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  • 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

    I am left to wonder if the problem with all these batteries is a total fault of a badly designed battery, or is it a bad batch of chargers that kill of the battery before it's time?

    What I would like to know or catalog is the build date for the parts that are failing. Just to see if there is some common elements that might point to what the culprit is. Would be good to get a cross section of what is working and what does not.

    Mine are DOA. build 0932

    Sadly I went to 6 HD stores to see if I could find any other product that has that build date to see if those too were DOA, No luck.

    Matt.

  • #2
    Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

    I think the main problem is simply that the Ridgid compact 18V batteries don't have the capacity to run the tools the way they should, and the batteries are getting beat up pretty bad driving anything more than short drywall screw. My R86006 drills both shut off (battery overload protection) early any time I try to drive a screw longer than 2 inches in high gear...none of my other drills have ever had a problem sinking the head of a 3" screw in high, the ridgid won't come close. I'd probably try the big boy batteries if I could find any for sale locally...but those too seem to be scarce. I'm gonna find a way to test my new batteries if I ever get them to see what the Ah really is.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

      I don't believer there's as many defective batteries and chargers out there as is claimed.

      I do know that they are VERY sensitive to cold - if you've been outside in the cold and the battery dies, you gotta warm it up first before putting it on the charger or it will register as defective.

      Also, when the batteries are new, sometimes you have to fully discharge them BEFORE the first charge.

      I've bought quite a few kits to break up and sell the individual tools/batteries/chargers and I've always had working batteries out of the box. Had one case of a battery supposedly dead, but after discharging the little charge in it from the factory, the battery started to charge fine.

      I may be wrong, but I just CANNOT see all these batteries and chargers being actually DEFECTIVE by definition.

      Your mileage may vary......
      I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

        I recently purchased a new Ridgid compact kit and it would not charge out of the box so I returned it. I purchased the Milwaukee compact set instead and had no problems. Yes, I know Milwaukee and Ridgid batteries are the same.

        Last week I purchased a M12 kit and the batteries would not charge. I decided to warm them up inside the house overnight. I charged them the next day NO problem. I'd say it's a weather thing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

          Originally posted by tinmack View Post

          Also, when the batteries are new, sometimes you have to fully discharge them BEFORE the first charge.
          This is a myth and please stop spreading it. If you fully discharge a near-dead LiIon that has been sitting on the shelf for months, you will likely permanently ruin it.

          NEVER discharge a battery right out of the package!!! All manuals for LiIon say that you should charge the battery fully before first use. Way to spread misinformation, genius.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

            I'm not spreading disinformation, merely noting what others said solved their problems.

            Now go spew your vitriolic crap on your private little DeWalt site.
            I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

              I read the owner’s manual. Lower temperature limit is 32 degrees for the battery. Says to have charger at room temperature. Also says that if you put a cold battery on the charger at room temperature, the charger will “evaluate” until battery warms up. Then it changes to the fast charge mode.

              As Winter moved in my son and I had problems with an old 1.5 amp battery and a newer 3.0 amp battery. The garage was between 32 and 40 degress F. When placed on the charger, the "evalute" light came on but nothing happened (no charging). I read the owner's manual (talks about operating temperatures, etc.). I brought both the charger and the batteries up to room temperature. The large battery charged, the drill ran. I am guessing that it took a full charge; have not used it yet. The small one (one of the two originals) showed a green light after charging but was still dead when put back on the drill/driver. The other of the now replaced original batteries, a 1.5 amp/hr battery, would start to take a charge and then go "defective". When replaced on the charger several times it would eventually take a charge ( a real pain because you would have to re-check it after 15 mins.)


              I will take my charged but dead battery (and the drill and charger) to the service center for test/evaluation and hopefully battery replacement.
              Last edited by nwulff; 12-29-2009, 09:20 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

                Originally posted by tinmack View Post
                ...Also, when the batteries are new, sometimes you have to fully discharge them BEFORE the first charge...
                Originally posted by DRC-Wartex View Post
                This is a myth and please stop spreading it. If you fully discharge a near-dead LiIon that has been sitting on the shelf for months, you will likely permanently ruin it.

                NEVER discharge a battery right out of the package!!! All manuals for LiIon say that you should charge the battery fully before first use. Way to spread misinformation, genius.
                Once again, Wartex goes from accurately correcting a simple mistake, and making a nice clarification, to just being rude and hurling sarcastic insults. So not the way to go.

                Okay, yes, Wartex is correct with lithiums. You definitely don't want to overcharge/overdrain a lithium ion battery. And Tinmack is correct if you have ni-cad or niMH batteries.

