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Barrette's Small Engines Inc. - FAQ's

Why does my grass clog in the discharge chute when I use the grass collector?

There are a few things that can cause clumping, clogging when bagging or a poor mulching situation. Most of these are operational issues, although some of them may have to do with the condition and type of cutting blade being used.

Please review the information in the bulleted points below to help achieve improved cutting performance and disposition of the grass clippings.

  • CLEAN DECK? Make sure that the underside of your deck has been properly cleaned of any debris or clippings. A clean cutting deck will provide the greatest amount of air flow beneath and exiting from under the cutting deck. Sufficient air flow is important for both discharging the clippings properly and/or mulching the clippings.
  • ENGINE AT FULL THROTTLE? It is necessary to run your unit at full throttle during your entire operation. Lack of engine RPM and reduced blade rotational speed can also result in reduced air flow underneath the cutting deck.
  • GRASS TOO WET? Clumping can occur if you are mowing grass that is excessively wet. Try to mow only when your lawn is dry. Note: Moisture makes up a significant percentage of grass composition. Recent rains, foggy or damp conditions may result in grass that may appear to be dry but actually is very moist. If the mower wheels become obviously damp or wet when the mower travels across the lawn, the lawn is too wet to move the clippings properly. Whenever possible, allow adequate drying time, before mowing under these conditions.
  • CUTTING OFF TOO MUCH GRASS? Poor grass clipping movement can occur if you are mowing grass that is excessively long. Do not attempt to bag clippings or mulch when cutting off more than 2" of the overall grass blades with the mower. Overloading or "clogging" may occur if too much of the grass being mowed is being forced through the discharge opening in the cutting deck. If the lawn has been left to grow beyond normal cutting length, it may be necessary to make repeat mowings, starting at a higher cutting height and gradually lowering the cutting deck with each mowing pass until the grass is returned to normal heights.
  • TRAVELING TOO FAST? If operating at a faster ground speed, the mower will have trouble trying to discharge this increased volume of clippings through the grass collector chute properly. Make sure that you are traveling at a medium to slow pace (keep the engine throttled up but either walk slower or shift to a slower tractor speed) especially when bagging or mulching.
  • BLADES DULL? An equipment issue that could cause this condition to occur is if the blades themselves have not been sharpened and balanced recently. Properly sharpened and balanced cutting blades will produce maximum air flow. Inspect, sharpen and balance blades as needed. CLICK HERE for additional information on sharpening and balancing cutting blades.
  • DO YOU NEED OPTIONAL HIGH LIFT BLADES? "High-Lift" design cutting blades are designed to produce maximum ejection air flow out the deck discharge opening and may be necessary when the grass type and/or bagging conditions require additional exit airflow to eject the clippings completely. Generally speaking, larger cutting decks manage more clippings and this increase of clippings volume requires a greater amount of exit air flow to move the clippings out from underneath the cutting deck without clumping. CLICK HERE for more information on High-Lift and All-Purpose blade types.

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