After using a manual rotary mower for a long time, my father got a present from his colleagues.
Even if he was so excited, he was very tense and confused at the same time. His exact question was, Can a lawn mower explode?
I started to look for cases to learn how common the situation is. I also looked for ways to prevent the explosion.
I really wanted to clear up all the confusion with my dad. Also, I wanted to learn it myself.
Surprisingly, I found a person who worked in a mower servicing center. He disclosed a lot of factors regarding the issue of a mower explosion.
So, I thought I should share them all with you so that all your confusion about this fact can diminish.
Well, let’s get started.
What Are the Chances of a Lawn Mower Exploding?
Yes, a lawn mower can explode. The accident can happen for several reasons.
Even though it’s a rare case, it happens. The mower can be on fire if there is a buildup of flammable fumes, like gasoline vapor, and an ignition source is present.
Besides, improper storage, fuel leaks, or mechanical malfunctions can cause this hazardous situation.
And when it’s an electric mower, the chance to get on fire is even greater. Manual mowers like rotary mowers usually don’t have any risk in this case.
However, it is very easy to prevent lawnmowers from exploding. Regular maintenance and some of the essential tricks can easily get you out of such a dangerous situation.
How Common Are Lawn Mower Explosions?
Lawnmower explosions are relatively rare occurrences. However, it can happen, and many people around the world rarely face this issue as well.
Though modern lawnmowers are designed with safety features and precautions to prevent such incidents, they happen. In most cases, the reason is poor maintenance, excessive clipping in the mower, gasoline issues, electric malfunctions, etc.
However, they can still happen if proper maintenance and safety measures are followed. An internal malfunction that is not related to the mower maintenance can cause the issue.
Bob Sukovich had a terrible accident. However, he survived with luck.
When it’s an electric or gasoline power mower, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Though this explosion rarely happens, it can be life-threatening as well.
What Are the Signs of a Lawn Mower That Can Be Exploded?
Usually, a mower doesn’t explore out of the blue.
There are some signs you must see in a mower that is about to explode. If you’re well aware of the signs, it will be much easier for you to prevent the issue.
Before we learn what causes the explosion, let’s first get an idea of how you can understand that the mower is going to explode.
1. Strong Odor
A strong smell of gasoline or other flammable fumes is a sign of a fuel leak. A fuel leak can increase the risk of an explosion. So, don’t take the matter of gasoline smell lightly.
2. Visible Leaks
If you notice pools of gasoline or other fluids around the mower, it must be because of a leak. So, you have to look for a leak that could lead to an explosion.
3. Unusual Noises
Odd noises or vibrations while operating the mower usually indicate internal mechanical issues. Though it doesn’t always happen, the issue can cause an explosion as well.
4. Excessive Heat
If the mower’s engine becomes unusually hot or overheats frequently, it might be a sign of mechanical problems. As usual, it can cause potential combustion.
If you find frequent backfiring on your mower, it is another sign of an explosion. It could mean improper fuel combustion. It can build up flammable gasses and finally end up exploding the mower.
6. Difficulty Starting
Frequent trouble starting the mower is also an indication of different ignition problems that could lead to unburnt fuel accumulating in the engine.
As you know, it can cause the mower to set on fire.
7. Sparks or Flares
If you notice sparks, flames, or other forms of ignition near the mower, it’s a critical warning sign of this hazard.
You should stop using it and find out where the issue is.
8. Smoke or Fumes
Unusual smoke or exhaust fumes can point to fuel combustion issues that increase the risk of an explosion. But not all types of smoke can cause an explosion. Only the block smoke can be the dangerous one.
So, when you notice just any of the following signs, you shouldn’t continue using the mower. In this case, you need to look for a professional to fix it.
If the mower has a warranty, just take it to the support center as soon as possible for you.
Is Lawn Mower Smoke Dangerous?
Many mower users often get concerned when they find smoke on the mower. Actually, smoke can be dangerous. However, not all the time.
