Many portable electronic devices are using rechargeable batteries. However, the problem is after some time these rechargeable batteries lose their charge and ultimately stop charging. Thankfully, there is something you can do about it.
This website contains a lot of information about battery such as different types of batteries, steps to make them last longer, how to test one if it can be reconditioned, how to recondition batteries and finally a section on lead-acid batteries (12 v car battery).
You can use the information you get from this website to take care of your batteries, help out your friend or make some money on the side as a part-time business.
But before I start, I would like to share some essential precaution tips:
- Avoid wearing jewelry when working with a battery
- Use a pair of safety goggles and a pair of high voltage gloves when using any reconditioning procedure describe in this website
- Always connect the positive lead of an instrument to the positive terminal of the battery and negative lead of a device to a negative terminal of the battery. Reversing these connections can damage your device.
- Always use goggles, acid gloves and apron when handling lead-acid batteries because they contain sulfuric acid
- Always recondition lead-acid battery in well-ventilated area
- A battery’s negative terminal should never be connected directly to its positive term Doing so will ‘short circuit’ and a massive flow of current.
Introduction – Why You Need To Recondition Your Rechargeable Batteries?
Usually, when you buy a new device for the first time, you charge it before using. You plug-in the charger to fully charge it. In the beginning, everything works fine. Whenever your device needs a charge, you plug in a charger and charge it. This process goes for a while.
However, just like everything, Rechargeable batteries wear out too. Your new batteries in the device start showing less and less useful time. Thankfully by using reconditioning methods described here, you can also bring a battery back to life again.
This decreasing useful time between the charge is something known as ‘Memory Effect.’ The battery that is most subject to memory effect is Ni-Cad (AA, AAA batteries). Newer Ni-MH also gets memory effect but to a lesser extent.
You need to allow these batteries to discharge nearly completely before charging them again. If you charge these batteries in the mid-way, then these batteries will ‘remembers’ that and loses its storage capability. The growth of crystals is the reason behind this memory effect, but this fact doesn’t matter as you can recondition battery and make them like a new one with the procedure mentioned in this website.
Note: By using some battery caring-tips (posted below) you can extend the battery life.
Car batteries (lead acid batteries) also wears out and often at inconvenient place and time. However, the reason for wearing out is different than Ni-Cad and other rechargeable batteries. Also, it’s not a good idea to let your car battery discharge nearly completely before charging it. Wearing out in lead acid batteries occurs because of undesired chemical reaction that slowly takes place inside the battery. You can also recondition them using the procedure that described below.
Step 1 – Different Types of Rechargeable Batteries:
Most consumer electronic devices contain three different types of rechargeable batteries that are Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) and Lithium ion (Li-Ion). Although these three doesn’t look much different, however, there are some significant differences among them. I will tell you about each of them.
Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad): These Ni-Cd batteries are the longest available in the market. Still many electronic devices contain these Ni-Cd batteries. These batteries can hold good capacity and provide very stable voltage. A major disadvantage in them is ‘memory effect’. They go through limited number of discharge-recharge before they need to replaced. Typically they last for one to two years.
Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH): Ni-MH battery is the advanced version of Ni-Cad batteries as they contain same advantages like Ni-Cd batteries and they suffer from memory effect much lesser than them. Ni-MH batteries also have more discharge-recharge cycles and they can have a battery life of three to four years. However, they also have some down side, Ni-MH batteries are expensive than Ni-Cad batteries and they lose charge quickly than Ni-Cd when not in use.
Lithium Ion (Li-Ion): This is the latest development in battery that is commercially available. They hold same advantages as Ni-Cad and Ni-MH batteries and don’t suffer at all from memory effect. They also have 300 to 500 discharge-recharge cycles and last four to five years. However, the down side is, these Li-Ion batteries lose 10% storage capacity every year due to chemical breakdown and this is no way to reverse or prevent it.
