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  • Ridgid 24 volt battery self discharge?

    One of the reasons I like lithium powered tools is you the low discharge. I like the idea of not having to charge a tool if I haven't used it in a couple months. Unfortunately, my first experience with the Ridgid lithium batteries doesn't bear that out.

    I don't use my tools daily. I use them for projects. There can sometimes be 3 or 4 months between projects. Bought the 24 volt Ridgid set around Christmas. Today I was working in the lawn when I came upon a tree limb that had fallen. It was too heavy to haul off so I went for my Ridgid reciprocating saw. The battery in the saw, which I'm pretty sure I charged when I got the set, was dead. I reached in the bag and found a second battery which was likewise dead. I had to pull one of my old NiMh MaxHC batteries out of the fridge. It had enough charge left to finish the job.

    Anyone else a weekend warier like myself with similar experience?

    I just charged the two cells and will try them again in a couple months to see if this is typical.

  • #2
    Re: Ridgid 24 volt battery self discharge?

    A few weeks would be one thing, but three to four months seems like a long time for a battery to sit and still have a good charge. Especially if you just charged them the one time when you bought them and put them right in storage. I may be wrong, but aren't you supposed to fully charge and discharge your batteries a few times under a light load. maybe that has something to do with it too.. I know all of my old 18v nimh batteries for old drills never held a decent charge more than a week or so.

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    • #3
      Re: Ridgid 24 volt battery self discharge?

      Originally posted by Death By Spooork View Post
      A few weeks would be one thing, but three to four months seems like a long time for a battery to sit and still have a good charge. Especially if you just charged them the one time when you bought them and put them right in storage. I may be wrong, but aren't you supposed to fully charge and discharge your batteries a few times under a light load. maybe that has something to do with it too.. I know all of my old 18v nimh batteries for old drills never held a decent charge more than a week or so.
      Lithium Ion batteries have very low self discharge. If they aren't carrying any load they can hold 80-90% of their charge after a year. However, in many cases, there are battery monitors that draw a minuscule amount. If I leave my Lithium Ion battery in my camcorder it will be dead in a few months (because of the small current draw from the camcorder.) If I leave the battery on the shelf, it will have nearly almost a full charge a year later.

      You should never have to cycle a Lithium Ion battery. It does not help the batteries chemistry. However, I have heard of battery circuits that take several cycles to "figure out" the batteries level. This usually only effects the monitor that lets you know the capacity.

      I'm going to hope this was some weird fluke. If that isn't the case, I'm going to be very disappointed. I learned that you could greatly slow down the self-discharge rate of NiMh batteries by keeping them in the refrigerator. This has the added benefit of lengthening their life. The NiMh battery, that I pulled out of the fridge, had not been charged in at least as long as the Lithium....yet it had enough punch to do the job. Unfortunately, I can't expect the same results from refrigerating the lithium batteries. In fact, if I cooled them, they would be less efficient, but the charge circuit load would be the same...so they would die faster.

      I want to stress this could be some weird fluke. Perhaps something was pressing on the batteries monitor and it's LED level light stayed on. Perhaps I was mistaken about charging them (though I really doubt that one.)

      I'm going to make a note to check the battery level button once a month to see what happens.

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      • #4
        Re: Ridgid 24 volt battery self discharge?

        P.S.

        I learned a lot about batteries from my RC friends. They live or die by these things (or win or lose races by them.)

        I pulled a lithium poly RC battery out of the box this spring. I had forgotten about it and it was almost 3 years old. It still had 75% of it's capacity. I have no idea how I left it.

        NiMh's and NiCd's do reach full capacity after several cycles. It is also true that they can be greatly restored by charging at a very slow rate, which helps balance the pack. I've never seen that option on a tool charger...but many RC battery chargers have that capability. They have built in cycling which will slow charge, then discharge a battery pack several times, to "restore" it...or to initialize a new pack.

        I have used an RC battery charger to restore a NiCd battery pack, by slow charging it with an RC battery charger. Also, sometimes tool battery chargers will have a constant trickle charge...even if they indicate they aren't charging or won't charge a bad battery. You can sometimes fool the charger into restoring an old pack by leaving it on the charger even though it indicates the pack is bad and it isn't charging. The trick is to leave it on the charger for at least a day, then discharge it with the tool, then stick it back on the charger. A couple of these cycles can save a pack that you might otherwise pitch. If I recall, Ryobi's charger works this way.
        Last edited by Disaster; 04-03-2007, 10:28 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Ridgid 24 volt battery self discharge?

          My first Ridgid 24V LI tool set had the following characteristics:
          1)During the initial charging both batteries charged in about 15 minutes each. I thought that was a little strange but considered they may had been partially charged from some test at the factory.
          2)The first time I used them on a job one of the batteries was dead out of the bag after sitting overnight in freezing conditions. I thought maybe the battery was discharged from the overnight abuse. When I charged them they charged in aobut 15 minutes.
          3)Used the light one day for a total of less than an hour of run time and the battery was 3/4 discharged.
          4)Noticed over time that the batteries would self discharge. 1/4 discharge over a couple of weeks.
          5)Read a significant number of posts on this forum from other people having problems with 24V LI batteries with problem being resolved after replacing problem children with new ones. On poster stated that a Ridgid rep told him that a number of batteries with a bad cell had been shipped.
          6)Exchanged my R932 set at HD for a new one. Initial charge time for each battery was about 45 minutes. I havn't used the tools yet however have noticed no reduction in charge level of batteries in the last two weeks.
          7)Supposed to do a job next week which should test the staying power of the batteries. I'll report back when I have some more experiance.
          8)Maybe ProBrand could give us some insight into the 24V LI battery issue. When I e-mailed Ridgid a few weeks ago they responded that "there was no problem they were aware of."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ridgid 24 volt battery self discharge?

            Originally posted by roadrashray View Post
            My first Ridgid 24V LI tool set had the following characteristics:
            1)During the initial charging both batteries charged in about 15 minutes each. I thought that was a little strange but considered they may had been partially charged from some test at the factory.
            2)The first time I used them on a job one of the batteries was dead out of the bag after sitting overnight in freezing conditions. I thought maybe the battery was discharged from the overnight abuse. When I charged them they charged in aobut 15 minutes.
            3)Used the light one day for a total of less than an hour of run time and the battery was 3/4 discharged.
            4)Noticed over time that the batteries would self discharge. 1/4 discharge over a couple of weeks.
            5)Read a significant number of posts on this forum from other people having problems with 24V LI batteries with problem being resolved after replacing problem children with new ones. On poster stated that a Ridgid rep told him that a number of batteries with a bad cell had been shipped.
            6)Exchanged my R932 set at HD for a new one. Initial charge time for each battery was about 45 minutes. I havn't used the tools yet however have noticed no reduction in charge level of batteries in the last two weeks.
            7)Supposed to do a job next week which should test the staying power of the batteries. I'll report back when I have some more experiance.
            8)Maybe ProBrand could give us some insight into the 24V LI battery issue. When I e-mailed Ridgid a few weeks ago they responded that "there was no problem they were aware of."
            I recall reading at least one post on the batteries only charging for 15 minutes. Mine did not do that. I recall they took considerably longer. Also, I used the reciprocating saw and drill and still had plenty of juice left in one battery. This time they took about 45 minutes or more to charge so we'll see how they do in a couple months.

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