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How to Fix RYOBI Backpack Blower Problems

A collage of different types of leaf blower.

RYOBI has a longstanding reputation for producing innovative and reasonably priced power tools, including leaf blowers that you can purchase as a handheld unit or as a backpack model. The backpack is convenient, easy to use, and comes in gas and battery-operated models.

Related To: Ryobi Generator SolutionsHow to Fix RYOBI Paint Sprayer Problems | RYOBI Leaf Blower SolutionsHow to Fix RYOBI Garage Door Opener ProblemsHow to Fix RYOBI Pressure Washer ProblemsHow to Fix RYOBI Nailer Problems | How to Fix RYOBI Pole Saw Problems

Some common that you might encounter with your RYOBI backpack blower:

1. Blower doesn’t start

2. Blower not performing optimally

3. Blower hose won’t stay attached

4. Blower stalls when throttling up (gas blowers)

5. Blower smoking (gas blowers)

6. Blower batteries not charging (battery-operated blowers)

Table of Contents Show

RYOBI Gas-operated Backpack Blower

A battery operated leaf blower on a white background.

RYOBI’s gas-powered leaf blowers are powerful options for residential use. Some of the more popular modules are the BP42 and the newer 2-cycle 760 CFM backpack blower. These tools offer an airflow of up to 175 mph and have 38-42 cc engines to help you clear your space quickly and easily.

As with other power tools, like trimmers, lawnmowers, etc., the gasoline versions tend to be higher maintenance and might give you a few more hiccups in their lifetime than their battery-operated counterparts. Yet, you can operate it for more extended periods without having to wait for battery packs to recharge.

1. Backpack Blower Doesn’t Start

A backpack leaf blower that doesn’t want to start is quite a common issue among most outdoor equipment that runs on fuel. Luckily, there are numerous actions you can take to solve this problem for your RYOBI backpack blower, and most solutions only take a few minutes.

Solution 1: Replace Old Fuel

Before you try any other solution, change the old fuel in the blower and replace it with a fresh batch that is adequately mixed at a ratio of 50:1 gasoline to oil.

Solution 2: Check Fuel Lines

Over time, fuel lines can become clogged from old fuel left in the tank for too long. It can also become brittle and crack, causing gas to leak or disconnect from the carburetor when it starts to erode. These issues can prevent a blower from starting up. Inspect the fuel lines and replace them if you detect any indentations or damage.

Solution 3: Inspect Prime Bulb

The prime bulb, located next to the air filter unit, sucks up the fuel from the tank and pulls it through the line into the carburetor. Check whether the prime bulb is working by pressing on the bulb to create a vacuum – this suction is supposed to pull fuel from the tank. If not, you will need to replace the component.

Solution 4: Repair Recoil Starter

Open your blower unit to examine the recoil. If the rope is broken, worn down, or stuck, it cannot engage with the blower’s engine crankshaft, making it unable to start. You can repair the recoil as illustrated here:

Solution 5: Inspect the Spark Plug

Remove the blower’s spark plug to see if it has any damage or wear. The spark plug might have to be replaced if the electrode is burned away, the porcelain insulator is broken, or there’s heavy carbon buildup. If you want to confirm whether it is still in working condition, you can test it first. Here’s how: 

If there is no spark, you must replace the spark plug (recommended if it is older than one year), or you can first troubleshoot the ignition coil before buying a new spark plug.

Solution 6: Test the Ignition Coil

If there is no spark when you test your spark plug, check the blower’s ignition coil. If you see a lot of dirt and oil on the grounding surface, this could prevent the blower from starting. Clean the surfaces of the engine and the ignition coil, and then reinstall it and reconnect the spark plug.

If the blower still doesn’t start, your ignition coil might be defective, and you will have to replace it with a new one. You can do this by following the steps in this video: 

Solution 7: Clean or Replace Piston Rings

Test the pressure your blower produces inside the motor’s cylinder since poor compression might keep the blower from starting. A 2-stroke blower should run at about 120 psi. Because of carbon buildup, compression can be lost due to rings stuck to the piston. Examine and clean them with carburetor cleaner to loosen them up.

Solution 8: Repair Carburetor

A dirty carburetor is another potential cause for your blower not starting. When you leave gas in the tank for over three months, the residue liquid gets thicker and stickier, causing a clog in the carburetor.

To fix it, clean the unit with a carburetor cleaner. If it doesn’t work, you can buy a carburetor repair kit to replace some components, such as the metering diaphragms and pump gaskets.

