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About 5 years ago, I purchased a Craftsman riding mower. Last summer, I had had to charge the battery before I could get it started each week. I assumed the battery was going bad after that much time and replaced it. It worked great the first 2 times I mowed, then dead again. I'm now assuming I have a bad part or short somewhere? What might be draining my battery when not in use? Model # 247.288851. Thanks
 

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Not too many things that can do, it...Try lifting one lead of the charged up battery, when all is OFF...see spark when retouching the terminal ? Must see...Then start removing terminals on solenoid and key switch [plug on back].. each time retesting for spark , till shows spark is gone...also the alternators rectifyer module, should be disconnected....when spark is gone, you found the culprit..
 

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As stated above, it could be the rectifier/voltage regulator. And it may not be from a current drain - it could just be as simple as it's not charging at all when the engine is running. Then, every time you crank the starter the battery charge level gets lower and lower until it is dead. This would be my first guess.

You can get an inexpensive multimeter that measures DC voltage for $10-15.

After letting it sit overnight without any charge or discharge on it, measure the battery voltage.

Full = 12.65V or higher
Half-empty = 12.4V
Dead = 12.1V or lower

With the engine running at a high rpm, measure the voltage across the battery terminals. It should be above 13.5V. If the voltage stays under 13V after several minutes of the engine running, you're not getting any charge (or you have a bad battery that has one or more shorted cells in it).

I'd get a 1.5A battery trickler charger/maintainer and keep it on the battery at all times between mowings. You can buy one of these for $15-50 depending upon the brand. Even if you don't get a charge while mowing, the battery will be just fine and will last a long time if you connect it back up to the charger between mowings.
 

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Looking through the owners manual shows it is not a Electric PTO model. This machine should not draw a lot of power in use. I agree with the guys, check to see if you have a good charging system. I am wondering if you have another issue like another bad battery?? Also could be key switch not turning off internally, letting the fuel cut off solenoid stay on??
 
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