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How Do I Charge a Lawn Mower Battery?

During the useful life of a riding mower, there are several items that require regular attention. One of the most critical items is the battery. The battery can lose charge while in storage during the non-mowing season and the most common response is to replace the battery. Before doing so, consider the other (less expensive) option: the battery can be recharged.

Locate the battery on the mower. Most riding mowers locate the battery under the seat or hood. If the battery is not located in either of these areas, check the owner's manual for the proper location.

Disconnect the positive and negative cables from the battery. The mower battery will either have a cable end, like a car, or most will have a bolt that goes through the cable end and terminal to hold the cable on. Either way, the cable can be removed with pliers.

Plug in the battery charger to a standard electrical outlet. This may require the use of an extension cord. However, if the mower can be placed close enough to the outlet without the extension cord, this is preferred.

Attach the red lead from the battery charger to the positive terminal of the battery. Most chargers will have a clamp, like jumper cables, to attach the lead to the terminal.

Attach the black lead to the negative terminal of the battery. A second option is to attach the black lead to the frame of the mower.

Determine the voltage of the battery. This can be found on the information label of the battery. Most riding mowers use a standard 6-volt battery, but some will use a 12-volt battery. Make sure to check the label.

Set the charger to the appropriate voltage for the battery. Most chargers will charge either. Most chargers also have a "fast charge" setting and a "trickle charge" setting for each voltage. Use the "trickle charge" setting. Check the manual for the charger to determine the correct setting for the charger.

Allow the correct amount of time for the battery to charge. Most chargers will take between 4 and 8 hours to charge a battery on "trickle." This is appropriate for a mower battery to prevent damage or explosion.

Reconnect the mower cables to the battery when charging is complete.


Most chargers have a chart included with settings and charging times for common battery types.

Removing the battery from the mower is not needed when charging the battery.


Make sure to connect the charger leads to the proper terminals.

Hooking the charger up backwards can cause the battery to explode.

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