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How to Fix Common DEWALT Leaf Blower Problems

A collage of of dewalt leaf blowers.

DEWALT power tools and gardening equipment, including leaf blowers, have earned a reputation for quality and dependability over the years. Blowers suited to leaf blowing come in three models, DCBL 722 P1 and X1 and the 770 X1. The blowers are battery-powered, taking the practicality of the tools to a new level. But as with all equipment, they do sometimes give problems.

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DEWALT Leaf blower problems:

  1. Blower won’t start
  2. Battery won’t charge
  3. Battery doesn’t last very long
  4. Blower turns off intermittently
  5. No air blowing out of the blower
  6. Excessive vibrations while running the blower
  7. Blower makes a rubbing grinding sound
  8. And more …

1. Leaf Blower Won’t Start

A man trying to start a leaf blower.

You’ve psyched yourself up, gathered your strength, and declared war on the leaves lying around the yard. With your leaf blower at the ready, you turn on the blower, and nothing happens. You press the trigger again, still stone dead. Why doesn’t your trusty DEWALT leaf blower work?

Solution

DEWALT leaf blowers are battery-powered, so that’s the first check.

Ensure the battery is inserted correctly into the blower, ensuring it clips securely into place, or the blower won’t start.

Ensure the battery is charged by pressing the battery button on the battery itself. The number of light illuminating will show its state of charge. When the battery is depleted, it won’t work.

Alternately, Insert the battery into the battery charger. If the red battery indicator light on the charger flashes, the battery is not fully charged. The battery is full and ready for use when the indicator light stays on or is illuminated permanently.

A faulty battery can be identified by the battery not charging at all when placed into the battery charger (no indicator light) or may only last a few minutes once back in the blower.

To eliminate a battery problem. Swap out the blower’s battery with another battery. If the blower works, you’ll know the battery is at fault and requires replacement.

Remember that the DEWALT batteries can require up to eight hours to charge fully.

Lastly, you may have more than one DEWALT blower. Both the 20V and 60V batteries are compatible with the 20V blower. A 20V battery will not work with a 60V blower; therefore, ensure you use the correct battery for your specific leaf blower, or the blower won’t start.

2. Battery Won’t Charge

Leaf blower and it's battery on the lawn.

DEWALT tools, including leaf blowers, use lithium-ion battery packs, called Nano Technology Packs by DEWALT, that are interchangeable between all the battery-operated tools of the same voltage; currently, 20v and 60V and a miter saw that operates at 120V using two 60V batteries in series.

Lithium batteries last a long time, much longer than conventional batteries, but they don’t last forever. When your battery doesn’t charge, check the following to avoid replacing the battery unnecessarily.

Solution

Ensure that the battery is correctly seated into the charger, as a poor terminal connection will prevent the battery from charging.

Ensure that the charger is connected to an electrical outlet and turned on; otherwise, the battery can’t charge and won’t start up.

Lithium batteries are temperature sensitive and have an auto shut-off feature that switches the battery off when it reaches a temperature of 158 Fahrenheit (70°C).

Prolonged use or leaving the tool in the hot sun may cause the battery to heat up. To reset and recharge the battery, allow it to cool down, then place it on charge.

Once the internal battery temperature drops below 140 Fahrenheit (60°C), the battery will be reset by the battery charger then charging will continue as usual.

A faulty battery will either not charge at all, meaning the red indicator light on the charger will remain off, or alternately will show as fully charged but will only last for a few minutes during use. A faulty battery doesn’t work as it used to if you’ve had it for a long time.

Exchanging the battery with a spare battery will confirm if the problem is battery related or if the blower is faulty.

DEWALT batteries are warranted for three years, so if your battery is older, the battery could very well need to be replaced.

3. Battery Doesn’t Last Very Long

A Dewalt leaf blower on a wooden box.

Operating a battery-powered leaf blower that offers a somewhat limited run time, such as the DEWALT 20V MAX Brushless Handheld Blower model BCBL 722, offers about twenty minutes run time, sometimes less, with its 5Ah battery.

Solution

You will require additional batteries if the area you’re cleaning takes more than twenty minutes to work through.

The 5Ah 20V battery requires at least one and a half hours of charge time to recharge, so if you only have one battery available, it will take a long time to get the job done. Having additional batteries on hand allows you to extend the blowers operating time by switching out flat batteries rather than waiting for them to charge.

A 60V, 9Ah battery is available for the 20V blowers. Upgrading from a 5Ah to a 9Ah battery will increase the run time significantly.

Additional batteries allow you to extend the blowers operating time by switching out flat batteries rather than waiting for them to charge before continuing with the task.

4. Blower Turns off Intermittently

A man holding a leaf blower on a white background.

A DEWALT leaf blower that shuts off after ten to fifteen seconds of use and then starts up again can be a real pain. We’ve identified two reasons causing intermittent operation.

DEWALT leaf blowers endure a lot of rough handling while in use, swinging back and forth and bumping into obstacles. The bumps can take their toll on the blower’s components and even stop it from working. A blower that stops and starts during use could have either of the below faults.

Solution 1: Remove and Test Electronic Board

A faulty electronic control module inside the blower electrical circuitry plays havoc with your leaf-blowing experience. The blower won’t work and run continuously when the board is defective.

The board will need to be removed and tested, which will need the assistance of a professional.

The small electronic board is generally warranted for three years. If your blower is older, you can order replacement parts online.

Solution 2: Charge the Battery

A battery that is running low may present the same symptoms as a faulty electronic control module. As the battery runs down, the bower won’t run for long, and the power drawn by the motor exceeds the available battery capacity, turning off the blower. Restart the blower, and it’ll work for a few seconds and shut off again.

