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Lifetime Battery Warranty

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Mightyservant View Post
    Welcome to our world (sort of) where in case you haven't noticed most of us aren't real crazy about HD though we do like a lot of tools they have for sale.

    Before you put your tools in hibernation or worse try searching for replacement batteries on AMZ. You can find all manner of new original and knock offs for all sorts of power tools. I'd look for UL,CE listings to stay on the safer side though. Battery packs can can also be rebuilt if your the adventurous sort

    You can find all manner of chargers there as well.

    By the way even though you might not like HD they've got some great deals right now on tools.
    hi, I am assuming you're already an expert here. Aside from AMZ, any recommendation on where is the best store to find quality batteries and other contractors materials? I am a start-up contractor company in SA and I need some insights. Thanks. Fence Contractor


    • #17
      Direct Tools outlet if you get Ridgid Make sure you get blemished they Qualify for the LSA


      • #18
        Sorry for piggybacking on this thread, but I have a different problem. I have over 20 Ridgid 18V tools, but out of 16 batteries, I'm down to one that still works. I'm not interested in the warranty. I just want to get these batteries working again. I've seen YouTube videos that show jumping a "reset" terminal inside. Haven't tried that yet. Also, the last one to fail got a little water on it, and the video says the reset procedure won't solve a problem when the battery got wet.

        I have four Skil batteries from the mid '90s that still work fine but I only have two drills. None of my Ridgid battery problems involve the cells. Every problem has to do with the ridiculously-complicated circuit board that's built in. Other videos have suggested the microprocessor stores a diagnostic fault code, similar to what I see every day on cars, but I can't find any information on erasing the codes to restore battery operation. If this is true, why is it top secret? I know why GM developed computer modules that can't be swapped to a different car. It's so they can sell more parts. I have to assume the manufacturer of Ridgid batteries has the same idea, but it's not going to work this time. I refuse to waste my money on more batteries that I know will fail within a year or two. I'm going back to corded tools. My 18-volt tools will be on eBay pretty soon.


        • #19
          "I'm not interested in the warranty."

          Okay, but with "16 batteries" and only one still working I would think that you might want to change your mind and stop ignoring the LSA registration of your "20 Ridgid 18V tools"

          I only have two 18-volt tools (also have two 14-V tools) all of which were purchased back in 2005 and I just replaced all four of those batteries last year under the LSA that I registered into at that time of purchase. All that cost me was a phone call and I didn't have to worry about looking things up on the internet and fiddling with circuit boards etc. Life is complicated enough isn't it?

          So, maybe some of the other members here can help you out, hopefully. Sorry that I can't offer more than this advice.



          • #20
            Paying to ship a return dead battery is probably more than it cost for them to make.


            • #21
              The reason warranty isn't the issue is some of the tools were purchased used, and we all know that is one of the "outs" for warranty coverage. Every time I inquire about battery warranty times, I get a different answer. Sometimes it's lifetime, sometimes it's five years. On my last visit to Home Depot a few days ago, it's three years, but that's only for a battery I would buy new today. One went through a house fire and got wet. Two sat out overnight in humid weather, (not raining). My question isn't about getting warranty coverage. It's how to get these expensive toys working again. There seems to be no place to send them for repair, and no credible advice online.

              Some of these batteries were also purchased used, but they worked fine for a few years. I just resurrected three old 18 volt NiCad batteries with no computer boards inside. It's the fancy newer lithium batteries that are junk. The cells are fine in every one. It's the computer boards that, as with computers in cars, don't belong in the environments they're being used in.

              It's time the marketing executives get together with the design engineers and figure out I'm not going to waste any more money on products I know are going to fail. The minor inconvenience of dragging a power cord around outweighs the frustration of a dead battery-powered tool. I can buy a lot of extension cords for the price of one battery, and I don't have to keep on buying more and more cords.

              Thank you guys for the replies, but again, warranty coverage is not what I'm after.


              • #22
                Okay, now I understand your plight a bit better and I do agree with you. While I have never used such a service, I often read someone's suggestion to get the batteries re-built. I don't know if that is just for the cells or actually the circuit board too. You might want to look into that with a 'Google' search.

