Is It Worth Buying An Electric Snow Blower?

If you’ve ever experienced the back-breaking task of shoveling snow, then you’ve probably wondered if there’s a better, more efficient way to clear your driveway. That’s where the electric snow blower comes in. With its promise of effortless snow removal, it’s no wonder that many homeowners are considering investing in one. But is it worth it? In this article, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of owning an electric snow blower, so you can make an informed decision and bid farewell to the snow shovel for good.

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Table of Contents

Pros of buying an electric snow blower

No need for gas or oil

One of the major advantages of buying an electric snow blower is that you no longer need to worry about purchasing and storing gas or oil. Traditional gas-powered snow blowers require regular refueling, which can be a hassle and an additional expense. With an electric snow blower, all you need is a power source, which is generally readily available in most households.

Environmentally friendly

Electric snow blowers are a more eco-friendly option compared to their gas-powered counterparts. By using electricity instead of fossil fuels like gas or oil, you are reducing your carbon footprint and helping to combat air pollution. Electric snow blowers produce zero emissions, making them a greener choice for snow removal.

Quieter operation

If you appreciate a quieter and more peaceful snow removal experience, an electric snow blower is the way to go. These machines operate with significantly less noise compared to gas-powered alternatives. This not only benefits you but also your neighbors, as you won’t be disrupting the tranquility of the neighborhood when clearing your driveway or walkways.

Low maintenance

Electric snow blowers are known for their low maintenance requirements. Unlike gas-powered snow blowers that require regular oil changes, spark plug replacements, and other maintenance tasks, electric snow blowers have fewer moving parts and simpler mechanisms. This means less time spent on maintenance and more time enjoying the snow-free pathways.

Easy to start and use

Starting an electric snow blower is as simple as plugging it in and pressing a button or flipping a switch. There are no complicated pull-start mechanisms or priming processes to worry about. Additionally, electric snow blowers typically have user-friendly controls and ergonomic handles, making them easy to maneuver and operate, even for beginners.

Lightweight and compact

Electric snow blowers are generally lighter and more compact than their gas-powered counterparts. This makes them easier to maneuver and store, especially if you have limited space in your garage or shed. The lightweight design also reduces the strain on your arms and back, allowing for a more comfortable snow removal experience.

Suitable for small to medium-sized areas

If you have a small to medium-sized area to clear of snow, an electric snow blower is a practical choice. These machines are designed to handle lighter snowfall and are particularly effective for clearing driveways, walkways, and smaller outdoor spaces. They may not be as suitable for larger areas or heavy snow conditions, as they have limited power and throwing distance.

Affordable and cost-effective

Electric snow blowers are generally more affordable than gas-powered models. They have a lower upfront cost and require less maintenance, which can translate into long-term savings. Additionally, since electric snow blowers do not require gas or oil, you won’t have to worry about fluctuating fuel prices.

No fumes or exhaust

Unlike gas-powered snow blowers that emit fumes and exhaust, electric snow blowers are clean and odorless. This means you won’t have to breathe in potentially harmful gases or deal with unpleasant smells while clearing snow. The absence of fumes also reduces the environmental impact of snow removal and improves air quality in your immediate surroundings.

Less maintenance and repair costs

As mentioned earlier, electric snow blowers require less maintenance compared to gas-powered models. This translates into fewer maintenance and repair costs over the lifespan of the machine. With fewer components to service and replace, you can save both time and money on maintenance, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of your electric snow blower for longer.

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Cons of buying an electric snow blower

Limited power and throwing distance

One of the drawbacks of electric snow blowers is their limited power and throwing distance. They are generally not as powerful as gas-powered models, which means they may struggle with heavy or wet snow. Additionally, electric snow blowers have a shorter throwing distance, so you may need to make multiple passes to clear larger areas.

Dependent on electricity and cord length

Electric snow blowers rely on electricity to operate, which means you need access to an electrical outlet or a long enough extension cord. This can be inconvenient if you have a large property or if your outlet is located far away from where you need to clear snow. The length of the cord can also limit your mobility and the area you can effectively clear.

