starting an electric lawn mower

If you’ve ever spent a Saturday afternoon yanking the pull cord of a lawn mower, you’ll love the simplicity of an electric mower. Even the best push lawn mowers on the market can be challenging to start if you’re not strong enough.

For many homeowners, trying to get a traditional lawnmower fired up and running properly is closely related to the comfort level one might experience after receiving a root canal. It’s no way to spend a weekend.

Thankfully, electric mowers make the start up process incredibly simple. And every year they are offering more and more value.

With most models, you’ll simply need to turn a key and complete a few other steps that are no more difficult to complete than starting your car or turning on a TV.

Read on for a quick look at how to get an electric mower started and running safely.

Before You Get Started

Although there’s no need to fill an electric mower with fuel or check the oil before starting, there are still a few checks that you’ll want to perform before starting it up. Checking your mower and ensuring that it’s ready, will help ensure a longer operating life and keep you and those around you safe.

The first thing you should do before starting any mower is to simply check around the wheels and the mowing deck. Make sure that nothing has gotten tangled around the wheels while being stored and that there is nothing under or around the mowing deck.

Be sure to check the chute, mulch plate, or clippings bag for any obstructions. If you didn’t clean these items last time you used the mower, now is great time to clear off old grass, dirt, and debris.

Once your mower is clean and free of any possible obstructions, make sure the wheels are set to the correct height. Check your clippings bag, mulch plate, or chute too and make sure they are attached properly and securely.

After you’ve checked everything over, it’s a good idea to push your mower over to the area where you plan to start mowing before starting it up. Pushing a running mower through your garage or across the driveway is a great way to run over something you probably don’t want to chop up and throw across the yard.

With your mower in position, it’s time to get started.

Most electric lawn mowers come equipped with a key for starting the mower. This ensures that kids or anyone else you may not want operating your mower can’t turn it on. To start most electric mowers, you’ll simply need to turn the key while depressing the safety lever.

How to Start a Battery Powered Mower

There’s one very important thing you’ll need to do before starting a battery powered mower: make sure your battery is charged to full capacity.

If your mower’s battery is not fully charged, you probably won’t be able to mow very much of your yard. The day before you plan to mow, follow the manufacturer’s directions and charge the battery.

When your battery is ready to go and you’ve made your other pre-mowing checks, grab the key and start the mower with the safety lever depressed.

Battery Powered Mower Troubleshooting Tips

If your mower doesn’t start right away, be sure to check the battery first. Like we mentioned above, always check and charge the battery before mowing. This is the most common reason for a battery powered mower not starting.

If the battery is charged but the mower still won’t start, check to make sure that the battery is inserted properly and has a good connection to the mower. Since mowing is a dirty business, it’s not uncommon for the battery connection to get dirty and make it difficult to install the battery properly.

Looking for more information? Here’s a great video on troubleshooting a stubborn battery powered mower.

How to Start a Corded Electric Mower

A corded electric mower starts much the same way a battery powered mower does. Just turn the key and grab the safety lever.

The biggest difference, obviously, is that there is no battery to check and charge. You do, however, need to make sure you have a long enough extension cord to mow your entire lawn and that the cord is firmly attached.

Corded Electric Mower Troubleshooting Tips

If your corded mower isn’t starting, first check the connection. Just like a battery powered mower, the connection to the power source can become very dirty while mowing.

If that doesn’t work, check the outlet you’re using. An electric mower draws a lot of power and could easily trip many household breakers.

And if that doesn’t do it, be sure to check the fuse in the mower itself. Most electric power equipment, like a lawn mower, have a fuse somewhere. Check and change the fuse if necessary — following the manufacturer’s directions of course.

If you’re still struggling to get your mower started, here’s a great video on some basic troubleshooting.

About the Author Jason Thompson

Jason is a work from home dad who has a passion for DIY projects, yard work, and SEC Football. His background is IT, but he's always fancied himself as a part-time ship welder, landscaper, and short order cook. During the week he can be found on his laptop 10 hours-a-day, but on the weekends he escapes to the local DIY Cave to play with REAL toys.  You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and can contact him via email.