How to Disable a Seat Switch on a Mower

Mary Lougee

Riding lawnmowers have a safety switch underneath the seat. The switch senses the weight of a person as they sit in the seat and closes an electrical circuit so the ignition switch will enable starting. This switch will also turn the lawnmower off if a person is riding and falls out of the seat.

Seat switches eventually wear out and do not enable the mower to start. Bypassing the switch enables the mower to start without weight in the seat.

  1. Turn the riding mower ignition key to the “Off” position.

  2. Place one hand on the back of the mower seat. Push it forward to raise the seat to reveal the safety switch wiring. There will be two wires attaching the switch to the seat bottom.

  3. Cut each of the two wires close to the switch with wire cutters.

  4. Place a pair of wire strippers on one wire about 1 inch from the loose end. Grip the wire with the wire cutters and pull out to remove the protective coating. Repeat this process for the second wire.

  5. Hold both wires side by side in one hand and twist the stripped copper wires together tightly in a clockwise motion.

  6. Wrap at least three revolutions of electrical tape around the wires in a clockwise direction. Press a wire nut onto the tape while turning it clockwise.

  7. Set the wires down on the mower under the seat, lift the seat back up to a sitting position.


Leave a longer length of wire near the seat safety switch if you want to reattach the switch in the future.


Bypassing the seat switch on a lawn mower will enable small kids to start a mower. Keep the ignition keys in an area inaccessible to kids.

Check out this related video from Homesteady on Youtube.