Solution 9: Unflood Engine

A final cause that might prevent the blower from starting is a flooded engine. If you suspect that this might be the problem, especially if you’re smelling gas, then follow these steps to unflood the motor:

  • Remove the spark plug and turn the blower on its side so the spark plug hole faces the floor.
  • Clean and reinstall the spark plug.
  • Switch the choke to WARM START (RUN) and yank the starter cord 10-15 times.
  • Remove all the gas left in the tank.
  • Stand as far away as you can and pull the starter handle three times with the choke lever on WARM START (RUN).
  • If the engine does not start, set the choke lever to COLD START and try starting it again.
  • If the engine fails, repeat the process with a new spark plug.

2. Backpack Blower Not Performing Optimally

A man with a backpack blower in a snowy day.

Any RYOBI backpack blower that isn’t performing at its best can mean several things: it won’t accelerate, run at full speed, or run smoothly. Take the following steps to increase your blower’s performance:

Solution 1: Wait for the Engine to Warm Up

If your blower doesn’t want to accelerate, let it idle for 3-4 minutes before trying again. Typically, engines need time to warm up before they can perform optimally. If the motor is warmed up but doesn’t want to speed up, try troubleshooting other parts before employing a service technician to fix the issue.

Solution 2: Replace Old Fuel

To get your blower running well, drain any stale fuel (more than three months old) from the tank and replace it with fresh gas.

Solution 3: Add Properly Mixed Fuel

If new gas doesn’t do the trick, you might have to consider the fuel mixture. Your blower won’t perform at its optimum if the fuel does not have the correct ratio of gasoline to 2-stroke oil (50:1).

Be sure to replace the old gas with new pre-mixed gas that you can purchase from any reputable outdoor or hardware store. These products are mixed to the correct ratio and will help your motor perform at its best.

Solution 4: Check Air Filter

Inspect the blower’s air filter. If it is visibly dirty or wet with fuel, then this might be the reason your blower is not performing well at full speed. Clean or replace the filter only if it is severely soiled. A tiny bit of dirt or fuel shouldn’t impact the performance drastically.

Solution 5: Inspect Fuel Filter and Fuel Tank

If the filter detached itself from the line, raw, unfiltered gas would move from the tank into the carburetor, causing a clogged-up filter screen. Repair the filter, if necessary, and ensure it is clean.

Solution 6: Examine Spark Arrestor Screen

Remove the blower’s housing to check the spark arrestor screen for dirt since this could hinder performance. The screws are relatively easy to undo, except those between the cover and the frame, which are slightly harder to get to. Once you have removed the cap, ensure the muffler has cooled down (if you operated the blower) before removing the bolts to get to the spark arrestor.

If the spark arrestor screen is black with dirt, clean it with a wire brush or replace it with a new one. If you don’t see a spark arrestor screen, it might be that your specific blower model has a spark arrestor built into the muffler. If so, it is not serviceable, and you will have to replace the muffler completely, which will cost you roughly $50.

Once done, put all the parts you dismantled back together and try rerunning your blower to test its performance.

Solution 7: Adjust the Carburetor

If all the previous solutions fail to have your blower perform at its best at full speed, you can try to tune the carburetor. Depending on your blower model, you might need a single D-shaped carburetor tool to do this step.

You can fine-tune the carburetor while the blower is off or running. However, the latter makes it easier to assess the engine’s performance while adjusting since you can immediately hear the difference when pulling the throttle.

First, turn the H-screw nearest the air filter 90° clockwise. Let the blower run at full speed and assess its performance. If it sounds like it’s about to die, turn the screw back to its original position and then a quarter turn counterclockwise to get more gas. If it’s running better but still rough, you can turn the screw another quarter counterclockwise to make it run smoothly.

3. Backpack Blower Hose Won’t Stay Attached

A man carrying a leaf blower to move on a new location.

Your RYOBI blower is starting and running like a dream, except the blower hose keeps disconnecting from the unit. This can be frustrating, but it’s a quick fix once you have the relevant parts to solve the problem.

Solution 1: Check Clamps

The bellow tube is held in place by two metal clamps. If it is installed correctly, the blower tube will remain intact. Nevertheless, these clamps can corrode and damage if your blower is a few years old or has been left outdoors for an extended period. If this happens, it cannot hold the plastic parts in place, so the blower hose can detach.

Check your clamps and tighten or replace them if necessary. Here’s how: 

Solution 2: Check Tubes

If any of your blower’s tubes (flexible, straight, or handle) is severely damaged, the hose won’t stay attached to the blower housing. This may happen if the unit undergoes rough use, bumps, and falls. Examine the tubes for any cracks or indents and replace them if necessary.