                I share your opinion on 'corded' tools. I still have my first drill purchase which I made back around 1966. It's a Sears "Companion" (cheaper than Craftsman) 3/8 single speed 1/4-inch chucked drill which uses bronze bearings instead of ball- or roller-bearings. It cost be about $6 and it's still working just fine! I have better and much newer drills of course, but most of them are corded too. None of them require any service or replacements of anything. I bought my first 'cordless' drills in 2005, both Ridgid brand, and the only reason I bought those was because of the LSA. They are decent tools, but unlike my corded drills I have to make sure the batteries are charged before I can use them, which means some forethought is necessary. IF I need it now, I grab a corded drill.

                My favorite drill isn't overly powerful, but it offers the advantages of most cordless, with it's adjustable clutch, and wrenchless chuck. It's a Ryobi D45 Clutch Driver, which came in a nice case at the time. I think I purchased it for around $30. The newer version is the Ryobi D48CK but I see that Home Depot no longer lists it. A bit of a shame!

                Sorry this isn't more helpful,

                Last edited by CWSmith; 08-21-2021, 12:09 PM. Reason: typo, wrong word see bold italic for correction


                • #23
                  I made up some schematics for a few of the battery packs awhile back.


                  Might be something in there that helps you get some of them going again. Just be careful messing with those thigns, as those cells can and will fry more than just the garbage board they are attached to.


                  • #24
                    Problem solved. By the way, thanks for the dandy info, RDC.

                    I found all kinds of new replacement boards on eBay for less than $14.00 when bought in quantity. I bought four and they got two batteries working again so far. For a third one, the reset procedure worked, to my surprise. For anyone else interested, if you look close to one corner of the board, there's five small holes for test points in a row. They're labeled, (from my memory), clock, data, ground, 5V, and reset. I just looked at a photo on eBay, and they show something different than what I recall. I used a jumper between the probes of my voltmeter, then used them to touch the reset test point to the ground test point. All four LEDS flashed on and off a few times telling me something came back to life. They were totally dead before that. The pack was still fully-charged, it ran a tool, and it turned on a dual charger and a newer single charger.

                    So now I have four working 4.0AH packs. These boards are a little different in that the LEDs are red instead of orange, and they don't flash while charging. One by one they just turn on as the pack charges up.

                    I was a little disgruntled that these new boards didn't come with instructions. My concern was there's six terminals and would there be repercussions to connecting them in some wrong order to cause a failure? I have over 35 years as a tv repairman, but we never replaced parts or boards with the power on. Turns out the two I replaced worked just fine the first time. I was especially interested in your comment about balancing. I observed each pair of cells has its own pair of terminals going to the board, so my assumption was that is either for charge balancing or simply for monitoring each pair of cells for condition. A fifth pack does indeed appear to have a shorted cell, and the pack comes up as "defective" on the newer charger. I pulled it out and am contemplating transplanting a cell from an older 2.0AH pack. Physical size is the same; color is different.

                    These boards fit the 4.0AH packs perfectly. They're listed for the 1.5AH and 2.0AH packs, but those are slightly different. At the narrow end of the board, there's a small wing on each side. One has one of the holes for a smaller terminal. On my 2.0AH pack, those wings aren't there, and the spacing is different for that terminal. Also, the screw hole in that corner is in a different place. Rather than trying to make it work and risk damaging a new board, I'm either going to use them for replacement cells or keep watching the eBay listings for one that shows the correct board.

                    Now, for anyone contemplating this repair, let me warn you it is not for the faint-hearted or anyone who loses their temper easily. This should be a straight-forward repair, but getting the terminals to all go through their holes at the same time was excruciatingly frustrating on the first one. I ended up drilling one of the smaller holes bigger. These are two-sided boards. On two of the smaller terminals, I tore off the circuit pads on the bottom, but turns out they weren't attached to anything. The terminals are real thin and flimsy, so unless they're lined up perfectly and don't have any residual solder on them, they won't pop through the holes.

                    What worked better on the second one was to stand the board up 90 degrees so the three terminals on that side could be poked through one at a time, and soldered just enough to hold them in place. Now tilt the board down and work the three terminals on that side through their holes and solder them. Once proper operation is verified, finish the soldering to insure it runs onto the underside of the board.

                    One hint; when removing the old board, use a solder sucker or solder wick to remove all the solder to the point you can break the terminal loose before even removing the screws. Standard procedure with tvs was to just heat the solder joint while pulling the part out, but in this case, that means pulling the terminals up and mis-shaping them. That's what led to the frustration on the first pack. The goal is to be able to lift the board up without tugging on any of the terminals. When setting the new board down onto the terminals, you may be startled to see the LEDs flashing randomly as the terminals make initial contact. I confused that at first with sparks until I saw what was happening.

