You obtained a brand new lawn mower and you’re eager to use it right away but you may be wondering whether to charge the battery first or not. Typically, a battery is essential in powering battery-powered push lawn mowers and in starting a riding lawn mower engine. So, do you have to charge a new lawn mower battery?
New electric push mower battery usually have enough charge to power the mower. However, this is not always the case. You may open a new lawn mower box and find the battery not fully charged or isn’t charged at all. Therefore, depending on the condition of the battery, you may use it right away after purchasing or recharge it first.
Do you have to charge a new lawn mower battery?
The answer to this question depends on the type of lawn mower you are using. Let’s have a look at each of them:
In recent decade of years ago, it was not possible to run lawn mowers on a battery since they require a lot of power to engage the blades. With improving technology, there was an invention on lithium-ion batteries that are able to power most of the farm tools.
When you purchase a new battery push mower, you expect the battery to have at least some charge to power it on and mow a patch of grass. However, the battery may not be fully charged especially if the mower has stayed in the store for a long time after obtaining it from the factory. On this case, you are required to recharge the battery fully before using the mower.
Choose the right type of charger when recharging your new battery. Voltage of the battery is the main feature to consider when selecting the best charger for a better recharging system. Modern lawn mowers have a 12 volt batteries while older mowers may have a 6 volt system and battery.
Modern battery chargers have different features such as automatic shutoff, hookup failsafe, float charging mode, controlled amp rates, integrated charging timer and multiple mode settings for slow charging, fast charging and jump start option.
Riding mowers are equipped with a large capacity lead-acid batteries like those found in cars. The batteries are only intended to start the mower’s engine. You don’t need to charge these batteries. When a riding mower is in use, it’s able to recharge the batteries on their own.
Much like other types of batteries, riding lawn mower battery may lose charge as they age. They become unable to hold charge or may contain some charge but the voltage is too low to perform any task such as starting the engine. Unfortunately there is no much you can do to such a battery other than it.
How long do you charge a new lawn mower battery?
Generally, it take 6 to 12 hours to charge a new lawn mower battery. However, there are several factors that determine battery charging time. They include:
Voltage of the Battery
Voltage of the battery determines the time it take to charge and also how long it will last after charging. Most modern lawn mowers uses a 12 volt system and batteries. However, those that were made earlier than 1980s uses a 6 volt system and batteries.
Lawn mower battery voltage also depends on how large the mower is and the year it was produced. Larger lawn mowers requires 12 volts or higher voltage to power their system as compared to smaller mowers. On the other hand, modern lawn mowers uses 12-volt batteries while older mowers were designed to use 6-volt system and batteries.
Therefore it may take 6 hours to charge a 6-volt battery and 12 hours for a 12-volt battery. However, the charging time may vary depending on mode of charging and the time the battery has been used between the charges.
The Charging Amperage
Amperage also affects charging time of new lawn mower battery. Amperage is the strength of current that is measured in amperes, better known as amps. Amps dictates the charging speed of a battery. An average charger for a 12 volts lawn mower battery is 10 amps.
However, you have different options because many chargers come with a range of settings that ranges from 2 amps to 10 amps or more. Fast charging will take more amps with less charging time while slow charging will take less amps with more charging time. Be careful when using fast charging mode, it may damage your battery.
It is recommended to use 6 or 7 amps when charging a new lawn mower battery. Raising or lowering the amps reduces or lengthens the charging time. Slow charging increases efficiency and durability of the battery.
Run Time of the Lawn Mower
Frequency and how long your new battery need to charge is also determined by the time a lawn mower stays on. 12 volts battery will take longer to charge but will last longer in between charges. On the other hand, a 6 volt battery will take less time to charge but will not last long between charges.
Run time of the battery is also determined by age and capacity. A new lawn mower battery has a longer run time with less frequent charging. On the other hand, larger capacity batteries will take more time to charge but will also run for longer time as compared to the small capacity ones.
Frequency of Use
The way you use your lawn mower also determines how long the battery need to charge. If you are mowing your lawn frequently, you’ll also need to charge the battery more often. Your battery can also drain the power when you forget to power off the mower or kept the keys in the ignition.
How to Charge a New Lawn Mower Battery
There are few step-by-step instructions to follow when charging a new lawn mower battery. Let’s have a deeper look at each of them:
1. Before Charging the Battery
Prior to charging a new lawn mower battery, read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications. A new lawn mower comes along with a user manual containing information on how to use and maintain the mower. You may charge the battery while in its housing in the mower or remove the battery from the mower and charge it outside its casing.
2. Charging Precautions
There are several precaution measures to take when charging a new lawn mower battery. First of all, you should charge the battery in a well-ventilated area. Do not charge the battery while in closed cabinets. It may leak or even explode.
Secondly, avoid touching the battery terminals with bare hands. It contains toxic vapors that may be harmful to your health. Lastly, be careful not to bridge the battery terminals with a metallic conductor to avoid injuries to yourself or damage to the battery.
3. Choosing a Correct Battery Charger
Most electric lawn mower models comes along with a battery charger. However, the primary factor determining the kind of charger to use is the battery voltage. For instance a modern lawn mower will have a 12-volt battery while those that predate 1980 may have 6-volt battery.
Some of the modern chargers have additional useful features that can help to prolong the lifespan of a battery. For instance, they have a jumpstart setting that can help to bring a dead battery back to life, have built-in charging timer, changeable amp rates, hookup failsafe and a multiple mode settings like fast charge or slow charge.
4. Charging the Battery
Prior to connecting your battery to the charger, ensure you are wearing a protective gear that include gloves, face mask and safety glasses. Before plugging the charger into an electric outlet, connect the positive charging cable to the positive battery terminal. It’s usually identified with red color and a (+) symbol.
On the other hand, connect the negative charging cable to the negative battery terminal which is identified by the black color and a (-) symbol. Set the charging rate on the charger and plug it in the outlet.
Wait until the battery is full before disconnecting the charger. Modern chargers may beep when charging or illuminate a light when the battery if fully charged. Generally, a new lawn mower battery may take 6 to 12 hours to charge fully.
5. After Charging the Battery
When the battery is fully charged, switch off the power switch on the charger or unplug it from an electric outlet. Disconnect the positive and the negative charger cables from the battery. If you had removed the battery from the mower, return it back to its housing and connect it to the mower appropriately.
If you purchase a new lawn mower and the battery has at least some charge, it’s probably okay to use the mower right away. Lithium ion batteries can hold the charge for a long time. So, as long as the battery was charged by the manufacturer, it is ready to use immediately after purchasing. However, if the power is low, you may be required to recharge it before use.