Step 2 – Tips to Prolong Battery Life
All these three rechargeable batteries (Ni-Cad, Ni-MH, Li-Ion) have their advantages and disadvantages, but there are some tips that you can use to prolong their battery life. Since these tips are different for every battery type that is why I will define them separately:
Ni-Cad batteries suffer greatly from memory effect, so it is necessary to provide care that counteracting this effect. Here are some tips to prolong Nickel Cadmium battery life:
- If you are using a device that contains Ni-Cd battery then make sure you let it completely drained or at least very near to completely drained before recharging them again
- Use the high quality charger that can automatically stop supplying power when battery fully charged. This type of charger is the best way to avoid overcharging.
- Perform a ‘deep cycle’ recharge once a month which is basically to use the device until it stops operating then recharge it completely. Remember, when you are using Ni-Cd powered device your first three charges should be ‘deep cycle’ recharge.
- Keep Ni-Cad powered devices at room temperature.
- After using the device, it is important to remove Ni-Cad batteries as some devices can completely drain off batteries which can make batteries stop working.
- Don’t keep Ni-Cad battery on the charger when it is fully charged for more than 24 hours. Ideally, remove from the charger when the battery fully charged. Overcharging reduces the battery life.
Ni-MH Batteries don’t suffer much from memory effect, but they discharge quickly as compare to Ni-Cd batteries, this is the reason the care should be provided differently to Ni-MH batteries. Here are few things you can do to prolong battery life:
- If a device that contains Ni-MH battery used for more than two weeks then let it discharge completely and charge it 50% of its full capacity.
- Additionally, once in two months perform a ‘deep cycle’ recharge of your Ni-MH battery. Use the device until its stop operating and then recharge battery completely.
- Don’t leave Ni-MH batteries in the devices that remain turned on when you stop working with them. This mistake will reverse polarity and destroy battery life. A good step is to remove batteries from devices that you have not used from an extended period.
- Don’t overcharge your Ni-MH battery. Use good quality charger intended for Ni-MH battery that stops charging when a battery is full.
Li-Ion batteries don’t suffer from the memory effect at all, but their life depends on some discharge-recharge cycles, this is the reason the tips to prolong Li-Ion battery is very much different than Ni-Cad and Ni-MH batteries. Here are some tips to extend Li-Ion Battery life.
Keep Li-Ion battery on the charger and fully charged as long as possible because this will avoid unnecessary discharge cycles and prolong the battery life. It also doesn’t harm when you keep Li-Ion battery on the charger as long as possible even its fully charged.
Use charger that is made especially for Li-Ion battery
Operate Li-Ion powered device at room temperature
Perform ‘deep cycle’ recharge once a month. Charge battery overnight until it reaches its maximum capacity then use the device until it shuts down. Then recharge again. For Li-Ion batteries, this process is also known as ‘Calibrating’ battery which is an effective way to prolong Li-Ion battery life.
Step 3 – Collecting Useful Equipment and Supplies to Recondition a Battery:
Before you start learning about how to recondition batteries, you should know you need three items to start working with any battery. These are:
- A Pair of alligator clip test leads
- Safety glasses
These three things don’t cost you much as you can get multimeter for less than $20 from Amazon, alligator clip test leads and safety glasses will cost you few dollars. These three things are necessary, and they are going to save you some money in the future.
Detailed information provided about these three items below except safety glasses (which use should be obvious). Make sure you use safety glasses every time you work with battery as they will protect your eyes.
If you are thinking about battery reconditioning business then I recommend you to invest some money in these three devices:
- A Smart Charger
- A Battery Analyzer
- A Battery Tester
A Smart Charger is a very handy tool as it can ‘sense’ when a battery is full. It stops the battery from overcharging which ultimately prolongs battery life. Additionally, a smart charger charges the battery at fast speed than a normal charger. A standard (non-smart) charger not only charges a battery at slow speed but can also damage the battery by overcharging it.
Step 4 – How to Test Batteries Before Reconditioning Them:
Before reconditioning any battery, you should know the process of testing out batteries so you will able to sort out batteries that can be reconditioned. You can test batteries with multimeter, analyzer, and tester. We will discuss all three methods but first, let start with a multimeter which is a least expensive option.
Test Battery with Multimeter:
A multimeter can provide several readings that why it called ‘Multi Meter’. You can get DC Voltage ( a type of current you get from battery), AC Voltage ( a type of current you get in the home), DC (Direct Current), AC (Alternate Current) and electrical resistance. The rotary dial on the center of the device allows you to choose measurements you want to get.
The two measurements you can get from the battery are voltage and resistance. Keep in mind these readings are ‘no-load’ reading. A ‘no-load’ reading mean taking readings when no current drawn from the battery. Battery testers and analyzers can use resistors to provide load while measuring voltage, resistance or current of the battery to provide better information about the state of the battery. However, a multimeter can provide some useful information as well.
Here are some steps to using a multimeter:
- The first step is to use a selector to select the type of measurement you would like to have. There are basically few different types of measurements you can get in a multimeter that are: DC volts, AC volts, resistance (Or ohms), DC amps and AC amps. Some multimeters can provide more than one range.
- The second step is to connect positive (+) probe with the positive terminal of the battery and negative (-) probe with the negative terminal of the battery. Multimeters are setup with red lead as a positive probe and black lead as a negative probe.
- The third step is to hold the probe tips (not the side) to the appreciate object tightly. Avoid touching the metal part as it can affect the readings
- The fourth step is to take Ohm measurements. To do that you first need to calibrate the zero ohm reading by touching the tip of two probes together while selecting Ohms with the dial. Digital meters automatically calibrate itself while in analog meters you have to use a screw to adjust the pointer to zero.
Note: Make sure you keep probe tip clean to avoid any ‘contact’ resistance between probe tip and battery terminal.
Here are some examples of resistance measurement:
This is the example of no-load voltage of cordless drill 6-pack battery that stops working, and the battery is not charging. As you can see the voltage measured in multi-meter is zero and resistance of the battery measured at (0.3-0.5 ohms)
This second example is of cordless phone 3-pack Ni-MH battery readings. This battery is allowed to charge overnight and as you can see meter is showing 4.16 volts which are above its normal (3 x 1.2 V = 3.6 V) which means this battery has full life.
This third example shows the reading of same cordless 3-pack Ni-MH battery. The reading as you can see is 15.34 ohms. Note that the probes are reversed to check resistance. The positive probe is placed at negative terminal of the battery, and negative probe is placed at positive terminal of the battery
Notice:It is important to take measurements after battery is allowed to charge overnight for better understanding.
Here is interpretation of multimeter readings:
By reading voltage and Ohms reading of cordless drill we can now understand that it is dead and it can’t be reconditioned, however, the rejuvenating procedure may bring it back to life. The voltage and Ohms reading of cordless phone shows it is in its normal state and it is indeed true.
You have got the idea about how to test batteries now let’s take a look on how to recondition batteries.
Step 5 – How to Recondition Batteries
5a) Recondition a Ni-Cad Battery – Bringing Dead Battery to Life Again:
Ni-Cad batteries are more likely to ‘memory effect’ than any other batteries. This memory effect occurs because of the sulfur crystal build up inside the battery. To destroy or vaporize these crystals we need to provide current at high voltage. Don’t worry, it is not that difficult, and sometimes its fun too.
Here are equipment and tools that you need
- Battery holder (You can use AAA, AA, C or D holder depending on battery you want to zap I am going to use AA battery holder)
- Dead Ni-Cad battery & Full-charged Ni-Cad battery
- A disposable flash camera (we need to get capacitor from it. Photo developing places in Wal-mart have these usually)
- High Power switch (I use push-button switch)
- Small switch (For this project I use slide switch)
And tools that you need are:
- Flat head screwdriver
- Soldering iron (if you don’t want to do any soldering then you can get away with it by twisting wires in places)
- Wire clippers
- Wire strippers
Now, we have all the tools. It is good to start…
Step 1 – Getting Capacitor From The Disposable Flash Camera
Some people feel this is a difficult task while some think it is fun. Anyways, opening up a camera and getting circuit out without getting shocked is the most difficult task in how to recondition batteries.
First, open the camera with a flat head screwdriver. Once you take the case off the camera now discharge the capacitor with a screw driver. You will hear the big spark sound and after that capacitor will discharge. Note: A fully charged capacitor will leave a scar on screw driver.
Awesome, this is the most difficult step that you just completed.
Step 2 – Remove and Add Switch
If you want, then you can remove the metal part (surface-mounted charge switch) from the camera circuit and replace it with a small external switch (Flat switch). This switch provides easy control on the circuit.
Now, remove the top bit of charge switch. It contains some tape so it wouldn’t be that hard to remove it. After that solder two pieces of wire on both exposed metal parts. Then, solder a ‘new’ charge switch at the other end of the wires.
Step 3 – Add Battery Holder and A Switch:
In this step, we will add battery holder and a high power switch with the black capacitor.
Solder the black wire to the lead of the battery which is the part closest to the gray strip mark on the capacitor. Solder a piece of red wire on the other side of the capacitor.
Now, solder the high power push button with red wire of battery holder and other wires.
The battery holder you just added will be the place where you put your dead battery to bring it to life.
Step 4 – Cover The High Voltage Area:
You are almost done, now you have to cover the bare high voltage area with a small project box.
If you don’t have project box then you can also tape the exposed metal parts and tape the bottom of the circuit.
Step 5 – Bring the Dead Battery to Life Again
To bring the dead battery back to life again you need to put your dead battery to the battery holder you just attach to the wires and put a good alkaline battery to the battery holder on the camera circuit.
Turn on the light-switch button to see the neon/led light start glowing. It means your circuit is ready to bring dead battery to life again. In case if you don’t see the light glowing then check your connections to the circuit.
Once a light is glowing, turn on power-switch button, and you hear a loud ‘pop.’ This ‘pop’ sound indicates that the crystals are vaporized, and the battery is alive again. Just to be sure if crystals are vaporized turn on power switch one more time.
Now your battery is ready to use. Charge it on its charger overnight and test it with a multimeter.
5b) How To Recondition Ni-MH Batteries:
Most of the time you will find Ni-MH batteries in cordless drills, cordless phones, etc. Although, Ni-MH battery suffers from ‘memory effect’ at lesser extent however they are expensive than Ni-Cad batteries, this is why reconditioning these Ni-MH batteries is a good idea.
When my 1999 cordless drill (YA!! its old) battery pack (9.8 V) ran out and also not picking up charging, I start looking for methods to revive this NI-MH battery pack. I found two ways that work for me. Although the first method restore my battery, however, drill runs only 5 seconds then I use the second method which involves charging a battery with balance charger, and it does the trick!! Multimeter shows 9.8 V in reading and drill runs longer.
So here are some equipment that I use to recondition my cordless drill battery (9.8 V)
- Piece of wire
- Balance Charger (for method 2)
- 2 Fully charged 12 V Ni-MH battery
As you can see the picture below, the battery of my cordless drill is completely dead
Step 1 – Check The Voltage Of Two Charged Batteries:
To revive the dead battery I used two similar batteries of 12 V and join them with the piece of wire. Here is the reading of these two batteries:
As you can see the reading shows 27.4 volts which is around 114% means these are fully charged batteries in working condition.
Step 3 – Reviving the Dead Battery through Zapping It
Now I connect the positive terminal of the working battery with the positive side of dead battery using red wire and connect the negative terminal of working battery using black wire but DON’T connect it with negative terminal of dead battery because this black wire is used to touch the negative terminal of dead battery to zap it few times (around 8) as shown in the picture below.
Once done I remove the wires and test the dead battery with multimeter. When I check dead battery with multimeter I get readings around 0.4 and dropping down to 0.3 and 0.25.
Step 4 – Charge Dead Battery on Its Charger
I put the battery on its charger and allow it to charge. Good chargers glows light when battery is fully charge. Once fully charge, my battery shows 9.8 volts which is sufficient to run the drill machine. But when I run my drill it runs for just 5 seconds.
If your device is operating fine after these steps then next step is completely optional for you. But in my case, I have to charge it with balance charger called ‘LiPro Balance Charger’
Step 5 – Charging Battery WithBalance Charger
I connect this balance charger with drill battery. Just for clarification, red positive probe with the positive side of the battery and black negative probe with the negative side of the battery.