                I think where the confusion is, is that it is a recommended thing to once in a while fully and completely drain the charge on the older chemistry batteries (by using a worklight with one of the batteries, for example, and leaving it on until there's no juice to light up the lightbulb). The reason for this is, is that nicad's especially had a tendency to get a "battery memory" (to be debated, also), and if you repeatedly charged the cells when they were only 1/2 drained, you start to cut their useable power, and can cause them to have less efficiency/charges/peak amperage down the line. And the issue with "battery memory" isn't so much that nowadays, it's more with excessive power draining and then overcharging, etc., but there's still openess as to whether "battery memory" is still an issue itself anymore - IMO, it is. That's one of the supposed advantages of lithium-ion battery technology - there isn't this drawback, as lithium-ions can be charged at any time (drained, 1/2 full, 3/4 full, etc.), with the cells not having a "battery memory" to them.

                There - hopefully that's cleared up. And all without being nasty.
                Last edited by canucksartech; 12-31-2009, 12:16 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

                  Originally posted by Matt in Oakville View Post
                  I am left to wonder if the problem with all these batteries is a total fault of a badly designed battery, or is it a bad batch of chargers that kill of the battery before it's time?

                  What I would like to know or catalog is the build date for the parts that are failing. Just to see if there is some common elements that might point to what the culprit is. Would be good to get a cross section of what is working and what does not.

                  Mine are DOA. build 0932

                  Sadly I went to 6 HD stores to see if I could find any other product that has that build date to see if those too were DOA, No luck.

                  Matt.
                  I have about 25 different Ridgid tools. With their cordless stuff, I have all the MaxSelect 18/24 volt tools except for the caulking gun (impact driver, recip saw, circ saw, jig saw, planer, MaxSelect compact radio, MaxSelect worklight from the 24 volt kit), the MaxSelect wet/dry vac, two of the 18 volt compact lithium-ion 1/2" drill/drivers [R86006] with a charger and two batteries each (1.5 Ah), the 24 volt XLi hammerdrill from the 4-piece 24 volt kit (with the 24 volt battery charger and two of the 24 volt XLi 3.0 Ah batteries), and the 12 volt lithium ion micros drill (with the charger and two batteries). I also used to have a whole bunch of the older 18 volt ni-cad tools (since end of 2005, start of 2006), but all of those I no longer have, after re-selling them and trading up to the lithium-ion line of stuff in the spring/summer of 2007. I have a bunch of the corded/non-cordless stuff also (5-gallon wet/dry vac, 3000 psi pressure washer, corded drills and saws, sanders, pneumatic brad nailers and finish staplers, twin-tank aluminum air compressor, etc.). Besides what I personally own, I have two of the three guys that I work with/for, and I've helped outfit them with multiple Ridgid cordless tools, and seven homeowner friends/family-members that I've also helped to get outfitted, everything from a solo drill kit, to full blown tool sets with multiple items and kits. When I say "helped outfit them", I mean that I let them use my tools on a job, in real world situations, and then helped to browse the flyers and sales and whatnot, to get them a smokin' deal on a great tool or three.

                  All that said, your thread/post concerns batteries and/or chargers, so here's what I've experienced with mine:

                  [Editing addition: for reference sake, I use these tools in a semi-pro capacity; yes, I do use these tools on jobsites occasionally, as I sometimes do general contracting work on the side from time to time. But, I bought these tools to be my primary tools at my residence. I'd say I've used them 2/3 in a homeowner's capacity, and 1/3 in a contracting capacity. However, my "homeowner's capacity" is probably twice the usage of most people (who may only pull out a power drill once every other month or so, just to hang a picture frame or something like that), coming from me doing renovation and finishing work excessively in the past three years at both my house and my Dad's, as well as at my neighbour's house, besides the occasional contracting stuff. It's hard to put a number on things in hindsight, but my tools collectively in the past two to three years or so probably have about 1000 to 1200 hours of hand's-on usage on them. Just a note on the usage, if it helps.]

                  For my 18 volt lithium-ion stuff (from the 18 volt compact lithium ion drills, R86006), my two 18 volt RapidMax lithium-ion chargers (model number R840091) are both with a build code of G0716 , as is all four of my 18 volt compact (1.5 Ah) lithium-ion batteries. All have been in service since 07/13/07 (I only use one of my chargers). To this point, I've only had about a half dozen times or so when I've had one particular battery that wouldn't accept a charge, and would light up as defective, when it (the battery) is either minimally too hot or too cold. The other batteries would charge fine, but I have the one that seems to be a little bit too persnickety (yes, I just used that word). All in all, I've put these batteries collectively through about 1000 to 1200 charge cycles - around 200 or so charges each. I generally, since I have a number of batteries, will fully drain the available charge on these before I recharge - I don't have a habit really of doing top-up charges, since I have enough batteries to be working with one while another is charging. No failures or major issues besides the normal tempermental-ness of these in sub-freezing temps (which, when buying these, I thought would be better than with ni-cads, but it's actually worse and more tempermental - but that's another thread).

