Be careful of recharging your batteries

  • Advertise with us

« back to Safety in the Woodworking Shop forum

Forum topic by JimmyC posted 02-24-2009 05:21 AM 3151 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 3607 days

02-24-2009 05:21 AM

Hey All,

I went out in my shop today and went to take my 14.4V DeWalt battery off the charger, when I grabbed it I almost burnt my hand. The battery had gotten so hot that after I pulled the cord and let it cool down, the battery had permanently fused itself to the charger. I’ve read where there have been problems with batteries left too long in the charger, but I’ve never had a problem and this was charging for about 6 days. I usually only leave them overnight, but I forgot about this one. The battery was 4 years old, but I don’t know how old the charger was as I have a couple of them and they all look the same.

Anyway, the good news is that’s as far as it went towards damage. If it got hot enough it may have been able to ignite my bench and from there…..? Now I ‘m off to the store to find a timer for my chargers .

Becareful out there.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

23 replies so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4365 days

#1 posted 02-24-2009 04:14 PM

a great tip re: timer!!
glad that nothing serious happened. Phew!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 3607 days

#2 posted 02-25-2009 04:17 AM

I found out that the charger was on the recall list and brought it into DeWalt and they gave me a new charger and battery immediately. Great Customer Service.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

View buffalosean's profile


174 posts in 3592 days

#3 posted 02-25-2009 04:27 AM

Thanks for the tip. I have quite a few dewalt cordless tools. I forget about the batteries in the charger overnight all the time. I’ll look into gettin a timer for my charger also. THanKS

-- There are many ways to skin a cat...... but, the butter knife is not recommended

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 3947 days

#4 posted 02-25-2009 04:33 AM

Just to let you know most rechargeable batteries start developing a memory once they have been left on the charger for about 8 hours, so that would make another reason to take it off the charger. At least the battery didn’t blow up!

-- Tyler, Illinois

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3885 days

#5 posted 02-25-2009 05:09 AM

Hmmm, makes me think I need to see if the DeWalt I have was recalled and I just didn’t know about it. When mine gave out wiht less than 30 charges on it, I gave up on DeWalt products.

I rarely if ever leave my batteries on for much longer than the time needed for charging, but have witnessed HOT batteries from just a few hours on the charger.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View woodyoda's profile


117 posts in 3662 days

#6 posted 02-25-2009 08:09 PM

Wasn’t it dewalt that had a cold charger that would charge any battery? It would charge a dewalt battery in about 15 minutes, without heating the battery. They discontinued it, because it was too good a product, I guess…..yoda

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3686 days

#7 posted 02-25-2009 08:36 PM

Yeah, I try not to leave my batteries in the charger for more then a day. My dad had an old Porter Cable 14.4v drill and one of the batteries ruptured in the charger. It didn’t blow up and no one got hurt, but needless to say, the battery was worthless after that.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4304 days

#8 posted 02-25-2009 08:44 PM

I try to leave my batteries in the charger for only 30 minutes. If I leave the shop or jobsite for lunch, I remove them. Getting the batteries hot also destroys the cells.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 4093 days

#9 posted 02-25-2009 09:14 PM

I did some research into rechargers and rechargeable AA batteries a couple of years ago. Todd is right, chargers that are not “smart” ones that are programmed to switch over to a tickle charge will continue to operate on full charging mode and will overhead your batteries, shortening the battery life.

I don’t know if I would necessarily assume the “smart” chargers to be any safer or will reliably cut back to a tickle charge. I am usually around while my batteries are in the charger and will take them off the charger as soon as the fully charged light comes on.

The idea of using a timer is a good idea and a nice back up. I can be distracted and get into a task and forget little things like these.


View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3878 days

#10 posted 02-26-2009 04:52 AM

Thanks, yet another reason to add to why I stay away from cordless tools

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4079 days

#11 posted 02-26-2009 08:41 PM

I’ve been meaning to get a timer for a long time. Besides safety, it also increases battery life. Thanks for the reminder.

-- Happy woodworking!

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3853 days

#12 posted 02-26-2009 09:43 PM

same here marcb. I try to keep myself from anything that uses batteries…

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4605 days

#13 posted 02-26-2009 09:50 PM

Woodyoda. i’ve got one of the Dewalt high Tech chargers. But it’s only up to 14 Volts so it won’t work for the newer batteries.

And yes it was about 15 minutes to charge.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View MyOldGarage's profile


93 posts in 3632 days

#14 posted 02-26-2009 10:19 PM

I had a similar experience with a Sears one —but my battery case ballooned out and it deformed the charger. Thankfully the transformer went kaput before more damage was done. Now I have one good (?) battery and no way to charge it. Grr. Leaving them on the charger is my biggest problem . . . I killed a whole set of the Versapack batteries that way. I now just have two “gold” Versapack ones that I keep around because I just can’t give up all my old tools. :D

-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO -

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3917 days

#15 posted 02-27-2009 01:39 AM

I remember reading somewhere that the lithium ion batteries have a non-zero risk of over heating even if not being charged. As I understand it it is one of the limitations from stopping Li batteries from being used in larger applications. Were these Li ion batteries or NiCadmium?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics