Can a Lawn Mower Get Wet: A Comprehensive Guide

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Can a lawn mower get wet? Yes, it can. Technically, it is an outdoor power tool constantly exposed to moisture and other elements.  

The question is how wet it can get. There are plenty of ways for your lawn mower to get wet that are beyond your control.

Machines, including lawn mowers, and water don’t go well together unless you use a manual cylinder lawn mower.

Since there is no way to prevent or avoid this from happening, what should you do if your lawn mower gets wet?

Can a Lawn Mower Get Wet?

As an outdoor tool, there is no way to prevent your lawn mower from getting wet, and that is okay, as long as it is not soaking wet.

Leaving your lawn mower outside, even without rain, can make it wet because of the morning dew.

Mowing your lawn after heavy rain is another way of exposing your lawn mower to water.

Keeping it covered for a long time can trap moisture inside. The list goes on and on.

What Are the Water-Sensitive Parts of Your Mower?

Depending on your current situation, most parts of your lawn mower can get wet.

However, some components are more sensitive than others.

Some of the more susceptible parts include the air filter, carburetor, fuel tank, and spark plug, which can hinder the mower’s function when wet.

On the other hand, other lawn mower parts are not that sensitive, like deck, handle, and wheels.

They may get a bit rusty but will not affect the overall function of the tool. 

Will Moisture Damage Your Lawn Mower?

Some may think that a bit of moisture once in a while will not affect the tool in a major way.

However, we all know that mixing water and electricity is dangerous, leading to electrocution and damage to the machine.

Excess moisture can cause contamination in the fuel left in the gas tank if it does not have the right fuel stabilizer, corroding the machine.

Damp grass blades and clippings can stick to the equipment and hinder the lawn mower’s effectiveness. 

A wet lawn is slick and difficult to mow, resulting in uneven shreds and longer mowing time.

What’s more, fungal diseases can spread faster in wet environments.

The wet clippings also tend to stick to the mower deck’s underside, causing mold growth that will transfer and spread on your lawn.

Apart from spreading the disease, the mower’s weight will damage the soft and muddy soil, preventing healthy grass from growing.

Lastly, using the mower on a wet lawn will require thorough cleaning of the tool, especially the blades, tires, and body.

How To Tell If There Is Water Inside the Lawn Mower

Before you panic, below are some telltale signs to know if there is water in your gas-powered lawn mower.

Motor Not Starting

The motor will not start if there is water inside the fuel tank of your gas-powered lawn mower since water is not combustible.

Water will typically sink to the bottom of the gas tank, and as you attempt to start the engine, it is the first thing that goes into the carburetor instead of fuel.

Lack of Acceleration and Power 

The lawn mower will not function properly if the carburetor or the fuel tank gets filled with accumulated water.

You might need to disassemble the mower to drain all the water inside the fuel tank and the carburetor.

Sudden Stops

If the lawn mower suddenly stops in the middle of your mowing sessions, there’s a big possibility of water inside your machine.

You may be able to start it again but will most likely stop again without warning.

Fuel System Damage

If you start noticing performance issues with your lawn mower due to accumulated water in its fuel system, check the engine immediately.

You need to determine the structural and operational problems of the engine due to water accumulation to prevent possible corrosion.

can a lawn mower get wet when in use

Lawn Mower Parts You Need To Check After Getting Wet

If your lawn mower accidentally got wet, check the following susceptible parts to know if there are concerning issues that may require your immediate attention.

Spark Plug

If your lawn mower got wet, check and clean the spark plug of any moisture as the dampness can prevent the engine from starting.

You can even use small sandpaper to remove any residue left on the spark plug.

Ensure that the gap between the electrode and the spark plug is correct and let it air dry.

Replace the spark plug when completely dry and try starting the engine.

If you still encounter an issue, then check the air filter.

Air Filter

Remove the air filter and check its condition.

Depending on how wet your lawn mower is, you may be required to dry or change it completely.

Try restarting the lawn mower after replacing the air filter and see if it’s working.

If not, then proceed to the next part. 

Fuel Tank and Carburetor

Drain the fuel in a clean container to see if there is water.

Tiny bubbles will form if water is mixed with gas.

If you have confirmed that there is water, you need to disassemble the lawn mower from the top cover to the carburetor.

Clean the disassembled parts and let them air dry.

Use fresh gas to refill the fuel tank before trying to restart the engine again. 

Can You Waterproof a Lawn Mower?

The grass is good at retaining moisture, causing wet grass clippings to stick in the internal components of your equipment.

Hence the question of lawn mower waterproofing, and it seems that you can buy a water-resistant tool.

Most modern lawn mower models have special covers, usually sold separately, to protect the machine from various hazardous elements.

It is still possible to clean your lawn mower with water even if it is not waterproof as long as you let the motor cool down completely first.

What To Do With a Water-Damaged Mower?

Since we don’t have control over the weather, you may be surprised when there is a sudden burst of heavy rain.

When this happens while you are in the middle of mowing the lawn, there is a big chance of getting the mower wet.

Here’s what you need to do when your lawn mower got wet.

Check for Water

Obviously, the first step is to verify if water has entered your equipment.

As discussed earlier, you will have a hard time starting the engine.

If you were lucky to start the motor, but there is water inside, you will experience an erratic performance from your lawn mower.

Spray With Starter Fluid

If the lawn mower is not working properly, be ready with a starter fluid available in gardening center shops. 

Remove the air cleaner first before you cover or turn off the choke.

For additional safety purposes, remember to disconnect the spark plug. 

Get hold of the starter fluid and start spraying it into the carburetor. 

Try starting the lawn mower by turning on the ignition.

If your mower starts, you can turn it off again before removing the air filter. 

Clean the air filter and let it air dry completely before reassembling the lawn mower back together.

Drain the Gas and Oil

If it still does not work, try draining the gas and oil from the tank and the carburetor.

If the drained liquids showed signs of water, change the gas and oil with fresh ones and try starting the engine.

Check the Spark Plug

You only need to check the spark plug if the last step did not work.

Clean and dry the plug if you found any moisture. Or better yet, insert a new one.

Keeping the Lawn Mower Dry

Can a lawn mower get wet? Yes, it can, but not soaking wet.

This equipment is made for outdoor purposes; thus, getting wet is normal.

Sometimes, when your lawn mower malfunctions after getting wet, all you need to do is let it dry completely under the sun.

Nevertheless, it is still better to do everything to prevent it from getting wet if possible.

Try not to mow the lawn while it’s raining or if the grass is still wet.

Lastly, find a dry storage space that will protect the equipment from harmful elements.