Electric Lawn Mowers: Dangers And Safety Guide


Summer is here! You know exactly what that means in terms of upkeep for your home. You will eventually have to address your lawn if you have a home that has either a front or back yard or both. Mowing the lawn can be a task for the whole family. Therefore, it is important to know the proper, safe way of doing it.

Electric mowers are dangerous because they are powered units with fast moving blades. Electric mowers can become unbalance on inclines, and has a potential for electrocution due to exposure to wet conditions. Corded mowers increase chances of tripping over the cord or accidentally running over the cord exposing wires.

There are safety measures to take that will greatly decrease your risk of injury while operating a zero turn.But how safe are electric lawn mowers in general? What are the various options on the market when it comes to deciding which lawn mower is right for you? Read on to find out. 

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Visit Amazon for a list of

Battery Powered Electric Lawn MowerCorded Electric Lawn Mower
Low overall maintenanceLow overall maintenance
Limited by battery charge levelLimitless usage when plugged in
LightweightLightweight
Easy maneuverabilityManeuverability can be limited by a cord
Is not recommended for wet lawnsIs not recommended for wet lawns

Although it is deemed safer and more convenient to use electric-powered lawn mowers over gas-powered mowers, it is still important to read the manual and be aware of the proper and safe way to operate them.

Above is a comparative list of the two common types of electric lawn mowers. Keep reading to find out more about them.

How To Safely Use Electric Lawn Mowers

Now that we have established the two common types of electric lawn mowers, it is time to discover the proper and safe ways to operate them.

Imagine if almost everyone in your household will be able to use your lawn mower because they deem it safer. With more hands, more chores get done in a more timely manner. But first, how do you operate electric lawn mowers safely?

Safety Precautions In Using Electric Lawn Mowers:

  • Safety Manual – It is recommended to read the safety manual to operate all electric lawn mowers. Manufacturers may differ in their safety standards for specific machines, so it is important to keep the manual easily accessible.
  • Power Cords – For corded electric lawn mowers, it is paramount to maintain cords properly. Avoid yanking cords out of outlet sockets. Always inspect and be wary of damaged, uninsulated portions of the cord. Make sure you are plugging into the right outlets such as GFCI, or use an adaptor if necessary.
  • Proper Gear – Always protect yourself when lawnmowing. Debris can cause injuries, especially to the eyes and lower extremities. Wear goggles and proper shoes and pants when operating lawn mowers.
  • Watch For Debris – One of the most important safety tips in lawnmowing is to clear the area to mow with all types of debris. Lawn mowers hitting debris can cause debris to launch as projectiles, potentially injuring the mower, or debris can accumulate and clog your lawn mower causing it to overheat, shut down, or set it on fire. 
  • Proper Maintenance – Always make sure to properly maintain lawn mowers. Inspect them for accumulated debris that can cause injury and overheating. Make sure to have sharp blades for easy, resistance-free mowing and that the protective guards are in working order.
  • Mowing For Young Adults – If children or young adults will be part of lawnmowing in your household, make sure they get proper training in how to safely operate lawn mowers, whether it is electric or gas-powered. 
  • Know Your Mower – It pays dividends to know the type of lawn mower you have decided to use in your household. Do research about how to safely operate your machinery. Make sure everyone in your household is aware of what type of lawn mower you have and how to use it properly and safely (Jackson, 2021).

Safe operations are crucial for all types of machinery. When thinking about electric lawn mowers, it is easiest to say that they be treated as any other electrical appliance. Use in dry areas only. Cords and wires should be inspected to ascertain proper insulation.

When using corded electric lawn mowers, it is important to be aware of where the cord is at all times. Clearing your lawn of debris is perhaps of utmost importance to prevent injuries and machinery overheating. 

Can Electric Lawn Mowers Overheat?

As with all appliances that are powered by electricity, electric lawn mowers can, do, and will overheat. But what are the causes of overheating in electric lawn mowers? How can it be prevented? How can it be remedied?

