BATTERIES, DO’S AND DON’TS (NiCd & NiMh Mostly)
(ACCORDING TO THE KNOWLEDGE WE AT FAIRBURY
FASTENER HAVE GAINED
YRS. OF SELLING, REPAIRING, AND USING CORDLESS TOOLS )
As always read your
owners manual and follow all the Manufacturers directions.
EVER, EVER, RUN A NiCd or NiMh RECHARGEABLE BATTERY COMPLETELY
We have found that the common misbelieve that “a
battery should be run dead” is the single worst thing that you can
do to a battery (it is the same with lead/acid batteries and some
SOON AS YOU NOTICE A POWER LOSS, THE BATTERY IS "DISCHARGED" AND SHOULD BE RECHARGED
("Dead" means it can't turn the chuck / operate the tool
or light up a flashlight)
read rule # 1 again – it is that important.
battery packs should be “charged fully” before you use your tool
for the first time. New
battery packs will reach full loading capacity only after 4-5
NiCd or NiMH battery without even being used will lose its charge
at a rate of about 1% per day. Because
of this when a battery has been run and will be then stored for some
time, it is best to recharge before
putting away. For instance if
you put a discharged battery “back into the case” and forget to
recharge it for a couple weeks, or longer, it will probably be
COMPLETELY DEAD by then. Battery packs that are not in use
regularly (not used for several weeks at a time) should be recharged at
regular intervals (We suggest recharging every 1 or 2 months even
going into great detail, when a DEAD battery is recharged, a
few or more of the cells inside of it can “FLIP”
in polarity. This
results in a “fully charged” battery that has a shorter run time
and less power, or worse, a battery that “won’t take any
charge”. This is
because those “FLIPPED” cells are fighting the cells charged
with the correct polarity much like putting 3 cells into a
flashlight in one direction and 1 cell backward – it won’t run
long but it does run...dimly and only for a short while.
The Multi-bay Charger by Milwaukee
Power Tools has been able to fix the majority of Milwaukee NiCd batteries
that show these symptoms and/or won’t charge in standard, single
also GREATLY affects battery performance. Makita
states in the owner’s manual of its 6932FDWDE impact
Do not charge a battery cartridge when temperature is
or ABOVE 104°F.”
Milwaukee’s Multi-bay charger manual states it
will sense battery temperature and will charge the battery..... “between 41°F
and 113°F for NiCd,
and 95°F for NiMH.
When the battery temperature is outside of this range, charging
will occur at a slower rate (taking up to 16 hours) to prevent
damage to battery. ....
the (Multi-bay) charger will automatically adjust to give the
most rapid charge that is safe
for the temperature.”
It has been our experience that repeated charging of a battery on a
cold day will cause condensation inside the battery that corrodes the terminals,
and can possibly freeze & break the circuit. Signs of
this occurring appear the same as water damage – a white film around the
contacts. If the
temperature is below 50°F
we suggest using electric tools, or for very small jobs, using the
batteries that you have only charged once during that day and allowing them
to warm overnight before charging them again.
cells of a battery are soldered in series.
If a battery sustains a severe drop, or freezes, it can break
any of several solder points between its cells.
The most common sign of this is a battery that won’t even
cause the charger to start charging or “light up”.
The most common problems we have found with
chargers is improper voltage supply and improperly wired outlets.
Lightning strikes or even power surges over 120v will blow a fuse
or worse inside most chargers – regardless of the brand.
Even inside of our store at Fairbury Fastener we have recorded up to 127volts
for periods over 10 minutes coming out of a standard outlet.
In general rural areas seem to be the most susceptible to these types of
problems. We sell testers for under
$30 that will check wiring and voltage issues. It is best
your wiring and voltage to find out if this is a problem before plugging in your
charger. As always follow your owners manual instructions.