Ridgid combo tool batteries


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Old 05-27-11, 08:54 PM
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Ridgid combo tool batteries

I recently (two months ago) bought a new combo tool - The Ridgid Ridgid R3030 One Handed Reciprocating Saw and R86007 Compact Drill Driver, those are lithium ion batteries which I understand last longer without memory effect exhibited by those Nicad batteries.

Well the original new batteries lasted a while. Then after some use, I am getting very poor performance from the batteries. I charged one battery fully and it only lasted about 3 minutes of cutting on the saw and quit.

Is there a special way I need to charge the batteries? I usually leave it on the charger while charging, and may not remember to remove it until 2 hours later or even overnight sometimes when I forgot. Does that shorten the life of a battery? Do I need to watch it closely and as soon as it goes from blinking red to green to remove it immediately?

I know Ridgid has a lifetime battery deal but apparently it is not replacement they do, you have to bring in the batteries and leave them there for days while they investigate meanwhile you are without the use of the tools.
 
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Old 05-28-11, 01:45 AM
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I have the ni-cad and my son has the li-ion and neither one of us are happy. Ni-cads have been much better, but still don't last forever and now they have discontinued making them. They wanted me to switch over to the li-ion, but my son is having the same issues as you describe.

Chargers are supposed to be smart enough to not damage a battery when left in place after charging and obviously they know when it is done. Your first step should be to verify your warranty. My last ni-cads changed to a 3 year not lifetime. Then start the process of who and where to take them for repair or replacement. Keep all paperwork as the big box will/may make it difficult in hopes that you will just junk it all and buy something new. I ended up contacting the big box main office and complaining directly to them. I eventually got replacements, although not new they work fine. But your li-ion seem to be worse.

I did notice that they have two sizes of li-ion. My son's are half the size of mine, but the new ones i saw were bigger. In either case, once charged they should last longer.

Good luck and stand your ground,
Bud
 
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Old 05-28-11, 07:55 AM
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Avoiding Premature rechargeable Battery Failures.

Sorry if this is long, but the probable solution to your difficulty requires thorough explanation. I don't know how many times I had to explain this to my crews before it finally sunk in and our premature battery failures went away.

Many, if not most or even all, rapid charge battery chargers rely on a thermistor (that's a resistor that consistently changes value with temperature) in order to determine full charge. The reason is that as the battery approaches its fully charged state, more and more of the excess current is dissipated as heat causing the temperature of the battery to rise. The thermistor is in the battery, by the way.

What do you suppose happens when you remove a bettery from a tool that has been sun-soaked? First, the temperature of the battery is elevated. Second, the thermistor is near or above it's "fully charged" value. Third, when the battery is placed in the charger, almost immediately it is sensed as being fully charged which causes the charger to go into trickle or maintenance charge mode.

After the thirty minutes to an hour it's supposed to take to recharge a battery, you take it off the charger because your other battery has already run dry. But the battery in the charger has received only a fractional charge due to being in trickle charge mode rather than rapid charge. Guess what? This "newly charged" battery depletes even more quickly. A few cycles like this and the battery is irreversibly damaged and no longer able to take a charge at all. And you blame the battery or the manufacturer.

I'll go along with blaming the manufacturer because they don't include the warning to not recharge a battery with elevated temperature. How else would they make a profit selling batteries? (Kinda like inkjet printers, but that's a whole 'nuther rant.)

Our solution to the problem entailed having three batteries per tool and Always charge batteries in the shade so the sun won't heat the battery and cause the circuitry in the charger to prematurely go into trickle charge. That way, there is one battery in use, one cooling down (Don't leave the depleted battery setting in the sun!) and one recharging. It was the last item about allowing the depleted battery to cool down that was the hardest for everyone to learn.
 
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Old 05-28-11, 09:16 AM
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tldoug, although I agree that the worst enemy of batteries is probably heat, I and my son live in the north country and often use our batteries in cold weather and no difference other than the designed fan cycle that cools off the Ridgid batteries is zero to very short. Ridgid has anticipated that the batteries may be too hot from use or environmental conditions and will not go into the charge cycle until they are cooled down. But the charger will not switch to the fully charged indication until the voltage reaches its target point.

What is failing is the internal resistance of the batteries is elevated and when a charging current is applied, the batteries, plus the voltage across the resistance, will quickly add up to look fully charged when they are not.

What the poster needs to do is begin the cycle of returning the bad ones and getting new ones (or repaired) as the warranty states and the replacements will carry the same lifetime warranty as the originals. Once the new ones are in hand, then he can practice any and all recommended steps to see if it makes a difference.

The issue here is two fold. One there appears to be less than expected performance from these batteries and two, the mfg has used their lifetime warranty offering as a key selling point and needs to held accountable. Unfortunately, companies often rely on the vast majority of purchasers to simply become tired of the process and buy something new. Store personnel will often be guilty of furthering this process. Stick to your rights and enjoy the tools for as long as they should have lasted.

Bud
 
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Old 05-28-11, 01:38 PM
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I always charge the batteries in the shade. In fact, the charger is always situated on a shelf inside my garage. Being in Miami, the room temperature in the garage is around 90 degrees, is this too elevated? I do not have any air conditioning (not until I have sheet rock in the ceiling I am not turning on AC).

When the charge runs out yes I do take it and put it on the charger immediately. I never expose the tool or batteries to the sun. The work is typically indoor.

Are the batteries "damaged" now, or is there a way I can drain/recharge them?
 
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Old 05-28-11, 02:14 PM
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The old theory of draining a battery all the way down before you charge it is wrong. In fact, as soon as you notice a drop in power, send it to the charger. The problem is, one of the cells will inevitability be lower than the others and it essentially shorts out.

If you use a battery hard, I mean straight out from start to dead, it will feel quite hot. That type of use will take mileage out of any battery and before you try to charge it, it would be better to set it aside for an hour or two to slowly cool down. I like to mix my corded tools in with my battery ones to take care of the heavy loads. I caught one of my workers setting masonry anchors with the battery drill when electricity was right beside him and the electric hammer drill was in the truck. Bad choice of tools.

Right now, my guess is your batteries are damaged and you will not be able to trick them back into a full charge. However, I have never taken the li-ion apart to test individual cells as I have with ni-cad. Your tools were designed to last many years, many more than the batteries, so start the process and keep the receipts for activating your lifetime warranty.

Bud
 
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Old 05-28-11, 06:45 PM
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The problem is with lithium ion, there is no sign of "losing power". The moment you notice the charge is gone is the moment the tool is dead. A second right before that the tools are working as if fully charged. Once the battery is dead it is completely dead.
 
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Old 06-01-11, 10:19 PM
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This is the trait of Lithium-Ion, good or bad you have full power until it's dead, nothing you are doing wrong, nothing you can do different. They DO NOT LIKE COLD, or EXTREME HEAT. If they are too cold or too hot they will not charge, if left in the cold they will lose a charge pretty quick as well.
 
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Old 06-02-11, 05:55 AM
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We find out we have to keep out newly charged batteries in our coat pockets while charging other batteries, or they will not charge properly due to cold. If the battery remains at a good temperature, the charge cycle is normal. Otherwise it can give you a false green light. Our Makitas we have multiple batteries, and the charger knows when it has a full charge, then in about 10 minutes it will shut down completely.
Not sure if it is true or not, but I ain't trying it on my expensive batteries......someone told me not to plug the battery in the charger until the charger was plugged into the wall. Something about surging. He said plug in the charger, let it cycle to green light, then put the battery on it.
 
 

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