Placing the battery on charge for the recommended period will resolve this issue. Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended battery care.

 

5. No Air Blowing Out of the Blower

A man blowing a leaf using a leaf blower.

When a DeWalt blower motor runs but air doesn’t come out of the tube, there’s a problem. The brushless DC motor connects directly to the fan blade, producing the airflow that makes a blower a blower.

High-speed air will only be expelled from the blower’s nozzle when the blower motor is turning. Two potential problems prevent air from exiting the tube even though the motor is turning.

Solution 1: Check the Fan’s Impeller Nut or Screw

The DEWALT blowers fan is attached to the crankshaft by an impeller nut or screw.

When the blade nut or screw becomes loose, nothing secures the fan that works its way loose due to vibration.

The fan blade will no longer be attached to the crankshaft, allowing it to spin freely around the shaft despite the motor functioning normally. Without being connected to the shaft, the fan won’t work.

Should your blower be under warranty, the unit must be returned to the supplier for repair or replacement. If out of warranty, you can give the repair a go. Removing the side cover by removing a few screws that hold the cover in place is easy.

When the cover is removed, the fan will be visible. Realigning the fan and re-tightening the impellor nut or screw is simple.

Solution 2: Unblock the Air Inlet

The inlet allowing air into the fan may be obstructed, resulting in the airflow through the blower being severely limited. An item of clothing may likely block the inlet while using the blower, or the inlet is held up against your body which can easily cause a temporary blockage into the inlet opening.

The blower should be held, so the inlet is always free of any obstructions.

 

6. Excessive Vibrations While Running the Blower

A man cleaning a park using a leaf blower.

DEWALT leaf blowers develop increased vibrations over time due to wear and tear or, more often, dirt accumulating on the blades. Blowers house a fan that spins at high speed, so when anything upsets the balance of the fan, a vibration will be the first sign of something not being well with the fan blades.

Solution 1: Clean or Replace Fan

Damage to the fan blades or a build-up of debris on the fan will cause the fast-rotating blade to become unbalanced.

Hard debris sucked into the blower’s fan can potentially bend or even cause a piece of the fan to break off. Even though the fan operation may not be notably affected, the imbalance will be felt as a vibration.

Debris lodged in the fan or has built up over time on the fan’s blades can also cause a vibration when the fan is spinning.

In both instances, the cover enclosing the fan is removed to expose the fan blades. A visual inspection will, in most instances, reveal the cause of the vibration. Should the fan be damaged, it’ll need to be replaced. If only dirty, a clean with a soft brush will remove the dirt.

Solution 2: Fit New Bearings

In rare instances, the blower’s moto bearings may have become worn to the extent that the shaft housing the fan develops free play. When the shaft is no longer held in place firmly, the wobbling shaft can cause vibrations.

The solution to curing the vibration is that new bearings must be fitted. However, replacing the blower with a new one may be cheaper unless you can perform the task yourself.

7. Blower Makes a Rubbing, Grinding Sound

A man using a leaf blower tp clean a backyard.

A rubbing or grinding noise coming from your leaf blower is not desirable and indicates that the blower has a problem. The rubbing and grinding noise are caused by something getting stuck between the rotating fan and the housing or possibly even the fan itself rubbing against its housing.

Solution

This solution is relevant to all fan or impeller-driven blowers. Any debris lodged into or behind the blades will be rubbed against the fan housing or anything else it may meet along its path as the fan rotates.

Alternately, the fan retaining screw can become loose, allowing the blade to move along the shaft and rub against the housing.

Diagnosing and finding the source of the rubbing or grinding noise will require accessing the fan. Depending on the blower model, this is achieved by removing either a side air inlet cover or disassembling the blower to access the in-line fan motor.

In both instances, once the fan is visible, evidence of the rubbing should be seen on the fan housing or blade as scour marks. The marks will give away the source of the problem.

Foreign objects stuck between the blade and housing will be easily seen. Rotating the ran by hand will quickly show up any resistance.

The fan’s retaining screw is easily accessible and must be checked to see if it’s tight. If loose, tighten the blade retaining screw to ensure the fan doesn’t touch the housing.

The attached YouTube video shows how to open the corded blower. The equivalent DCB 100 battery-operated version disassembles in the same manner.

8. Blower Whines Loudly

A man cleaning using an electric leaf blower.

The DCBL 790 blower is a cordless clam shell-shaped blower suited to smaller cleaning operations. The model earned a reputation for occasionally developing a loud whine which coincided with a drop in airflow from the blower with the result that the blower won’t work.

Solution

Probably not surprisingly, the DEWALT DCBL 790 blower has been discontinued, but thousands are still in use; therefore, this issue is worth highlighting.

This model’s loud whining noise is caused by the motor shaft spinning inside the gear that houses the belt driving the blower fan.

The gear seems to be pressed onto a smooth shaft which, over time, works its way loose and loses its bond with the motor shaft. As the shaft spins inside the gear, the fan cannot turn and, therefore, can’t generate airflow rendering the blower not working.

The logical solution would be to glue the gear onto the shaft using a robust epoxy-based adhesive which will permanently bind the gear to the shaft and prevent to gear from slipping.

The blower must be disassembled to expose the motor and blower unit to bind the gear to the drive shaft. The protective cover closing the drive belt would need to be removed to expose the drive belt and offending gear.

The gear would then be removed from the shaft and glued back into place. Remember to replace the drive belt should it look damaged.

Unless you’re pretty handy, we’d recommend leaving this fix to a professional.

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