The electric lawnmower is a convenient and cost-effective gardening tool. However, the corded models pose a danger to the user.
If you run over the cord while mowing the lawn, it can damage the equipment. Even worse, you can injure yourself, sometimes fatally. High voltages run through the wires inside the electric lawnmower’s cord.
If the blade crosses the cord, it can expose those wires and cause an electric hazard. However, some simple precautions can easily prevent something like this.
What Happens if an Electric Lawn Mower Runs Over Cord?
Despite all its benefits, the corded electric lawn mower has one major weakness- its cord. Not only does the cord limit the mower’s range of motion, but it is also extremely dangerous if you run over it. You might damage the mower or, even worse, electrocute yourself.
Damaging The Mower
The electric lawnmower blades are designed to cut through the grass. And the consistency of the cord is much different than that. Therefore, running over the cord will affect the blades. They can be bent or become dull.
Your mower’s motor might overheat as it struggles to rotate the blades through the cord. The results are short circuits and a reduction in the motor’s efficiency and lifespan.
Lastly, a severed or destroyed cord will render the electric lawnmower useless. You would have to repair the cord or replace the whole mower if the damage is extensive.
When the blades cut the cord, it exposes electrical wires carrying high voltages. This puts the person pushing the mower at serious risk of electrocution injury.
In mild cases, you might experience an electric shock that causes muscle spasms. However, it can also have long-lasting effects like hearing and vision problems. Burns and death are the worst-case scenarios.
If the mower severs the cord, there will be exposed live wires on your lawn. And the broken wires can give off sparks.
This can quickly start a fire when the lawn is too dry. If you smell something burning or see smoke after the lawnmower has run over the cord, take firefighting measures immediately.
What To Do If Electric Lawn Mowers Run Over Cord?
A dangerous situation has arisen if your electric lawnmower has run over the cord. So, you must take proper precautions to deal with it. Here’s how your approach should be.
Cut off Power
Your first priority is to remove the possibility of electrocution. So, immediately use the safety button or stop/start lever to stop your lawnmower. The faster you can do this, the lesser the damage will be.
If the button or lever doesn’t respond on the first attempt, don’t waste time on it. Instead, pull the cord out of the power outlet. Use insulated gloves or a plier to pull the plug out.
Check Yourself And the Mower
You should seek immediate medical help if you have signs of electrocution. Muscle spasms are one of the surest signs. Some people notice a sudden impairment of vision and hearing. You might feel like you are about to pass out.
Assuming you’re alright, check the mower and the cord to assess the extent of the damage. Check if the blades have exposed the wires or completely severed the cords.
If there’s smoke or sparks, you are at risk of a fire hazard. Extinguish the smoke or sparks as fast as possible before they rage into a flame.
Do Not Touch Tangled Cords
The cords might have wrapped around the blade when the electric lawnmower ran over them. In this case, you must not attempt to detangle them without proper precaution.
Pulling or cutting the cord can result in a disaster even if you have turned off the electricity. The wires may still carry some voltage, or the blades might not have stopped rotating.
Your best option, in this case, is to call the manufacturer. They can send help or guide you with the next steps.
This will also help you sort out the upcoming warranty issues with the company. If the manufacturer doesn’t respond, call a professional service.
How to Avoid Damaging Cord On Electric Lawn Mowers?
The best way to avoid running over the cord is to use a cordless electric lawn mower. However, if you must use a corded lawn mower, ensure cord management and lawn condition.
You must be careful to keep the cord out of your way when mowing. Start mowing the lawn from the point closest to the power outlet. Then uniformly, keep moving away from the cord.
Do not loop the cord around yourself to quickly mow an angle. You should also avoid crossing over it. Remember a simple rule- the cord should always be behind you when you mow.
A clip or cord holder can help you keep the cord in place.
Also, use a cord that has adequate length to cover the lawn. If the cord is too short or too long, the chance of a disaster will increase.
Proper Lawn Conditions
You should always run an electric corded lawnmower on dry grounds. Trying to cut wet grass with it significantly increases the chance of an electrical hazard. Also, do not operate the mower near pools or sprinkles.
Experts recommend against using an electric mower on steep and uneven terrains. Tall and thick grass can affect the mower too. Your motor might overheat, and the blades might become dull.
What kind of cord is best for an electric lawnmower?
You should use a cord with a three-pronged plug. This ensures the cord is grounded and has weather resistance. It should also have at least a 10 amps rating and sufficient gauge extension.
What is the proper gauge extension for an electric lawnmower cord?
The gauge extension tells you how sufficient a cord is in carrying voltage without overheating. For a 50 feet cord, you might want to use a 16-gauge extension. Similarly, a 14 and 12-gauge extension is recommended for 100 and 150 feet cords.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which cord is best for my electric mower?
I recommend using a retractable cord for your mower because it is safer than loose power cords.
Is it advisable to use on wet surfaces?
Electric lawn mowers are not designed for mowing wet grasses. Though you may use them to mow wet grass, there is a risk of electric shock.
Corded electric mowers have various advantages, but you may also encounter some minor problems when using them. Electric lawn mower run over cord is one of the minor issues you will encounter when using a corded electric lawnmower.
Your electric lawn mower may run over cord when you’re in a rush. You can also fall when cutting wet grasses, and your electric mower may run over cord. You must be very careful when operating the mower and avoid mowing on wet surfaces to prevent this issue.
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