Lawnmowers are integral to every household that has a garden attached to it. No matter how small or big your garden is, you will eventually need a lawnmower to cut the long grass. Previously there used to be gas-powered lawn mowers only. Now, electric lawnmowers are getting increasingly popular. In the US alone their market is valued at a staggering US$ 9 billion and it is slated to grow annually by 5% till 2024. There are valid reasons behind the success of electric lawnmowers. They are eco-friendly, maintenance-free, quiet, and easy to use. With the increase in their usage, it is important that their users acquaint themselves with its basic maintenance and how to use it effectively. This is what we aim to do with this write-up. A lawn mower’s battery works as its heart. Normally, they require no special treatment or handling but still, there are certain guidelines, which if followed will result in longer battery life and smooth performance by your electric lawnmower. So, let’s get started on this without any delay.
Part 1: How to charge a lawn mower’s battery?
No matter how efficient your battery-operated lawn mower be, there will be a time when you need to recharge it. Recharging a lawn mower’s battery is not rocket science. It is a simple procedure with a few notable rules that you must follow. If you observe them, you will enjoy your lawn mower’s battery for a long time. Let’s begin from when it is time to recharge the lawn mower’s battery.
Part 2: When it is time for the recharge?
Logically speaking, a battery should be recharged when it has drained out. A lawn mower’s battery should also work on this same principle. Well, it does or does not. It is okay to wait for it to drain out and then recharge. But opinions vary in this regard. Some experts suggest that you recharge your lawn mower’s battery only when it is completely dead, others differ and recommend recharging at say 20% battery life. The golden principle here is to consult the manufacturer’s manual and follow it. Every battery is designed and manufactured differently. The basic ingredients are the same but their composition varies and that makes all the difference. So your lawn mower’s manual will have the answer to this question. Weather patterns also play an important role in your lawn mower’s battery recharge. It is good to recharge it before you start using it for the first time after winters. Similarly, before storing it for winters the battery should be recharged.
Battery chargers have seen upgradations over time. They are now smarter, more resilient, and versatile in their usage and capacity. Many of them now have an in-built shut off mechanism that comes into effect automatically when the battery has fully charged. This is indeed a great convenience for the user. But, you must ask your lawn mower manufacturer or consult the manual if they have this facility. Other modern battery charger features are;
- Ability to charge the battery on slow, medium or fast modes
- Clamps for accommodating various types of connections
- Automatic shut down
- Charging timer
- Restricted amp rates
These are some of the features of a modern mower battery. Please see the owner’s manual to see what features your battery charger possesses. Again, you should recharge the battery on the original battery charger. It has been specially manufactured for your battery-powered lawn mower so use it instead of any replacement brand or make.
Once charged, a lawn mower’s battery will go a long way. You do not have to charge it periodically. Depending on the usage, it will work for a long time.
Step by step guide on how to charge your lawn mower’s battery:
We now break-down the process of charging the battery in the following simple steps.
- As a safety precaution, use protective gear like gloves, goggles, rubber boots, etc.
- Release the battery charger from the electrical outlet, if it is on.
- You should know where the battery is installed in your lawnmower. If you don’t then see the manual for its exact location. Usually, it is located under the seat. Find the battery and remove it from there.
- Now connect the red positive charging cable with the red charging terminal of the battery. Afterward, connect the black negative point of the charger with the black charging terminal of the battery.
- Before turning it on, adjust the voltage of the charger with the battery. A 12v lawn mower battery should be aligned with the same voltage of the charger. We will talk about it in a little more detail later in the article.
- After matching the voltage, turn on the charger by inserting it in the electrical outlet.
- The battery will start charging now. Wait for it to charge fully before you start using it.
Part 3: How long does it take to charge a lawn mower’s battery?
A 10-ampere charger will fully charge the lawn mower’s battery in an hour. If you are using a charger with lesser amperes, then the charging will take a longer time. A 10-amp charger is like a standard here, if you use the charger with higher amperes hoping it will do the job in lesser time then you are wrong. A higher than 10-ampere charger might damage the battery so stick with 10-amp charger only. You can also consult the manual for further assistance on this.
Today most of the advanced chargers turn themselves off automatically when the battery is full. This is a very useful feature as you do not have to be around during the charging is in progress. See if your charger has this facility, if not then you will have to manually switch it off once the battery is fully charged.
Overcharging can affect the life and performance of a lithium-ion battery, similarly draining them out completely before charging them can also mar their capacity.
The charging time of a battery varies on its specific built, ampere setting, charging system, and size. In some models of lawnmowers like walk-behind mowers, the batteries remain attached to the mower while you charge them. The manufacturer has provided a charging port where you will plug in the charger for powering them.
Part 4: How many volts is a lawn mower’s battery?
Voltage refers to the amount of electric power that a battery produces between two points. It is the force by which the current passes between these two points.
A lawnmower has generally a 12-volt battery. Older models, manufactured before 1980 didn’t have a 12-volt battery. But these days a 12-volt lawn mower battery is like standard now. When you are about to charge your lawn mower’s battery, be sure to match the voltage of the battery with that of the charger. Usually, chargers have the option of switching between voltages. If the default setting is higher or lower than your requirement, then adjust it correctly. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your equipment.
The voltage capacity depends on the size of the vehicle involved. For a lawnmower, a 12-volt battery serves its purpose adequately.
Battery recharging tips:
We now give you important points on how to recharge and maintain your lawnmower’s battery below;
- When recharging, we highly recommend that you use only the approved and specified by the manufacturer charger, charging cables, and wires.
- Do not keep metallic objects and liquids close to your batteries, whether they are attached or detached to the lawnmower. They might trigger the positive and negative terminals of the battery and damage it.
- If you are not going to use your lawnmower for a long time (say before the start of winter) you should remove the battery and store it separately.
- Keep the battery dry and clean. Do not let dust, oil, or grime gather over it.
- If you notice any malfunction in the battery, like for example, overheating, underperformance, tampering or any other damage stop using it and seek technical help.
- Take care of the terminals of your battery. They are charging ports of the battery. Keep them nice and clean. Rub them off using an old toothbrush and apply a dash of Vaseline. Dust, water, and dirt will damage them.
- Do not just discard the battery carelessly when it has completed its life. Follow instructions on how to dispose of it properly given in its manual.
- It is not advisable to recharge your batteries under extreme weather conditions. The manual spells out temperature limits for both types of weather for ideal charging conditions. Please follow them.
- Never bring your batteries close to fire and heat. This may ignite a chemical reaction inside the battery and it might explode.
- The batteries should always be charged in a dry place. Do not charge them in a wet or moist environment.
- Charge the battery at their given rate of voltage. Do not attempt to tamper with it.
Time to change the battery?
A lawn mower’s battery lasts for many years. Of course, it depends on the usage and the weather conditions under which it is used or stored. But you won’t be changing it anytime soon. Still, when it is time to replace it-which one day there will be, do not delay it. As a general rule, a battery will need replacement if it starts working on 50% of its capacity. This means it is slowly degrading from the inside and you might consider investing in a new one.
We hope you will find this piece of writing interesting and informative. We have tried at length, to highlight all the important aspects related to the recharging of a lawn mower’s battery. We have discussed how to effectively charge your lawn mower battery when to recharge it? What is science behind the voltage of batteries? How to take good care of the batteries? What is the life a lawn mower’s battery and finally when is the time to get a new battery for your lawnmower? All this information will help you a great deal in using your lawn mower’s battery optimally for a long time.