Electric Mower Left Out In The Rain – Could It Cause Damage?

So, some idiot in your household, not the usually  “tech savvy” you of course, has gone and left the lawnmower out in the thunderstorm that happened last night and the mower, being electric, is now utterly ruined. Written off. You’ll just have to go out and buy another one. Not entirely true.

Quick action can,  in many cases prevent a completely drenched electric lawn mower from becoming irreparably damaged. So how, in your eyes, is this now wet heap of worthless junk going to be resurrected to mow another day?

It’s fairly straight forward, but it will take a little bit of time, but it could very well mean not having to pay for a new  lawn mower, so it’s worth taking a shot at.

The vast majority of people are well aware that electricity and water do not mix. So before even touching it, make sure that the lawn mower is not plugged in or connected to mains electricity in any way.

WARNING

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THE MACHINE, OR  TRY SWITCHING IT ON TO SEE IF IT STILL WORKS. THERE IS A VERY REAL RISK OF ELECTRICUTING YOURSELF IF YOU DO.

Once done, take the mower into the garage or a dry place. If the mower is cordless, now is the time to remove the batteries. Do so, wearing rubber gloves and avoiding contact with any electrical contacts or terminals. ( a pair of washing up gloves are ideal). Having now removed every risk of electicution, its time to start drying the mower motor out.

Before diving straight in and pulling everything apart, it would be wise to have a read of the owner’s manual to see how the mower’s motor is housed. If you don’t have one, or you’ve lost it  or it was “filed” in the dustbin ages ago, no problem.These days, owner’s manuals are easily downloadable free of charge from the manufacturer’s website.

The Tools you need.

First things first though, you will need a couple of spanners, screwdrivers, a pair of pliers and a small can of electical contact cleaner, readily available at any good hardware shop. You may be rolling your eyes at this stage, but you’ll be surprised at how many people will try this sort of thing with a knife, small hacksaw, hammer and half a pound of margarine!

remove the cutting blade from the motor’s drive shaft.

The vast majority of push along and ride on mowers are water resistant, but not waterproof. This means that the electric motor will be in a housing, usually made of plastic with vents at various points for air to pass through to cool the motor when it’s running, and this is where the water or moisture usually gets in. These motor housings are quite easy to remove,  either by undoing a couple of bolts or depressing a few clips.

Having removed the housing, the motor will be readily accessable. Undo each electrical connection before undoing the mounting bolts.  Lift the motor out of its mounting and wipe it down with a dry cloth.

The main aim of the game is dry the electric motor out. Some say that will take about eight hours or so. They are absolutely right, provided you completely dismantle the motor into its component parts, which let’s face it, many of us aren’t confident enough or prepared to do! There is however, another way. It will take a  bit longer, but it won’t involve the complete dismantling and reassembly of an electric motor.

So how’s it done? Read on!

If possible remove the motor’s casing. After removal, lightly spray the motor with electrical contact cleaner.The contact cleaner removes any corrosive elements that the rainwater may  contain, so reducing possible corrosion

It is absolutely vital that the motor be allowed to completely dry out, and here are a couple of tips to ensure that it does exactly that. If possible, use a hairdryer for about twenty minutes to blow warm dry air onto the motor. Do this every couple of hours. Take a large sealable plastic container and into it place the motor, then fill a small bowl with uncooked rice and place it in the container next to the motor, put the lid on and leave for four to five days, only opening it up to “blow dry” the motor as described.

The rice part may sound like an old wives tale but it’s what professional cellphone technicians use to dry out wet cellphones, and it works very well. How? Uncooked rice is a very good absorber or moisture, it literally sucks it out of the air, and the now dry air will suck the moisture out of the motor.

And Finally….

Once the motor is completely  dried out, replace the motor’s casing, and re-install it in the housing ensuring all necessary wires are correctly connected. Re-attach the cutting blade securely, and your mower should be ready to mow your lawn again.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *