Here’s a simple trick I discovered that extends the overall life of rechargeable batteries and allows the battery to take a deeper and longer lasting charge.
Nothing is more irritating than to be down to the last few screws to be installed, or last two holes to be drilled, and have the battery go flat and then wait to finish the job at a later time or do it by hand. Another problem, and even worse, is when the battery will no longer take a full charge or any charge at all.
Some types of rechargeables have a memory that accumulates and if you don’t totally discharge the battery before recharging, Internal heat buildup in the battery will only allow it take a small amount of charge or none at all. I’ve found that I can extend the life and increase the depth of charge on all rechargeables by putting the battery in the freezer overnight before putting it on the charger.
I have to squeeze my DIY, and around home projects, in when I’m not traveling or writing and sometimes I use my cordless tools day after day, all day long. At other times, I don’t use them for months. I’ve also found the batteries will accept a deeper charge if I put them in the freezer before topping off the charge after they’ve been sitting. Most batteries will lose a certain amount of charge while sitting, even if not used.
There have been times when my wife has asked me if I know I have batteries in the freezer. Usually, that’s when I think my best laid plans for DIY projects have been derailed by something else that has assumed a higher priority. There have been times when the batteries have remained in the freezer for months, and have taken a full charge without any apparent problems. I find that a frozen battery takes a deeper, longer lasting charge but also takes longer to be fully charged up. I use one hour fast chargers and it will take an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half to be fully charged if the battery is frozen. I’ve also resurrected batteries and used them for long periods with good service simply by freezing them, even after they’ve refused to take a charge.
The fire and meltdown problems associated with rechargeables in computers, I-pods and cordless tools have all been heat related. I’ve never seen or heard of a rechargeable self de-structing due to freezing. And an added bonus is: the longer the battery life, the less toxic materials that have to be recycled and dealt with.