4. Backpack Blower Stalls When Throttling Up

A man cleaning a park using a backpack blower.

Sometimes, you need to take your RYOBI blower to the next level and run it on turbo. Yet as soon as you rev it up, it dies. You will need to investigate various parts to solve the problem.

Solution 1: Check the Intake

Carefully move the blower’s air filter housing back and forth. It might be loose if you find an unusual ‘wiggle’ to the part.

Start by taking off the air box and removing the air filter. Now remove the metal plate and the air filter base. Once done, carefully pull the carburetor away, including the gasket, to get to the area underneath. Here you will see the intake, a round metal component with two T25 screws. Tighten both these screws if they are loose.

 

Put all the parts you dismantled back in place (i.e., the gasket, carburetor, air filter, etc.) so that it aligns with the intake. Check that the air filter unit is tight and secure, and then put your blower on to see if it can run for a while without shutting off.

Solution 2: Clean Fuel Filter

Check that the feed line that goes into the carburetor still has a filter. Sometimes, it can fall off, making the fuel line pick up debris and clog the carburetor. If your fuel line still has a filter, ensure it is clean and not clogged up.

Solution 3: Check Air Filter

Remove the air box and examine the air filter. If it is clogged up severely from grease and fuel (i.e., you can hardly see the light coming through the gaps), clean it with a mild detergent or replace the component. A clean air filter will allow your blower to run without stalling.  

Solution 4: Inspect Spark Arrestor

Only some backpack blowers have a spark arrestor. If your RYOBI model has, it is worth checking it. If the spark arrestor screen is clogged, scrub the part with a wire brush to clean it. If your blower still stalls, you might have to replace the spark arrestor.

Solution 5: Adjust the Carburetor

Before tuning the carburetor, take off the air box and air filter to allow yourself more space to work. You have two adjustment screws on the carburetor: a high and a low. The high screw (or H-screw) is closer to the air box side, and your low screw is nearest the engine.

Start the blower and use a single D carburetor tool to turn the H-screw 90° counterclockwise. Pull the throttle to see if the blower dies out. While doing this, you might want to give the high screw one more quarter turn counterclockwise. Rev up the engine a final time, holding it for a few seconds to test whether the problem has been solved. The blower should run at full throttle without stalling.

5. Backpack Blower Smoking

No power tool that emits excessive smoke should be considered ‘healthy.’ When this happens to your RYOBI backpack blower, switch off your unit immediately and troubleshoot the issue.

Solution 1: Replace Old Fuel

A person re-fueling a leaf blower.

Drain out any stale fuel in the blower and replace it with fresh gas. Ensure it is correctly mixed at a ratio of 50:1 gasoline to 2-stroke engine oil.

Solution2: Check Fuel Lines For Leaks

If your blower is a few years old, it is worth inspecting your fuel lines for damage. They become brittle and can even crack, causing fuel to leak. Check your fuel hoses and elbow connectors on the carburetor to see where the leak comes from and repair or replace the fuel lines completely.

Solution 3: Clean Air Filter

The air filter becomes clogged with grease and oil as time passes, which can cause your blower to smoke. Remove the filter and clean it with a mild detergent if it is soiled, or install a new air filter since it is relatively inexpensive and requires regular replacement.

Solution 4: Check Spark Arrestor

If your RYOBI model has a spark arrestor, examine the screen to see if it is clogged with dirt. If so, scrub the spark arrestor with a wire brush to clean it. If your blower still smokes, you might have to replace the component.

RYOBI Battery-operated Backpack Blower

A leaf blower placed near a pool.

RYOBI backpack blowers that run on battery packs are low-maintenance power tools that are better for the environment. They also don’t have as many issues as their gasoline-operated counterparts.

RYOBI has various models on the market to suit your every need, including the latest 40V Brushless 625 CFM Whisper series. It can run up to a respectable 145 mph and comes with either one or two 40V battery packs. Generally, gas blowers are less potent than battery-operated blowers. Still, they do small jobs just fine and are much quieter – something your neighbor will thank you for!

1. Backpack Blower Doesn’t Start

Regardless of how many times you try, it just won’t start. You can hear a click, but no air comes from your RYOBI blower. The issue can result from numerous things, most fixable within minutes.

Solution 1: Check Battery Power

If the blower’s batteries are flat, then the unit won’t start. Check the power indicator on the side to determine their status. Charge the batteries fully before using them to ensure it provides enough power. You can also use a voltmeter to check the battery power.

