There’s nothing quite like the sight of a beautiful, freshly cut lawn. It can turn any front yard into a peaceful work of art, making all of your neighbors jealous with its precise lines and decadent grassy aroma. None of this is possible without your trusty lawnmower, so when your faithful tool decides it doesn’t want to work anymore, you might panic.
Five reasons electric lawn mowers cut out:
- Cable is damaged.
- Cables are disconnected, frayed, or broken.
- Vents are clogged.
- Start switch is not responding.
- Motor is failing.
The Five Reasons Electric Lawn Mowers Cut Out
Having trouble with your lawn mower cutting out? If you’re new to an electric model and are used to regular gas mowers, you should first realize that electric lawn mowers and gas lawn mowers will have entirely different reasons for cutting out.
1. The Most Common Reason for Cutting Out: The Cable or Battery
One major difference between an electric lawn mower and a gas-powered lawn mower is the fact that the electric model must be either plugged in or use a quality battery. If there is no power being fed to the electric lawn mower, then the blades will not be able to spin, and your lawn mower won’t work.
The most common reason why a power cable may stop working is due to damage inside of the cable, caused by the constant pulling, pushing, and flexing required during use. With this type of damage, you will likely not be able to see it from the outside. To test for internal damage, you will need to use a multimeter.
Another reason why a power cable may be cutting out your electric lawn mower is because the power cable has been clearly cut. This can sometimes occur when you’re in a rush and end up accidentally running over your cable during a routine lawn mowing experience.
The good news about a broken power cable is they can be replaced. Heading to your local hardware shop or lawn and garden center, you should be able to find a power cable that fits your specific model. This is a cost-effective and simple solution that will have you cutting your grass again in no time.
The most common reason why a cordless mower battery stops working is due to not being charged enough, or it has reached the end of its life. A good electric mower battery should last a long time if cared for properly. Greenworks lawn mower batteries last about 2,000 charges.
If you have a second battery (which I recommend), place it in the mower and see if this solves the problem. If so, investigate if the other battery needs replaced…or just a full charge.
2. Cables are Disconnected, Frayed, or Broken
While the most common concern on corded mowers when it comes to cables is that there is internal damage or an obvious cut, there are also other reasons why cable connection may be the cause for concern.
When you have thoroughly inspected the cable for cuts and internal damage, it’s time to move to the internal area of the electric lawn mower. Find all of the connections you have access to, and try unplugging and plugging back in. Sometimes there is simply a ‘loose’ connection that needs to be pushed in all the way.
At this time, you should also check for any signs of wear including fraying of the wires, or corrosion or dirt. If you see any fraying it may be a sign that a new cable is necessary.
On the other hand, if you notice any corrosion or dirt on the cables, clean it off. If the lawn mower works after a good thorough cable cleaning, you won’t need to spend money on replacements.
3. Vents are Clogged
Another very common occurrence with electric lawn mowers is that the vents become clogged. This is true for gas lawn mowers as well, as both have covers that can be accumulated with grass, dirt, grime, and other debris that stops it from working properly.
The easiest solution to this problem is to remove the cover of the mower and give it a good, thorough cleaning. Try to remove as much gunk as possible from under the cover.
In the case where you are unable to remove the cover all the way, you can also use compressed air to clean it. Simply blow compressed air through the vents to get all of the built-up debris out of the vents.
The vent is a crucial part of the electric lawn mower. It sends much needed air to the motor, and without this crucial air supply the engine can begin to overheat quickly. If the clog isn’t taken care of in time, it may eventually cause the engine to blow out completely.
4. Start Switch is Not Responding
The start switch is an important part of your lawn mower. It is essentially the ‘on’ button that you would find on any other electric appliance or piece of equipment such as a t.v. or car. That being said, if your start switch is not responding then you will be out of luck for mowing your lawn.
If you think that your start switch may be the culprit, there’s a few things you can do to check:
Make sure it’s not the cable. As the cable is the simplest fix when it comes to an electric lawn mower, you need to rule this out first and foremost.