                  For my 24 volt XLi lithium-ion stuff, my 24 volt XLi RapidMax lithium-ion charger has a build code of BD0735, and the two 24 volt XLi (3.0 Ah) lithium-ion batteries have a build code of G0720. All have been in service since 01/19/08. Both batteries have seen about 50 to 75 charge cycles each. These see moderate use in my larger and more demanding MaxSelect tools (circ saw, recip saw, cordless wet/dry vac, sometimes in the impact driver). I've had no issues with any of these, aside from the slightly annoying slow-discharge issue with the batteries due to the built-in monitoring circuit. However, this is something that I noticed once takes about 1 to 2 months to happen (2 months in warm weather, only about 1 month in colder weather - all of my tools are stored in a non-heated, non-insulated garage). For me, this doesn't really become a huge issue or inconvenience due to fairly frequent use and recharging.

                  For my 12 volt micros lithium-ion stuff (from the 12 volt micros sub-compact drill/driver, R82007), my 12 volt lithium-ion charger has a build code of BD0750, and the two 12 volt lithium-ion batteries have a build code of G0750. All have been in service since 03/04/08. Both batteries have seen about 30 to 40 charge cycles each. These see light to occasional use, mostly doing close-quarters cabinetry work and/or small trim work. These two batteries and the charger have performed relatively well, with the batteries surprising holding their charge for a very long storage time. I've only recently began to have issues with one of the batteries, with it not accepting a charge, and reading as defective, about 50% of the time during the last 10 charges or so, unless the battery and the charger are both fully at room temperature (20 degrees celsius / 70 fahrenheit). Yes, this may crop up into an issue, but it is not a major pressing concern for me right now, as it still stands as being capable of being charged.

                  So, that's how my personal story with these tools pans out. Regarding various friends/family members that also have these tools, Ive heard of no issues, save for my Dad having an issue with one of his 18 volt compact 1.5 Ah lithium-ion batteries sometimes being finicky about accepting a charge, and not charging if it's not perfectly at about room temperature (seems to have an overly sensitive monitoring circuit to it - it won't charge if it's slightly hot or slightly cold). But he says he doesn't really mind it, and has worked with it, and hasn't bothered with taking it in for service. Other than that, everything else sounds good from the other friends and family members that have these, with all together having about 20 batteries out there (from purchases that I know about, there may be others with these folks). No other battery and/or charger issues, with them all being from the 18 volt lithium-ion lineup (most are the compact 1.5 Ah, but a few have the larger 3.0 Ah ones).

                  Now, my one observation with all of this is as follows: it may be a bad batch/run of batteries, based on a build date thing. All of those that I know who have these in the 18 volt compact 1.5 Ah lithium-ion size, have them from an earliest date of week 16 in 2007 (mine), to a latest date of week 50 in 2008. The earliest date of build for the larger 3.0 Ah lithium-ions are week 24 in 2008 (I believe that's right - it may be week 42, I could be mixed up on that one), to week 12 in 2009. It only seems to be those of you who have some from about week 20 in 2009, and on up (which I believe is the current batch of store stock), that are having these issues. It sounds like it could be a production run thing, and this may be similarly tied to how TTI is trying to catch up with the backlog of battery repair/replacement issues at the service centers. Maybe they have tried to crank up production at the factories to try to meet the demand, and as usual, higher quantity definitely doesn't lead to similarly high quality. Does that suck? Absolutely. But, you then just have to use the 90-day satisfaction return window, and get another kit, to try to get a better set.

                  With the numbers of what they are selling, and with just a layman's gauge based on the complaints from on here and other locations, I would say that their battery/product failure rate has maybe gone from 0.5% to 1%, to somewhere up around 3% to 5%. Either way, in my opinion, the product/tool line is still highly beneficial to invest in, with these battery issues few and far between.

                  (Sorry for the excessively long post, but I hope this helps.)
                  Last edited by canucksartech; 12-30-2009, 04:59 PM. Reason: Addition on usage

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

                    Canuck, you long posting animal you.

                    Extremely informative, and should be the last word on the battery issue. I have both compact batteries from two years ago and some of the newer 3 amp from last year. Personally, I don't know if the 3 amp are worth the bulk/weight, taking in to account infrequent charging/discharging issues.

                    Seems like the Lithium Ions are into self-discharge - have been seeing it with my V28 Milwaukees, but the battery gauge keeps me informed to the juice left. Would be great if the 3 amp 18 volts had a gauge on them, 'cause I was using a fresh one on the Ridgid radio a few days ago and things started getting staticky after 3 or so hours.

                    I think if getting another spare set of batts, I might opt for some more of the compact 1.5 ampers - quicker to charge and lighter to work with, especially for short time periods.

                    As you said, though, there's no reason anybody should not be happy with the Ridgid tools considering the selection, LSA, and opportunity for sales/deals.

                    Just make sure those batts are warm before you try and charge them.

                    I'd love to know how many "defective" batts noted on here/returned to HD were actually just cold at time of (tried) charging.....
                    I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

                      TM, good points on all fronts. Yes, many posters on the forum (the typical that we frequently see, one or two negative posts, and then disappear, never really looking for any constructive help) may not have followed things properly. Many are usually venting about an issue that's not Ridgid's fault at all sometimes - TTI supply issues (yes, connected, but arm's length), HD issues, service center issues, I-dropped-my-tool-from-a-roof-and-now-it-won't-work-and-I'm-blaming-Ridgid-first-and-foremost issues, etc.

                      I highly doubt that my post would / "...should be the last word on the battery issue". There's no doubt much to follow on this, depending especially on whether there is truely a bad production run going on with the batteries. And then, it becomes a question of whether or not it is an issue with the cells that are being put in the batteries, or if it is the batteries themselves, or the monitoring circuits, etc., etc.

                      I actually forgot to mention in my HUGE post that besides the tools that I listed there, I also (as many may know) resell some Ridgid tools via eBay. It's been everything from smokin' deals that I've found (1/2 off retail sometimes, and reselling for 3/4 of standard price, to give others a good deal and me some pocket change), or scooping up tools that are being discontinued and clearanced (MaxSelect wet/dry vacs, air compressors, etc.), or even tools that are available in certain markets only (like the 23-gauge pinner that's only available in Canada, and selling to U.S. buyers).

                      All told, I've probably resold 60 to 70 different Ridgid items in the past two years, totalling somewhere over $5000 in initial purchasing cost. With all of that, I've only ever had 3 issues that I've been informed about, with only one needing returns to me or a store (the other two issues were simple misunderstandings, with one buyer loading the wrong type of nails in a pneumatic nailer, and another simple mistake of missing a contractor's bag in the packaging - which was my bad, and I corrected through a sizable partial refund, to everyone being happy). Also, as my usual policy is, I try to message my buyer's one to two months or so after everything is done, to ensure everything is good.

                      What I'm getting at with this is that I feel that any battery issues are few and far between. For the dozens and dozens of sets of batteries and chargers that are out there, that I have a direct connection to, there's only two minor issues (mine, and my Dad's) that I know of with battery charging/draining/operation/etc. issues.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

                        I had both batteries on my drill (R86006) replaced and the guy at the store I went to said that there are a lot of companies having the same problem with the lithium ion batteries.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

                          Originally posted by sluggo85024 View Post
                          I had both batteries on my drill (R86006) replaced and the guy at the store I went to said that there are a lot of companies having the same problem with the lithium ion batteries.
                          Was this at a service center, and not at a "store" (HD) per say? If so, then that helps a bit. If I remember correctly, many different manufacturers use cells from the same company. I think that the lithium-ion battery cells in Ridgid, Milwaukee, Ryobi, and Craftsman are all from the same company. I'm not sure, but I think that Makita and Bosch use similar cells, but just from a different company. I know that DeWalt uses their own proprietary Nano cells (lithium phosphate, rather than lithium maganese like the others', if I remember correctly).

                          It would be interesting to know if this is a brand manufacturer issue (Ridgid, Milwaukee, etc.), or if it's a battery cell manufacturer issue (A123 cells, etc.), or if it's a raw materials defect issue. Or, even if it's really an issue at all, depending on what the actual product failure rate is - who knows if it's maybe not even just people being more vocal about a "standard" occurance.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

                            I have two batts that came with the kit, both treated the same. charged ,run down dead and recharged . both left in the garage to freeze and thaw one works fine other wont take a charge .bought two years ago .just another 18V lith statistic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 18v LithiumIon or defective chargers?

                              Let's see if "brian" comes back for more than one post.......
                              I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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