For those of you new the Pennsylvania-New York border, that blue streak you saw this morning (and again around 2:30 this afternoon) was just me swearing at the fershugina chipper/shredder.
This morning, after spending some time cleaning up the slash and getting ready to chip it all up, I ran into a teensy weensy problem. The damn chipper wouldn't start.
I purchased it two years ago and used it only once. That time it started right up and ran until the gas ran out. I refilled it and it wouldn't start again. I put it under the deck and covered it with a tarp. Then the back acted up and I couldn't have pulled the starter cord if I wanted to. Then there was back surgery and it wasn't until now that I needed to use the darn thing.
Figuring the gas might be part of the problem and since it had been in there for a year, I drained the tank. No water in the fuel that I could see but it was ethanol containing crap so I replaced it with good clean no ethanol unleaded. Followed the directions for starting it and nothing happened.
I checked the spark plug and it was dry. No fuel getting there? So I decided to pull the carburetor and clean the fuel out of that and see if there was any obstruction. But to do that I first needed to pull the air filter. Long story short, I pulled everything but the kitchen sink and saw nothing obviously wrong. (But I sprayed the carburetor with starting fluid anyway and poked a thin wire in all the little holes--just in case.)
Put everything back together again (with no left over bolts!), put a bit of gas in the tank and pulled the cord. It started right up! BUT it was time for lunch so I shut it down and went in to eat.
Coming back outside, I said a few silent prayers, filled the gas tank and pulled the cord. It started on the second pull.
I ran that sucker for over two hours and got about half of the pile done. When the gas ran out, I let it sit for fifteen minutes while I took a break. Filled the tank again and pulled the cord and...nothing. The damn thing wouldn't turn over.
Drained the fuel, pulled the carb (and the air filter) and cleaned the thing again since it seemed to work the first time. This time it didn't. So I pulled the spark plug again. It was slightly moist but when I tested it I couldn't see if it was producing a spark. So off to Lowe's I went to get a new spark plug.
After returning and installing the new plug, I put a little gas in the tank and gave it a pull. Started right up!
Moved it back to where I was working, filled the tank and it took me half a dozen pulls to get it going again. I ran that thing for another two and a half hours before the tank ran dry and I was almost done with the stuff I wanted to chip/shred.
I figure I lost over three hours futzing around with the damn machine. Three hours I could have used to stack the firewood length pieces and/or cut the pieces that are over 3" in diameter for firewood.
Well, there's always tomorrow. Although I still have about an hour on the chipper to finish what I'm doing so jeep an eye to the sky in north central PA tomorrow around 8 AM. If you see a streak of blue, you'll know I'm having trouble with the damn chipper again!