Not suitable for heavy or wet snow

While electric snow blowers can handle moderate snowfall, they may struggle with heavy or wet snow. The limited power and throwing distance can make it difficult to effectively clear thick or slushy snow. In such conditions, a gas-powered snow blower may be a more suitable option.

Requires an electrical outlet

To use an electric snow blower, you need access to an electrical outlet. This may not be an issue in most residential settings, but it can be a constraint if you have limited access to outlets or need to clear snow in remote areas. Without an outlet, you won’t be able to power your electric snow blower and will need to consider alternative options.

Limited mobility

Electric snow blowers, especially corded models, have limited mobility due to their reliance on electricity and the length of the cord. You may be restricted in the areas you can clear, especially if you have a large property or obstacles in the way. While cordless models offer more mobility, they are still limited by their battery life and may require recharging during longer snow removal sessions.

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May struggle with deep or icy snow

Electric snow blowers may struggle with deep or icy snow due to their limited power. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall or where snow often freezes into ice, you may find that an electric snow blower is not as effective as a gas-powered one. It’s important to consider your specific snow conditions and requirements when deciding on the right snow blower for you.

Longer clearing time for large areas

Due to their limited power and throwing distance, electric snow blowers often require more time to clear larger areas compared to gas-powered models. If you have a large driveway or a large property to clear, you may need to make multiple passes or consider alternative snow removal methods. This can be a factor to consider if you’re looking for a time-efficient snow clearing solution.

Battery life limitation (cordless models)

For cordless electric snow blowers, battery life can be a limitation. Depending on the model and battery capacity, you may have a limited run time before the battery needs recharging. If you have a larger area to clear, you may need to factor in the time it takes to recharge the battery or consider purchasing additional batteries to ensure uninterrupted snow removal.

Potential tripping hazard

The cords of corded electric snow blowers can present a potential tripping hazard, especially in areas with uneven terrain or obstacles. It’s important to be mindful of the cord’s location and make proper arrangements to prevent accidents. Additionally, the cord length may limit your maneuverability and may require extra caution while operating the snow blower.

May not be effective on uneven terrain

Electric snow blowers may struggle with uneven or rough terrain, as they are not as adept at handling bumps and obstacles compared to gas-powered models. If you have a property with uneven surfaces or gravel driveways, you may need to consider alternative snow removal methods or opt for a more powerful gas-powered snow blower.

Factors to consider

When deciding whether to buy an electric snow blower, several factors need to be taken into account. Consider the following key factors before making your purchase:

Snow conditions and area size

Evaluate the typical snow conditions in your area. Consider the average snowfall amount, the type of snow (light or heavy), and whether the snow tends to be dry or wet. Additionally, assess the size of the area you need to clear, including driveways, walkways, and other outdoor spaces. Understanding your specific snow conditions and area size will help determine the appropriate power and clearing capacity for your electric snow blower.

Power requirements

Electric snow blowers come in different power ranges, typically measured in amps. Higher amp ratings generally indicate more power and better performance in tackling heavier snow conditions. Assess your power requirements based on the snowfall intensity and depth you typically encounter. If you live in an area with lighter snowfall, a lower-powered electric snow blower may suffice. However, if you frequently deal with heavy snow, it may be worth considering a more powerful model.

Corded or cordless

Electric snow blowers are available in both corded and cordless models. Corded models require access to an electrical outlet and offer unlimited run time, but they are limited by the cord length and mobility. Cordless models, on the other hand, offer more mobility but have limited battery life and may require recharging during longer snow removal sessions. Consider your snow removal needs, the size of the area you need to clear, and the availability of electrical outlets when deciding between corded and cordless options.

Battery life and charging time

If you opt for a cordless electric snow blower, battery life and charging time become important considerations. Look for models that offer sufficient battery life to handle your typical snow removal sessions without requiring frequent recharging. Consider the charging time required for the battery and whether additional batteries are available to extend the run time if needed.

Snow throwing distance

The throwing distance of an electric snow blower indicates how far it can throw the cleared snow. Consider the width of your clearing path and the distance you need the snow to be thrown. If you have a large area to clear or need the snow to be thrown over a significant distance, ensure that the electric snow blower you choose has an adequate throwing distance for your requirements.

