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Battery indicates fully charged but does not operate ?

A 40 V battery i charged indicates full but doesn't appear to operate any machinery . 

The machinery is all ok 

Does anyone know what the problem could be or suggest a solution to save the hassle of returning it to the manufacturer even though its under warranty .

many thanks 

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  • hi john have you put a multimeter on the battery to see what voltage it's giving?

    • PRO

      No i have not Billybop  . what indications should i be looking for ?  I have tried charging it up again but charger is flashing green / red  /green / red / i gave the terminals a gentle poke with a penknife but nothing .

      • probably not charging up to quite the voltage of a healthy battery of the same type which can indicate a cell gone bad in it. or even a battery managent system failure. does that flashing sequence on your charger indicate a fault, as brands are different. If still under warranty definitely might be worth sending back. or contacting seller they might just believe you and give an outright refund without trouble of returning when you describe the issue. Most li-ion packs very reliable but I had one or two go bad before. Apparently if you bang them on the floor that can start them working again sometimes (seriously). I had a stihl tool fail catastrophically causing a short circuit killing the battery i thought but in those packs there is a fuse which had melted so a job for a rainy day fixing that

  • PRO


    check your charger manual to make sure the green/red flashing does not indicate a bad cell - a good charger should point blank refuse to charge a battery with a bad cell.  Li-ion batteries can do very weird things when they have a bad cell.  The most dangerous is the remaining good cells trying to instantly recharge the bad cell leading to very high currents in the battery and the possibility of a very sudden and very hot fire - a small explosion is not impossible if the battery heats up very quickly.   

    Do all the usual things like cleaning the contacts carefully without shorting them - that could be really bad.  Make sure all appropriate contacts are actually mating correctly.  visually check for discolouration or bulges which might suggest the battery or part of the battery has got hot.  

    As Billybop says, take it back if its under warranty.  If not under warranty I might be inclined to take it on the chin rather than risking messing with a hot chemical fire, a possible injury or a damaged machine.   Li-ion and Li-polymer batteries are usually made in such a way as to have no user-serviceable parts in or on the package anyway - basically to stop people messing with them for good reason.

    .  The drone racing boys have special techniques for slowly and safely discharging bad batteries before they dispose of them......and they do dispose of them as soon as they think they are a bit suspect.  They actually store their much smaller batteries in specially designed bags and safety boxes.  Perhaps something that has not yet occurred with a 'gardener' setting but something which maybe should be included in risk assessments.  There are tonnes of films on youtube of Li-ion batteries failing.  

    40volts doesn't sound like much but it is a misleading figure as the 'battery' might be storing 20,000mAh of energy which if delivered in a short time can be quite spectacular - easily up to welding energies.  

    • PRO

      Crikey !! I was just about to give the battery a bang on the ground but on second thoughts ? 

      Thanks for the advice It just highlights the need to treat these batteries with respect .

      I have contacted the supplier and absolute sterling service after explaining the problem a replacement battery will be delivered tomorrow no charge under the 12 month warranty and they will arrange to collect the faulty battery . 

      • that's good.  to be fair, the power tool type Li-Ion battery packs are generally a lot sturdier and less volatile than the Li-Po type used in radio controlled planes etc

      • PRO

        Good customer service :ThumbsUp:

  • PRO

    Thats the best and safest result John.  Pleased that's resolved this way.

    Spot on Billybop - but they are designed that way because the first thing a joiner does is throw a battery into a toolbag of sharp things in the back of the van, or drop it off a scaffold.  If it went bang spectacularly and caught fire....dewalt wouldn't sell many battery-powered impact drivers.   The robust packaging is also very likely deliberately intended to stop people messing with the battery packs.   

    The reason I mentioned the drone racing is that  it is the high energy density and lightweight of the li-po batteries they use that actually allows them to fly the drones for any reasonable time.  They also have the most experience of putting the battery in the accident or situation that can result in a failure and therefore really understand the precautions needed with these bits of kit - like balanced charging, allowing them to cool, discharging for storage etc etc  Its their experience which has informed the designers that precautions are needed.

    • yes safety first with all these new fangled gadgets... something else to bear in mind to those using a combination of petrol and battery tools is to keep the petrol and batteries very much separate. It doesn't bear thinking about what could happen if petrol got splashed all over a battery

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