How to Recondition Lithium Ion Batteries at Home

Lithium-ion batteries, also called Li-on batteries are a great choice for all sorts of electronics like camcorders and laptops. Here’s a lowdown on how to recondition lithium battery at home.

  1. You can do this using a recovery charger, another healthy battery or a USB cable.
  2. If you’re using another battery, turn off the power source and remove the dead battery.
  3. Take a voltage reading and hook it up with the healthy battery in a parallel circuit.
  4. Connect the neutrals first and then the positive charges with a wire or jumper leads.
  5. or them for five to 15 minutes and take the reading of the dead battery.

Li-on batteries are preferred over the NiMH and NiCad batteries because they have a relatively lower rate of self discharge, higher capacity and more charge cycles before you start to encounter problems. So, before you throw them out, here’s what you can do to revive them.

Can A Lithium Ion Battery Be Reconditioned?

To recondition lithium ion battery is possible. These batteries tend to go into sleep mode and in that state, a battery with 3.7 volts shows a reading of 1.5 volts on the voltmeter. Some models come with a boost or recovery feature precisely to wake them out of this slumber.

But if the batteries have been at a 1.5-volt reading for a week, this feature does not work. Either when that is the case or when your batteries do not have that feature, you will have to wake them up manually. Here’s how to do that.

How to recondition a lithium ion battery?

If you are wondering how lithium battery reconditioning works, then this post will help you. Refurbishing lithium ion batteries is done in a few simple steps. There are a few different ways to recondition a lithium-ion battery. But as mentioned right in the beginning, safety is a non-optional part of this. Let’s look at the tools you will need to recondition your lithium-ion batteries.

How to recondition batteries at home? You will need the following for lithium ion battery reconditioning:

  • Safety goggles
  • A digital multimeter/voltmeter
  • A battery charger for Li-ion batteries
  • A recovery charger (if our battery supports it)
  • Another battery as a power source with the same voltageCrocodile clips
  • Paperclips or metal nails
  • A USB cable (this is optional)

Using a Recovery Charger

Step 1: To begin with, you must check if your battery is really dead. For this you must check the voltage of the dead battery using a voltmeter or a multimeter. Switch the power source off and take the battery out of the device.

Step 2: Take note of the reading on the voltmeter/multimeter. Remember that lithium-ion batteries might be drained of charge if they have been overcharged. So, for a 3.7 volt battery, the meter will show about 1.6 volts or less. This means your battery is in sleep mode.

Step 3: Get a recovery charger which can wake up a battery from sleep. Even if you have one of these chargers, you must remember that this only works for a battery with a larger voltage. That means it must be more than 1.5 volts. Otherwise, the recovery charger won’t be of much use.

Step 4: Insert the battery by matching the charges. Attach the neutral first and connect the positives next.

Step 5: Now it is time to check the voltage. Connect the dead battery to the voltmeter and check the voltage once again. If you have a user manual for the charger, check to see if there are any additional steps to the process of waking up the battery. If it does not work, it is time to get new batteries.

Step 6: Place the battery in its original charger for at least three hours. How much time is right for your battery depends on the model. Then place the battery in a device that drains a lot of energy, something like an LED flashlight.

Step 7: Now place this battery in an airtight bag and place it in a freezer for at least the night. The ideal case scenario is to leave it in there for 24 hours. Take it out and let it thaw for at least eight hours.

Step 8:Charge the battery using a regular charger and it should be good as new.

Using Another Battery as a Power Source

Take another healthy battery and use it as a power source. This new battery should have the same voltage as the one you are trying to recondition.

Step 1: Take a set of crocodile clips and connect the old and new batteries in a parallel circuit. Start by connecting the neutrals first and then connect the positive charges using jumper leads or a spare wire. This makes it a working circuit.

Step 2: Leave the batteries in the circuit for 5 to 15 minutes. Make sure it does not get too hot because that damages the batteries.

Step 3: Break the circuit and take the reading of the dead battery. You will see that the dead battery has a bigger reading than the one you noted initially. That means it accepted the charge from the healthy battery and you are good to go.

Using a USB Cable

The third way of doing it is to use a USB cable that you no longer use. That’s because you will be chopping it at one end during the process.

Step 1: Cut the smaller end of the USB cable, the side that you plug into a device, such that the black and red wires are exposed. Connect the other end to a computer.

Step 2: Put the red wire in contact with the positive terminal of your dead battery and the black one into the negative terminal. Keep it that way for a couple of minutes and monitor the battery the whole time.

Step 3: Test the voltage of the battery multiple times until there is an improvement in the voltage reading.

Step 4: Plug the battery into a Li-on charger and charge it for the next three hours or so (depending on the model of the battery) till it is back up to full charge.

Step 5: Discharge the battery by using it in a flashlight or torch.

Step 6:Seal the battery in an airtight bag and put it in the freezer for 24 hours. Don’t let any moisture enter the bag.

Step 7:Remove the bag from the freezer and let the battery thaw for six to eight hours till it is back to room temperature.

Step 8:Charge the battery again to its full capacity and check the voltage reading. It should’ve worked.

Can Lithium Batteries Be Recharged

Lithium batteries are almost the same as lithium-ion batteries. They have been around since before the lithium-ion batteries that we so generously use today. But we have both because lithium batteries could not be recharged easily or safely. That’s why manufacturers came up with a chargeable alternative.

Lithium batteries are still in circulation because they have a higher capacity, which means they can be used for a longer period of time without a recharge. They are cheaper and also easier to manufacture because the metal in their anode is just lithium whereas the metal in lithium-ion batteries is a mix of multiple materials.

Lithium batteries are also good when left on the shelf for years, unlike their lithium-ion counterparts, which degrade after just three years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to recondition a car battery at home?

Reconditioning a car battery at home can help you save cost. This is done by draining the battery electrolytes and refilling it with distilled water.

Can You Jumpstart a Dead Lithium-Ion Battery?

Yes, you can. We just gave you three different ways to do it safely and easily at home.

How Long Does a Lithium-Ion Battery Last?

A typical lithium-ion battery is known to function well for 300 to 500 charge cycles which comes up to two to three years. A charge cycle is the time it takes for the battery to go from fully charged to nil and back up to full capacity.

About the author, Phil Borges

Phil Borges is a battery aficionado. He's written extensively about batteries, and he loves nothing more than discussing the latest innovations in the industry. He has a deep understanding of how batteries work, and he's always on the lookout for new ways to improve their performance.