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Thread: Like new battery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri

    Like new battery

    So I have a cordless lithium-ion drill that I keep up at the shop. I use it quite a bit, but over the winter months, not so much. So one of the batteries has sat on the charger ready to use for a month or so. I was working on a project last week and needed to swap batteries only to find the one sitting on the charger was dead. I tried taking it off and putting it back on several times only to have the charger flash once and the light go out, meaning it wasn't going to charge the battery.

    Well I got to doing a search for replacement batteries, which were coming out to about $70 each. Now I wouldn't have done that as I can buy a whole new impact driver with a charger and two of the same batteries I use in my drill for about $105 (which I plan to buy anyway at some point ). However I saw an article about how many of the lithium-ion batteries have a safe-guard circuit built in that will not allow a battery to re-charge if it reads 0 volts. Typically, from my understanding, this is because the battery could have allowed copper to settle causing a bridge which may short between the plates causing harm to the charger, etc. The article said that one could use a car battery charger and do a quick boost charge to bring the battery above the 0 volt level, which will get the charger to start charging the battery again.

    Well, with some long wires connected to the batter and taking some safety precautions, I gave it a try. A word of caution, try this at your own risk and don't overload the battery on your car charger, it only takes a few seconds. There are plenty of youtube videos showing the repercussions of overcharging a battery . I was charging 18 volt batteries with a 12 volt charger, one would not want to charge a smaller battery than the charger was designed for. Anyway, sure enough after about 5 seconds on the 12v/6 amp setting on my car charger it held enough of a charge to get the drill charger to charge it again. I've been using it in the shop all day long. Lesson learned, swap out your batteries on the charger often, they don't re-charge themselves automatically, at least mine doesn't.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    I charge my lithiums and then remove them but, this will vary with how smart your charger is. Glad you got it recovered. That is just like money towards your second tool.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Thanks for the tip. I've pretty much given up on my NiCad batteries, but I've got a drill and impact driver combo in LA that uses Lithium Ion, and as I recall, I've got a dead battery as the result of having a battery on the charger unused for 6 to 8 months. I'll have to give this trick a try.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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