dirt, snow, and grass, and doesn't need to be reapplied before each use. Just spray the chute and auger before the first use of the season and you're good-to-go.
2. Use a Clean-Out Tool
Some snowblowers now have clean out tools as a standard attachment. These hardened, plunger-like tools make it simple to safely clean out clumps of snow, dirt, or objects that get caught in the auger housing.
Never use your hands to clean a clogged snowblower. When a snowblower clogs, the moving parts are designed to stop instantly, building tension like a spring when the engine shuts off. When you remove the blockage, that tension is released, which could break fingers when the auger unwinds.
3. Go Faster
Believe it or not, your chute can clog from simply not moving fast enough. As you move faster, the auger(s) pushes snow out with more force, chucking it further.
If you're not physically able to walk faster, consider getting a more powerful snowblower that can make up the difference for you.
Troubleshooting a Clogged Snowblower
If something unknown gets jammed and your auger stops moving, but your engine doesn't shut off, then you may have a broken shear pin. They are designed to break under too much torque to protect your snowblower from greater damage. Shear pins are surprisingly easy to replace and cheap, too.
If you've successfully kept your snowblower from clogging season after season, you know the importance of performing seasonal maintenance to make sure your blower stays in top condition year after year.
Many people think maintenance is expensive when it actually isn't and saves much more over time. Plus, having replacement parts on hand will prevent trips to the store during a snowstorm and slow you down for minutes instead of hours.