Terrain and surface type

Evaluate the terrain and surface type of the areas you need to clear. Electric snow blowers may have difficulty navigating through uneven or rough terrain, such as steep slopes or gravel driveways. Consider whether your property has any challenging terrain features that may impact the performance and maneuverability of an electric snow blower.

Noise level

If noise is a concern for you or your neighbors, electric snow blowers are a quieter alternative to gas-powered models. However, it’s still worth considering the noise level of the specific electric snow blower you are interested in. Some models may produce more noise than others, and it’s important to find a balance between performance and noise levels based on your preferences and surroundings.

Budget and long-term cost

Consider your budget when looking for an electric snow blower. Electric models generally have lower upfront costs compared to gas-powered ones, but prices can vary based on factors such as power, features, and brand. It’s essential to find an electric snow blower that fits within your budget while still meeting your snow removal needs. Additionally, factor in the long-term cost implications, such as maintenance and repair expenses, to ensure that the electric snow blower remains cost-effective over its lifespan.

Availability of electrical outlets

Before purchasing an electric snow blower, ensure that you have access to electrical outlets in convenient locations. Consider the proximity of outlets to the areas you need to clear and whether additional extension cords may be required. Without readily available outlets, using an electric snow blower may be challenging, especially for corded models.

Benefits of electric snow blowers over gas-powered ones

No need for gas or oil

One of the significant advantages of electric snow blowers over gas-powered ones is the elimination of the need for gas or oil. Gas-powered snow blowers require regular refueling, often involving the mixing of oil and gas, which can be messy and time-consuming. With an electric snow blower, you avoid the hassle of purchasing, storing, and mixing fuel, allowing for a more convenient snow removal experience.

Easier and quicker to start

Starting a gas-powered snow blower can be a cumbersome process, involving multiple pulls on the starter cord and potentially the use of a choke. In contrast, electric snow blowers are much easier and quicker to start. All you need to do is plug in the machine, press a button or flip a switch, and you’re ready to start clearing snow. This simplicity saves time and effort, especially during cold winter mornings when you want to get the job done efficiently.

Lightweight and maneuverable

Electric snow blowers are generally lighter and more maneuverable than their gas-powered counterparts. This makes them easier to push and turn, reducing the strain on your body during snow removal. Lightweight electric snow blowers are particularly advantageous for individuals who may have physical limitations or prefer a less physically demanding snow clearing experience.

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Quieter operation

Unlike the loud rumble of a gas-powered snow blower, electric models operate with considerably less noise. The absence of a gas engine reduces the noise level, making electric snow blowers a quieter and more peaceful option. This is especially beneficial if you have nearby neighbors or if you prefer a less disruptive snow removal process.

Emission-free and environmentally friendly

Perhaps one of the most appealing benefits of electric snow blowers is their eco-friendliness. By using electricity instead of gas or oil, electric snow blowers produce zero emissions during operation. This not only contributes to a cleaner and healthier environment but also helps to reduce your carbon footprint and promote sustainability.

Lower maintenance and repair costs

Electric snow blowers require less maintenance and have fewer components compared to gas-powered models. This results in lower maintenance and repair costs over the lifespan of the machine. With fewer moving parts, no oil changes, and no spark plug replacements, you can save both time and money on maintenance, allowing you to enjoy a more cost-effective snow removal solution.

Less vibration and smoother operation

Electric snow blowers generally operate with less vibration compared to gas-powered models. This smoother operation reduces fatigue and makes for a more comfortable snow clearing experience. The reduced vibration also contributes to decreased wear and tear on the machine, potentially extending its lifespan.

No fumes or exhaust

Unlike gas-powered snow blowers that emit fumes and exhaust, electric snow blowers operate cleanly and produce no emissions. This means you won’t have to worry about inhaling harmful gases or dealing with unpleasant smells while clearing snow. The absence of fumes not only benefits your health but also enhances the overall snow removal experience.

Comparison between electric and gas-powered snow blowers

Power and throwing distance

Gas-powered snow blowers generally have more power and can handle heavier snow conditions compared to electric models. They typically have larger engines and more robust auger and impeller systems, allowing them to clear larger areas and throw snow over longer distances. Electric snow blowers, on the other hand, have limited power and throwing distance, making them more suitable for smaller to medium-sized areas and lighter snowfall. If you frequently deal with heavy or wet snow or have a larger area to clear, a gas-powered snow blower may be a more appropriate choice.