Check to see if any power is given. When a start switch is just starting to break, there will likely be intermittent power given to your motor. If the electric lawn mower starts and shuts off soon after, it’s likely a start switch issue.
There’s no power whatsoever. When the start switch has completely failed, there will be no power given to the lawn mower whatsoever.
Just like the power cable, the start switch can be replaced; which means you don’t need to worry about spending several hundred on a brand-new model. Instead, find your specific start switch at the local shop.
Keep in mind that replacing a start switch is a lot harder than switching out a power cable. You may need to watch videos, read through a manual, or ask a professional for help when replacing this part.
5. Motor is Failing
After you have checked the power cables/battery, vents, and the start switch and determined that wasn’t the cause of your electric lawn mower failing, you may need to look into the motor. The motor is the source of power for the lawn mower, being responsible for the rotation of the blades. When the motor fails, your lawn mower ultimately fails.
So how can you check to see if the motor is failing, or if it’s a surrounding problem?
First and foremost, check the air vents that are located near the motor. Sometimes the vents may become clogged with grass and debris. This will not allow the air necessary to allow ample rotation of the blades. If you see a clog in the air vent, clear it out and see if that is the solution to your problem.
Sometimes the motor becomes strained from cutting tall grass too quickly. To ensure this problem doesn’t occur in the future, make sure you take your time with excessively tall grass. If the motor is damaged from being strained, you will need a new motor.
If the motor continuously cuts in and out, and you have checked other problems regarding the motor and air vent, then the motor may be faulty and will need to be replaced.
Motors can be replaced at home or by a professional. While it may be a little bit more costly than the other options, it’s still a far better choice than paying for a brand-new electric lawn mower.
How to Safely Check Your Electric Lawn Mower
Safety is key when dealing with any large equipment, especially a lawn mower that has incredibly sharp blades. Ensuring you are taking the proper safety precautions before checking your lawn mower is crucial.
When checking your electric lawn mower for potential problems, you should do the following:
Always make sure the electric lawn mower is unplugged from the outlet or the battery has been removed. You never want to try and check the lawn mower when it has a power source. You can accidentally start the mower while checking for problems and it can put you in danger.
Always make sure you are wearing proper safety work gloves. These types of gloves can protect you from anything sharp that may be found inside the lawn mower. It can also stop an electrical problem while checking the cables and plug-ins.
Don’t turn on the electric lawn mower until you are sure everything is plugged back in. If you messed with any of the cables or plug-ins, always make sure they are completely intact before turning on the mower. You don’t want your mower to short circuit or have other damage from forgetting to plug everything back into its right location.
If you are not comfortable working on your own lawn mower, contact a professional for help. If you’re not completely confident in handling the insides of your electric lawn mower it’s best to contact a professional for help. They will be able to thoroughly check your lawn mower for what is causing the problem safely.
Pros and Cons of Electric Lawn Mowers
With so many potential problems affecting an electric lawn mower, a consumer may begin to wonder what the pros and cons of this type of motor are. Remember that gas lawn mowers come with their own stack of potential issues, and it will come down to how the lawn mower is used, how often it cuts grass, and what grass you’re working with.
The Pros of an Electric Lawn Mower
There are many reasons why someone may want to consider an electric lawn mower:
Ideal for smaller areas. The average size lawn in the United States is roughly a quarter acre.
If you’re working with a smaller yard, under 8,000 square feet, you will find the corded lawn mower a simpler solution than a gas lawn mower. It can quickly start up and be whipped around a smaller field of grass in no time.
If you have under half an acre a battery mower would work great. Most quality cordless mowers can cover about half an acre on one charge. However, a second battery is a good idea just in case.
Quieter than gas powered lawn mowers. The loud, obnoxious sound of regular gas mowers can be downright disturbing for some. Knowing that an electric lawn mower is infinitely quiet (and won’t wake up the neighbors) is a major bonus for most.
