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  • 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

    I've got the 18V compact Ridgid lith-ion drill. the problem I have is the batteries seem to "soften" over time. I've tried running both batteries down completely and recharging them. After that the drill has TONS of snort - enough that I can hardly stall the chuck by hand.

    After a few days sitting on the bench not being used, i can easily stall the chuck by hand. Interestingly, running the drill for a while some of the grunt comes back! Both batteries behave identically - I can't imagine I've got a pair of bad batteries???

    Everything I've read about lith-ion is that they /don't/ discharge by sitting - yet mine seem to? any ideas? or is it off to the repair facility for new batteries? I have to say when the batteries are full - the drill works excellent.

    bmoney

  • #2
    Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

    About how long have you had the batteries? They may be under warranty and also if they are pretty new and you have the receipt, I would try taking back the whole drill kit to Home Depot for exchange. If the batteries self discharged over a few months that would be one thing but if they do so in less than a week they need to be replaced.

    If you end up taking them to a service center, be sure to take your charger too. It may not really be fully charging up your batteries.

    Finding a service center in your area - http://www.ridgid.com/MenuDriver.asp...enters&Code=PT

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

      Welcome to the forum.
      I agree with the Howler! We use both the Ridgid 24V and 18V LI batts and it has been our experiance that they will self discharge somewhat over two to three weeks. They are both very usable with the slight discharge however. Since I have a tendency to grab a tool and work with it rather than perform stall tests I can't comment on that aspect. I don't recommend continued stall tests with any cordlless drill as it puts undue loads on the motor and battery system and may shorten the life of the tool.
      We have three of the Ridgid 18V LI compact drills and they are one of my favorite drills ever. We work them very hard in drywall and mortor dust, rain, snow and yes hail! We only use the 1.5Ah batts and power and run time are excellent. I suggest working the tool and if you observe an excessive discharge during a short period of time and the tool is under 90 days return the entire set to HD for exchange, if it is over 90 days, do the service center thing.
      Sometimes having information on what a person does and where they live helps with providing assistance for problems......Ray
      Last edited by roadrashray; 10-16-2008, 06:20 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

        Do you happen to be in extreme temperatures, either hot or cold? That could have an effect. However, what you are describing does not sound like what we'd expect to see. One nice thing about Lithium Ion is that it holds a charge pretty well. Since you are not seeing that, I agree with these guys. Either take the tool in and exchange (if in the 90 days) or head to a service center.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

          Li-ion batteries, depending on chemistry, capacity, temperature and age, self-discharge up to 20% per month and lose 20% capacity per year.

          Self-discharge however, should not affect the current they can supply, unless the battery had too many charge-discharge cycles.

          How many times have you charged this battery?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

            The drill is used in a car audio installation shop - from things like mounting speakers and subwoofers to drilling through firewalls and such and many things in between.

            Interestingly in using it quite a bit today - the drill doesn't seem to lack "jam" by any stretch. If there was a time it would "lack" would have been today's use...and it doesn't seem to have done so....

            I guess I'm reading too much into the stall tests. Ironically I would think there is a LOT more stress ripping 1.25" woodscrews into 0.75" mdf than a stall test ever would....but what do I know

            Last question - these drills have a "cut out" feature do they not? It seems as the battery is getting low - and loading it down it will shut down. Releasing the trigger and waiting a second it "comes back". It would seem this is a battery protection mechanism - or?

            bmoney

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

              Originally posted by hamiltonaudio View Post
              The drill is used in a car audio installation shop - from things like mounting speakers and subwoofers to drilling through firewalls and such and many things in between.

              Interestingly in using it quite a bit today - the drill doesn't seem to lack "jam" by any stretch. If there was a time it would "lack" would have been today's use...and it doesn't seem to have done so....

              I guess I'm reading too much into the stall tests. Ironically I would think there is a LOT more stress ripping 1.25" woodscrews into 0.75" mdf than a stall test ever would....but what do I know

              Last question - these drills have a "cut out" feature do they not? It seems as the battery is getting low - and loading it down it will shut down. Releasing the trigger and waiting a second it "comes back". It would seem this is a battery protection mechanism - or?

              bmoney
              (1) 1.25" screws into 0.75" MDF is easy work for this bad boy. Before impact tools we used to run 3-4" screws into treated wood all day.
              (2) LI batts can be recharged at any time. They don't have a false floor problem like the NiCads.
              (3) Battery features from the owners manual......
              BATTERY PROTECTION FEATURES
              RIDGID 18 V lithium-ion batteries are designed with features
              that protect the lithium-ion cells and maximize battery life.
              Under some operating conditions, these built-in features
              may cause the battery and the tool it is powering to act
              differently from nickel-cadmium batteries.
              During some applications, the battery electronics may signal
              the battery to shut down, and cause the tool to stop running.
              To reset the battery and tool, release the trigger and resume
              normal operation.
              NOTE: To prevent further shut down of the battery, avoid
              forcing the tool. Switching to a lower speed will also prevent
              shut down.
              If releasing the trigger does not reset the battery and tool,
              the battery pack is depleted. If depleted, the battery pack will
              begin charging when placed on the lithium-ion charger.
              Get those big woofers installed. Hope this helps....Ray

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

                oh I know the drilling is easy work - but there's a heck of a lot more labour there than my bare hand and produce - that was my point

                I never did get a manual set with the drill - I actually went back to the store but my set was the last one and I wasn't going to drive all over town....and just forgot about it really...I figured the cutoff was a feature

                I don't really stress out the drill - and it performs well - it just seemed a little odd...I guess not

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

                  You can download the owners manual from here:
                  http://www.ridgid.com/ASSETS/250D08F...06_094_Man.pdf

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

                    My 18V Li-ion drill is 6 months old. With fully charged batteries I can stall the drill by hand, this is with the clutch set about 16 or higher (not enough power to even slip the clutch). This drill is just used around the house and has not been abused. One thing I noticed from new is that I would get the occasional spark from the brush area, my guess is that my problem is related. I have a service center a couple of miles from work so I guess I get to test the warranty. I thought I was getting a good tool with the Ridgid name, not so sure now

                    John

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

                      If you use it daily for 6 month, your batteries are wearing out. Just a suggestion: use an impact driver to drive screws. Get a dewalt DC827 with a nano battery or makita BTP140 hybrid. Makita is probably better for your application because it has a clutch for fine work, and it has a drill mode for predrilling holes in metal.

