Drastically diminished performance for mower

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I purchased the LM2001 mower last fall and it worked fine all last year. This spring, I'm seeing clumps of mashed grass when mulching and lots of cut grass still on the lawn when bagging. Any ideas why this could occur ? The grass is dry and not too tall (cutting at #4 position, there is only a little more than an inch to be cut).
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Ashok

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Posted 5 years ago

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Sharon Beasley

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I always bag mine so have not tried the mulched to know how it works.  Hope you get a solution.
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Ashok

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Slight correction: the last line should be "a little *less* than an inch to be cut".
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Blue Angel, Champion

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When was the last time you sharpened the blade? A sharp blade makes a huge difference.
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David Cline

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A dull blade could be part of the problem, but it sounds like something else is the source of these issues. If blade rotation is slowed because it is not cutting cleanly through grass, it wouldn't create as much vacuum to suck clippings into the bag, but shouldn't lead to clumping of dry grass when mulching. Plus you would be able to hear the slowdown, and you would also have reduced run time and possibly see a flashing orange overload warning light.

If you look at the underside of the deck when you notice the clumps or grass left on the lawn, you'll have a better idea where the source of the problem is. If you see grass sticking to the top or sides of the plastic underside of the deck, the blade is probably not the issue.

Another possibility is something in the opening between the mowing deck and bag. This could obstruct flow into the bag and keep the mulching plug from sitting in the slot correctly, which would leave a lip for clumps of grass to collect when mulching.

The fact that the deck is plastic means that sticks, rocks, pine cones, etc can leave scratches that could give grass places to cling and eventually reduce performance. A very fine grit sandpaper (800+) can help smooth any abrasions, and spraying an anti-stick coating on a clean, dry deck and allowing to dry fully can help as well.
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Ashok

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Thanks for the tips. I sharpened the blade and gave the underside of the deck a coat of Teflon. There no clumping on the ground now but the deck still has a thick coat of mushed grass. It's thickest along the rim at the same level as the blade. I've to stop and clean it out every twenty minutes or so when the mower sound changes.

I think there's some redesign required here. Either the blade or the deck or both need to be revisited. All in all, not a very positive experience.
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David Cline

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I would definitely wash the grass off and then apply a second coat or try a different product once the deck is dry. Unless you are cutting soaking wet grass, you should be able to keep it from sticking if you get the right product.

There is another recent question on this site about what product to use on the deck where I posted the details of a graphite spray product I use that is working really well for me.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Interesting... Here's my mower deck I've cut my grass about a dozen times and have yet to clean it :



Oh, and I don't use any product to improve the situation, I just pulled it out of the box and started cutting.
(Edited)
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Wayne

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Mine is a grass magnet I have to scrape to get the dry grass off. It builds up on the rim just above the blade and can actually cause the blade to slow down. So know O know to clean the entire deck after each mow.
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Official Response
Interesting. Are you guys with grass build up problems seeing this for the first time on any mower you've used, or is this simply been a problem since switching to the Ego mower?


If it's a problem only since switching to the Ego mower did previous lawnmowers use a mulching blade?


I'm curious because my mower deck seems to only collect grass directly above the mulching part of the blade, the perimeter of the deck is fairly clean.


I wonder maybe also if the soil type in the area has anything to do with it. Several lawnmower reviews I've read recently comment on models that use a composite deck instead of steel, wondering if sandy soil will eventually abrade the deck away.


If Sandy soil is a concern and deck abrasion is taking place it would wear away the smooth finish of the plastic leaving a rough surface that grass could easily stick to. My soil, if you could call it that, is more topsoil and clay-based so that may not be an issue for me.

Of course the issue with steel decks on sandy soil us they get sandblasted and rust out very quickly. Darned if you do, darned if you don't!
(Edited)
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Jimmy McPherson

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I had a B&D battery mower that I only used in the mulch setting. No problems. The EGO 20" mower starts rumbling and needs to be cleaned halfway through a 30 x 50 lawn. I suggest a plastic garden trowel that I also use on the snowblower to clean the bulk of the grass off, then wash it with the hose. I will say that the grass has been tall, I mow once a week, but I've never experienced such a rapid build up in 60 years of mowing lawns. The EGO grass chute will not work with the cutting height at the maximum and the uncut grass about 1- 1.5" taller than the setting. It just piles up against the uncut grass. I have tall fescue grass and live in the Washington, D.C. suburbs.
(Edited)
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Jacob

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Mulch it, throw the side discharge chute in a dark corner.

Shapen your blade.

Problem should go away.
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Sharon Beasley

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I have had no loss of power from collected grass clippings and I am not good to remember to clean the blade area after I use the mower.   Even when I am week behind on the mowing schedule, I still don't have that problem and I have the deck set low.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Having said what I said above, I guess it is important for me to keep in mind that I only bought my mower late in the season and was mowing fairly dry grass. I hope not, but maybe I will see more grass build up mowing in the spring when things are usually a little bit more damp.
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Vince

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Interesting - especially the photo! My deck is nearly that clean AFTER I clean it post cut! I usually cut dry, but the amount sticking seems pretty consistent even when damp. I may try a really thorough clean and then apply a Teflon spray. Couldn't hurt. As of now, the grass forms a ring around the blade that reaches inward to about an inch away from the blade. It also collects in the lower left corner of the chute to the bag.

I never checked our gas mower. Since switching to battery, I've been more diligent about the blade and the deck since it all affects run time significantly.

I'm betting the grass species is the big differentiator here. A grass like Zoysia would (I imagine) be dryer than something like fescue. Obviously, grass holding more water would stick more.

Great, like I need another reason to want Zoysia!!
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Papajack

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Try "FLUID FILM" this should help.  Saw it recommended somewhere on this site.  I spray underneath and the blade.  Seemed to work so far. 
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bloomz

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I got some of this stuff this weekend, Lowes had it, sprayed the heck out of it.  Grass still built up, but it came off in clumps just using the bottom of my shoe.
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David Cline

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So you kicked your mower's grass?
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Jason Mondale

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I too use a WD40 Silicone spray after each mowing, run over the blade with the Garden Sharpener sold by Amazon and have had no problems keeping the under-deck looking like new!  (First season. love it so far!)

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