Runtime and refueling

Gas-powered snow blowers have longer runtimes compared to cordless electric models. With a gas tank full, you can typically clear snow for an extended period before refueling. Electric snow blowers, especially cordless ones, have a limited runtime determined by the battery capacity. If you have a large area to clear or expect lengthy snow removal sessions, a gas-powered snow blower may offer more uninterrupted operation. However, if shorter snow clearing sessions are sufficient for your needs, an electric snow blower can still be a practical choice.

Portability and maneuverability

Electric snow blowers, particularly cordless models, offer more portability and maneuverability compared to gas-powered ones. Without the constraints of cords or the need to refuel, electric snow blowers allow for easier navigation through tight spaces and around obstacles. Gas-powered snow blowers, although typically heavier, may offer more power and stability but can be more challenging to maneuver, especially on uneven terrain. Electric snow blowers are generally lighter and easier to handle, making them suitable for individuals with physical limitations or those seeking a more user-friendly snow removal experience.

Maintenance and repairs

Electric snow blowers require less maintenance compared to gas-powered models. Gas-powered snow blowers need regular oil changes, spark plug replacements, and other maintenance tasks to keep them in optimal condition. Electric snow blowers, with their simpler mechanisms and fewer moving parts, have lower maintenance requirements. This results in fewer maintenance tasks and potentially reduced repair costs over time.

Cost and affordability

In terms of cost, electric snow blowers are generally more affordable upfront compared to gas-powered ones. The lower initial investment makes electric snow blowers an attractive option for individuals on a budget. Additionally, electric snow blowers have lower long-term costs due to reduced maintenance and fuel expenses. However, gas-powered snow blowers may have a longer lifespan and offer more power, which can make them a better investment for those requiring a heavy-duty snow clearing solution.

Noise level and environmental impact

Electric snow blowers have the advantage of being significantly quieter compared to gas-powered models. Traditional gas-powered snow blowers can be loud and produce high noise levels during operation, potentially causing disruptions for yourself and your neighbors. Electric snow blowers, with their lower noise output, provide a quieter and more pleasant snow removal experience. Moreover, electric snow blowers produce zero emissions, making them a greener option for snow removal and promoting a cleaner environment.

Suitability for different snow conditions

The suitability of electric and gas-powered snow blowers for different snow conditions varies. Electric snow blowers are generally more suitable for light to moderate snowfall, whereas gas-powered models excel in heavy or wet snow conditions. If you frequently encounter significant snowfall amounts or icy snow, gas-powered snow blowers may offer more power and throwing distance to effectively clear such conditions. However, if you typically experience lighter snowfall, an electric snow blower can efficiently remove the snow, making it a practical and cost-effective choice.

Types of electric snow blowers

Corded electric snow blowers

Corded electric snow blowers are powered by electricity and require a power outlet for operation. These snow blowers have a cord that connects to an electrical source, providing the necessary power for clearing snow. Corded electric snow blowers offer continuous operation as long as they are connected to a power supply, which eliminates the need to worry about battery life or refueling. They are generally lightweight and easy to maneuver, making them suitable for smaller areas. However, the cord can limit their mobility and the area that can be effectively cleared.

Cordless battery-powered snow blowers

Cordless battery-powered snow blowers offer more freedom of movement compared to corded models. They are powered by rechargeable batteries, eliminating the need for a cord and an electrical outlet. Cordless snow blowers are generally more portable and can be maneuvered easily around obstacles or in areas where an electrical supply is inaccessible. The runtime of cordless models depends on the battery capacity and can vary between different models. While cordless snow blowers offer more mobility, they may require recharging during longer snow clearing sessions, limiting their continuous operation.

Electric snow shovels

Electric snow shovels are compact and lightweight alternatives to larger snow blowers. They are designed for small areas, such as walkways, steps, and porches, where a full-sized snow blower may be impractical. Electric snow shovels feature a shovel-like blade with an electric motor that throws the cleared snow to the side. While they have limited power and clearing capacity, electric snow shovels are easy to use and maneuver in tight spaces. They are ideal for quick touch-ups or light snowfalls, providing a convenient solution for smaller snow removal tasks.

