Problems charging lawn mower battery

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  #1  
Old 04-15-08, 06:19 AM
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Question Problems charging lawn mower battery

Hello,

I have a 16-month old Troy-Bilt riding mower.

I just tried starting it after it being in the shed for the winter.

No sound at all.

I've plugged a battery charger into it with settings at 6 amps and 12 volts.

I left it attached overnight.

If I unplug the battery, still no turn over or sound from the tractor.

If I try to turn the tractor on while the charger's all attached, I get a rapid noise coming from the battery area. Yesterday, when I tried, I got that noise, or I got a sound like the flywheel was trying to turn. Now, only the rapid rattle noise.

Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

Steve
 
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  #2  
Old 04-15-08, 06:43 AM
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try putting the battery back on the mower and using a set of jumper cables from your truck to the mower and see if it will crank. You may just have a dead/bad battery.
 
  #3  
Old 04-15-08, 06:59 AM
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I have a battery that is 6 years old-I take it off mower every fall-put in basement on a piece of wood & use a small trickle
charger on it every month to bring it to full charge.
If your battery is dead-try this next time-it may save your battery.
 
  #4  
Old 04-15-08, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Dogwood29 View Post
try putting the battery back on the mower and using a set of jumper cables from your truck to the mower and see if it will crank. You may just have a dead/bad battery.
My manual says to NEVER jump from a car/truck, so I'm a bit reluctant to try that.

I've been charging the battery while it's still connected to the tractor. Is that bad to do?

Steve
 
  #5  
Old 04-15-08, 07:24 AM
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If you are worried about it-disconnect the battery cables &
leave battery on tractor-- while you are charging--your battery is 12v ?
I think your battery is dead..............
 
  #6  
Old 04-15-08, 08:41 AM
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Steve, I don't see your location but anyway.....

If the temps in the shed got down below freezing for any length of time, and the battery was not kept charged as mentioned before, very likely it froze and is now kaput.

If you had a charger on it for that long, and it still won't hold a charge, it's kaput.

What about the level in the cells? Did you bring them to the proper level with distilled water?

Do you have a voltmeter to check the battery voltage after charging, and then a few hours later? If it drops much below about 12.5 VDC, like down to 11VDC, its kaput. You can also check the specific gravity of the electrolyte in the cells with a battery fluid tester from any auto parts store.

If batteries are not being used for a prolonged period of time, then j Howards method will keep them good til the next use. This applies to cars, motorcycles, boats and mowers, anything using a wet cell battery.
 
  #7  
Old 04-15-08, 09:14 AM
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I live in upstate New York, where it can definitely get cold over the winter. What would surprise me is that there wasn't a problem in year 1, when it was also stored on the tractor in the shed in the cold.

Level of water in the cells? Not sure how to even check that.

I don't have a voltmeter. There is a meter on the charger. It's connected to the tractor battery now, and the needle is bouncing around the bottom of the meter. Does that tell me anything?

Thanks again.
 
  #8  
Old 04-15-08, 09:53 AM
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If a battery freezes--it will die
 
  #9  
Old 04-15-08, 11:36 AM
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The first year you had a relatively new battery, it may have survived. The second year, maybe not.

Does the battery have screw caps on the top? Or is it sealed? If sealed, then no, no way to add water. If caps, you should add water til it reaches the bottom of the fill hole (for black cases), or until it comes up to the full line on the outside of the case (for clear or translucent batteries).

The meter on your charger is probably for the amps (current) going into the battery, not the voltage. If its at the low end of the scale, then it's putting out very little current, meaning the battery should be almost fully charged. Unless its a pretty good charger, it won't have a voltmeter. You could pick one up at Radio Shack for about 10 bucks. They come with basic instructions, which is all you'd need att.
 
  #10  
Old 04-15-08, 12:04 PM
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Thanks for all the advice.

The batter does not have screw tops (seems sealed).

So, given that it seems the battery is giving out low current, could that still happen if the battery is dead?

Steve
 
  #11  
Old 04-16-08, 03:26 PM
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Yes, absolutely, and probably not the right voltage. Time for a new one, and better maint next winter. Talk to your local small power equipment shop, they will be happy to help you. Prob time for a good service checkup on the whole machine, right?
 
  #12  
Old 04-16-08, 10:06 PM
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Your battery has passed on to a better place. Time for a new one. Do yourself a favor and spend the extra 5 or 10 bucks for the stronger battery (around 300 or more cranking amps). They generally last longer and perform better than the lower amp batteries.
 
  #13  
Old 04-17-08, 04:47 AM
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Yep, battery is dead. Now I know to bring it inside for the winter!

Thanks for attending the funeral ;-)

Steve
 
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