How to Fix a Water Damaged Lawnmower

Approx Reading Time: 7 minutes

Sometimes the weather does not cooperate. It is nice and sunny, but suddenly you are surprised by the heavy rain. You hurry inside for some shelter and leave your lawnmower outside. But when you want to continue after some time, your lawnmower is not running as it should. Or you may have forgotten your lawnmower was left out in the rain unprotected overnight. Luckily fixing a lawnmower that got wet is not as big of a problem as you might think.

How to fix your lawnmower that got wet:

  • Step 1: Check if there is Water in Your Lawnmower.
  • Step 2: Get a can of starter fluid.
  • Step 3: Remove the air cleaner and turn off or cover the choke.
  • Step 4: Spray starter fluid down the carburetor
  • Step 5: Turn the ignition on
  • Step 6: Drain the oil and the gas.
  • Step 7: Replace the oil and gas.
  • Step 8: Try inserting a new spark plug.
  • Step 9: Check the coil for the rust
  • Step 10: Clean the magnets on the flywheel
How to Fix a Water Damaged Lawnmower 1
(CC BY-ND 2.0) by r reeve

Apart from leaving your lawnmower unprotected in the rain, there are other possible causes of water damage to your lawnmower. The gas that you have in your mower’s tank can attract moisture when it is not used for some time. Like during the winter period if you are away for an extended period. If it is stored in a metal tank or canister or any place where it is warmed during the night, it is cold. A partial vacuum is made, which pulls the moist air into the tank where it condenses and settles down at the bottom. Suppose moisture or water gets into your mower’s fuel system, it can cause severe performance problems. Long term damage to the mower may include corrosion in the tank, fuel lines, and the carburetor.

You can fix your lawnmower in 10 easy steps:

● Step 1: Check if there is Water in Your Lawnmower.

The first step is to make sure that your lawnmower has water in it. The following problems can check it:

– Hard Starting

Water is denser than gas, so it sinks at the bottom of the tank, and most of the mowers draw gas from the bottom. Therefore, when you start the mower, water will go into the carburetor before fuel and cause a problem with starting.

– Poor Performance

When the amount of water in the fuel is not very significant, the engine will start, but, likely, it will not accelerate properly when increasing the throttle.

– Running and Stopping

When there is a small amount of water in the fuel tank, although you will be able to start the engine smoothly, your mower may suddenly stop running. Sometimes it may start again, but the same thing can repeat.

– Fuel System Damage

If you are to notice any issues in the performance caused by the collected water in the mower’s fuel system, check your engine as soon as possible or otherwise, if you are too late, it may cause significant damage. You can prevent any damages to the mower, such as corrosion or rust over time.

– Engine dies under a load of working

Sometimes, the engine dies under the heavy load of work. The only solution is to dry the water accumulated at the bottom of the fuel tank and the carburetor.

● Step 2: Get a can of starter fluid.

The first thing you have to do is to get a can of starter fluid. This may be available in your local lawn or garden center.

● Step 3: Remove the air cleaner and turn off or cover the choke.

After that, remove the air cleaner and turn off or cover the choke. Also, disconnect the spark plug for safety purposes.

● Step 4: Spray starter fluid down the carburetor

Carefully spray the starter fluid down the carburetor.

● Step 5: Turn the ignition on

Turn the ignition on and try to start the lawnmower. If it is successful and the mower starts, then turn it off, remove the air filter, clean it, and put it aside to dry. When the filter is completely dry, put the mower back together.

If the lawnmower still does not start, then continue to the next step.

● Step 6: Drain the oil and the gas.

Then drain the oil and gas from the lawnmower. Keep in mind to drain the gas from the carburetor as well. It is important to remove these fluids; there is also possible that water got into these compartments.

● Step 7: Replace the oil and gas.

See if the oil you took out has water bubbles. If there are, then it is the most likely cause of the malfunction. Change the oil and gas with fresh fluids.

Now attempt to start the lawnmower once again. If the lawnmower starts and is working fine, then do not read further steps.

● Step 8: Try inserting a new spark plug.

It is also possible that the problem originates from the spark plug. First, see if there is moisture in the spark plug. If there is, then this moisture blocks a spark being produced, and the mower does not start. Try drying it with sandpaper and try to start the mower again.

You can also try inserting a new spark plug in case the old one is not working. Do not read any further if your lawnmower starts working again properly.

● Step 9: Check the coil for the rust

Turn the fuel shutoff valve to an off position so you can see if the coil inside the mower is either rusted or not. If it is rusted, remove it and clean it with sandpaper or a small wire brush. If the coil has been corroded a lot over time and is beyond repair, it is better to buy a new one.

● Step 10: Clean the magnets on the flywheel

Thoroughly clean the magnets on the flywheel inside the lawnmower. Replace both the coil and the flywheel in their original position tighten the coil. Now restart your lawnmower.

Related Questions:

1) Can you mow wet grass?

It is advised to let the grass get dry before you mow it. But when mowing it, you have to be careful that you cut one-third or less of the blades of the grass. If it is a rainy season and the grass is wet for a long time and continues to grow, it is fine to mow the wet grass, not let it grow too much, and produce seeds.

2) Why is my lawnmower oil milky?

If the oil of your lawnmower is of whitish milky color, then it is contaminated with water. The oil with greenish milky color is because it contains antifreeze. If the addition of water to the oil is due to condensation of water in the engine, then the milky white color should disappear when you warm the lawnmower.

3) Are lawn mowers waterproof?

A lawnmower can not be completely waterproof. However, you can still use water to clean your lawnmower. Landowners are designed to tolerate a little bit of rain on the land mowers engine. So there is no need to panic.

After the rain, turn on the mower and heat it for a few minutes. The engine’s heat will evaporate the water and clear the moisture to protect the motor from the rust.

Final Remarks:

Although lawnmowers are generally made quite a bit waterproof, there can still be water damage in them. Typically, when you heat the mower for a few minutes, minor water damage should disappear. When the damage is more severe, the spark plug or the coil is wet. Or the carburetor is rusted due to prolonged contact with water, or if the oil or gas in the mower has been contaminated with water, you should follow the steps mentioned in this blog post. If it still does not work, then it is better to consult an expert. Still, there is no need to panic because it is just a minor problem, and your mower will be fine.