Tips for using an electric snow blower

Safety precautions

Before using an electric snow blower, ensure you read and understand the user manual’s safety instructions. Some general safety precautions to follow include wearing appropriate snow removal attire, such as warm clothing, sturdy footwear, and eye protection. Clear the area of any obstacles, debris, or potential tripping hazards. Avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught in the snow blower’s moving parts. Additionally, keep pets and children at a safe distance while operating the machine.

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Clearing the area before use

Before starting your electric snow blower, clear the area of any objects, such as rocks, branches, or toys, that could obstruct the snow blower’s path or cause damage to the machine. Remove any potential tripping hazards, such as extension cords or other wires, from the area. Clearing the area beforehand ensures safe and efficient operation while preventing damage to the snow blower and potential accidents.

Proper technique and direction

When using an electric snow blower, adopt the proper technique to maximize its performance. Push the snow blower forward in a steady motion, allowing the auger to gather and throw the snow to the side. Avoid forcing the machine or moving too quickly, as this can hinder its effectiveness and potentially lead to clogging. When changing direction, release the snow blower’s drive controls, allow the auger to stop spinning, and guide it in the desired direction.

Correct snow depth and width

To prevent overworking your electric snow blower, be mindful of the snow depth and width it can handle. Check the machine’s specifications to determine its recommended maximum snow depth and width. Clear the snow in manageable increments, especially when dealing with heavier or deeper snow conditions. By using the snow blower within its recommended limits, you can ensure optimal performance and prevent unnecessary strain on the machine.

Maintenance and storage

Proper maintenance and storage of your electric snow blower are essential for its longevity and performance. After each use, remove any remaining snow from the machine. Wipe down the exterior and the handle grips to remove any moisture or debris. Inspect the auger and impeller for any signs of damage or wear. If necessary, refer to the user manual for specific maintenance tasks, such as lubricating moving parts or replacing worn components. When storing the snow blower, ensure it is clean and dry, and place it in a secure and sheltered location to protect it from the elements.

Cleaning and servicing

Regular cleaning and servicing of your electric snow blower will keep it in optimal condition. At the beginning and end of the snow season, perform a thorough cleaning of the machine. Remove any built-up debris from the auger, housing, and chute. Inspect the belts, cables, and blades for any signs of wear or damage. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific cleaning instructions and schedule any recommended servicing or tune-ups to maintain the snow blower’s performance.

Winter weather considerations

In addition to proper usage and maintenance, consider winter weather conditions when operating an electric snow blower. Be cautious when operating the machine on icy surfaces, as it may potentially lose traction. If needed, apply ice melt or sand to provide better grip and prevent accidents. Additionally, avoid operating the snow blower when visibility is poor due to heavy snowfall or blizzard conditions. Ensure you have proper lighting or clear the snow during daylight hours for safer and more effective snow removal.

Understanding the user manual

To ensure safe and effective use of your electric snow blower, thoroughly read and understand the user manual provided by the manufacturer. The user manual contains important information regarding assembly, operation, maintenance, and safety precautions specific to your snow blower model. Familiarize yourself with the machine’s controls, features, and limitations outlined in the manual to make the most out of your electric snow blower.

Training and practice

If you are new to using an electric snow blower, it may be beneficial to undergo training or practice sessions before tackling a significant snow removal task. Familiarize yourself with the machine’s operation, controls, and handling by starting with smaller areas that require snow clearing. This allows you to gain confidence and develop proper technique and efficiency in using your electric snow blower. Taking the time to practice and become comfortable with the machine will result in smoother and more effective snow removal.

Popular electric snow blower brands

When researching electric snow blowers, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with popular and reputable brands. Here are some well-known electric snow blower brands to consider:

Toro

Toro is a trusted brand in the snow blower industry, offering a range of electric models suitable for various snow conditions. Toro electric snow blowers are known for their durability, performance, and user-friendly features. With their focus on innovation and quality, Toro electric snow blowers are a reliable choice for homeowners seeking efficient and effective snow removal solutions.