                      If you can, take advantage of warranty and get your batteries replaced. 1 bad cell in a li-ion battery will cause BMS (battery management system) go nuts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

                        Originally posted by Mamushka View Post
                        My 18V Li-ion drill is 6 months old. With fully charged batteries I can stall the drill by hand, this is with the clutch set about 16 or higher (not enough power to even slip the clutch). This drill is just used around the house and has not been abused. One thing I noticed from new is that I would get the occasional spark from the brush area, my guess is that my problem is related. I have a service center a couple of miles from work so I guess I get to test the warranty. I thought I was getting a good tool with the Ridgid name, not so sure now

                        John
                        John......Welcome to the forum. Sorry your having a problem with the Ridgid 18V LI drill. Based on our history with the 18V LI compact drill, you do have a good tool. We have three of them and work them very hard every day in filthy house rehab projects. Unfortunately mechanical devices can and will develop problems occaisionaly.
                        I can't offer any suggestions as to why the batteries are so weak. I am going to assume they are fully charged. I don't agree with the suggestion that they would be "worn out" from daily work over a six month period. Especially when you state "the drill is just used around the house."
                        We have been using Ridgid 18V LI 1.5Ah batts for a year and a half and work them hard every day in drills, impact tools, jig saws and work lights with no noticable decline in performance to this point. Since it's happening to both batteries I might suspect the charger. The service center is going to want the drill, charger and both batteries to determine what is causing the problem.
                        Oh.....Sparks form the brush area is normal, especially during break in as the brushes seat. The electric brake also causes sparks from the brushes when you release the trigger.
                        Good luck....Ray

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

                          Originally posted by roadrashray View Post
                          John......Welcome to the forum. Sorry your having a problem with the Ridgid 18V LI drill. Based on our history with the 18V LI compact drill, you do have a good tool. We have three of them and work them very hard every day in filthy house rehab projects. Unfortunately mechanical devices can and will develop problems occaisionaly.
                          I can't offer any suggestions as to why the batteries are so weak. I am going to assume they are fully charged. I don't agree with the suggestion that they would be "worn out" from daily work over a six month period. Especially when you state "the drill is just used around the house."
                          We have been using Ridgid 18V LI 1.5Ah batts for a year and a half and work them hard every day in drills, impact tools, jig saws and work lights with no noticable decline in performance to this point. Since it's happening to both batteries I might suspect the charger. The service center is going to want the drill, charger and both batteries to determine what is causing the problem.
                          Oh.....Sparks form the brush area is normal, especially during break in as the brushes seat. The electric brake also causes sparks from the brushes when you release the trigger.
                          Good luck....Ray
                          It all depends on application, my post was just my opinion based on symptoms. You are right, if it's occasional work then they are not worn unless they have been exposed to high temperatures or very high loads.

                          I suggest you stick a used and a new battery in incandescent lights at the same time and see how much runtime you get out of old battery. After 1.5 years, if you charged that battery at least once a day on average, 250 times a year, you should have about 70% of original capacity which is not bad.

                          As for his case, I also suspect that the trigger switch might be bad.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

                            Originally posted by DRC-Wartex View Post
                            It all depends on application, my post was just my opinion based on symptoms. You are right, if it's occasional work then they are not worn unless they have been exposed to high temperatures or very high loads.

                            I suggest you stick a used and a new battery in incandescent lights at the same time and see how much runtime you get out of old battery. After 1.5 years, if you charged that battery at least once a day on average, 250 times a year, you should have about 70% of original capacity which is not bad.

                            As for his case, I also suspect that the trigger switch might be bad.
                            DR.......Your estimate regarding the state of our batteries certainly could be correct. The truth is we use them to make a living and as long as they are functioning at an acceptable level we don't care about the esoterics. Each crew will typically have a bag of 18V cordless tools and four 18V LI batts and a bag of 24V cordless tools and four 24V batts. If a battery is used during the day it is set aside and charged overnight. Crews are working and don't pay much attention to a battery going dead as they just grab another and continue. Probably the performance has deteriorated as everything I have read about LI batts would indicate they lose a certain amount of capacity each year. To this point it couldn't be a great loss or one of the guys would bring it in and say "this thing is a piece of ****" which is crew talk for "it no longer functions in an acceptable manner."
                            Strictly from a hypothetical standpoint, I wonder how much deterioration Ridgid would consider acceptable before they would replace the battery. If a battery has a drill no load run time of 20 minutes when new, will they replace the batt when the run time reaches 15 minutes, 10 minutes? Do you have access to any of their product engineers or product mgrs? It would be interesting to find out if they have a standard.......Ray

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 18V Lithium Ion drill problem?

                              I thought I'd respond back after having had both batteries and charger replaced. What a TREMENDOUS difference....there's no doubting that they were the issue.

                              The drill now spins faster than I've ever heard it go and I cannot easily stall a freshly charged battery the way I used to. And the best of all - even sitting on the bench for a couple days at a time, a fresh charge stays fresh much much longer...

                              All in all I now see what the drill was supposed to be....and its a lot better than my initial feelings about it

                              bmoney

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