Before you put your cordless electric mower or riding mower away, give some thought to the best way to store the battery. Proper storage may seem like a minor detail, but it’s one that can really impact how long the power cell lasts and even improve the performance of your equipment.
On modern electric cordless push lawnmowers, you will usually find lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are used to provide power to run the machine. These need to be stored fully charged in a dry and cool environment with no extremes of temperature.
Lead-acid batteries are often used as starting power sources for ride-on mowers and tractors. They will also benefit from a cool, dry place for storage and kept on a trickle charger during long periods of inactivity.
In this article, I’m going to cover the best way to store the different types of lawnmower batteries and also look at why you should never store them in an unheated shed. Read on to find out more.
Storing Different Types Of Lawnmower Battery
There are two main types of battery used in lawnmowers these days and which type you have will make a difference to how best to store it.
Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) Batteries
This type of power cell is now the standard for many cordless mowers large and small and can even be found in some modern ride-on mowers. They are lightweight and have a high energy density, making them ideal for garden tools.
Unlike traditional lead-acid varieties, Li-ion push mower batteries usually need to be removed after each use and charged up again ready for the next time.
They also do not tolerate being stored in low temperatures well (or extreme heat) as this can lead to rapid discharge and even permanent damage. For that reason, they must be stored in a dry, temperature-controlled environment such as an integral garage or basement, or even indoors.
Naturally, you will also need access to a nearby power socket for the charger.
Similar to those found in cars and other vehicles, lead-acid batteries are normally only found on riding mowers such as lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers.
This type of battery is normally left in the machine during the growing season and will get charged by the engine each time you use it. They are really only there to provide power to start the engine and for the electronics, lights, etc. when the machine is not running.
For extended periods of storage such as over the winter, many experts recommend that you remove the battery and store it off the floor in a temperature-controlled garage, or basement. They can withstand freezing temperatures if left out in an unheated space but will last much longer if kept indoors.
Simple Steps For Storing A Li-ion Lawnmower Battery Properly
When it comes to storing your lawnmower’s lithium-ion battery, there’s an easy step-by-step process you can go through that ensures you’ll maximize its longevity and performance:
Find Somewhere Cool and Dry
Choosing the right environment for keeping your mower battery is very important. You need a spot that’s dry and maintains a fairly stable temperature that’s neither too hot nor too cold.
Extreme temperatures can damage this type of battery, so a cool, dry place is ideal. Humidity can cause corrosion, so it’s best to avoid damp areas such as an unfinished basement or wooden shed.
When you’ve found a suitable spot, make sure the battery is positioned on a flat, stable surface up off the floor. This prevents it from being knocked over and damaged.
Clean The Battery
Before you even think about storing the battery away, it’s a good idea to clean it first.
Most cordless mower batteries need to be removed before charging, so take it out and give it a going over with a dry brush or a cloth. This helps to remove any potential corrosive materials that might have built up during use.
Make Sure It’s Fully Charged
The next step is to ensure your battery is fully charged before storing it. This is crucial as allowing a battery to drop below a certain voltage could mean it will no longer hold a charge the next time you use it.
Some battery chargers are designed to be left switched on with the battery attached to keep it at an optimum charge without overcharging. If you don’t have one of these then make sure to charge it every now and again to keep it topped up.
Only Use The Correct Charger
When charging your Li-ion power cell, make sure to only use the charger that came with it or one that’s recommended by the manufacturer.
Using the wrong charger could result in the battery being overcharged or heating up and catching fire which you definitely want to avoid.
Tips For Storing A Lead-Acid Lawnmower Battery
Lawnmower lead-acid batteries only need to be removed and stored when the mower is not going to be used for an extended time. By following some simple steps you can make sure it’s ready to go when you need it again:
Disconnect And Remove The Battery
It’s essential to disconnect and remove the battery from the lawnmower before storing it.
This prevents any minor power drains that might occur if the battery remains connected, and it also protects the battery from any potential damage that could occur from leaving it in the machine.
Make sure to also remove any corrosion from the terminals and wipe the case over with a cloth.
Find A Dry, Cool Space
As with Li-ion batteries, your lead-acid unit will benefit from being stored in a place where it’s dry and not subject to extremes of temperature.
Modern batteries are sealed units that don’t necessarily require being kept up off the floor anymore as they have a thick plastic shell that is very effective at insulating them from cold and dampness.
However, it’s still a good idea to keep them on a workbench or shelf as they will still gradually lose their charge over the weeks so require charging up periodically or keeping on a battery tender.
Use A Trickle Charger
Trickle chargers, also known as battery tenders are devices that are designed to be plugged in and attached to a lead-acid battery for months at a time.
They bring the power unit up to full charge and then provide just enough current to keep it there until it’s needed again. They’re very safe and effective and have been around for many years so are well-proven devices.
In conclusion, proper storage of your lawnmower battery is an important task you should never overlook.
By following the guidelines and steps provided in this article, you can significantly extend the life of your battery, improve the performance of your lawnmower, and save yourself some money.