The battery is the life source of a lawnmower. If the battery is fine, super-charged, and tip-top, the performance will be smooth and flawless. So, it is essential to know about the battery’s health condition. But a question may come to mind: is a lawn mower battery AC or DC? Can you get AC mower batteries?
Most lawn mowers use high-quality lithium batteries. These batteries are lightweight, eco-friendly, and DC in their nature. It means the electricity flows in one direction, no alternating direction like AC. Also, you can find 6V and 12V batteries available for these devices.
We know you are interested in knowing more about the lawn cutter's AC or DC battery. So, we will try to fulfill your interest in the article. Also, you can learn if the battery condition is satisfactory for further applications.
What is AC or DC in a Battery?
AC (and DC (Direct current) are two types of electrical current. The regular electricity we use in our residences is AC type. On the other hand, most batteries (like bikes, cars, lawnmowers) run with DC energy. Here is a short explanation of these two types of current:
AC means the alternating current, the constant change of electrical flow. Most localities have around 120-240 volts AC electric lines (the electricity we use). Again, industries may use 220-440 volts AC lines. Both lines have reduced volts from the local transmission line (13K volts). Therefore, the AC line has a 50-60Hz frequency. It refers to 50/60 times a constant change of direction per second. AC is preferable for long-distance electricity transportation.
DC means the direct current, no change of direction except the specific one. Most batteries and e-stuffs like television, computer, music devices use DC electricity. But they require AC electricity to be charged. Once the AC electricity enters a battery, it is converted to DC. You can find batteries of different voltages. In the case of a lawn cutter, it is usually 6 or 12 voltages.
Why Can't You Store AC in a Lawn Mower Battery?
You cannot store AC in most active batteries. There are some reasons behind it.
Alternating current changes its polarity by up to 50-60 times every second. It affects the battery terminals to transform into positive, negative, and opposites consistently. But the terminals cannot work with the same speed in the battery. Therefore, you cannot store AC in a lawnmower battery.
Suppose we consider the AC graph. It looks like a sinusoidal wave having a positive and negative cycle. It charges during the positive half cycle and discharges in the negative half cycle. What happens in the process is the positive one cancels the negative one. Overall, the current in the whole cycle becomes zero. These zero currents are not functional for a battery.
Another reason for using DC batteries is their efficiency or value for money. AC device may consume more energy compared to DC on the same device. So, you can fulfill your purpose while saving more money.
Lawn Mower Batteries Guide – How to Test Them
If you have a gasoline lawn cutter, you can ignore this part. After all, the device doesn't have a battery. But, portable or riding mowers always need a battery. In most cases, these batteries remain proper for three years on average. But they can be weak or dead anytime if you forget to care for them. If you see the machine's performance is not up to the mark, you should test the battery first.
Usually, most owners or technicians use a device called a multimeter to test the mower battery. You can know the health status by reading the data on the multimeter. However, you can also test the battery without any multimeter.
Below you can read how to test a lawnmower battery with or without a multimeter:
How to Test a Lawnmower Battery with A Multimeter:
A multimeter is a very competent tool to test battery efficiency. You can test voltage, amperage, and resistance across two terminals. Also, it can connect two terminals of the battery. Hence, you can collect this tool from nearby hardware stores. After having the device, you can follow these steps to test a lawnmower battery power:
First Step – Locate the Battery Position
Charge the battery properly to start any test with the multimeter. It helps to get the most accurate reading on the testing device. After charging the battery, turn the cutter off and remove all the electrical attachments. You can ensure it by checking if the lights and ignition key are off. Alternatively, you can disconnect the lawnmower battery.
It's time to locate the placement of it in the lawnmower. You can identify the location of the battery by checking the device manually. Otherwise, you can do it manually. Find the battery under the seat or in the hood near the engine. If it is a push mower, you may find the battery near the deck. However, the size of the battery may be different based on models. Also, it can be a liquid cell type or dry type.
Second Step – Turn on the Ignition Switch
In this step, you should turn on the ignition switch of the mower. Also, switch on the lights avoiding the start of the engine. It helps to release the excess charge of the battery. You may be more accurate to multimeter reading by leaving mower lights on for a few seconds. Then, you can connect the multimeter.
