Tips for Using an Outdoor Vacuum

Is it fall already? Now that the leaves are falling from the trees, it’s time to break out your lawn vacuum. There’s more to using one of these machines that just rolling it over your lawn. If you don’t know the right vacuuming and maintenance techniques, a simple job can quickly become a frustrating one. These tips will help you get better performance from your Billy Goat lawn vacuum.

How Does a Lawn Vacuum Work?

A lawn vacuum works a lot like a bagged household vacuum. The engine drives an impeller. This creates a vacuum at the front of the impeller chamber, which connects to the nozzle. The air drawn into the chamber is forced out of the back into the bag. The bag is made from a fine fabric that lets air escape, while captures dirt and debris.

The main difference between outdoor and indoor vacuums is the impeller. While your home vacuum has a simple plastic impeller, a Billy Goat vacuum’s impeller is made from thick sheet steel with serrated edges. These edges chop debris as they pass through the chamber. The fine pieces that reach the bag take up less space, reducing disposal costs. They’re also perfect for composting.

When Should I Use My Lawn Vacuum?

There are three times when a lawn vacuum is your best solution for dealing with debris:

– Your lawn has a heavy coating of leaves or pine needles.
– There are too many grass clippings.
– Weeds are germinating, and you want to remove their seeds from your lawn before they take root.

When it comes to leaves and clippings, vacuuming shouldn’t be your first choice. When mulched, this organic material can feed your lawn. It also encourages the growth of microorganisms, which will help digest thatch before it becomes too thick. Once you can no longer see the tips of the grass after mowing, it’s time to pick up lawn debris with your vacuum.

What Conditions are Best for Picking Up Lawn Debris?

Clean up your lawn when it’s moist. If the lawn is too dry, you’ll pick up dust, which will blow straight out of the bag and onto you. If the lawn is wet, your vacuum will have a harder time picking up soggy leaves and debris.

How Do I Get Good Suction?

For the best performance, your vacuum’s nozzle should be about an inch above the debris it’s picking up. This lets the debris slide under the nozzle, while still being close enough to be picked up.

If you need to pick up a pile of leaves, or you need to clean out bushes, use the hose attachment. If your vacuum doesn’t have a hose, you can add one using a hose kit. Like the front nozzle of your vacuum, your vacuum hose works best with an inch between the end of the nozzle and the debris.

Most performance problems can be traced to the pores in the bag. If they’re covered or dirty, air can’t flow freely, reducing suction. For the best performance, always empty your vacuum’s bag when it’s 50% full. Rinse the bag with water after using your vacuum, or after each work day, to remove dirt from the pores.

If you’re working in less than ideal conditions, you need to take some extra steps to take care of your bag. Wet leaves weigh up to 40% more than dry leaves. Emptying the bag when it’s 1/3 full will keep wet debris from stretching the bag. Your bag will need more frequent cleaning when used in dusty conditions. Likewise, felt bags need to be cleaned often, because their fine pores clog easily.

When water isn’t enough to clean your vacuum bag, wash with water and mild detergent, then let it air dry. It’s a good idea to have a spare bag on hand, so one bag can be in use while the other one is drying.

When you buy a new bag, the fabric will be too tight for air to pass through without hampering performance. Run your vacuum at half throttle for 30 minutes to gently break in the fabric.

We Have What You Need for Your Vacuum

Whether you have a KV, MV, LB, QV or TKV vacuum, you can get the parts and accessories you need for your Billy Goat vacuum at Billy Goat Parts. We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat, Honda and Briggs & Stratton, so we carry everything you need to fix your equipment. Looking for vacuum bags? We have a section for them on our homepage. Looking for specific parts? Our search engine can find you matches that work with your model. We even have built-in factory descriptions and diagrams, so you can see exactly what you’re ordering. Best of all, we can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada. Visit us at

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