Greenworks

Greenworks is a leading brand specializing in battery-powered outdoor equipment, including electric snow blowers. Their electric snow blowers are designed to offer a balance of power, runtime, and maneuverability. Greenworks places an emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility, providing eco-friendly options for snow removal without sacrificing performance.

Snow Joe

Snow Joe offers an extensive range of electric snow blowers suitable for different snow conditions and user needs. With a focus on affordability and quality, Snow Joe electric snow blowers provide reliable performance and user-friendly features. Snow Joe products are known for their durability and ability to handle light to moderate snowfall.

EGO

EGO is a reputable brand known for its cordless outdoor power equipment, including electric snow blowers. EGO electric snow blowers offer the convenience of cordless operation combined with power and performance. Their lithium-ion battery technology provides extended runtimes and quick charging capabilities, making EGO electric snow blowers a reliable choice for those seeking cordless flexibility.

Husqvarna

Husqvarna is a well-established brand known for its high-quality outdoor power equipment, including electric snow blowers. Husqvarna electric snow blowers offer a combination of power, durability, and user-friendly features. With their focus on optimal performance and efficient snow removal, Husqvarna electric snow blowers are trusted by homeowners and professionals alike.

WEN

WEN provides a range of electric snow blowers designed to handle light to moderate snow conditions. WEN electric snow blowers offer affordability and ease of use, making them suitable for homeowners with smaller snow removal needs. With their focus on user satisfaction and functional designs, WEN electric snow blowers provide a cost-effective solution for clearing driveways and walkways.

Real user experiences and reviews

When considering purchasing an electric snow blower, it can be helpful to read real user experiences and reviews. By hearing from individuals who have used the specific model or brand you are interested in, you can gain insights into its performance, reliability, and overall user satisfaction. Real user experiences can provide valuable information on the pros and cons of a particular electric snow blower, helping you make an informed decision based on firsthand accounts.

Positive experiences and satisfaction

Many users report positive experiences and high satisfaction with electric snow blowers. Users appreciate the convenience of electric operation, with no need for gas or oil and simple start-up procedures. The lightweight and maneuverable nature of electric snow blowers is frequently praised, allowing for easy handling and mobility. The quieter operation and emission-free performance are also highly valued, both for personal comfort and environmental reasons. Furthermore, users find electric snow blowers to be low maintenance and cost-effective compared to gas-powered alternatives, resulting in a positive overall ownership experience.

Negative experiences and limitations

While electric snow blowers have numerous benefits, they also have limitations that may impact user experiences. Users have reported that electric snow blowers may struggle with heavy or wet snow, requiring multiple passes or alternative snow removal methods. Corded electric snow blowers’ limited mobility and dependence on electrical outlets have been cited as potential drawbacks, especially for larger properties or areas with limited access to outlets. Battery life limitations on cordless models have also been mentioned, with some users finding that the runtime may not be sufficient for their snow removal needs. Additionally, some users have encountered issues with tripping over cords or found that electric snow blowers are not as effective on uneven or challenging terrain.

Conclusion

In conclusion, deciding whether to buy an electric snow blower requires careful consideration of your personal needs and preferences. Electric snow blowers offer numerous advantages, such as no need for gas or oil, ease of use, lower maintenance costs, and a lighter environmental impact. They are generally suitable for small to medium-sized areas, are more cost-effective in the long term, and offer quieter operation compared to gas-powered snow blowers. However, electric snow blowers do have limitations, including limited power and throwing distance, dependence on electricity, and potential challenges with heavy or wet snow. Factors such as snow conditions, power requirements, corded or cordless operation, snow throwing distance, and terrain should be taken into account when making your decision.

To find the right electric snow blower for you, consider reputable brands such as Toro, Greenworks, Snow Joe, EGO, Husqvarna, and WEN. Read real user experiences and reviews to gain insights into specific models’ performance and reliability. By evaluating your personal snow removal needs, understanding the pros and cons of electric snow blowers compared to gas-powered ones, and considering key factors such as snow conditions, power requirements, and budget, you can make an informed decision. Remember to prioritize safety, follow proper usage and maintenance guidelines, and enjoy the convenience and efficiency of your electric snow blower in clearing snow from your driveways and walkways.

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