How to service your electric lawn mower
Before wheeling your electric lawn mower out at the start of the spring it’s worth taking the time to check it over to ensure that it’s in good condition ready for when the grass starts growing.
Although most electric lawn mowers are relatively inexpensive, it makes sense to look after yours to avoid having to needlessly replace it. Simple things like a blunt blade or grass in the motor air intakes can put extra load on the motor and could cause it to overheat or even to burn out.
Below are the three steps that will help you to keep your electric lawn mower in tiptop condition. And we know that we don’t have to say it but …. it goes without saying that before you do any work on your electric lawn mower you should ensure that’s unplugged !
Step 1 – Check the cables for damage
Starting at the mains plug, check that it’s not damaged and that the power cord hasn’t been pulled so that the wires are showing where it enters the plug. Then check the entire length of the power cable looking for cuts in the insulation.
If the power cable is detachable also check that the plug at the other end isn’t damaged and that there aren’t any wires showing.
Next check that the power cable that runs down from the control handle to the motor hasn’t got damaged as this can easily get pinched during storage.
If there’s a tear in the outer insulation of either cabcle carefully wrap the damaged area with electrical insulating tape but if the interior wires are damaged then you’ll have to replace the whole cable.
Step 2 – Clean the motor inlets
To avoid the electric motor overheating you’ll need to ensure that dust and grass cuttings haven’t got sucked in to the electric motor air intakes as this will restrict the air flow if left unattended.
Clean out the motor air inlets with a stiff brush whilst tipping the mower to one side to prevent any debris falling into the motor. If you want to do a really good job then it might be worth using a vacuum cleaner to remove as much as possible.
Then, once the inlets have been cleaned out, put a few drops of thin oil (3-in-1 general purpose oil will do fine) into the small openings on the top of the motor as these will find their way in and will help to lubricate things.
Step 3 – Clean the underside of the cutting deck
Now that you’ve cleaned out the motor it’s time to turn your attention to the underside of the mower. A build up of dried on grass cuttings will, at best, restrict the air flow under the mower which will make it harder for it to pick up grass cuttings. At worse, a large enough build up could jam the blade.
Use a wire brush to remove as much debris as possible and, if you’re got particularly stubborn chunks, consider using a paint scraper !
Step 4 – Check the motor brushes
To supply power to the electric motor electric mowers have small carbon brushes which press against the rotating armature. Over time these wear down through friction so it’s worth checking these if you can get to them.
Depending on the make and model of your lawn mower this may require some disassembly – if you’re not comfortable with this get a professional to do it for you. But if you are happy to give it a go, take a peak at the owners manual to find out how to get to them.
Once you get the brushes out, check their dimensions – they should be longer than they are wide. If they are not then it’s time to replace them. You should be able to buy replacements from any good lawn mower service centre.
Now that your electric mower is ready for the year keep it that way by cleaning it each time you used it. This should only take a few minutes to do: use a stiff brush to clean the underside of the deck and make sure that you remove any debris from the motor inlets.