How to Charge a Lawn Mower Battery

Some types of lawn mowers, i.e. riding mowers and cordless electric mowers, are powered either partially or completely by a battery. Without a properly charged battery, these mowers will fail to run.

Charging a cordless electric push mower is as simple as connecting the mower to its battery charging pack, then plugging the charger into an electrical outlet. Charging a riding mower is a little more complicated, as you need to first remove the battery from the mower before connecting it to its charger.

Note: Exact charging methods will vary between different models of lawn mower. For exact advice, you should refer to the manual for your specific model of mower to ensure safe and proper charging. 

electric lawn mower being used on a lawn

How to Charge a Push Mower Battery

Charging the battery on a cordless electric push mower is very simple. All you need to do is connect the battery charger for your specific model of mower to a regular outlet. The battery pack should have a light to indicate that electricity is flowing into the mower. Allow the mower to charge for at least 1 to 2 hours before using it. 

How to Charge a Riding Mower Battery 

There are a few more steps involved in charging a riding mower battery. You need to remove the battery before charging it and replacing it safely back into your mower. We have outlined the basic steps of this process below:

1. Do a Safety Check

Before you do anything else, you need to take some safety precautions to avoid accidental injury during the job. First, you need to put on protective clothing like safety goggles, thick gloves, and long-sleeved shirts and pants; this is primarily to protect yourself from accidental electrical shocks. 

Next, open up your mower and take a look over the electrical system; look for signs of damage, such as a bloated battery, frayed connections, or anything else that looks unusual. Do not proceed if you notice any signs of damage as this also puts you at risk of receiving an electric shock. 

2. Find the Battery in Your Mower

After you have completed the necessary safety checks, you will then need to locate the battery in your mower. In most up-to-date models of riding mower, the battery is usually placed under the seat. Lift up the seat and look for the battery’s positive and negative terminals. 

With that said, specifications vary between mowers and the battery may not be located in this exact place. If you have trouble finding the battery on your mower, refer to the owner’s manual for your specific model or get in contact with the manufacturer. 

3. Connect the Positive Terminal First, Negative Terminal Second

In this order, connect the red charging cable to the battery’s positive terminal, then connect the black cable to the negative terminal. You should always connect the positive terminal/red cable first. 

4. Match Mower Battery Voltage with Charger Voltage

Make sure the voltage on your charger is on the correct setting to suit your battery’s voltage. For the majority of mowers, this will be the 12-volt setting. 

5. Plug in Charger and Wait

Plug your charger into an available electrical outlet and leave the battery to charge fully. This could take anywhere from 1 to 12 hours depending on the size of your mower and type of battery it has. 

6. Disconnect the Charger

As soon as your battery has fully charged, unplug the charger from the wall. Disconnect the battery from the charger starting with the black cable on the negative terminal, then the red cable on the positive terminal. Replace the battery back into your mower, this time starting with connecting the positive cable before connecting the negative one. 

More FAQs on Lawn Mower Battery Charging

How Long Does an Electric Lawn Mower Battery Charge Last?

Cordless electric lawn mower batteries typically last for about 60 to 90 minutes before needing to be recharged. However, some models may only have a maximum run time of 30 minutes on a full charge. These types of mowers are best for those with smaller lawns that they can mow within an hour. 

Do You Have to Charge a New Lawn Mower Battery?

Depending on what type of mower you purchase, you may need to charge the battery before you can use it.

If you have just bought a new push-behind lawn mower, its battery may come with some charge. This is usually only enough to start up the mower and to mow a small amount of grass. However, there’s also a chance that your new mower will come with very little to no charge at all. If it doesn’t start straight out of the box, it’s far more likely that the battery is flat rather than defective. Letting it charge for a couple of hours should get it running as expected.

Riding mowers, on the other hand, should always come with enough charge to start up straight away. They use batteries closer to those used in cars, just on a smaller scale. If you purchase a new riding mower and it fails to start the first time you use it, you should contact the seller or manufacturer.

Does a Lawn Mower Battery Charge itself?

Riding lawn mowers do charge their own batteries during use. They are able to do so using a component called an alternator. When you start a riding mower, the battery starts the engine, and the alternator keeps it driving. The alternator pushes any excess power that the engine generates back into the battery, recharging it. Electric push mower batteries do not charge themselves, instead requiring a cabled connection for charging. 

Can You Charge a Lawn Mower Battery with a Car?

While it’s possible to charge a riding mower battery with a car, this isn’t advisable for a few reasons. Car batteries are significantly more powerful than those in lawn mowers and will provide too much current to safely charge 

Battery chargers are designed to communicate with their target batteries; when the battery reaches a certain amount of charge, the charger will reduce its current to provide the rest of the electricity through trickle charging. Chargers also have a controlled output that prevents the battery from charging too quickly. Both of these features prevent the battery from overheating and becoming damaged from improper charging. As cars lack these safety features, you should never attempt to use them to fully charge a lawn mower battery.

Although full charging isn’t recommended, it is safe to use your car to jump-start your riding mower if the battery is dead. Once you get the mower running, you can disconnect it from the car and allow it to continue to run. The lawn mower will charge itself using its alternator. 

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