Bring Dead Ni-Cad Batteries Back to Life

Bring Dead Ni-Cad Batteries Back to Life

You might have been wondering how to bring dead Ni-Cad batteries back to life since your favorite appliance simply died out. Recharging it has absolutely no effect. Now your power tool is not working and you cannot continue with your project. The cordless phone that used to be there whenever you needed to call someone. The razor just won’t turn on no matter how long you leave it on the charging dock. Your kid’s remote control car is set aside, leaving you wondering whether it is still worth keeping in the room.

How to Bring Dead Ni-Cad Batteries Back to Life


Ways to Restore Ni-Cad Batteries

It is a common reaction to throw away the electronic device or the battery pack. But don’t give up on that gadget just yet. Every prepper and survivalist knows very well that there is always a workaround for almost anything that is broken and there is no need to run to the hardware store and spend hard-earned money to get a replacement. Resourcefulness and improvisation are essential survival skills because when SHTF, we will have no one and nothing else to rely on but ourselves.

Now there are many ways to restore Ni-Cad batteries and we have put them all together in one place. Once again, you will need to conjure up your handyman skills, but these methods don’t really take rocket science to succeed. The following are some of the articles and videos that show how it can be done. Notice the differences and similarities of their restoration techniques.

Note: Before we go any further, please remember we are talking about Ni-Cad or nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries here. These methods cannot be applied to NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) or Lithium batteries, otherwise, they will explode. You have been warned. This is especially important for those who are new to prepping and survivalism.


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1. Revive Ni-Cad Batteries with a Welding Machine

One of the most popular methods suggested by some DIYers is by zapping the battery with an arc welder. While it may be true that this method is effective, most people would be afraid of using a machine with such a high voltage output. The risk of electric shock is very high with a welding machine, despite the fact that adjustments can be made to make the output lower and safer.

Another danger is the possibility of the battery exploding as the inexperienced folks might zap the battery for too long. In addition, welding machines are known to draw a lot of power, which makes them the least economical option to bring dead Ni-Cad batteries back to life. And worst of all, arc welders are expensive equipment. See more.

2. Restore Your Nickel Cadmium Batteries with a Motorcycle Battery Charger

The nudging process is essentially similar to the use of the arc welder. Compared to using a welding machine which can be large, heavy, expensive, risky, and eat up a lot of power, a motorcycle battery tender is smaller, lighter, cheaper, more economical, and far safer to use.

3. Use Your Healthy Ni-Cad Batteries in Series to Zap the Old Ones to Life

In case you don’t have a battery tender or welding machine, you can use any extra nickel-based battery you may have. You will need two batteries connected in series so that the voltage will be enough to zap the cells.

4. Build Your Own Battery Reconditioning Machine

Just like the other methods mentioned here, this homemade contraption is designed to give a much-needed jolt to your Ni-Cad battery. Building the machine is fairly straightforward and the materials are quite cheap. The great thing about it is that you will have a device purpose-built to resurrect old Ni-Cad packs. Consider it a valuable addition to your home prepper/self-sufficiency kit. Since you’re building an electronic device, take all the safety precautions in order to avoid electrical shock. To learn how to build it, click here.


Here’s another video by masczone that will show you how to revive your old Ni-Cad batteries:

Now you don’t have to dispose of nickel-cadmium batteries and battery packs right away. There is no need to buy new ones, either. Just choose any of the methods we have mentioned, whichever suits you best. Restoring dead Ni-Cad batteries is another survival skill that you have just learned.

Do you have another idea on how to bring Ni-Cad batteries back to life? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Up Next: Emergency Lighting | Flashlight Power

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 28, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.


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Revive Dead Batteries | Sealed Lead Acid Battery Recovery

Revive Dead Batteries | Sealed Lead Acid Battery Recovery

You might think these things are just pieces of junk in your garage, but if you learn how to revive dead batteries, you can actually use them again! The only reason you’re not using a dead car battery is due to its inability to provide the amperage to start a car. Still, even if they can’t help your car, the truth is, they’re still useful for other pieces of equipment. But first, you need to know how to rejuvenate a lead-acid battery.

Revive Dead Batteries | Restore Sealed Lead Acid Battery


What You Will Need:

  • Dry Cloth
  • Razor
  • Flat-Head Screwdriver
  • Water
  • Battery Charger
  • Meat Syringe (Optional)
  • Multimeter

Let’s get to work!

Step 1: Clean the Battery

Clean the Battery | How to Revive Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

You’ve probably heard of using Epsom salt to revive dead batteries but that has not worked for everyone. This guide will take an alternate route and see if this one works for you. The first step in how to fix a dead car battery is to clean up the outer casing. Spray some biodiesel, olive oil, or kerosene, then wipe it with a dry cloth. You can skip the cleaning if you want, but it’s always good to start working without the mess.

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Step 2: Remove the Top Cover

Remove the Top Cover | How to Revive Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

Go around the edge of the top cover using a razor blade to the point of being able to detach it. You can also use the razor to lift the cover. Please be extra careful when holding the razor. As soon as you see a lift, slowly switch to a screwdriver. Gently raise the top by working the screwdriver under the case.

Step 3: Fill the Cells with Water

Fill the Cells with Water | How to Revive Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

Take the caps off so you can fill each cell with water. You can use a meat syringe to fill a single cell with 20 to 30 milliliters of water. A dry battery usually takes one full syringe, but it’s okay to use any method you’re comfortable with, as long as you completely fill each cell.

Step 4: Start Charging the Battery

Start Charging the Battery | How to Revive Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

You can start charging the battery now. This demonstration makes use of Da Pimp charger, which is also a portable battery tester. Place the leads for the DC side correctly on the battery. It’s as easy as “black to black” and “red to red.”

Step 5: Leave the Battery Charged for 15 to 20 Minutes

Leave the Battery Charged for 15 to 20 Minutes | How to Revive Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

You may see a really bad voltage reading before you start charging the battery. Let the charger work on the battery for 15 to 20 minutes, then check the voltage reading again. If the reading shows pulsing signs, try to give it 15 minutes more until the voltage reading stabilizes.

Step 6: Check the Voltage Reading of Each Cell

Check the Voltage Reading of Each Cell | How to Revive Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

Now, you can turn off the charger and check the voltage reading of each cell. At this point, you will know if any of the cells are dead or weaker than the others. With the use of a multimeter, set it to voltage DC with the positive probe on the positive terminal of the battery and dip the negative into the acid for each cell. You’ll get different readings, but it will let you know if any of the cells are dead.

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That’s just about all that’s needed to be done for a sealed lead acid battery recovery. Easy work for anyone!


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Here’s the full video by The Good Life Lab on recovering an old sealed lead acid battery:

Isn’t finding a good use for things sitting at the corner of your garage neat? Reviving dead batteries is a handy skill to learn. Furthermore, it won’t take much of your time to recover an old lead-acid battery. Try using them in your house for small low voltage devices. For example, you can use them to power a small fan, a desk lamp, or even for emergency lighting. You can use the battery as a power source for a lighting system in your house or use it for whichever device you please.

Have you tried to revive dead batteries? Share your experiences in the comments section below!

Up Next: Bring Dead Ni-Cad Batteries Back To Life | Prepper Skills

Editor’s Note: This article was first published in November 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy. 

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Last update on 2018-05-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



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