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While gas-powered lawn mowers are still widely used, many people are shifting towards electric mowers for small to medium-sized yards. However, the main concern with electric mowers is that the cord length may not be enough. So, how long should an electric mower’s cord be?
Most electric mowers will use a cord from 50-150 ft (15-46 m) long. You can use a longer cord for your mower, provided it doesn’t exceed the maximum length outlined in the mower’s manual. When replacing your electric mower’s cord, always ensure that the new cord meets the mower’s amp requirements.
This article will discuss the ideal range for an electric mower’s cord. It will also cover what to consider when replacing your electric mower’s cord, and how to prevent injuries when using an electric mower with a long cord.
The Ideal Range for an Electric Mower’s Cord Length
Most electric mowers will come with a cord that’s the ideal length for the particular mower. While a mower’s cord can be anywhere between 25 to 200 ft (8 to 61 m) long, most mowers will work with slightly longer cords than the ones that they come with.
Most smaller mowers will work with cords up to 50 ft (15 m) long, while the average electric mower will have a cord length of 100 ft (30 m). However, lawnmowers designed for bigger yards can cover up to 200 ft (61 m) using an extra-long extension cord.
The easiest way to check whether your mower’s extension cord is the right length is to look at the manual. Most mowers will work fine with a cord smaller than what’s recommended in the user manual, but avoid using a longer cord since it could interfere with the electric current reaching the mower.
But remember this – it’s the amps that the cord is capable of carrying that really matter, so a heavier gauge cord is usually needed for longer distances.
How To Choose an Extension Cord for Your Electric Mower
Choosing the right extension cord for your mower is crucial since it may affect its performance, especially in rough conditions.
To choose the right extension cord, you’ll have to match the mower’s power with the extension’s gauge. Here are a few tips for choosing an extension cord for your electric mower:
- First, check the amp rating of your mower. Most average mowers are rated for cords below 10 amps. However, some larger electric mowers can work with anything lower than 15 amps. The higher amp rating on these mowers enables them to work optimally with longer extensions.
- Once you have the ideal amp rating for your mower, select a cord that matches this rating. Extension cords come in different amp ratings for all power tools, so choose one closest to your mower’s amp rating. For instance, if your mower is rated for 10 amp, an 8 or 9 amp extension cord will work with it.
- While gauge rating is important, you’ll also have to consider the cord length before choosing an extension cord for your mower. Remember, longer cords are bigger resistors and will cause a subsequently larger voltage drop, affecting the voltage your mower receives.
Keep these tips in mind when matching the extension cord length to the mower’s amp rating:
- Cords over 100 ft (30 m) should have a maximum gauge rating of 12 gauge.
- 50-foot extension cords should have at least 12 gauge, or ideally, 14 gauge rating.
- Cords that are 25 ft (8 m) or smaller should have a minimum 14 gauge rating.
Smaller cords are more efficient and will cause less voltage drop, but they limit the area you can cover with the mower. Longer cords will cover more area but cause a bigger voltage drop.
Your goal should be to get an extension cord just the right length for your mower based on its amp rating and power requirements.
Why Not Just Go With A Gas Mower?
Electric motors are more efficient, cheaper to operate and maintain, and easier to use than gas-powered ones. The only downside, at least with corded models, is that you’ll need an electric socket close to the area that needs mowing or a cord long enough to cover your entire lawn area.
Some benefits of electric mowers include:
Cheaper Purchase and Maintenance Costs
Electric mowers are significantly cheaper than gas-powered ones, even though they are just as effective. They are built on a simple design, and maintenance is extremely easy. With an electric mower, you don’t have to worry about changing the motor’s engine, and it’s less risky to use.
Additionally, electricity is cheaper than gas, so you won’t have to stop mowing your lawn to refill the mower.
They’re Easier To Use
The lightweight design of electric mowers makes them popular amongst beginner and professional gardeners alike. They can also mow bigger lawns much faster since they have an uninterrupted power source.
From a health standpoint, electric mowers fall well within the CDC’s hearing safety guidelines (source).
See our article How Much Quieter Are Electric Lawn Mowers Than Gas?
Safety Tips For Using a Long Extension Cord on Your Electric Motor
While electric mowers are efficient and safe, you’ll have to be careful when using them to avoid shocking yourself with an electric current. This is quite common, as the Consumer Product Safety Commission annually records thousands of injuries caused by extension cords.
Longer extension cords are also risker and more difficult to manage.
Here are some safety tips to remember when using an electric mower:
- Start mowing from where the extension cord is closest to the power source so you don’t risk tangling the cord.
- Avoid mowing your lawn when the grass is wet, as exposed wires can cause electrocution.
- Always inspect the extension cord before using it.
- Never use a cord that’s longer than the recommended cord length in your mower’s manual. If you have a bigger lawn, get a mower that can handle a longer extension cord.
By following these tips, you’ll reduce the risk of getting injured by a damaged extension cord.
Electric mowers are more efficient and provide a continuous supply of power, so you don’t have to stop when mowing a large lawn. They are also lightweight, and many can go around 100 ft (30 m) from the power source.
Since not all extension cords will work for all mower types, choosing an extension with the correct length and gauge rating is important.