There is a tendency for cut grass and other debris to get caught in electric lawn mower air vents that could potentially block air circulation to the engine. When air is blocked from cooling down the engine, it overheats. The electric lawn mower then shuts down and can potentially catch fire.

It is important to properly clear the electric lawn mower’s air vents of any debris to prevent it from overheating. The air vents can be manually cleaned, or you can use air compressors to clear debris from clogging the vents that can prevent air from cooling the engine. 

If the electric lawn mower overheats, 

  • Immediately turn it off. 
  • Unplug the cord from the socket (if corded).
  • Let it cool down.
  • When it is cool, start the procedure to check for debris blocking the air vents.
  • If debris is present, clean it manually or with an air compressor.
  • Check for damage to the engine before attempting to restart. If you’re not sure if your mower is safe, consult with a specialist.

Electric lawn mowers must be treated like electrical appliances. Anything that causes overheating must have something to do with air circulation being blocked from reaching the engine to cool it off. When dealing with electrical appliances, make sure the appliance is off and is unplugged from any electrical outlet before attempting to open and clean it. 

Reasons Why Electric Lawn Mowers Give Out

When you are operating an electric-powered lawn mower, you cannot help but think electricity when it quits on you mid-mowing. What could possibly happen to cause your electric lawn mower to suddenly stutter or shut down altogether? In this era of innovation and technology, you cannot help but wonder what would make, say, a Tesla give out? 

Common Causes Of Electric Lawn Mower Malfunctions:

Battery Powered Electric Lawn MowerCorded Electric Lawn Mower
1. The battery is not charged to its fullest potential – For cordless electric lawn mowers to keep mowing, it is important to keep the battery fully charged at the start of mowing. If the battery does not charge properly or is not able to hold a charge, it may be time to replace it. 1. The power cord might have damaged wires inside – When using corded electric lawn mowers, there is always the chance of constant pulling, flexing, or yanking of the power cord. This can cause damage to the wires inside. Check for internal damage using a multimeter. The good news is power cords are easily replaced.
2. Loose connections inside the electric lawn mower – If the battery is not the problem, it will help to check wires inside the mower and reconnect loose wires.2. Loose connections inside the electric lawn mower – If the power cord is not the issue, check for loose wiring inside the mower and reconnect the loose wires if there are any. 
3. Clogged Vents – Whether it is battery-powered or a corded electric lawn mower, clogged vents act similarly for both by allowing cooling into the mower engine. Clogged vents from debris prevent this. Cleaning air vents by hand or by using an air compressor is recommended.3. Clogged Vents – Same process as battery-powered.
4. Motor – When electric lawn mowers start having frequent malfunctions despite proper maintenance and care, it could be that the motor is failing. This could be due to wear and tear, or it may have reached its factory limitations. 4. Motor – Same process as battery-powered.

You may have noticed the similarities when it comes to the common causes of electric lawn mower malfunctions. If it is not the battery or power cord that needs to be addressed, then it should be: 

  • Internal wires
  • Clogged vents
  • The motor

Remember, electric lawn mowers, and lawn mowers in general, are power tools that require energy to operate. They may differ in the type of energy they use to work, but all lawn mowers should be used just like we would use power tools.

They are indeed power tools that can make life easier while making our yards look beautiful and refreshing. But, what are the dangers of power tool usage?

What Are The Dangers Of Electric Lawn Mowers?

Using electric lawn mowers can be dangerous. As power tools, lawn mowers, whether electric or gas-powered, should be operated with caution and in accordance with its owner manual. So, what do you think are the dangers that arise from the use of electric lawn mowers?

The most common danger in using electric lawn mowers is related to their electrical nature. There are two types of electric lawn mowers. Below are the dangers that accompany each.

Battery Powered Electric Lawn MowersCorded Electric Lawn Mowers
CORROSIVE CHEMICALS
Using battery-powered electric lawn mowers can be dangerous if the battery leaks dangerous chemicals when it is physically damaged.

