You obtained a brand-new lawn mower and are eager to use it immediately, 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?
The answer is no: New electric push mower batteries usually have enough charge to power the mower. However, this is not always the case. You have to charge the battery if it doesn’t have enough power to run your lawn mower.
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 the recent decade of years ago, it was impossible to run lawnmowers on a battery since they needed a lot of power to engage the blades. With improving technology, there was an invention of lithium-ion batteries that could power most 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.
In this case, you must recharge the battery fully before using the mower. Additionally, it may depend on what the manufacturer recommends. Some batteries have to be fully charged before using for the first time.
Always use the right type of charger when recharging your new battery. The battery’s voltage is the main factor to consider when selecting a charger. Modern lawnmowers have a 12-volt battery, 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, making it impossible to overcharge a lawn mower battery.
Riding mowers are equipped with a large-capacity lead-acid battery 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 can recharge the batteries on its own.
Like other types of batteries, riding lawn mower batteries may lose charge in time. They cannot hold a charge or may contain some charge, but the voltage is too low to perform any task, such as starting the engine. The only solution is to replace them.
How long do you charge a new lawn mower battery?
Generally, it takes 6 to 12 hours to charge a new lawn mower battery. However, several factors determine battery charging time. They include:
The voltage of the Battery
The battery’s voltage determines the time it takes to charge and how long it will last after charging. Most modern lawnmowers use a 12-volt system and batteries. However, those that were made earlier than the 1980s use 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 mowers require 12 volts or higher voltage to power their system as compared to smaller mowers. This is evident in modern lawnmowers.
Typically, 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 the mode of charging and the time the battery has been used between the charges.
The Charging Amperage
Amperage also affects the charging time of a lawn mower battery. Amperage is the current’s strength measured in amperes, better known as amps. An average charger for a 12 volts lawn mower battery is 10 amps.
However, you have different options because many chargers come with settings ranging from 2 amps to 10 amps or more. Fast charging will take more amps with less charging time, while slow charging will take fewer amps with more charging time.
Using 6 or 7 amps is recommended when charging a new lawn mower battery. Raising or lowering the amps reduces or lengthens the charging time. Slow charging increases the efficiency and durability of the battery.
Run Time of the Lawn Mower
The run time of the battery is also determined by age and capacity. A new lawn mower battery has a longer run time with fewer charging needs. Generally, larger-capacity batteries will take more time to charge and run longer than small-capacity ones.
Frequency of Use
How you use your lawn mower also determines how long the battery needs to charge. If you mow your lawn frequently, you’ll need to charge the battery more often. Your battery can drain the power when you forget to power off the mower.
How to Charge a New Lawn Mower Battery
Here are step-by-step instructions to follow when charging a new lawn mower battery.
1. Before Charging the Battery
Before charging a new lawn mower battery, read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications. A new lawn mower comes with a user manual containing information on how to use and maintain the mower.
You may be required to charge the battery in its housing in the mower or remove it from the mower and charge it.
2. Charging Precautions
There are several precautionary 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 come 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 a 6-volt battery.
Some modern chargers have additional useful features that can help prolong a battery’s lifespan. For instance, they have a jumpstart setting that can help to bring a dead battery back to life, have a built-in charging timer, changeable amp rates, hookup failsafe, and slow or fast charging modes.
4. Charging the Battery
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.
Next, 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 into the outlet.
Wait until the battery is fully charged before disconnecting the charger. Modern chargers may beep when charging or illuminate a light when the battery is 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 removed the battery from the mower, return it 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 it immediately. Lithium-ion batteries can hold the charge for a long time. However, if the power is low, you may be required to recharge it before use or as directed in the owner’s manual.