Generally, you will see three different types of smoke on your mower and they are as follows.
1. White Smoke
White smoke typically results from the burning of oil. While it’s not immediately dangerous, excessive white smoke could indicate an oil leak or other internal problems.
But the moderate amount of white smoke shouldn’t make you tense. It happens because of the generated fuel consumption and it is natural, especially for fuel-powered mowers.
2. Blue Smoke
Similar to white smoke, blue smoke also indicates oil burning. This can be caused by worn-out piston rings or valve seals.
Though blue smoke is less concerning than black smoke, it still points to a mechanical problem. You should only get tense if the amount of blue smoke is huge. Also, you should take it.
Black smoke is more concerning and usually indicates an issue with the fuel-to-air ratio. It can result from a carburetor malfunction, fuel system problems, or incomplete combustion.
Generally, black smoke suggests inefficient burning of fuel. These can lead to poor performance, decreased fuel efficiency, and potential damage to the engine. So, you need to be careful and stop using the mower if it produces excessive black smoke.
What Causes a Lawn Mower Explode: Top 7 Reasons
Now, let’s come to the most important point.
It’s exactly what the issues are that can cause the mower to explode. Here, I have listed almost all the potential causes of this issue.
Let’s check them out.
1. Grass Clippings
Accumulated grass clippings inside the mower can cause the mower to overheat. Especially if the clippings gather around the engine or exhaust areas, it can lead to a fire or explosion.
2. Gasoline Handling
Improper handling of gasoline, such as spilling it on hot engine parts or storing it in unsafe conditions, can result in fuel vapor buildup.
This vapor can later on cause an explosion by igniting inside the mower.
3. Irregular and Poor Maintenance
Regular and proper maintenance is essential. Ignoring issues like leaks, faulty spark plugs, or damaged components can create a dangerous environment for ignition.
Besides, neglecting maintenance can lead to conditions like worn-out parts, or blocked airflow that increase the risk of ignition.
That’s why you need to take the mower to the service center and ensure that it is checked properly.
4. Electric Issues
Malfunctioning electrical components or improper wiring can generate sparks inside the mower.
Any type of wire damage or electric component issue can be the culprit of an explosion as well.
5. Fuel & Oil Mix
Incorrect fuel-to-oil ratios in 2-stroke engines can lead to incomplete combustion. Also, it can cause the engine to backfire or emit flames.
As a result, it can cause the mower to get fired.
6. Weather Conditions
Dry and hot weather can also increase the risk of fires. The presence of flammable materials around the mower is one of the top reasons.
That’s why it is essential to store the mower in a place where direct sunlight can’t reach it. Also, there should be no flammable products around.
7. Objects Stuck
Finally, hitting rocks or debris can damage the mower’s internal components. For an electric mower, it can be even more dangerous. It can cause electric component damage and lead to sparks or a malfunction inside the mower.
That could trigger an explosion.
So, these are the most common causes of a mower explosion. Aside from these, there can be other causes like nearby fire sources, lightning stuck, plug-related issues, etc.
10 Concrete Tips to Avoid a Lawn Mower Explosion
As I have said earlier, there are a few ways to prevent a lawn mower from exploding, and I am here to share the tips. Just make sure to follow all the tips with equal sincerity. Along with these tips, you must know to use lawn mower properly.
1. Avoid Mowing in the Hot Sun
Mowing during the cooler parts of the day reduces the chances of overheating.
On the contrary, mowing under the hot sun can lead to vaporized fuel and ignition risks. So, be careful about choosing the right time for mowing.
2. Use the Right Gasoline
Always use the recommended type of gasoline for your mower. Make sure to avoid using old or stale gasoline, as it can lead to inefficient combustion and an increased risk of explosion.
3. Repair Your Mower if it’s Broken
If your mower has any issues, repair it and then use it. Leaks, damaged parts, and malfunctions can create conditions conducive to explosions.
That’s why you shouldn’t use it before repairing it properly.