I set it to charge battery with 1.0 A, discharge with 0.5 A, and set it to repeat the charge/discharge procedure for 9 times. Here are the results I get:
As you can see from the table above, the capacity from charge and discharge raises with every charge/discharge cycle. Once done, I reconnect my battery to the drill again and it worked. For testing, I drill 5 nail in the piece of wood and drill doesn’t stop.
5b) How To Recondition A Laptop Battery:
Before reconditioning your laptop battery, it is important to know the type of battery your laptop is using. Some Laptop still uses Ni-Cad and Ni-MH batteries while most laptops use Li-ion battery. Often the type of battery is written in computer specification.
You can’t apply Ni-Cad and Ni-MH reconditioning method to Li-ion battery. If you do then your Li-ion battery will stop working permanently.
In this how to recondition laptop battery step I am first going to share some tips for reconditioning Ni-Cad and Ni-MH battery then I will share a step-by-step guide on how to rebuild your laptop battery which will cost you must less than computer batteries available in the market.
Let’s start with some tips to recondition Ni-cad and Ni-MH battery…
Recondition Ni-Cad & Ni-MH Battery:
Solution 1 – Freeze Your Battery:
If you haven’t heard about this method, then you should know this is popular method people are using to increase their Ni-MH and Ni-cad battery life. However, this technique doesn’t work for Li-ion battery, and it may damage its life.
All you have to do is put your battery in Ziploc bag and put it in the freezer for 12-18 hours. After 12-18 hours, take out the battery from the freezer and let the battery warm up until it reaches room temperature. Re-insert battery in computer and let it charge 100%.
Once done remove the charger and let battery drains out. Repeat the cycle of charging till 100% and letting it drains out for four times. This trick will bump up battery timing unless your battery is leaking acid.
Solution 2 – Keep Your Computer Cool:
Although this is not the method for how to recondition batteries but this little trick can increase battery life. Most of the time, the primary reason for less battery timing is ‘heat.’ Some Laptops heat up very quickly, and they damage battery life. You can use $20 cooling pad from Amazon to keep your laptop cool.
Solution 3 – Recalibrating Your Battery:
The biggest problem in Ni-cad and Ni-MH battery is they are suspect to ‘memory effect.’ You simply can’t keep your computer running at 100% battery charge every time. Although, there is no problem when your computer is operating at 100% battery, however, crystals inside these cells reduce their storage capacity, and you start getting less and less battery time.
Recalibrating process is so common that many computer manufacturers like Sony have their model-specific recalibrating tools. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through all those time-consuming searching procedures as you can also do recalibrating manually.
To do this, you have to charge your battery to the 100% or whatever max percentage your computer is showing. Once done let it cool for 2 hours. Now disconnect power cable to let battery drains out. Make sure you change your settings and don’t let it sleep or hibernate.
Once laptop battery runs out, keep your laptop shut down for 4 to 6 hours. Then, recharge your battery to its max, and most probably your computer will now show correct battery timings.
This recalibrating battery process is also useful for fixing ‘Plugged in, Not Charging’ problem that usually appears in the computer that supports Li-ion battery.
Solution 4 – Don’t Let Your Computer Run Too Long at 100%:
You can continue working for long at 100% in Li-ion battery. However, you can’t do the same in Ni-cad and Ni-MH battery. If your computer has Ni-cad and Ni-MH battery one trick is to don’t let it charge at 100%.
Once you see the battery is 100% charged, remove the power cable and use the computer until the battery goes down to 3% to 5%. This trick works very well, and it gives longer battery life.
These four tips work great with the computer that supports Ni-cad and Ni-MH battery but what about Li-Ion battery? Solution 2 and 3 from above works great for Li-ion battery but when your Li-ion battery stop taking charge completely the only option you left is rebuilding laptop battery which is not as difficult as it might seem.
Here is how to rebuild Li-ion battery
Rebuild Laptop Battery:
If you are rebuilding laptop battery for the first time, then I suggest you start with old laptop battery that is dead because you can’t make any worst to a dead battery. In this example, I am going to use old Apple laptop battery that is not holding any charge, and it is not even running the laptop for even 5 seconds. So anything I am going to do with this battery, I can’t make any worse to it.
