Last Updated on February 14, 2023 by Forest Master
Troubleshooting your log splitter really isn’t as daunting a task as you’d think it’d be. Thanks to the great design of our log splitters, pretty much nothing can go wrong which is unfixable. We stock all the spare parts you could ever need, but first, we need to work out the problem.
Before diving into how to fix your log splitter issues, let’s cover the different ways can fail.
There are four main categories of troubleshooting; power issues, log splitter ram failing to move correctly, oil leakage or the log splitter failing to split logs.
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What this article covers:
- Is my log splitter broken?
- Is my log splitter suffering from power issues?
- My log splitter is tripping the RCD
- Why isn’t my log splitter ram returning?
Is my log splitter broken?
It may often appear as though something critical has affected your log splitter, such as the ram failing to move or it appears as though there’s no power getting to the log splitter. More often than not, there are small errors that can be easily fixed.
Let’s look into some quick fixes which will quickly tell us if the log splitter is indeed broken.
If you’re not comfortable playing around with your log splitter – let us take a look for you. We offer a log splitter repair service, no matter the brand. We offer a full repair of your log splitter. This includes collecting your machine, repairing it in our workshop and delivery back to yourself. The repair may include a full strip-down, rebuild or fitting of replacement parts.
If you like to tinker and fix with your own hands – let’s move on with our top troubleshooting tips.
Quick Fix #1: Handle Issue
This may sound silly or obvious, but trust us when we say that this is actually a common error when operating the log splitter.
Check that the plastic knob of the lever is screwed on fully. If this becomes unscrewed it then prevents the lever from being pushed right down, and this prevents the log splitter from operating.
Quick Fix #2: Low Oil
The oil level in your log splitter may be running low, you can check this by using the dipstick. You can also run a quick test by raising the front end of the log splitter on a block of wood or something similar. If you raise the front of the log splitter and the log splitter then starts operating as normal, then this is a clear sign that you are low on oil.
Quick Fix #3: Log Splitter Pointing Downhill
This is similar to the last, but when the log splitter is pointing downhill it struggles to circulate the fluid right around the machine. This causes it to fail when operating.
The log splitter should always be operated on level ground or pointing uphill. If your log splitter is failing to split any logs, 90% of the time this will be the issue. If the log splitter is not pointing downhill then it’s likely low oil.
Log Splitter Power Issues
Now that we’ve covered the most common issues and quick fixes. Let’s look at some of the rare problems which can affect the performance of the log splitter.
Gentle Humming Noise (non-operational)
A humming noise will result in the log splitter blowing a fuse and typically means that the motor is tight.
First, turn the log splitter over and close off the air vent, remove the motor and pump 3 x 13mm headed bolts and 1 x support bolt.
Place the log splitter back upright and try the splitter again, if it produces the same noise then loosen the bolts a little from the end of the pump (13mm) and try again.
No power to the motor
Fuse has blown or RCD Tripped
First, check the fuse in the plug. If this is blown then replace it with a working 13 amp fuse, we also recommend installing a 13 amp slow blow fuse which you can purchase directly from our website.
You should also check the RCD for the ring main has not tripped. If the RCD has tripped, try the machine on a separate ring main.
If the RCD repeatedly trips then unplug all other equipment from socks on the ring main and switch these sockets off. You can then try to start the motor.
Another possibility is that the capacitor in the electric motor has failed from misuse over time.
The capacitor in the electric motor can fail from misuse over time. When operating the log splitter, we strongly advise that you press the power button before operating the lever, this allows time for the motor to gather speed before attempting to split logs.
Pressing the lever before the button can also often result in blown fuses.
There are many different reasons why there may not be any power to your log splitter:
If you’re using an extension lead, ensure that the extension cable itself is a wider diameter than the power lead of the electric log splitter.
As stated previously, the capacitor failing will also stop the motor from starting up. After you have checked the previous solutions, unplug the log splitter from the mains. Then remove the six screws on the outside of the switch cover, take the switch cover off and you will then see the capacitor.
If the capacitor has failed, you will sometimes see burn marks on the capacitor itself.
Replacement capacitors are available on our website – Click here to purchase.
Log Splitter consistently trips RCD or blows a fuse
There are a few different fixes to this;
It’s possible that the motor is jammed. First, check that the motor turns freely. You can do this by removing the black fan cover, then it should be possible to turn the fan with slight pressure from one finger. If this isn’t possible, check for obstructions of the fan.
Another possibility is that the operating lever is loose or not bent correctly, this would prevent the valve from operating correctly. To fix this, check that the face of the lever that operates the valve is bent through a full 90 degrees in relation to the mounting face. If not, remove the lever and correct the bend in a vice.
Pump gears binding is an issue that can sometimes present itself within a log splitter which would cause a trip. This is easily fixed by loosening each of the 6 bolts on the back of the pump by ¼ of a turn and then checking to see if the motor turns freely.
Pump gears can also get jammed. To fix this you should remove the 6 bolts from the pump and separate the motor and pump. You can then check the gears for any silicone sealant or other material. When you’re reassembling, the torque for the bolts is 12 ft-lb, 16 N m.
Log Splitter Ram
If the ram of the log splitter is not returning fully or is jerking upon return, there are a couple of fixes you can perform to get it back up and running smoothly.
First, check that the moving carriage isn’t obstructed. You can do this by checking underneath the blade/pusher and down the sides of the carriage for any splinters of wood that may be obstructing the carriage.
Also check that the plastic spacers underneath the blade, between the carriage and the underside of the splitter, have not been dislodged.
This one is fairly simple to figure out but check the log bed of the splitter for a build-up of sap. You can then also apply a thin layer of workshop grease to the bed to allow it to operate more smoothly. Avoid using WD-40 to grease the bed as this can lead to the log splitter ram ‘juddering’ rather than solving the issue.
In order to fix this issue, use the ram stop to lock the ram in a position about 150mm forward. Remove the 4 bolts holding the DuoCut blade or pusher to the carriage and remove the blade/pusher. Unlock the ram stop, if the carriage returns then the arms are bent.
You can check the amount of bend with a straight edge, if it is less than 5mm then you may be able to straighten them in a vice.
Another possibility is that the ram is bent. Remove the DuoCut blade from the splitter. If the ram does not return after removing the DuoCut blade, loosen the 2 rear lock nuts on the carriage arms and remove the 2 nuts in front of the crosspiece. You can then remove the carriage from the log splitter. If the ram does not return then the next part is a bit tricky so give us a call.