4 Steps to Revive a Dead Rechargeable Battery

A yellow rechargeable battery sits in the grass.
  • 1 hours
  • Advanced
  • N/A
What You'll Need
Dead battery
Insulated gloves
Safety goggles

Over time, a rechargeable battery will lose its capacity to hold a charge and will no longer work. This happens because of overcharging, allowing it to get too hot or too cold, and for many more reasons. You may think that since it cannot be charged, you should just recycle it and buy a new battery. Instead, follow these four steps to revive your battery with a small dose of high amplitude and low voltage hits.

Step 1 - Checking Battery Levels

First, check the equipment that recharges your battery to ensure that it is not the cause of the battery’s issue. If your equipment checks out then you will need to use a multimeter to check the charge of the battery itself. In most cases, the reading will show that the voltage is much lower than what it says on the screen. If you have a spare battery of the same make, you can use this as a measure to know how much power the dead one should have after you have revived it.

Step 2 - Check Equipment Levels

Test out your welder on the multimeter to make sure the DC power is running and also to check whether the gun is positive or negative. Sometimes welder can have AC with a backward polarity, so you’ll need to turn the knob on your welder until your multimeter tells you that you are making around thirty volts.

Step 3 - Zap Battery

This can be a very dangerous procedure because you are going to be using a high voltage of current in this step. Make sure you are wearing your safety goggles and insulated gloves and even hold a shield in front of the battery, before tapping the positive end of your welder to the plus terminal on your dead battery while holding the negative end of the battery's minus. When you use this technique make sure you are not welding onto the battery as this would cause the stick to fuse itself onto the battery terminal with an excessive current going through the battery destroying it at once or could even cause it to explode.

Just tap the positive end of the welder to your battery and you should see some sparks if done correctly. What this does is force a huge amount of current into the cell which vaporizes the dendrite like shorting a fuse. You can also use this same technique on other batteries that might have corroded.

Step 4 - Test Battery

Now when the battery is replaced back into the application you are using you should see that the battery will be much better than it used to be.

However, using this technique on your battery also will have some consequences. The material you vaporized has now permeated the separator of the material which forms a resistor that can short the plates. The cell also cannot be shorted and will have a poor charge retainer. This technique should mostly be used in cases where you simply cannot buy replacements for the immediate future.