Whether your yard is receiving a light sprinkle or days of rain, a wet lawn is an obstacle to yard work. Not all equipment is made to get wet, especially electric equipment. While wet grass makes it difficult to mow in the first place, you shouldn’t use an electric mower when the lawn is damp due to the risk of shock. Water is an extremely powerful conductor of electricity, and mixing the two isn’t safe in any situation.
However, this shouldn’t discourage you from having an electric mower; it just may require a little more coordination with the weather and some patience when you can’t get ahead of it.
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What’s The Difference Between An Electric And Gas Mower?
The difference between a gas mower and an electric mower is straightforward: the power supply. A gas engine is self-contained, and the power is generated inside of the motor from fuel. On the other hand, an electric mower either has a battery or a cord to be plugged in.
For both plug-in and battery mowers, the engine is made up of wired connections. The handle is connected to the engine’s resister, which regulates the electric current flowing through the motor. When the resister is on, it won’t be engaged. Still, when the power is turned off, the resister will interrupt and dissipate any energy moving through the wires following the disconnection.
The electric engine also has a current converter to turn the AC (alternating current) into DC (direct current) for uninterrupted power flow to the machine. Most electric mowers have this setup.
Can An Electric Lawn Mower Get Wet?
Although electric mowers are designed and produced with safety in mind, the risks associated with electricity near water will always be present. An electric mower’s cord is where the main danger lies, and the engine itself can be damaged by contact with moisture.
When you use an electric mower, the cord or extension cord will be plugged into a power source, usually on the side of your home or garage. The cord has to be managed while mowing to ensure it isn’t run over and unplugged. These risks are particularly amplified when the ground is wet, as electrical cords should never be exposed to water.
The engine’s wiring shouldn’t get wet, either. Most electric mower models are designed to be water-resistant, but this doesn’t mean they are waterproof. Electrical wires are made with copper, and while they are cased in plastic insulation, they may wear down over time.
Any cracks or breaks in the insulation that expose the metal wire interior can short-circuit when in contact with water and prevent the engine from working. While engines can be repaired, even at home, most water damage is avoidable by not taking the equipment out in damp conditions.
Can You Mow Wet Grass With An Electric Mower?
Lawn maintenance with any electric equipment is not advised in wet conditions. Waiting for the grass and ground to dry will help you avoid physical risks.
Can You Get Electrocuted Cutting Wet Grass?
If the ground is wet, the water present becomes a dangerous hazard since it may either short circuit your power supply or give you an electric shock. A power cord laying in damp grass poses a significant hazard to yourself and anyone else who may be in the yard at the time.
Electric mowers are made with a lot of plastic and not as much metal; this reduces the risk of direct electrocution in case of a short circuit from moisture. Electric models are designed to insulate in the case of shock, and there usually aren’t any direct electrical connections between the handle and the engine.
Should I Ever Mow Wet Grass?
When you’re dealing with electric equipment, you should avoid wet grass. Even morning dew can be a substantial amount of moisture on the ground. Mowing is best done after late morning when any dew has evaporated, and the grass and ground are dry.
Gas-powered mowers, however, may be able to handle a little moisture on the ground in the morning or after a rain since there isn’t any electrical source to present a hazard. That being said, it isn’t ever ideal to mow a damp lawn.
- Wet grass is difficult to manage – When a lawnmower passes over grass, if it has a collector, it will vacuum the grass up after it’s cut. Wet grass clumps stick together and aren’t easily gathered by your mower. Even if it’s left in place, dead, wet grass will dry in the thatch unevenly, and the sticky grass blades may be challenging to clean up off of sidewalks and driveways. Grass cut while wet also stains easily.
- Puddles and mud aren’t good for any equipment – An electric mower should never be used when there are puddles or standing water in the yard. Gas mowers shouldn’t be used when the ground is saturated with water either, as it can cause the equipment to sink, get stuck, or get mud or other organic matter inside of the motor.
- Equipment on wet ground can compact soil – Mowers, especially riding mowers, will lightly compact the soil with everyday use, but if the ground is wet, the weight of the machine will pack the topsoil down much more than it would normally. Your lawn likes well-aerated, well-draining soil that doesn’t hold water. Even moisture-loving cool-season grasses don’t like to be drowned by water that the soil can’t absorb.