Environmentally friendly. A lot of people are concerned about the pollutants being expelled into the environment. Electric lawn mowers do not emit any exhaust or pollution, making them an environmentally friendly option.
Easier to fix. Unlike gas, an electric lawn mower works with power cables. They have no need for gas, regular checkups, spark plugs, or air filters. This makes it easier to find a solution to problems when it comes to a lawn mower that’s beginning to cut out while in use.
Cost effective. For the most part, the electric lawn mower is going to be a cheaper option all around than their gas counterparts. This is true for the initial purchase as well as the solutions to problems, such as a new power cable, start switch, and even motor.
Easy to use. Electric lawn mowers are far easier to use than gas. All you need to do to start it up is press a button. No more pulling rigidly to turn on the mower! A lot of people enjoy the ease of use of an electric lawn mower.
Storage. With no need to worry about storing gasoline in or out of the mower, you can store the electric mower just about anywhere…however, I would avoid allowing it to be exposed to the elements if possible. Many electric mowers also fold up and are stored compact.
The Downside to Electric Lawn Mower
The biggest downside to an electric lawn mower is there is limited range or mow time. While this can be true with gas powered mowers as well, it is a problem to watch for with some of the more budget electric mowers.
A downside that can come with a corded electric lawn mower is that you will have to stay diligent while mowing the lawn to make sure you do not accidentally run over the power cord. While this is a simple and quick fix, it can still be a major drawback if you have to go to the hardware store halfway through your mowing.
With cordless electric mowers, you will need to be sure to always have your batteries charged. If you fail to charge your batteries prior to mowing, you might spend time waiting for them to charge up.
Troubleshooting Your Electric Lawn Mower
If you notice that your electric lawn mower is cutting out, you need to take the proper steps to see what the problem may be.
- Make sure the electric lawn mower is unplugged from the outlet or the battery is removed before beginning. You will also want to throw on a pair of safety working gloves to keep your hands safe while looking through the lawn mower.
- Check the power cord or battery thoroughly. Starting from the outlet leading to the lawn mower check for any damage with the power cord. There may be a major cut, or minor fraying.
- Check the plug-ins. A lot of time the only issue with an electric lawn mower is there is a plug that’s become loose. Check the inside of the lawn mower for any plugs that have become disconnected. Unplug and plug as many of the cords as you can find.
- Empty the bag. Sometimes electric lawn mowers will stop working because there’s too much grass in the bag. Empty the bag and check to see if that is what was causing the cutting out.
- Check the vents for any clogging. While checking for clogged vents, now is the perfect time to clean up the lawn mower. Remember that cleaning your lawn mower regularly will lead to better performance and less potential problems in the future.
- Consider the start switch. If you have thoroughly checked all cables and cleaned the lawn mower and you’re still experiencing problems, the start switch may be the culprit. At this point, it may be easier for a professional to see if the start switch is the issue.
- If all else fails, consider the motor. The last solution to a cutting out electric lawn mower will be the motor. You can tell if the motor stops working because the mower will either not turn on at all, or it will sputter for a few minutes before cutting out again.
Always keep in mind that purchasing a new electric lawn mower should be a last resort. Most of the time, electric lawn mowers can stay reliable for several years at a time. Properly check all aspects of the lawn mower to ensure it’s not a simple replacement option.
When you have a cause of concern for your lawn mower, you can likely find the replacement parts online or at your local hardware shop.
If you have checked the lawn mower thoroughly and are still unsure of what’s causing the problem, you will want to contact a professional. A professional will be able to safely and thoroughly handle your lawn mower and check for a solution to what is causing the problem.
Your electric lawn mower is an essential piece of the puzzle to your perfectly cut lawn. Without it, you can be left with an unsightly mess. If your electric lawn mower starts to suddenly cut out, there may be a few different causes for concern. Check your lawn mower thoroughly for any minor issues like power cable problems before moving on to greater issues like a default motor.
Need a Replacment Mower?
If you do find yourself in need of a new mower, check out our review of the Greenworks 80V mower. We highly recommend it!