Here are steps on how to rebuild laptop battery:
Step 1 – Dissemble Laptop Battery:
This step is about disassembling an old laptop as you can see the picture above. For some batteries, you have to use a flat head screwdriver to open the clips inside the battery, and for some battery, you have to open screws. Make sure you open your battery carefully as circuit inside the case is necessary for building laptop battery again. You will able to open laptop battery with some patience.
Step 2 – Buying New Batteries from eBay:
As I already mentioned there is no way to recondition Li-ion batteries so what we do is to buy new Li-ion batteries that are readily available on Amazon and eBay. For this example I am buying super cheap, China made batteries as they can cost $2 per batteries.
One thing you should know is, most China batteries suppliers are selling their batteries by labeling them as 6000 mAh batteries which is a big LIE. These China batteries are even less than brand batteries from Samsung or Sony which label their batteries as 2000 mAh batteries. But what great about them is they are SUPER CHEAP. You can get them for around $2 per cell as compared to branded $4-5 per cell.
According to my previous experience with these batteries, I feel they are around 1000-1500 mAh as this is test project that is why I am going to use them. You can buy some good batteries if you want longer batteries time but with them, I feel I will get around 60-75 minutes battery time.
Step 3 – Understanding Basic Laptop Battery Layout:
For rebuilding battery, it is important for you to understand cells layout.
Laptop battery contain cells paired together in a series connected with main power wire of each end attach to the controller and there is sensor wire (green wire in pic above) linked to the wire for balancing.
If you don’t want to invest much money for your test project, then you can also remove one cell each from every pair but battery time will be less.
Step 4 – Desolder The Battery Wire:
Next step is to remove the battery wire from the old batteries so you can connect new cells with them. Some companies welded the wire, so you have to desolder them to remove them. See the pic above for understanding.
Step 5 – Building New Cell Series:
Once you remove wires from the old batteries now, you have to use new batteries to create new series with them. For this, first, you have to apply some solder using solder core wire on both the side of the cells.
Next, you have to apply some solder to the wire and use tape to combine two cells together. Next solder the wire to the second cell as you did to the first cell. Once done his is how your series will look like:
Step 6 – Connect The Circuit And Put Them In Battery Case
In this step, you have to connect the circuit back and put the new cell’s series into the battery case again. Apply some tape to wire and close the battery case.
Step 7 – Connect Battery To The Computer Again:
Now your new battery is ready to work again. Connect it to the laptop and wait for few minutes. You will start noticing your battery start charging again.
Remember, your new battery is not calibrated and to make your computer understand its battery capacity you have to repeat the calibrated process as mentioned above for a couple of times.
How To Recondition Lead Acid Battery (Aka 12V Battery or Car Battery)
Now we will take a look on how to recondition lead-acid batteries and get them back to life again. I previously tried the method on many dead batteries, and 80% of them start working again.
This method will not bring your battery at his maximum performance, but at my rate, it will make the battery work 60-70% of its capacity.
To recondition a lead acid battery you need:
- Safety Glasses
- Common Screwdriver
- Plastic Funnel
- Battery Post Cleaner
- Battery Hydrometer
- Battery load tester
- Voltmeter with probes on it
- Chemical to add in the battery (we use China Depot Battery Reconditioning Chemical)
Here are steps to recondition a lead-acid battery:
Step 1 –Clean Terminal Post with Battery Post Cleaner:
Make sure your battery post cleaner has wires in it to clean battery terminal post. Place the post cleaner on the positive battery post and turn it several times to clean it. Next, repeat the same process with negative battery post to get rid of corrosion and dirty.
Step 2 – Check The Battery Volts Before Reconditioning It:
It is necessary to check your battery volts before reconditioning it; this is because if your battery has dead or weak cells in it, then you need to replace it first before reconditioning your battery. To check if your battery can recondition you need to use a voltmeter to check its volt.
Put the red probe of the voltmeter to the positive terminal post and black probe of the voltmeter to the negative terminal post. Wait for 10 seconds and then check the reading. If a voltmeter is showing 12 volts, then you are good to go but if it is less than 12 volts then probably you have a dead or broken cell.