                    My other line of work was car repair. While at the dealership, I repaired quite a few very expensive Infinity speakers for Chrysler dealers around my state. Those have built-in amplifiers that are sealed in a gel to protect them from moisture. During reassembly, I covered the repaired area with thick paper, then a coating of RTV gasket sealer. The paper kept the sealant off the board in case another repair was needed in the future. I was considering doing something similar to these batteries around the connector. I have never seen the "conformal" coating you mentioned available from my regular tv parts sources. What would you think about covering the area with plastic food wrap, then with just a thin bead of sealant around the connector So far it seems all these board failures are due to moisture / humidity / corrosion.

                    Sorry for getting so long-winded. I'm just so happy I can use my tools again without switching one pack back and forth. I'd be even happier if these comments helped someone else do this repair.


                    • #25

                      I wouldn't bother with redoing the conformal coating on the board. Unless that stuff is put on thick enough, and more importantly put on so that there is no way at all for any air/moisture to get in there at all, then all that stuff does is end up being a trap for any moisture that does eventually get in there. I've fixed more than a couple of packs that had corrosion damage under the large 4 pin connector, where there is no coating, but then I have also had more than a few boards that the only damage to them was under the coating. So it makes no real difference being on there, aside from being a bit of an insulation to keep things from shorting and causing weird issue, but if the pack is all together then the chances of that happening are pretty slim to none anyway.

                      The packs are just wired in 5 cell series, then the 4.0Ah packs are 2 of those wired in parallel is all. You can swap cells between a 2.0Ah packs and a 4.0Ah packs, but don't put any cells from the 1.5Ah packs into the 2.0 or 4.0 packs or vice versa. There is no kind of balancing or real cell by cell checking going on in those things. If one cell is bad in a 4.0Ah pack (10 cells), then it most likely has 2 bad cells, since each one is in parallel with another one there. They just have them setup in series and then each Resistor Divider gets larger and larger to deal with the series setup. It would be able to tell that say cell 2 was bad, but then it would also report cells 3, 4 and 5 being bad also as every Divider from the bad cell on would measure wrong, even though those cells still might be perfectly fine.

                      If you plan to work on any more, or for anyone that plans to, while you have the board off there I'd wire the cells up to a proper charger and run the pack thru a couple of cycles, then give it a good balance or storage charge before putting the new board in place. In lieu of that though, just checking to make sure all of the cells are the same voltage will usually be good enough. If any one cell is even 0.1v off, I'd test them further before proceeding though. I used a Turnigy Accucell 6 charger when I messed with packs awhile back, but anything similar is more than enough charger to put the cells thru their paces for some testing.

                      For a bit more info on that replacement board, it's the same board that is in the PowerExtra knock off packs. It 'talks' to the chargers differently, thus it is not an 'official' Ridgid battery board. That PE board uses a different setup to charge the cells, but it's really no better or worse than the Ridgid board when you get down to it. I bought one of the PE packs to tear apart and schematic up, and while my batteries don't see any real heavy use, that thing still works every bit as well as my other official packs.


                      • #26
                        Thank you again. I used a 5-15-volt, 25-amp power supply I use for car radios to charge the cells. Had to do one pair of cells at a time with a little 194 'peanut" bulb in series to limit current.

                        With elusive or confusing problems, I'm always astonished when I find the cause, then I find it hard to believe myself. This is a case of what should be obvious still has me doubting the results. We know to not use an ohm meter in a powered circuit, so of course that's what I'm doing. The cell I removed reads 0 ohms, but it also is showing .80 volts. How can you get any voltage from a shorted cell? Next, if I charge it for an hour, I find over 2.0 volts across the cell during charging, so it can't be shorted. It stays over 1.0 volt with charging voltage removed, but the next day it's back to .80 volts. Its partner in the pack does the same thing, so that would agree with your observation that both fail at the same time. I don't have anything to lose. I think I'll just transplant the pair of cells and see what happens.

                        My other concern was how to connect the cells since I can't spot weld the terminals on like they did at the factory. I thought the terminals looked like they were made of stainless steel, then it occurred to me, . . . duh, . . . it's the same material they soldered to the circuit board. Those terminals cut very easily with just a small side cutter. Simply bridging the joint with solder won't last as the solder will crack over time. There has to be a piece of wire bridging the joint, but that can't be too thick or the side cover won't fit. Anyways, I'll report back after I do this.