Battery-powered electric lawn mowers use the battery to store energy when charged. The machine is operated cordlessly when mowing.
EXPOSED WIRES CAN CAUSE ELECTROCUTION
A damaged power cord that exposes wires can cause injury to the mower by way of electrocution. It is important to make sure power cords are blemish-free.

It is also possible to accidentally run over a power cord damaging it enough to expose electrical wires that can cause electrocution when touched.
EASY TO TILT & BECOME UNBALANCED
Generally heavier than corded electric lawn mowers, battery-powered electric lawn mowers can easily tilt and tumble when used improperly, particularly when mowing inclined lawns.

It is important to remember to mow crosswise on hills instead of upward or downward directions.
TRIP & FALL HAZARD
When using corded electric lawn mowers, it is possible to get tangled with the power cord and cause the mower to trip or fall.
ELECTROCUTION EXPOSURE IN WET CONDITIONS
Since it uses electricity for power, it makes sense not to use battery-powered electric lawn mowers on wet surfaces to prevent electrocution.
ELECTROCUTION EXPOSURE IN WET CONDITIONS
Since it uses electricity for power, it makes sense not to use corded electric lawn mowers on wet surfaces to prevent electrocution.

Above are common types of dangers that arise from the use of electric lawn mowers. There are similarities and differences between corded and battery-powered electric lawn mowers when it comes to possible dangers that can happen.

It is vital to note to exercise proper caution by following the user’s manual in properly and safely operating electric lawn mowers.

Read more about electric mowers and water in our article “Electric Lawn Mowers And Water: What You Need To Know“.

Are Electric Lawn Mowers Cost-Effective?

If you have a wide area of space to mow, electric lawn mowers might not be the best for you. But for most Americans who have less than half an acre of lawn to cut, electric lawn mowers are the practical choice. Electric lawn mowers are:

  • Lightweight
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Healthier
  • Easily maneuvered
  • Can be used by young adults with proper training

But are they cost-effective? 

Electric mowers are cost-effective because they have a lower maintenance cost. You do not have the expense of oil changes and fuel when using an electric mower.

Users argue that operating electric lawn mowers have a generally lower maintenance value. With gas prices being unpredictable in modern times, using electricity to make your front or back yard look refreshing appears to be more affordable.

Electric lawn mowers are also comparatively less expensive than gas-powered lawn mowers. Ideally, if you have a half-acre of lawn to cut or less, going electric is the way to go (Jackson, 2021).

Most Americans do not have the luxury of owning more than a half-acre of lawn to cut. Those that do sometimes hire lawn care technicians to do it for them. If you, like most Americans, want to save money on maintenance and the overall cost of mowing, with environmental and health benefits to boot, going electric is the best way to keep your costs down.

Conclusion:

In today’s world of high technology, electric lawn mowers have become a more popular choice than ever. It can be argued that they are generally lighter than gas-powered lawn mowers, therefore, are safer for most to operate.

People also consider electric lawn mowers as the greener option that can be best for the environment since they do not require fossil fuel to operate.

People who value the health benefits of not having to inhale possibly toxic chemicals from fumes belted out by gas-powered lawn mowers have now considered using electric lawn mowers as the right choice for them.

If one has asthma or any type of respiratory or even cardiac issues, using electric lawn mowers seems to be the right choice

As with most machines, even electric lawn mowers have dangers such as overheating. It is crucial to use the operations manual to know how to properly use, maintain, and repair your electric lawn mowers.

Powered Equipment Team

We're just a guy and a girl obsessed with outdoor power equipment! We are excited to share the knowledge and tips we have learned over our combined 55 years in the power equipment industry. We have both ran equipment dealerships and took pleasure in helping our customers everyday providing equipment repair, parts, purchasing, and business tips to our residential and commercial clients. We hope our blog will help you with your next purchase, repair, or project.

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