Not Ready for Southern Lawns

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  • Updated 12 months ago
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This mower is not built for southern lawns, the wheels are too small even on the highest setting it is far to low for a turf grass where the wheels sink into the turf. The mower blade is made out of garbage metal and will not hold an edge. I cannot get more than 5 mowings without having to resharpen the blade which is ridiculous. The battery is good, the mower cuts well when the blade is brand newly sharpened and the grass is sparse, but at the height of the growing season we pride ourselves on a lush lawn and this mower is unable to handle it. In order to finish a 7,000 square foot yard I have to recharge the battery 3 times, thank goodness the battery recharges fast otherwise I am not sure how I would be reacting. You have a decent product, but one mower does not work on such different lawn types and maybe you should have held off until you were ready for a southern lawn.
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Ed Caffrey

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  • like I want a gas powered mower.

Posted 4 years ago

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Tim1951

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I live in the Houston area and have St. Augustine grass so I live in the southern part of the country with a southern lawn. Granted my yard is not as large as your lawn but the Ego mower works very well for me.
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e_egouser

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Tim1951, I know your post is 2 yrs old, but I'm interested to hear how you've been so successful with cutting St. Augustine.  I live in Houston and have had terrible experience last summer with my 20" Ego leaving blades of grass uncut requiring several additional passes.  This is after replacing the blade with new original model.  I have cut height set at 4-5.  Ego has not been able to help me.  Any suggestions?
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Sid Parish

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I don't see why you could not put larger wheel
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Sid Parish

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I live in Pensacola Florida and I am well satisfied with my 20 inch EGO power plus 56 volt
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Egocentric

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It hacks down my northern weed patch quite fine.  No complaints with the 20 inch with the mulching plug in.  
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Brian Carcich

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Main points:

1. Satisfaction will be dependent on expectations
2. Another problem with the EGO in the south is temperature, probably combined with inadequate cooling in the mower.
3. The EGO is only suitable for a small lawn (1/6 or 1/8 acre), or for someone who is willing to go through several charges to finish a bigger lawn, and to never let their lawn grow to much - probably need to mow twice a week for part of the summer.
4. I agree with the OP that this mower is not suitable for the south, unless you have a fairly small lawn and can mow when the temperature is not too high.
5. e_egouser:  adjust your expectations.

TL;DR

If you bring expectations from gas-powered mowers, the ego will be a severe disappointment.

We have had an EGO for about five years.  The benefits of electric charging and a bit quieter than gas, exercise, even never having to mow for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, have been nice.  It was always obvious that this mower does not have the oomph I was used to from gas, but then I had adjusted my expectations to deal with that. 

We already went through one major repair:  switches and/or safeties had to be replaced as we could not start the mower under any circumstances; that was after only about three years of use.
 
Recently, the mower has been stopping, especially on hot days.  We tried putting ice in ziploc bags next to the battery, but today was the straw that broke the camel's back.  We had one section that was similar to the 7,000 sq. ft. mentioned by the OP.  I doubt that it is St. Augustine, just "grass."  Half of it was a bit overgrown, but I could keep the EGO light in the green/yellow zone by walking slowly, and by using only half or a third of the deck - this is roughly the same as mowing at a higher setting and re-mowing a second time i.e. mow less grass on each pass.  People who suggest strategies like that (e.g. see [a] Typical Engineer below) do not understand the low esteem in which many of us hold the mowing activity.

The problem was the temperature; it was 80deg and sunny.  At first it ran fine where the grass was thinner not overgrown, having been mowed the week before, and I got maybe half an hour before needing a recharge.  But, once I moved into the thicker stuff, it got to the point where it would shut down after about 60-70 steps, one loop around the remaining rectangle (and remember, I am only mowing half of the width, or less, of the deck at a time).  The yellow light would come on, and the mower would not start for about two minutes - I suspect that is the timeout after an over-temperature event.  So, 60-70 (very slow) steps, two minutes waiting, and then after a few of those cycles it goes red and I have to recharge; maybe 15-20 minutes.  I put up with this for one charge, then checked and sharpened the blade.  The sharper blade seemed to allow me to move not quite so slowly, but it was still 60 slow steps and then two minutes wait, and then a recharge after not much lawn mowed.  So I am a few hours into this, frustrated, there is another 15,000 or so of thinner lawn to do (2-3 charges, based on experience), and again, my life does not revolve around the lawn.  I only mow for the exercise and to ensure we do not get chiggers; minimizing the time spent doing this is paramount, but I am willing to give up a bit for the electric operation, quiet, etc. - again, satisfaction depends on expectations.

By this time it is up to about 90deg; hot but not unbearable.  I put the EGO away, get out the old gas mower which has not been run for two or three years, check the oil, put in some gas, and try to start it up.  Instead it is leaking gas from around the carburetor.  No big deal, I raise it up and siphon the gas from the tank to slow the leak, get out my tools, take off the air filter housing, remove the bowl, jiggle the float and needle, put the bowl back on, the leak stopped and it starts first pull.  I put the rest of it back together, and go out and cut the rest of the grass (est. 3,500 sq. ft., and with a dull blade, probably) at a nearly normal walking speed and using the full width of the deck, in about 5-10 minutes.  Now, I know not everyone has those skills, but I had them by the time I was ten so they are not complex.  I could not even begin to fix anything in the EGO (maybe bypass a few safeties;-), and you can read other posts about weeks of downtime if repairs are needed.  That is what the EGO is competing against; IMNSHO it does not do well in comparison.