                        I installed a door for a friend a few days ago, and used two repaired battery packs with a drill and an impact driver. What fun!


                        • #27
                          Li-Ion cells don't really like having the voltage and current thrown to them like that. That's why they have specific chargers, and not having a way to properly balance them is kind of asking for issues later on in multi-cell packs like that. Once a Li-on cell gets under 3v bad things start to happen to them internally, and at that 1v measurement they are only good for the recycle bin and should not even be attempted to be recharged. Even if it 'came back' to life, that things chemistry has changed internally at that point, and will at best fail again, and at worst cause some serious damage or harm. Those cells pack a serious wallop for such a small size, and should honestly be treated with the same kind of respect that a firearm demands. Fully charged, they are quite a bit like a loaded weapon and can really let the Amps fly out of there, and before you know it things are blown up, on fire or worse. I'm not trying to sound like a PSA or anything, just like to see care taken with them so there doesn't have to be another battery charging horror story. If a cell measures 2.5v or less, it's best be safe and write that thing off and just recycle it where they take that kind of thing.

                          You can solder the tabs onto the terminals, as long as you're not nuking the battery to get the solder joint to take hold. The cells and PCB are setup in a fairly solid way, so there's no real vibration and flexing to make solder joints break, other than the typical abuse they go thru being tossed around or the occasional butter finger moments. Kind of takes some practice there to get the hang of soldering them, and there are loads of DIY type battery pack tab welders out there that also work pretty well once you get them dialed in to the work you are doing.


                          • #28
                            "Writing them off" will eliminate the confusion and prevent me from wasting my time. I don't have a lot of that left in my life. I've heard before about not allowing these cells to get too low in voltage, but never got the whole story.

                            Do you know what the chargers do differently than just applying a steady DC voltage? Also, is there anything on the board that could fail, like a shorted transistor, that would discharge just one pair of cells? If not, then I have to assume the cells are going to almost 0 volts on their own, and it doesn't pay to try to save them.

                            If there's nothing on the boards to insure balanced charging of the cells, how do they handle that? Do they just assume they all discharge and recharge at the same rate? If I can use cell voltage to identify a bad pair, and attribute that to the charger calling the pack "defective", I would assume the board is still okay, and pull it off before sending the rest of the pack for recycling.

                            Thank you again for your help. You're truly a wonderful human being.



                            • #29
                              The chemistry of them will change internally if they are allowed to discharge too much, and unlike say a car battery that you can toss a desulfator on and sometimes bring them back, that Li-Ion is a different animal and once it's gone down that road it can't come back, and it's not very safe to try. Once those things hit 3v they should be cut off and allowed to 'bounce back' or settle to a little higher voltage on their own. The boards in there will let them dip a little below that 3v, as there is a margin there where you can get under that a little bit of you have say a stubborn screw or what not, but if that is kept up for too long the thing will shut the pack off to keep from damaging the cells.

                              The chargers for them monitor the current and voltage put into them over the course of the charging, versus your typical lead cell charger that can be nothing more than a transformer and a couple of diodes and that's about it. That's crazy dangerous for trying to charge up some Li-Ion or LiPo type cells. Where a half a volt or so here or there isn't going to really harm a older type of battery, a Li-Ion cell could catch fire or be ruined in the process if the voltage and current aren't kept in check.

                              There is really nothing on the PCB that could make it deal with just once cell, or set of them in the case of the packs where they are doubled up. All things being equal, the cells will stay pretty close to each other, and it can be charged like it's just a single 21v battery most of the time. That's the 4.2v Max per cell x 5 cells voltage. But, when one starts to fail, then it's just downhill from there. That's why it's always best to have the ability to balance a pack like that every so often, both to catch when a cell might be starting to fail as well as to keep the entire pack 'balanced' so it stays working as well as it can. The added cost of them making them so they were able to be balanced, and then also making a balance charger for them, I'm sure just didn't sit well with some bean counter that has no idea how things actually work.


                              • #30
                                Dandy. Thank you. As a new point of interest, one of my packs with a new board just died again. The entire unit reads just over 20 volts, but it and all the LEDs are dead. Bummed out over that, but the other two with new boards and the one I used the reset procedure on are still working, along with the one that never had a problem. Still happy I can drive a screw or drill a hole when necessary.