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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    4
    Location
    United States
    Mower
    Poulan

    New Poulan Pro 46" rider caught on fire

    So, I bought a new Poulan Pro 46" rider at Home Depot a couple of months ago and on my first day of mowing, the rider caught fire.

    I was mowing my lawn for the first time of the year and in many parts of the yard, there were plenty of dried leaves that had accumulated on the ground. The mower was blasting through all of it, mulching everything in its path. The leaves were getting pulverized to the point that you wouldn't have even known they were there before.
    As I was clearing the area, I would occasionally stop to pick up large sticks and rocks from the ground to keep from damaging the blades. Each time I did this, the mower would shut off automatically when I raised up off of the seat, as there is a limit/kill switch on the seat as a safety measure.
    Once in a while, when the mower would shut off, it would backfire, which I didn't think anything about it, as I recall the old mower my father had did that quite often and never thought twice about it.
    Well, I came to an area once again that needed to have some sticks and rocks removed before I could proceed with mowing. I stopped and got off the mower as I had done several times before. The mower once again backfired and I continued to round up the sticks and rocks. I then walked my collection over to the fire pit that I was planning on having a large bonfire later in the evening. As I headed back toward the mower, I immediately noticed that it was on fire. In a panic, a started cursing and running toward it. After I came to my senses, I realized that running toward it wasn't going to do me any good, so I turned toward the house to get my bucket and fill it with water.
    One of my problems was that the mower was a good 30 yards from the house and it took three bucket loads to completely put out the fire. I was out of breath and felt like collapsing from the energy I expelled during the fiasco.
    Needless to say, the mower was in quite a melted mess when it was all over.
    I called Home Depot right away and told them what happened. The store manager said they'd replace it at no cost and would deliver the replacement right away. He asked me if I wanted to get something different or just exchange for the same model. I asked him if I could call him back, as I wanted to research the issue online, as I really did like everything about the model. I couldn't find anything about fires for this particular model so I called the manager back and told him I'd be happy to keep the same model.
    The next day they delivered my replacement and that prompted me to buy a fire extinguisher that I mounted below the seat. I'm not about to go through all of that trouble again.
    What I believe to have happened actually doesn't have anything to do with the backfire. There were leaves that had been swept up between the mower and the deck and the leaves caught fire from the heat of the deck components.
    One thing I learned about the mower is that if you take the idle back down to the lowest speed before shutting it off greatly reduces the chance of it backfiring. Anyhow, here are some pics of the damage, as well as a pic with the mounted extinguisher.
    IMG-0324.jpgIMG-0323.jpgIMG-0320.jpgIMG-0318.jpgIMG-0481.jpg

  2.  

  3. #2
    Boobala's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    5,667
    Location
    Central Fl. about 2 hours from DAYTONA !
    Mower
    Murray Select 21 H.P. 46" ( 2004 )

    Re: New Poulan Pro 46" rider caught on fire

    Quote Originally Posted by MyRight View Post
    So, I bought a new Poulan Pro 46" rider at Home Depot a couple of months ago and on my first day of mowing, the rider caught fire.

    I was mowing my lawn for the first time of the year and in many parts of the yard, there were plenty of dried leaves that had accumulated on the ground. The mower was blasting through all of it, mulching everything in its path. The leaves were getting pulverized to the point that you wouldn't have even known they were there before.
    As I was clearing the area, I would occasionally stop to pick up large sticks and rocks from the ground to keep from damaging the blades. Each time I did this, the mower would shut off automatically when I raised up off of the seat, as there is a limit/kill switch on the seat as a safety measure.
    Once in a while, when the mower would shut off, it would backfire, which I didn't think anything about it, as I recall the old mower my father had did that quite often and never thought twice about it.
    Well, I came to an area once again that needed to have some sticks and rocks removed before I could proceed with mowing. I stopped and got off the mower as I had done several times before. The mower once again backfired and I continued to round up the sticks and rocks. I then walked my collection over to the fire pit that I was planning on having a large bonfire later in the evening. As I headed back toward the mower, I immediately noticed that it was on fire. In a panic, a started cursing and running toward it. After I came to my senses, I realized that running toward it wasn't going to do me any good, so I turned toward the house to get my bucket and fill it with water.
    One of my problems was that the mower was a good 30 yards from the house and it took three bucket loads to completely put out the fire. I was out of breath and felt like collapsing from the energy I expelled during the fiasco.
    Needless to say, the mower was in quite a melted mess when it was all over.
    I called Home Depot right away and told them what happened. The store manager said they'd replace it at no cost and would deliver the replacement right away. He asked me if I wanted to get something different or just exchange for the same model. I asked him if I could call him back, as I wanted to research the issue online, as I really did like everything about the model. I couldn't find anything about fires for this particular model so I called the manager back and told him I'd be happy to keep the same model.
    The next day they delivered my replacement and that prompted me to buy a fire extinguisher that I mounted below the seat. I'm not about to go through all of that trouble again.
    What I believe to have happened actually doesn't have anything to do with the backfire. There were leaves that had been swept up between the mower and the deck and the leaves caught fire from the heat of the deck components.
    One thing I learned about the mower is that if you take the idle back down to the lowest speed before shutting it off greatly reduces the chance of it backfiring. Anyhow, here are some pics of the damage, as well as a pic with the mounted extinguisher.
    IMG-0324.jpgIMG-0323.jpgIMG-0320.jpgIMG-0318.jpgIMG-0481.jpg
    WELLLLLL .. we know for sure YOU go to church on Sundays and ALWAYS .. put a tidy sum in the collection basket ! .. Sorry about your "fire-experience" I assume the mower was the only damage, .. so VERY, VERY glad to hear you got a replacement without giving up your "First-Born" .. ..