Solution 2: Inspect Battery Quality

A 56V battery for leaf blowers.

Examine the condition of the batteries. If they have damaged prongs, they might not be making proper contact with the unit and, therefore, not start. Replace the batteries if it is damaged.

Solution 3: Clean Blower Housing

Suppose your blower is a few years old. In that case, dirt might have accumulated in the battery box over time, preventing the batteries from making proper contact with the unit. Remove the batteries, check the blower housing for debris, and clear it out.

Solution 4: Check Blower Tube

Inspect the blower tubes and see if it closes the safety switch. If it’s not fully inserted, your unit might not start. Install the pipe properly and securely before attempting to start the blower again.

Solution 5: Tighten Throttle Handle Screws

Make sure the throttle handle is secure. Test it by gently nudging it back and forth. If it seems loose, tighten the screws connecting the throttle handle to the mount clamped around the blower tube.

Solution 6: Clean Switch Contacts

If your blower is still not starting, you might have to open the throttle handle to clean the switch contacts on the inside. Over time, the blower’s parts, including the kill switch, gather dirt and dust, which might be why the blower isn’t working.

2. Backpack Blower Not Performing Optimally

A leaf blower with a portable battery.

Like gasoline blowers, RYOBI’s battery-operated blowers might also decide to run a little weak now and again. Usually, the issue lies with the battery packs.

Solution 1: Check Battery Power

Make sure that your 40V blower batteries are fully charged. This you can quickly determine by looking at the lit-up bars on the side of the batteries, which indicates the power. Charge them to 100% before installing and operating your backpack blower.

Solution 2: Use Two Batteries

Operating your blower on only one battery will not be sufficient. You will need to install two batteries to give you more powerful airflow for longer. However, keep in mind that these electrical blowers generally do not provide an exceptionally long battery life (20-30 minutes) – less if you use it on turbo.

Assuming you have the RYOBI 40Volt Cordless Backpack/Handheld Blower Kit model RY404180. Then, you are lucky enough to be able to install three batteries since this blower comes with a backpack containing three battery slots.

3. Backpack Blower Hose Won’t Stay Attached

A man cleaning leaves using a backpack blower.

No matter how well your RYOBI backpack blower runs, it can be frustrating if the blower hose keeps disconnecting. Especially if it’s an older model or the unit has seen better days. It’s time to inspect the plastic hardware to determine whether replacements are needed.

Solution 1: Check Clamps

Two metal clamps hold the flexible tube in place, which can become loose if not installed and tightened correctly. In addition, these clamps can corrode and damage over time or if the blower is left outside. In this case, it cannot hold the plastic parts intact, so the blower hose can detach.

Check your clamps and tighten or replace them if necessary. Here’s how: 

Solution 2: Check Tubes

If your tubes are damaged, the blower hose won’t stay attached to the blower housing. This may happen if the unit undergoes rough use, bumps, and falls. Examine the tubes for any cracks or indents and replace them if necessary.

4. Backpack Blower Batteries Not Charging

When you see flashing lights on your RYOBI battery packs or flashing green and red lights on the charger, it signals a malfunction and will need repair.

The following two steps will require you to have some suitable tools. Still, it is entirely doable, even if you don’t have much experience fixing power tools.

Solution 1: Reset Battery

Your 40V battery might be defective, so open it up by unscrewing the four torques holding the unit together. To do this, you will need the appropriate security bit tool set. Once open, you will see the battery’s circuit board. To confirm that the battery is defective, you can press the test button to see if any lights come on. If not, you can proceed to reset the battery.

Locate the RST, which is the reset tab. Use a paper clip and bend it so that you have two points side by side. Stick the paper clip ends inside the two reset holes simultaneously and keep them there for a few seconds. You will see green lights coming on. If not, press the test button to see if anything on the circuit board lights up. That will indicate whether the battery is in working order again.

Solution 2: Boost the Battery

A man carrying a leaf blower.

Suppose a reset didn’t fix the battery issue. In that case, it probably means the battery has not been used for an extended period and discharged itself.

First, test the battery voltage using a voltmeter. Even if the voltmeter only shows 1V (as opposed to the ideal 40V), the battery’s cells are still intact and working.

Next, you will need to boost or ‘jumpstart’ the battery. For this step, you will need to buy a few additional parts (e.g., DC to DC voltage booster) and need some technical experience. To see how it can be done, you can view this video: 

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