Unless you’re one of the few people who still use a reel mower, maintaining your mower’s battery is probably part of your routine mower maintenance. Of course, your battery always seems to be charged until it’s time to mow your lawn, leaving you impatient and wondering “how long is it going to take to charge this lawn mower battery?”.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at everything and anything to do with lawn mower batteries, from the different battery types used to the types of mowers they’re used in. If you’ve ever had a question about your lawn mower batteries, chances are, you can find the answer below!
It’s Dead, Now What?
Much like any other type of battery, a lawnmower battery dies when the internal voltage drops below the necessary operating voltage. Many times the battery still contains a charge, but the voltage is far too low to perform the task you’re asking of it (such as starting your mower). Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this problem: charge your battery!
Some lawn mowers that come with a battery will include a charger alongside the machine, but if not, you’ll have to pick one out that’s suitable for the job. Next, let’s take a look at two of the most common types of chargers.
Trickle Vs. Standard Chargers
When it comes to charging your lawn mower battery, you’ll generally have two options: using a standard charger or using a trickle charger. Standard batteries are usually 12 volts, but this will vary by machine, so you will want to double-check your battery before purchasing a charger. Some chargers offer adjustable voltage, rather than being limited to a single battery voltage. If possible, we highly recommend picking up a variable voltage charger!
The biggest factor that affects the speed of your battery charging is amperage. This is another time where you will want to check the manufacturer’s recommendations, as charging your battery using a charger with too high of amperage can damage your battery. However, if you’re not sure (or can’t find the manual), you’ll be happy to know that most batteries can handle up to 10 amps. Assuming you charge your battery at ten amps, it should go from dead to completely charged in about an hour. The lower the amps, the longer it will take to charge your battery.
Unlike standard chargers, where the goal is to get the battery fully charged as soon as possible, the goal of a trickle charger is to maintain a battery’s internal storage capacity. These chargers use a far lower amperage (such as 2 amps), to slowly charge a battery over a long period of time. You can use this type of charger to maintain a battery’s charge when you’re not planning on using it for a while since its low charge rate will counteract the battery’s internal discharge rate.
Most of these chargers will turn off when the battery has reached maximum capacity, making it relatively safe to leave plugged in overnight. However, you should be aware that leaving a battery plugged in constantly will eventually deteriorate, even if the charging unit turns off automatically.
Best Trickle Battery Charger for Mower
The Dangers of Overcharging Your Battery
Most lawn mowers used lead-acid batteries, which can be negatively affected if overcharged. Truth be told, most people will overcharge their batteries at one point or another without any negative outcomes, but let’s go over some of the worst-case scenario situations anyway.
If a lead-acid battery is overcharged, you may notice a decrease in performance (such as reduced battery life), due to the electrolyte water inside the battery breaking down into gases. If it’s continually overcharged, this will cause the battery to start leaking acid internally which will result in the battery swelling up and cracking.
If you continue to overcharge it, the acid can make its way out of the battery through the cracks and will eat away at anything in its path. Since overcharged batteries can also explode, this poses a big health risk for anything (or anyone) within range of the acidic explosion.
Fortunately, these types of accidents are easily avoidable. For starters, try to avoid overcharging your lawnmower batteries. Routinely check the casing for any cracks or damage. If you notice swelling, stop using that battery right away—it’s time for a new one.
Take the battery in with you to your local small engine mechanic. They should be able to provide a suitable replacement battery and also direct you in the best way to dispose of your old battery.
How Long Does It Take to Charge Your Lawn Mower Battery?
As we’ve learned, there are a couple of different factors that can affect how long it takes to charge your battery. If you’re trying to charge your battery right away, a standard charger offers the speed that you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you’re simply trying to keep a stored battery from dying before you need to use it again, then a trickle charger is a much better choice.
Assuming you’re using a standard 10-amp charger, you can expect your battery to be charged in around an hour. For a trickle charger, you should plan to spend up to 24 hours recharging your battery (the actual amount of time needed will vary depending on the charge level of the battery).
Regardless of which method you use to charge your batteries, we recommend routinely checking your batteries to ensure they’re in tip-top shape and replacing them when they start to show signs of wear. If you’re unable to replace them with OEM batteries, then we encourage you to take a look at these reputable battery brands for your next replacement.
Remember to use safe charging practices, routinely check your batteries for signs of wear, and refer to the user manual for any equipment-specific questions.
Wrapping It Up
Did you learn anything from this article? We hope you did! Feel free to leave us a comment below.
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