Ryobi Yard Blower Repair

Submitted to Community Chat

First, I actually appreciate the Internet most of the time, even if it was invented / created by a politician. (You can giggle now.)

About three months ago my Ryobi Yard Blower stopped working. It has a date of “10-06” on it so it was either made in October of 2006 or in June of 2010. I do not think I have owned it for ten years but I guess I have. It has run very well over the years, seldom giving me any problem.

One day I started it up and it died almost instantly. Limited use of my right arm and I am right handed. Every attempt to restart failed and I reached my physical limit. Only about 105 degrees that day so I let it sit. I was discussing it with my Daughter and Son-in-Law and they “hijacked” it, taking it to several outdoor equipment repair businesses without telling me.

The very first place told them 1) it was about ten years old, 2) they wanted a non-refundable $75 “troubleshooting charge” which would be applied to any authorized repairs, and 3) that a new one was probably cheaper or more appropriate. With that they talked to several others. All wanted at least a $50 prepaid, non-refundable deposit with estimates of $75-$125. The statements included 1) it appears it is bad gas and the carburetor was most likely gummed up so the carburetor would most likely have to be overhauled and cleaned, 2) it appears to be an ignition problem so it will most likely be a new sparkplug, magneto, and on/off switch, and 3) it is possible that the piston was burned from using gas without the oil mixture making the unit junk. In the midst of that journey I found out they hijacked it and ordered it back since I had not even looked at it.

The other day I finally got to it. (Change in VA meds.) The Internet shows the exploded parts view for the yard blower so I had an idea what I was working with. Thank you politician and Ryobi for the access and information. (End of the political statements.) I set the yard blower on the workbench and started looking. Hmmmm. The “gas pump up bubble” has no gas in it. Hmmm. No amount of pumping gets fuel into the bubble. Hmmmm. There are bits of black tubing in the gas tank. Hmmm. There is a black tube just hanging in the air above the gas tank. Hmmm. There is funny feeling to the “gas pump up bubble.”

OH!!! There is a crack in the “gas pump up bubble.” Touch the black plastic fuel lines and they simply break apart. A total of $12 gets me a new “gas pump up bubble” and two feet of new, black rubber gas tubing. I figured I needed about 11” but if I bought 12” I would be 1/8” short.

It took less than fifteen minutes to take it apart and clean it up. It took about twenty-five minutes to put it back together. Started on the second pull. So far it has about twenty minutes of operating time on the new repair.

The outdoor equipment repair places have to make assumptions and ensure they do not give away the time they must pay wages on. They must cover the cost of their buildings, insurance, licensing, utilities, etc. That is not the issue, they are entitled to earn a living. When I owned my automotive repair business, inherited from my Dad and sold after several years to go to college, I did not do free analysis either. When you tell the customer what is wrong having invested thirty minutes of time & wages with a lot of expensive equipment and then they leave, go home, and fix it themselves with parts for the other guys, my business does not win.

However, the counter guy at the outfit I bought the repair parts from started an interesting conversation. I told him the model number, the part nomenclature, and the part number and the guy said something like “I guess the ‘gas pump up bubble’ finally broke. I suppose the fuel tubing fell apart too. I recommend you replace the tubing even if it isn’t broken …. yet.” How come the parts counter guy could make that statement without any of the other repair shops that had the yard blower on their counter suggesting that issue or repair?

Gas replacement yard blower? $150+. Repair costs? About $12 and less than one hour. Maybe it will die next week but I doubt it.

(I do not make enough money to be stupid.)