It ain’t easy being green (original, eh?)

I think it was six years ago, when the mower that came with the house decided to try to rip my arm off when I tried to start it, that we decided to get a cordless electric mower. The local choices at the time were pretty much Black & Decker or a mysterious brand called Elf. We bought a Black & Decker. So for years the mower was quiet, very easy to use and functional.

But this year it soon became obvious that the battery was on its last legs. After about five minutes it would lose power and slow down, then continue a slow loss of power until it pretty much wasn’t doing much. OK. So, I call the Black & Decker repair facility (I’d been there before over a recall issue) inquiring about a battery. $114 and I was happy to find out they could have it sent directly to me. So it arrives and I install it. Great. Except that it wasn’t working very well. The mower ran slow and lacked real power. So I took it apart again. Voltmeter showed the battery at 24 volts (what it is supposed to be putting out. However, when I turned it on the voltage dropped to 19 volts—not good. The “battery” is actually two 12 volt batteries hooked up in series. So I disconnected the bridge wire and found that one battery was reading 14 volts and the other 10. One battery was bad and they’re glued together.

So I called the B & D place again and they want me to bring it in. The main problem with this is that the place is 15 miles away down a very busy street. So they take it in and will make it great for $90. Whee. I get the call that it is ready and head back out to pick it up. I am at first confused because it isn’t my mower they wheel out. It is a refurbished (I suppose) newer model. Fine by me; I pay and leave.

First thing I notice is that the charger light never changes from red (charging) to green (charged). I use the mower and it seems kinda slow but seems to be doing the job. I call about the charger light and am told to bring it in again. Then yesterday I cut the grass and in the middle of my rounds the mower suddenly and for no apparent reason, doubles in speed—sounding much more like it should. I stopped it at one point and when I turned it back on it was slow again. But after a couple of minutes, again for no apparent reason, it speeds up again.
So today, I made the exciting trek again. I’ll get to do so again next week too. It better freaking work this time!

The only thing keeping me from being totally cheesed is that gas is $0.30 cheaper out there.

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2 Responses to It ain’t easy being green (original, eh?)

  1. Kate H. says:

    I can sympathize. You can read my adventures of replacing the battery in my Black & Decker cordless here

    http://sowsearhouse.blogspot.com/2007/05/goodlie-heritage.html

    and what came of it here:

    http://sowsearhouse.blogspot.com/2007/06/bits-and-pieces.html

    and what I did about it here:

    http://sowsearhouse.blogspot.com/2007/06/working-on-edge.html

    Or just click on the tag “lawn mower.”

    I’ll be interested to know how your saga turns out. Cordless mowers are great to have– as long as they work.

  2. n54th says:

    It’s nice to hear we’re not alone (er, I think …).

    I like how your early model B&D was a pleasing green while ours and all the current B&D models I’ve seen are this screaming orange. Eeeep. Will let you know how it goes.

    That reel mower is looking better and better.

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