Step 3 – Remove Battery Caps:
Use the common screwdriver (aka flat head screwdriver) to remove the caps of the battery. Put common screwdriver under the edge of the cap to remove it. Repeat the same step on the second battery cap.
Step 4 – Test Each Cells:
Before adding chemical in your battery, you need to check if each cell is supplying 2 volts or not. We use long wire probe to test the battery cells that we made from coat hanger wire as they’re expendable and when they corroded out we can just throw them out and make use ones. We can just clip them with a voltmeter.
To start off testing your every cell you need to put your red probe (positive probe) on the positive terminal and black probe (negative probe) to the first cell to get the reading of two volts. Then, proceed by placing your positive probe to the first cell then negative probe to the second cell to get the reading of 2 volts. Similarly, put the positive probe to the second cell and negative probe to the third probe. Continue doing it until you test all six cells. [Remember: First positive probe and then negative probe]
In case if you don’t get 2 volts in any of the one cells then it means you have got a weak or bad cell.
Step 5 – Use Battery Load Tester To Check Battery:
Once you get 2 volts reading from each cell now, you need to test your battery with a battery load tester.
It is important to hook the probes carefully to avoid any sparks or explosions. To do this, you need to first hook the positive probe (red) to the positive battery post and then hook the negative probe (black) to the negative battery terminal post.
You will see it’s reading is 12 volts (in green area). Now, what we are going to do is, turn on the switch on load tester that will put a load on the battery. When you turn on the switch, you will notice a reading start dropping slowly; you will have to wait for ten seconds to get the final readings. You probably see the reading drop in the yellow zone that is weak zone.
Here you will learn two things, first is you see a slight drop in the reading and second is when you turn off the switch the reading is back in the green zone. What this means is, your battery is good for reconditioning.
Now, remove the probe carefully to avoid any sparks. First, remove the negative probe off onto the ground then remove the positive probe.
Step 6 –Using Battery Hydrometer:
This battery hydrometer will tell you how much charge your battery needs to get fully charged. First, let me explain about hydrometer:
Battery Hydrometer is the glass tube with the suction ball in it that draws the electrolyte from the battery to the tube that floats until the marking shown in the glass tube. As you see, red strip covers big area then followed by narrow white strip and then green wide strip.
How does it work? If electrolyte flows until the green marking, then it means the cell is in good shape. If it floats to the white strip, then it means a cell in fair shape, but if it floats to the red strip, then it means cell needs charging.
To test the cell, you need to put the hydrometer into the cell until it reaches the top of the electrolyte. Press the suction ball as hard as you can, to remove the air out and let the electrolyte come up in the glass cylinder. Once electrolyte comes into the cylinder, then let it settle down first and check its reading. If it is above the green strip or very little green strip is showing, then it means it needs charging. Put the electrolyte back in the cell. You need to repeat this process with every cell.
P.S: This liquid substance is the electrolyte which is the combination of sulfuric acid and water. It is dangerous for your clothes and skin.
While you are testing the electrolyte of the battery, you should also check the level of the electrolyte in the battery. The electrolyte should be an eight of the inch above the lead plates.
Step 7 – Reconditioning Lead Acid Battery:
Once you complete the testing, it is now time to recondition it. To recondition a lead-acid battery, you need to add chemicals. You can add Epsom salt. But in the example, I am going to use China Depot Battery Reconditioning Chemical.
Use a plastic funnel and a tablespoon to put a heaping soon of chemicals to all six cells. The reason I use China Depot Battery Reconditioning Chemicals is that they are too dry and it is easy to put them through a funnel into the battery cells.
Step 8 – Charge The Battery:
Once you complete putting chemicals into each battery cells now,put the battery caps back and charge your battery for 24 hours. After 24 hours you will get a fully reconditioned lead-acid battery.
Try out this method and let me know your experiences. Please share this how to recondition batteries method with your friend and family member who want to recondition their old car batteries. Thanks
Now you know about how to recondition batteries. I suggest you give it a try and tell me your success or failure with this method. If you have any question regarding battery reconditioning then feel free to ask me, I will try to answer them as soon as possible. I hope you will find this helpful.