Suppose you see the headlight is dimmed while turning on the ignition (not a running engine). You can connect the multimeter because the dimmed light refers to the low charge of the battery.
Third Step – Adjust Multimeter Setting
Modern multimeters have a setting to identify AC and DC voltage, ampere, and resistance. Some devices may offer more settings or features. As we are testing a battery, we need the setting of DC voltage.
A converter will convert the AC mains supply to DC voltage to operate the device if the machine runs by the mains supply. Ampere setting helps to measure the current, whereas resistance setting gives the idea of resistance of something.
You can find multimeters with a single DC voltage setting or multiple settings. For a lawnmower battery, its voltage is mostly 12 volt. So, you should adjust the setting that can manage the 12-volt power. In this case, you can see the meter with a 0-20 volt setting.
One important thing to remember is the meter's maximum voltage setting should be more than battery voltage. Again, a single DC voltage setting multimeter can have a unique built-in option to adjust the best internal setting. It starts from a high setting and lowers till it matches the best setting.
Fourth Step – Connect Device to the Battery
It's time to connect the multimeter to the battery. Now, attach two multimeter probes using the correct ports. You should plug the red wire into the correct port, and the black probe into the common port shared for different settings.
Check the location of terminals on the battery after connecting both wires. These probes may have either needlepoint or crocodile end. The crocodile end probe is more flexible to clamp on battery terminals between these. You can hold the needle one against the terminals. However, attaching the red probe to the + sign and black against the battery terminal is good. If you mix them, the voltage display will show an – sign in front of it.
Final Step – Note the Meter Reading
After connecting all the wires, you can see a reading on the meter. The display will show the battery level and health condition.
Suppose your battery is 12 volt. If the meter reading shows a reading of 12-13-volt, your battery is in good condition. If it is 11-volt, it may have issues. Again, if the reading is close to 0, the battery is dead. Then, you must replace the lawnmower battery.
How to Test a Lawnmower Battery without A Multimeter:
If you cannot find any multimeter, you can test the lawnmower. Some visual inspections can help you test the lawnmower battery. Here are some of them:
Tips 1. There will be built-up gas inside the battery case if you see a bulge or swollen condition. A swollen battery can explode and damage the engine. So, you should change the swollen batteries and get a new one soon.
Tips 2. You may need a new battery if you see broken or damaged terminals. Battery acid may cause corrosion that leads to a fractured terminal post. Sometimes, acid escapes and corrodes the terminal post when the seal between the terminal post and the internal battery is damaged.
Tips 3. Remove the battery by undoing the secure battery strap and checking the casing to identify cracks and openings. It's safer if you follow this step wearing gloves. Then, take a cleaning cloth and clean the battery exterior. It enables knowing if there is any crack. Claim the warranty if your battery casing has a warranty.
Tips 4. Batteries may need a specific level of distilled water sometimes. You can learn about the water level by gently removing them and checking the water level indicator. Increased acid concentration means the water level is low for a long time. If you use the battery with low water, then the battery won't charge well.
Tips 5. You can also test the battery under a load. It will let you know if the battery can maintain its voltage under a given load. Again, you may use a battery load tester to check out the performance under the given load.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What type of battery is in a lawnmower?
Most lawnmower batteries run with a DC battery. This battery can be of 6-volt or 12-volt.
Is it a mower AC or DC?
AC cannot run a lawnmower battery as the volt becomes zero in the battery. So, the mower is a DC device.
How do you know if the lawnmower battery is bad?
Take a multimeter and check the meter reading. If the reading is close to 0, your battery is dead.
Will a lawnmower run with a dead battery?
No, a lawnmower cannot run without a healthy battery.
Now you know the answer to "is a lawn mower battery AC or DC?". We hope this article helps you identify the battery's condition if it is okay or dead. To measure the state, take the help of a multimeter or follow the manual methods we share in this article. Finally, we suggest checking your lawnmower battery frequently to keep it active and ready to perform.