Rigging an Electric Leaf Blower Cord, That Almost Caught on Fire and Killed Me

Introduction: Rigging an Electric Leaf Blower Cord, That Almost Caught on Fire and Killed Me

I want to start this instructables by thanking the EPA and our Government for ethanol. Thanks to ethanol my ten year old Echo leaf blower died. I have always thought powdered lawn equipment should have a 2-cycle motor. If it doesn’t smoke it probably doesn’t work very well. I found this Black and Decker leaf blower on the side of the road and picked it up. I plugged it in and it worked, I figured I would use it till I replaced my Echo. The part where you plug it in, was at best was stupid. The plug kept pulling out and then turning off with every step. The second time I used it the thing, it started smoking. I jerked the power cord out and saw the plug was melted.

Step 1: Too Much Screwing

I decided to fix what a team of engineers couldn’t get right. I took my newly melted extension cord and cut off the good end. I started taking the leaf blower apart and it had way too many screws. I don’t plan on putting that many back in. After what appeared to be two days of removing screws the case split in half.

Step 2: Cutting the Cord

I cut a 18inch peace off the extension cord and stripped back 3 inches of insulation. I then drilled 3/8in hole in the body of the leaf blower close to the area the plug originally went.  I inserted the cord and tied a knot so it would not pull out. I cut the terminals that were all melted and connected them to the cord I installed.

Step 3: More Screwing

I installed just enough screws to keep the thing together. I plugged it in and it still worked. Now you can tie a loop in the cord so it won’t unplug every time you take a step. I hope this article helps if you own one of these. I may follow this article with one on “how-to throw away junk electric lawn equipment in the trash and buy good gas powdered equipment”. Please vote in the Jury-Rig contest I still have not won a contest yet.

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    An older thread about smoking extension cords attached to leaf blowers dealt with older blowers (and likely also chain saws) which draw lots of current.

    The problem discussed was with tools with a solidly mounted, on-board male set of prongs for attachment to the female end of your extension cord. (rather than often newer or higher quality blowers, having instead a design featuring a short flexible one-foot length of cord, ending in a male plug, exiting the blower. --(This (better!) design allows one to knot the short convenience cord of the device to ones extension cord, and avoids the heat and burning, the rocking and twisting of the female extension cord end within the rigid, vibrating, and "one size fits none" socket on the tool).

    But, a melted blackened blower can be fixed, or a not-yet-damaged one can be retrofitted easily! Read on: I fixed a melted Black and Decker as this post mentions, and fixed a not-yet-damaged Weed Eater 150 mph blower in advance rather than letting it damage itself and an expensive extension cord.

    (And of course a new end can be put on that expensive burned extension cord); --but the problem is REALLY SOLVED by putting a permanent cord, either short or long, onto the blower. I prefer a permanent 100 foot cord, since I do haul-offs and have plenty of cords folk discard when moving.

    (I felt bad that all the advice in that thread centers on blaming the owner, saying he used too thin a cord or blew too long! But his tool AND 12 gauge extension cord suffered damage (even an expensive thick and brand-new one), (which cord could easily have cost more than the inexpensive electric blower it's self).

    I've found that twisting of the cord during heavy use - even using the "cord keeper" prongs blowers have molded on, by dragging a heavy extension cord behind, it causes sparking, and poor electrical contact, with ANY extension cord, no matter how expensive the cord . For this reason, I fixed two blowers, by adding permanent cords. ONE blower which had prongs that had burned and melted out; one which I fixed in advance, to PRECVENT that from happening again.

    I added 100 foot 16 gauge cord to one, and 14 gauge cord to the other, permanently. Both were cured of smoking or any other problem. I did it by opening the cases of the blowers, (two separate brands; equally easy) --and simply wiring internally the end of an extension cord (with the its female plug removed) into the case, attaching it to the white and black wires from the switch & the motor, with a wire nuts, & also making a knot in the extension cord, inside the blower, to keep it from being pulled out during use. .

    There is plenty of unused space inside an electric blower, accessible by removing Phillips or sometimes torx screws and opening the two halves of the blower.

    Simple wire nuts can be used. You don't even have to solder or use spade clips or other connectors... just close the two halves of the case, positioning the wire nut connections within the generous sized case so as not to obstruct reassembling the tool--and plug your permanently corded blower in!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I finally realized what your comment about Ethanol was about. Yes, regular gas will eat up small engines in a few years. My local repair place (that knows me now) says the EPA would like none of them to be in use. Find a fuel station that sells unoxegenated?, "real" gas that is used for outboard motors. No ethanol. It's worth almost $6.00/gal. or more for the small amts. we use.