Although designed for outdoor use, a lawn mower can get wet when left outside in the rain or overnight. Rain, dew or flooding can damage the mower’s electric or engine parts. In this guide, learn what to do if your lawn mower accidentally gets wet.
A lawn mower may malfunction if left outside in the rain or overnight. It may not be a big problem for a gas lawn mower as long as the water has not mixed with its fuel or oil. For electric lawn mower, there is a greater risk of irreversible damages and/or electrocution when water mix with its electric components.
Having said that, it is not appropriate to deliberately get your lawn mower soaked. There are a lot of unnoticed cracks and openings that can expose your lawn mower innards to water, a situation that may completely damage it or need costly repairs.
Whether electric or gas lawn mower, there is need to store it in shed or use a cover to protect the machine when outdoors in elements. This not only prolong the life of the equipment but also save you costly expenses for repairing or replacing it.
Can lawn mowers get wet?
A lawn mower can get wet with some parts getting more affected. Water sensitive parts include spark plug, air filter, carburetor and fuel tank. For an electric lawn mower, the motor, battery and all the important electric connections will be at risk of short circuiting or corrosion.
Spark plug help in ignition of air-fuel mixture for an explosion that produce engine power. The part can corrode when exposed to water and you will have problem starting your lawn mower. If this happens, you’ll need to remove the spark plug and clean it with abrasive material like steel wood and a recommended spark plug cleaner.
Air filter is also an important part of a lawn mower. It helps in cleaning air before it enters into the carburetor and combustion chamber of the engine. When soaked, air filter will easily get clogged which will impair its ability of allowing sufficient air into the engine.
Carburetor is where air and fuel are mixed before being directed into the engine for combustion. If infiltrated with water, there are high chances that water will also get into the mower engine. This can cause knocking in the engine, corrosion and even complete breakdown.
Fuel tank is where gasoline is stored before it enters into the carburetor and engine. A small crack on the tank can allow water or moisture to enter and mix with fuel. This will lead to corrosion in fuel system and all the way into the engine.
In electric lawn mower, almost every component is sensitive to water. When left outside or in the rain, there is a risk of short-circuiting or electrocution. For this reason, you will have to ensure that every part is completely dry before powering the mower.
Does mowing in the rain get a lawn mower wet?
Mowing in the rain is not a healthy practice to your lawn mower, yourself and even to the lawn itself. There is danger of your mower getting soaked, inappropriate cutting of grass blades, mower clogging, clumping which can smoother and kill grass and slipping of mower operator.
In exceptional cases, cutting wet grass should be done using a lawn mower designed for the purpose. Otherwise mow after several hours after the rain has stopped or when the ground is not soggy. To make it effective, will have to reduce the width of the swatch you are mowing and raise the mower height to reduce the volume of grass being cut.
After cutting wet grass, it is obvious that your lawnmower will be covered allover with debris and grass clippings. Neither will your clothing be spared from the mess. You will have to do thorough cleaning afterwards to ensure that your equipment is stored while clean.
If you have an electric lawn mower, don’t even attempt to mow in the rain or when the grass is extremely wet. You risk electrocution or irreversible damages to the equipment.
Water in Gas Lawn Mower – Signs and What to do
If you accidentally left your lawn mower outside in the rain or overnight, there are great chances that water or dew has gotten to most of its parts. You can tell this if you have problem starting the lawn mower, if the lawn mower stalls after running or it’s continuously sputtering.
Here is what you should do:
- Let the gas lawn mower air dry fully for about 24 hours. The next day, turn on the engine, the heat it generates will help in drying out the rest of the parts.
- Inspect if water has penetrated into the fuel tank. If yes, drain the gas from the lawn mower and properly dispose it then add a new fuel.
- Also check presence of water in the oil tank. If the oil appears contaminated then drain it for disposal and add new oil.
- Remove the carburetor, drain everything it contains, clean it and let it dry completely before fixing it back on the lawn mower. Check how to clean a lawn mower carburetor.
- Remove water soaked air filter, clean it and let it dry then spray it with little oil before installing it back. Check how to clean a lawn mower air filter.
Electric Lawn Mower Left in Rain – What to do
Electric lawn mower operate by use of charged lithium-ion batteries or a direct connection to a power outlet by an extension cord. Although most of its components are housed in water-resistant casing made of plastic or metal, they are not fully impervious to water.
When left in rain or outdoor overnight, the air vents and any small gaps in the casing will allow water or moisture to penetrate thus affecting water-sensitive components such as the electric motor, battery, fuses and other electric connections.
Moisture, water puddles or flooding in the internal parts of the electric lawn mower will result to short-circuiting. The excess current directed to a wrong place will cause parts to overheat and melt when you power the machine.
Water can also cause corrosion that will interrupt the power supply into some areas. You also risk electrocution operating a wet electric lawn mower.
I know how you’ll want to protect your push or robotic electric lawn mower from water but accidents do happen. Fortunately, you can salvage your machine from water damage if you act immediately. Here is what to do:
- Do not attempt to start the electric lawn mower while still wet
- Disconnect it from power (battery) and let it air dry for at least 24 hours
- The next day, locate the motor and use a blow dryer to blow away remaining moisture
- Check and clean any corrosion on any electric connectors including battery terminals using an electric contact cleaner.
- Use a multi-meter to test if every component is working well, connect the battery and start the machine.
A lawn mower can accidentally get wet in rain, floods or as a result of condensation. This can immensely damage it or impair how it operate. If you act quickly, it will be possible to salvage your electric or gas lawn mower as explained in this guide. If this does not help, you should take your machine to a nearby dealer or repair shop for a possible fix.