A lawn mower’s battery is its lifeline. However, batteries discharge easily and have to be maintained and charged frequently. Some lawn mowers have a mechanism to charge the battery when it is being used, whereas others die out with frequent use or due to being idle for a long time.
A discharged battery can cause permanent damage to itself, making it unusable. So to avoid incurring additional costs of replacing the battery, and to increase its life, charging the battery regularly is important. Here is a guide to help you do this in the best way possible.
Step 1: Choose The Right Tools And The Right Location
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Acquire the tools needed to charge the battery, such as pliers, crescent wrench and a battery charger. Keep these tools in close proximity before you start charging the battery.
Along with the right tools, choose a safe location to charge the battery. Since the battery may emit harmful gases during the charging process, choose a location that is well ventilated and free of any ignition sources. Make sure that you are close to an electrical outlet and away from obstructions such as water, dirt or contaminants. Clear off any objects or wires that may get entangled and that can cause trip hazards.
Step 2: Locate And Remove The Battery From The Mower
Start by locating the battery. The majority of mowers have the battery placed under the seat or hood. If it is not found in these places, use the owner’s manual to locate it. On locating the battery, remove it from the lawn mower.
The tools that you will need depend on the style and make of your lawn mower. Some mowers have a battery compartment which has to be unscrewed using a screwdriver, whereas others simply have a strap or lever that keeps it in place with a release button.
First, disconnect the battery connections. If the battery has insulated chips to hold the cables in place, use pliers to remove them, whereas if bolts are used, use a wrench to loosen them and disconnect the cables from the battery terminals.
Make sure to first remove the negative terminal cable, followed by the positive terminal cable, to avoid any electric shock. Release the strap or lever to carefully remove the battery from the mower, and place it on a flat surface close to an electrical outlet.
Step 3: Connect The Charger To The Battery Terminals
The type of charger you use depends on the make and voltage of the battery. Many lawn mower manufacturers provide a battery charger along with the battery. Simply use the one that you got with your mower, or, if you haven’t received one, buy one from the local market or the manufacturers.
First, identify the voltage of the battery, from the information label. Most 24-volt batteries have a unique manufacturer designed charger, and only this can be used to charge the battery. For 6 and 12-volt batteries, appropriate self-charging chargers are available in the market. So check the voltage of the charger before purchasing one. Chargers that have a voltage adjuster can also be used.
On acquiring an appropriate charger, attach the red clamp of the charger to the positive terminal of the battery and the black clamp to the negative terminal. Ensure that the charger is not connected to the power supply yet. If you are using a charger with a voltage adjuster, adjust it to the voltage of the battery. Connect the charger to a power supply and switch it on to start charging the battery.
If the reading on the charge meter is zero, it means that the battery is fully charged. If the battery has LED lights, a red light flashes and switches to a flashing green to indicate that charging has begun. It turns to solid green to indicate that the battery is fully charged. Usually, batteries take 4 to 8 hours to charge completely. However, don’t charge the battery beyond 8 hours, as this can damage the battery or cause it to explode.
Step 4: Unplug The Charger And Reconnect The Battery
Once the battery is charged, unplug the charger from the power source. Disconnect the clamps from the battery and place the battery in its original location in the mower. Connect the battery cables back to their original points on the battery. Secure the bolts and the strap or lever to keep the battery in place. Finally, start your lawn mower to test out the battery.
To summarize, use the right tools, the right charger and the right location to charge your lawn mower’s battery. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and safety tips, while you regularly charge the battery to increase its life span. A healthy battery equates to a healthy lawn mower, which in turn results in a healthy lawn.