    Mower : Murray Select 46 " deck
    Model : 465306X8A
    Serial # : 733781D027
    Date of Mfg. : 2003/12/03

    Engine : Briggs & Stratton
    I/C V Twin
    21 H.P.
    Model : 4045A7
    Type : 0211 E1
    Code : 031104YG
    Family YBSXS . 7242VF 22844

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    9,800
    Location
    Australia
    Mower
    Victa slashers & Push , Rover Rancher II's, Cox ( several ) & White LT120 + GT 200

    Re: New Poulan Pro 46" rider caught on fire

    I normally bag big box stores but hats off to Home Depot for doing the right thing by you.
    If you set the brake before you get off the mower it should keep on running, if not then it has faulty wiring.
    It is a lot better for the mower to be left running than continually being turned on & off.
    If it backfires after you have turned it off then the carb solenoid is also faulty.
    However a single back fire through the carb would not be enough to cause a mower to catch fire.
    The muffler outlet is on the left side of the mower and most of the fire appears to have been on the right.
    There is nothing on the right side of the mower to catch fire as the fuel lines and carb are both on the left as is the exhaust.
    I would suggest that your fire started on the deck. The debris from cutting accumulates more on the discharge side .
    Most of the fires I see are caused by friction of the belt on dried debris on the mower deck.
    In fact I have had a couple of customers who just dropped the burning decks and drove the mower away.
    Those quick change MTD decks are a really good idea.

  5. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    4
    Location
    United States
    Mower
    Poulan

    Re: New Poulan Pro 46" rider caught on fire

    Quote Originally Posted by bertsmobile1 View Post
    I normally bag big box stores but hats off to Home Depot for doing the right thing by you.
    If you set the brake before you get off the mower it should keep on running, if not then it has faulty wiring.
    It is a lot better for the mower to be left running than continually being turned on & off.
    If it backfires after you have turned it off then the carb solenoid is also faulty.
    However a single back fire through the carb would not be enough to cause a mower to catch fire.
    The muffler outlet is on the left side of the mower and most of the fire appears to have been on the right.
    There is nothing on the right side of the mower to catch fire as the fuel lines and carb are both on the left as is the exhaust.
    I would suggest that your fire started on the deck. The debris from cutting accumulates more on the discharge side .
    Most of the fires I see are caused by friction of the belt on dried debris on the mower deck.
    In fact I have had a couple of customers who just dropped the burning decks and drove the mower away.
    Those quick change MTD decks are a really good idea.
    Very good assessment, I do agee.

    I tell you, that plastic they place on the lid sure does melt and burn quite easy.

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    9,800
    Location
    Australia
    Mower
    Victa slashers & Push , Rover Rancher II's, Cox ( several ) & White LT120 + GT 200

    Re: New Poulan Pro 46" rider caught on fire

    Quote Originally Posted by MyRight View Post
    Very good assessment, I do agee.

    I tell you, that plastic they place on the lid sure does melt and burn quite easy.
    Yep,
    Takes a while to ignite but once it starts there is no stopping it.
    There are several "self extinguishing" plastics around but that adds a few $$$ to the floor price.
    Glad to hear you escaped unhurt.
    When mulching leaves or cutting tall dry grass there is not much you can really do but stop occasionally and clean out the worst of it.
    Some remove the belt covers to allow the debris to be remover easier.
    Many European models have fully covered decks to avoid this which I always have a chuckle over as Europe by & large suffers from grass that is too we to mow mostly.

  7. #6
    Bob E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    129
    Location
    Michigan
    Mower
    MTD - Yard Machines

    Re: New Poulan Pro 46" rider caught on fire

    Watch out for that front mounted muffler. Especially if the leaves are deep.
    Any time I park my pp175g42 with the engine running I end up with a dead patch of grass from the hot exhaust blowing down on it. The grass in front of my shed has been dead since I brought the tractor home. After I'm done mowing and look across the yard even the grass between the tire marks has a yellowish hue. Looking at your pictures I'm pretty sure I'll be trimming the hood for an elevated side exit pepper shaker or sausage muffler before fall...

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