4. Be Careful with the Exhaust
The exhaust can become very hot after you use the mower for a long time. That’s why you should avoid parking the mower near flammable materials.
You need to be cautious when refueling to prevent accidental ignition.
5. Avoid Mowing If the Grass is Wet
Wet grass can clog the mower’s mechanisms and exhaust. And it can potentially cause overheating and ignition.
That’s why you shouldn’t mow the lawn after it is raining or water it.
6. Mow Slower than Usual
Mowing at a slower pace lets the engine operate more efficiently, and it reduces the risk of generating excess heat or sparks. To prevent an explosion, you should mow slowly and take your time.
7. Regular Maintenance
You should keep the mower well-maintained and take it to the service center regularly. Make sure to clean debris, replace spark plugs, check for fuel leaks, and follow manufacturer guidelines.
8. Proper Storage
You should also store the mower properly. Make sure that it is not placed near any flammable materials, electric, or fire sources.
Also, you shouldn’t place it in a place where direct sunlight can reach.
9. Use a Fuel Stabilizer
You should use a fuel stabilizer if your mower has any remaining oil inside it while storing it. The stabilizer will secure the fuel and prevent it from vaporizing so easily.
10. Check the Oil Level
You shouldn’t use the mower with a very low oil level. It can cause potential damage to the engine, and sometimes it can cause an explosion. Besides, you shouldn’t overflow the oil tank as well.
So, these are the tips that can help you prevent a mower explosion. Besides, you should also keep the mower clean and dry.
Additionally, you need to store it in a clean place for safety as well.
What to Do If Your Mower Explodes
I have learned what to do in such a situation, and I’ll share that with you too. Just make sure to follow the below measure if you find that your mower is about to explode or just explode.
- When you see that the mower has started getting on fire, simply plug it off from the electric source and come to a safe place from it.
- If you’re near the mower when it explodes, move away as soon as possible to a safe distance.
- If the explosion causes a fire or if anyone is injured, you should immediately call emergency services.
- In any case, if a fire has started as a result of the explosion, try to use a fire extinguisher to contain it.
- If the fire is spreading rapidly, do not attempt to fight it yourself; try to evacuate the area and wait for the fire department.
- You need to warn people about the potential danger and keep them away from the area if someone is nearby.
- You should also prevent access to the area where the explosion occurred to prevent further injuries or accidents.
- Do not touch any debris or parts from the exploded mower, as they may be hot or damaged.
- If anyone is injured, administer first aid if you are trained to do so. Otherwise, wait for medical professionals to arrive.
Once the situation is under control and everyone is safe, contact a professional mower repair service. It’s better to investigate the cause of the explosion.
You need to take steps to understand the cause of the explosion and prevent it from happening again in the future.
Also, you shouldn’t take any type of risk or try to handle the matter lightly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are gas-powered mowers more prone to explosions than electric mowers?
Gas-powered mowers have a slightly higher risk of explosions due to the presence of flammable fuel. As electric mowers are powered by electricity, they have a lower risk in comparison.
Can a hot engine lead to an explosion?
A hot engine itself is not likely to cause an explosion, but a hot engine combined with fuel leaks or accumulation of flammable vapors can create conditions conducive to an explosion. So, if you notice a hot engine, you need to check if there are any other issues besides it.
Can a backfire lead to an explosion?
Generally. A simple backfire doesn’t cause an explosion. But if the backfire ignites because of fuel vapors, it could potentially lead to an explosion. In such a case, you need to be sure of the source of the backfire.
As we have seen, a lawn mower explosion is the cause of poor maintenance, clipping inside the mower, gasoline issues, fuel issues, electric malfunction, and flammable material near the mower.
Usually, a mower doesn’t get on fire so commonly. But if you are not sincere about its maintenance and take everything lightly, you may have to face such a dangerous situation.
I will suggest you be more careful, especially with the mower maintenance and storage. If somehow you face such an accident, never ever compromise with the safety measure.
Hopefully, you have got the point. Thank you for your time.