Don't get me wrong, we will try to keep using it, wait for cooler times of day, etc.  But it is capable of maybe 10-25% of what a gas mower can do, so you have to want it i.e. satisfaction depends on expectations.  If you have a garden and can afford the extra time it will take the EGO to make it look nice, fine; if you have a lawn, adjust your expectations.
(Edited)
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Bill Menzel

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I have an Ego dual battery self-propelled lawn mower and I am using two 7.5 ah batteries.  I cut a hilly 8,500sq ft of Kentucky blue grass.  I cut it at 31/2 inches.  It is very thick.  I live near Syracuse N.Y where the  temperatures in July and August are in the 80's and 90's and very humid.  When I finish my lawn I charge the batteries on two rapid charges.  They usually charge in less than 20minutes which mean I am using less that have a charge for each battery.  I cut at a pretty rapid pace and the engine and batteries never get hot and the orange light never comes on. It mulches pretty good too.   See below video for a demonstration of this lawn mower.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd85zB-59Wo



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szwoopp, Champion

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Live in the Chicago area.  Have mowed in 90+ degree high humidity without issue.
How tall is the grass you are mowing.   My mower has never shown yellow or orange or overheated in anyway. 
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Brian Carcich

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Dunno why humidity would matter, but okay, I probably have similar humidity here in Tidewater VA (weather conditions are similar today with Chi Town and SYR - btw, I am an Upstate NY native:  over 40y between Schenectady and Ithaca).  I didn't measure, but grass was maybe 2-4in taller than the cut height; maybe it is much thicker than others, so that height number is just that, a number, it doesn't provide a comparison with your lawn.

My point is that the gas mower mowed at least 3-4 times faster (22" or more deck full width gas walking normal pace with gas, vs. 7-10" of deck walking *very* slow with ego).

It's nice they moved to a dual battery unit; that should help.  We have a single-battery unit, 56V, 4Ah.


(Edited)
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szwoopp, Champion

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Cutting off 4 inches of grass sounds like work for a string trimmer or sickle.

Yes you can certainly cut it with a gas mower and it will take it, doesn't mean it is the intended purpose of the tool.  And I have had gas mowers choke on excess input as well.

I do not think the problems have anything to do with Southern lawns or outdoor temperature. 
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Brian Carcich

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2-4" is not the same as 4" all over.

Other threads discuss overheating, so maybe mine is a lemon and over-susceptible to heat; we do not notice this issue in cooler weather.  Consistent, two minute minimum recovery suggests that timing is by design.

My point remains that gas is far more powerful; I agree that gas can get bogged down as well, but it takes a heck of a lot more.
(Edited)
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Oregon Mike, Champion

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Ok, so gas is far more powerful. You know that. Are you willing to work within the limitations of a battery powered mower so you don't have to deal with fuel, oil, maintenance involved with both of those? These mowers are pretty powerful. I recently, and on purpose, mowed soaking wet 10" tall grass in my backyard with my 21" push EGO mower set on height setting 3. When I took my time, and cleaned the underside of the deck frequently while mowing, and emptied the bag regularly, everything went very smoothly and the mower didn't stop. If I forced it in to a tall wet part of the grass and tried to go through quickly the mower would bog and stop with flashing orange light. Just like it's supposed to. 
Temperature and humidity probably don't have a lot to do with how the mower is performing. Especially if you stay within its capabilities. Try not to mow more than an inch off at a time. Work with a dry lawn whenever possible. I've mowed at 100F and the mower works just fine.
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Ken, Champion

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I've been mowing in near-100-degree heat for three seasons now and have never had an overheating problem.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Brian, I think the issue may be related to your use of the word “recently”. I’m not saying your 20” Ego is as powerful as your gas mower, but it sure sounds like it’s not as powerful as it used to be, or is supposed to be.

I forget now after reading through so much... do you have more than one battery?
Love the idea of the electric mower. Pleased to not need service except a blast sharpened. However, this mower does not have the power to get through healthy St. Augustine grass. My husband tried for a couple of years then had to go get a gas powered mower. You cannot set the height high enough or the wheels jus don't allow smooth action on such thick grass.
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(a)Typical Engineer

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If he tried for a couple of years, that must be the gen 1 20" mower, 600W motor with the 4.0 battery.  One technique I would suggest is to pull the mower backwards over the difficult sections.  I let the yard go for six weeks one time, and it was way over grown, so rather than put it at the  tallest height, then cut, then move down a notch, then cut; instead I drug the mower backwards over the entire yard, and then once that first pass was done, I was able to mow forward normally.

I have really health Zoisha in one part of my yard, and the first few times I tried to cut it, if I drove the mower forward, it would absolutely just stop dead in its tracks.  After cutting it down a few times, it was then short enough that I could run forward over it.  However, there are parts of my yard that when it gets over grown, I do what Ed said below which is to modulate the cut height by tilting the mower back.  Once the mower has made the first cut, you can usually go back and fourth to finish it up with the final cut height.
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Brian Carcich

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Dear (a) Typical Engineer,

Your suggested time-consuming multiple-pass strategies only confirm the original poster's statement:  it's a nice piece of technology, but you have to want it; this just ain't a gas mower.
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Ed Caffrey

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I did find one help is to lift up on the handle. If you push down it simply bogs down, but with upward pressure on the handle it works much better.
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(a)Typical Engineer

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This technique applies to string trimmers too, if you have really tall grass weeks and drive it into the base of the grass, you will bog down and stop the trimmer.  If you attack it from the top and cut a little and then drop lower, you'll get to the base in no time.  Tilting the mower back on the first pass of the day is applying this same technique.