Author Topic: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)  (Read 954 times)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« on: 27 July, 2021, 04:07:21 pm »
My crappy old Flymo Ultra Glide conked out halfway through mowing the lawn last week. At first, I suspected overheating, as it was a hot day, but it still wasn't working after I'd left it to cool down, so it's obviously more serious than that...

There's no electrical burning smell, so I don't think the motor is burnt out.
 
I checked the extension cable, the socket and the fuse, all are in good working order.

Any thoughts on how to diagnose the problem? Anything obvious I might be missing?

Just been watching a YouTube video on how to replace a motor in a Flymo and it looks pretty straightforward, but I'm not going to try that until I know it actually needs doing and will solve the problem.

(Still trying to persuade my wife that we should ditch it and get a robot mower, but she's not keen. If we end up having to replace the whole thing, it will be another push-along job...)
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« Reply #1 on: 27 July, 2021, 04:12:02 pm »
One other thing that occurs to me is that the cable could be frayed. I should probably check that too.

Haven't tried opening up the mower to look for blockages etc yet either.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« Reply #2 on: 27 July, 2021, 04:52:39 pm »
I gave my son a flymo last month. Was only six months old and hardly been used (I bought it to do my late fathers lawn whilst we sold the house)  First time he tried it he said it was broken, kept cutting out then wouldn't work at all. Turned out to be the old extension reel that we had liberated from my Dad's garage. Looked fine and the fuse was fine but it wad duff. New extension reel and all was well.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« Reply #3 on: 27 July, 2021, 04:52:57 pm »
Checking that the blade is not jammed would be the first thing I would try.  Have you got a test meter so that you can check for an earth fault which probably means a knackered motor, but not definitely, so is there a circuit between the earth pin on the plug and either the live or neutral pins?  You would need to do this with the mower power switch held on.  Is it worth repairing?  Usually after a few years the blade has had it and it starts to become cheaper to bin the mower and start again (I know that we should try and repair stuff rather than just binning it).  There is not much to go wrong on those sort of machines, electric motors tend to either work or not, they won't run at half speed or intermittently (unless there is a dodgy connection somewhere).  So, a thorough check of the cable for splits, cuts etc, check the blade is not jammed and continuity testing is about all you can do.  You have already tried the obvious one of replacing the fuse and checking the extension cable.  If all else fails sell a child or kidney and buy a Honda.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« Reply #4 on: 27 July, 2021, 05:00:20 pm »
Checking that the blade is not jammed would be the first thing I would try.  Have you got a test meter so that you can check for an earth fault which probably means a knackered motor, but not definitely, so is there a circuit between the earth pin on the plug and either the live or neutral pins?  You would need to do this with the mower power switch held on.

I've got a multimeter... Put it on the ohms setting, I presume? I'll try that.

Quote
Is it worth repairing?  Usually after a few years the blade has had it and it starts to become cheaper to bin the mower and start again (I know that we should try and repair stuff rather than just binning it).

The blade is replaceable (and probably needs doing). You can get replacement mowers for around £55, so that would still be cheaper than buying a new mower.

Quote
So, a thorough check of the cable for splits, cuts etc, check the blade is not jammed and continuity testing is about all you can do.

Yep, I'm going to open it up and see if I can spot anything obvious. There's a local firm that will investigate whether or not it's repairable for £10, but like you say, these things are pretty simple so I ought to be able to work that out for myself.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« Reply #5 on: 27 July, 2021, 05:01:08 pm »
Turned out to be the old extension reel that we had liberated from my Dad's garage.

 :facepalm:

Easily done, to be fair.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« Reply #6 on: 27 July, 2021, 05:51:55 pm »
Checking that the blade is not jammed would be the first thing I would try.  Have you got a test meter so that you can check for an earth fault which probably means a knackered motor, but not definitely, so is there a circuit between the earth pin on the plug and either the live or neutral pins?  You would need to do this with the mower power switch held on.

I've got a multimeter... Put it on the ohms setting, I presume? I'll try that.

Also see what you get on the ohms setting between the live and neutral pins.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« Reply #7 on: 27 July, 2021, 06:23:20 pm »
Well, that turned out to be pretty straightforward - I didn't even need to open up the mower, closer visual inspection of the cable revealed the problem...


cable by citoyen, on Flickr

It was where the cable entered the box containing the power switch, on the handle. Obviously a stress point and it had just worn through. Simply cut out the damaged bit of cable and reconnected the end. Hey presto, mower now works just fine (or as well as it ever did - it's never been great).

Now the only problem is I no longer have an excuse for not mowing the lawn.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« Reply #8 on: 27 July, 2021, 06:28:16 pm »

Now the only problem is I no longer have an excuse for not mowing the lawn.

Surely it must have either just rained or be just about to?

Re: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« Reply #9 on: 27 July, 2021, 10:01:06 pm »
iPssing down here at the moment, so that's this month's task put off for another four weeks.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« Reply #10 on: 28 July, 2021, 12:19:27 pm »

Now the only problem is I no longer have an excuse for not mowing the lawn.

Surely it must have either just rained or be just about to?

I really should have got the lawn done as soon as I finished fixing it yesterday, as it had been warm and sunny for a few hours by then, so the grass was dry. It is now biblical out there.

Joking aside, even though it's a job I don't enjoy, I know it's better to get it done regularly before the grass gets out of hand, and the recent weather is making that very difficult.  :-\
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Repairing a lawn mower (electric)
« Reply #11 on: 28 July, 2021, 12:48:00 pm »
It’s become less of chore since we moved house; instead of taking 2 hours the current lawn takes about 10 minutes