Perhaps you were in the middle of mowing your lawn, maybe even racing a storm, and unfortunately, Mother Nature beat you to the punch.
The clouds open, dumping a barrage of water onto your local area. Unfortunately, your lawn mower got quite wet in the process.
So, now what? What happens if your lawn mower gets wet? While it’s okay if the mower gets slightly wet, it isn’t ideal if it gets completely soaked. Excess water can open the door to all sorts of problems, such as corroding metal parts, shorted-out electrical connections, and mixing with fuel, all of which aren’t ideal for your lawn mower’s health.
It doesn’t matter if you have an electric mower or a gas mower – water isn’t good for either of them. That said, if you own a push-reel motor, you don’t need to be overly worried, as these mowers don’t contain any sensitive parts like batteries, electrical cords, or plugs.
However, if you have a gas or electric mower, it’s important to be careful. But accidents happen, so if your gas or electric lawn mower gets wet, here’s what you should do.
Is it Bad if My Lawn Mower Gets Wet?
The answer to this question hinges on how wet the mower gets. A few raindrops on the mower won’t damage the system, as the system is fine as long as it doesn’t get completely soaked. Lawn mowers are designed to withstand some moisture, so they can still function fine if they get a little bit wet.
For example, it’s generally safe to mow your lawn after it has rained as long as the grass isn’t overly wet. If the grass is too wet, it can cause issues, as it’s difficult to cut and can clog your lawn mower. If you need to mow wet grass, it’s important to take it slow and steady to avoid damaging your lawn mower or creating clogs.
However, if the mower gets soaked, it can wreak havoc on the engine and system parts. You shouldn’t mow during heavy rain or maneuver the mower through deep puddles, as they’re not designed to be soaked.
Overall, it’s essential to take care of the system and protect it from excessive moisture. If you need to store it outside, keep it on higher ground where water pooling is unlikely and cover it with a tarp or another protective covering to keep it dry. By following these precautions, you can ensure the mower remains in good condition and lasts for many years to come.
Can You Leave Your Lawn Mower Uncovered in Rain?
While mowers can handle some moisture, they’re not designed to remain exposed to prolonged moisture. Because of this, you shouldn’t leave it uncovered outside when it’s supposed to rain, even if you don’t think the system will become soaked to the point of damage.
It’s recommended you take precautions to keep the system safe from water damage. So, if rain is in the forecast, cover your lawn mower with a tarp or a specially-designed mower cover.
Additionally, park it in a spot where water is unlikely to pool, as the mower shouldn’t sit in puddles of water. This will help prevent water from seeping into places it shouldn’t and causing damage.
It’s always a good practice to store your mower in a dry place when you’re not using it, as this will help avoid mishaps due to rain and other inclement weather. Leaving your lawn mower outside exposed to rain and other weather can open the door to rust and corrosion over time, eventually damaging the engine and other parts of the mower.
So, it’s best to avoid leaving your lawn mower exposed to the elements for prolonged periods.
Of course, accidents happen. For example, maybe you left your lawn mower on your lawn, and rain unexpectedly hit while you stepped out of the house for a while. If the mower does get wet, it’s essential to dry the system immediately, as this will prevent excessive damage.
How Does Getting Wet Affect a Lawn Mower?
While it’s true that a lawn mower can get wet, it should never be completely soaked or flooded with water. When water gets into the engine, it can cause short-circuiting and lead to all sorts of damage. However, other parts of the lawn mower, like the blades and chassis, can handle moisture.
Here are a few of the most common problems resulting from water getting into and on your lawn mower:
- Corrosion: Prolonged water exposure can lead to rust, damaging the lawn mower’s engine and other components.
- Fungal growth: Wet or damp grass clippings can cling to the underside of the lawn mower as you work, creating a moist environment where fungi can thrive. This can lead to issues with the lawn mower’s blades and other components.
- Electrical issues: When water gets into the system, it can lead to short-circuiting and malfunctions in the electrical components, leading to costly repairs or replacements.
Given the potential issues that can arise from water damage, it’s essential to take precautions to protect your lawn mower. Here are a few tips to protect the system from water damage when mowing wet grass or when it starts to rain:
- Keep the engine dry: If it starts to rain when you’re mowing, try to keep the engine dry by covering it. Ideally, you should avoid mowing when it’s raining, but if you need to, protect the engine. That said, lawn mowers generate quite a bit of heat as they run, so light rain shouldn’t be an issue, as water will evaporate as it falls on the mower.
- Clean after use: Once you finish mowing damp or wet grass, clean the mower thoroughly and remove buildup. This will help prevent fungal growth and corrosion. Use a hose to carefully rinse dirt and grass clippings and dry the area with a towel.
- Store properly: Keep the mower in a dry place, like a garage or shed, when you’re not using it. This will help prevent water damage due to heavy rains or other weather conditions.
What to Do If Your Lawn Mower Gets Wet
If your lawn mower gets wet, it’s essential to act quickly to prevent damage to the engine or other parts of the motor. Here are the steps you should follow in this situation.
1. Turn Off the Lawn Mower
First things first, turn off the lawn mower. Disconnect the spark plug wire once the mower is turned off, as this will prevent any accidental starts while you work on the mower. Don’t forget this step, as accidental starts can be very dangerous.
2. Remove the Spark Plug
Once the mower is off, remove the spark plug from the engine. By removing the spark plug, you’ll allow any water that might have gotten into the cylinder to escape. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the spark plug clean, then inspect it for damage.
If the spark plug is damaged, you need to replace it.
3. Dry the Lawn Mower
Next, you’ll need to dry the lawn mower. Use a clean cloth or towel to dry the outside of the lawn mower. If water has seeped into hard-to-reach areas, use compressed air to dry out the area and blow the water away.
If the mower is excessively wet, let it sit in a warm, dry place for a couple of hours after you wipe it down. This will allow any remaining moisture to evaporate.
4. Check the Oil and Gas
Sometimes, water can get into the oil or gas and cause problems. So, take a peek in the fuel tank and check the oil and gas to ensure they haven’t been contaminated by any water that seeped into the engine. If the oil or gas looks milky or discolored, you’ll need to drain them and replace them with fresh fluids.
5. Try Starting the Lawn Mower
After you dry the mower and ensure the gas and oil aren’t contaminated, try starting the lawn mower. If it starts and runs normally without any issues, you should be good to go – crisis averted. However, if the mower doesn’t start or starts but doesn’t run normally (power issues, abnormal sounds, etc.), you might need to take it to a professional for further inspection.
Remember, prevention is key when it comes to keeping your lawn mower in good working order. Try to avoid mowing wet grass whenever possible, and always store your mower in a dry place to prevent it from getting wet.