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Common problems with leaf blower vacs

By Adelaide Gray

Leaf blower vacs are great for clearing fallen leaves from your patio. Read our guide to how to avoid common problems with them.

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Vac easily blocked by debris

Likely cause

Leaf blower vacs have a fan that sucks up and shreds leaves. However, the fan can easily be blocked with twigs and clods of wet leaves.

How to avoid

Try to pick up leaves on dry days when they will be collected and shredded more easily. If you have plenty of other debris, such as earth, mixed in, it might be quicker in the long run to pick this up by hand.  

Bag attachment broke

Likely cause

Many leaf blower vacs have either a twist attachment or clips to keep the collection bag in place. This fault appeared in around one in six cases of all leaf blower vacs that developed a problem in our survey of Which? members.

How to avoid

Empty the bag regularly, as a heavy bag will put more pressure on the attachment. Try to keep the bag clean as it can get clogged with dust and soil. It is best to collect leaves on a dry day, as wet leaves makes the bag very heavy.

If your garden tool develops a fault you can claim against the retailer under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Collection bag failed

Likely cause

Most bags are made of fabric and can get very wet as they are used since they pick up a good deal of moisture along with the leaves. They often then rot when stored.

How to avoid

Not over-filling the bag will help it to last longer. After you have finished using it, give the bag a rinse out and then hang it up to dry before it goes back in the shed.

Blowing/collecting tube cracked

Likely cause

Stones and other hard debris can sometimes ricochet against the tube if they are sucked up. The plastic of the tube can also become brittle over time, especially if it is stored in a cold shed.

How to avoid

Be careful to only pick up leaves with your leaf blower vac. If in doubt, blow your garden rubbish into a pile and then pick it up by hand. Store your tools in a frost-free environment.

Fan failed

Likely cause

The fan not only sucks up the leaves in a leaf blower vac, it also shreds them. A few members told us the fan broke when stones were picked up, or was damaged when being unblocked.

How to avoid

Avoid sucking up stones, twigs, wet leaves and other debris that will clog in the fan. Also take your time to pick up leaves and let the vac shred gradually to save time spent clearing the fan.

If you need ot buy a new model, discover the best one to buy in our leaf blower and leaf blower vac reviews.


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