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HELP!!! EXTREMELY PUFFY LIPO

orange_rc_pilot

If he can, then so can I!
#1
Ok so I just pulled out my toolbox and knocked over an old unused lipo without a connector on it. The wires shorted instantly and I heard it fizzing violently and went to about 3x its size in like 15 seconds. I sprinted to the balcony and put it there in the likely event that it spontaneously combusts. I don't know what to do! I'm getting kind of scared; how the heck do I deal with this!? Please help me!!!
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#2
I had a similar experience - if you have a clay flower pot or something like that, drop it in there.

Next task will be to safely get it down to zero volts so you can dispose of it.

I connected a little brushed DC motor from my junk drawer to mine and left it in the flower pot for a couple hours until it stopped moving. You can also connect a light bulb - like a 12v car brake light one - and use that to slowly bleed off the power.

Once the little motor stops running, or the light bulb finally goes out, you should be at zero volts. If you have a volt meter to check it, that's great - if not, consider buying one.

After you've confirmed the battery is now at zero volts, you can drop it in any trash can - it's safe for disposal.
 

orange_rc_pilot

If he can, then so can I!
#3
I had a similar experience - if you have a clay flower pot or something like that, drop it in there.

Next task will be to safely get it down to zero volts so you can dispose of it.

I connected a little brushed DC motor from my junk drawer to mine and left it in the flower pot for a couple hours until it stopped moving. You can also connect a light bulb - like a 12v car brake light one - and use that to slowly bleed off the power.

Once the little motor stops running, or the light bulb finally goes out, you should be at zero volts. If you have a volt meter to check it, that's great - if not, consider buying one.

After you've confirmed the battery is now at zero volts, you can drop it in any trash can - it's safe for disposal.
Thanks very much for your help. I do have a clay pot, and a strip of LEDs, if that will do? No volt meter though.

I'll keep you updated
 

orange_rc_pilot

If he can, then so can I!
#4
OK. so I've stuck the LiPo in the pot, but the LEDs won't turn on when connected. I tested the LEDs with a working battery, and they turned on fine, but not with the puffed one :confused::confused::confused:. Any ideas? I was thinking just to drain it by shorting the wires, but I realised that the short caused all this mess, and so will likely explode the battery.
 
#5
from a google search
# Salt Water Method

This could be the slowest method if your battery wasn’t discharged previously by the above methods. Some discourage from using salty water because it’s time consuming, but I personally think it’s a relatively easy and safe solution. No matter what, I always go through this step before dumping my lipo.

The theory behind this is 1 – salty water is electricity conductive and it discharges the battery slowly and completely; 2 – salt causes chemistry reaction with the substances in the lipo battery, and neutralizes the Lithium. I am not a chemist, so I hope someone can verify this theory.

Get a plastic container which you can afford to throw away, and fill it with cold water.
Mix it with salt and make sure it’s dissolved completely. I always use about 30g of salt per litre of water and that has been giving me good result.
Put the battery in the salty water, and leave it somewhere fire proof for two weeks. Depending how much charge it had originally, you might want to leave it longer.
Finally, wrap the battery with paper and it’s ready to be thrown away.

Also note that salt water might not completely discharge your lipo, as corrosion can happen and reduce/stop electrical conductivity (the exposed metal on the leads will have a layer of insulator building up in salt water). Eventually it would slow down, or even stop the discharging completely.
 
#7
OK. so I've stuck the LiPo in the pot, but the LEDs won't turn on when connected. I tested the LEDs with a working battery, and they turned on fine, but not with the puffed one :confused::confused::confused:. Any ideas? I was thinking just to drain it by shorting the wires, but I realised that the short caused all this mess, and so will likely explode the battery.
Do you have a multimeter / voltmeter? I am not an electrical engineer etc (standard disclaimers), but if the LEDs aren't turning on then it seems like either the battery's no longer delivering any power (a generally good result, at this point), or maybe just not enough to (visibly?) turn on the LEDs. I am not sure if there's a minimum current to those strips. I think this is why lots of folks recommend a 12V (esp. for 3S LiPos) car lamp, as they're cheap, common, and will drain the battery down continuously toward zero current with no "low cutoff".

The other possibility is that physical damage in the "puffing" process has disconnected the circuit inside the battery? I'd be worried that the individual cells might have power left even if the battery can't deliver it. If you have a meter and can read the main-lead output as well as across each pair of wires in the balance connector (you didn't mention the capacity or cell count of the battery) you would have a better idea.
 

orange_rc_pilot

If he can, then so can I!
#9
Do you have a multimeter / voltmeter? I am not an electrical engineer etc (standard disclaimers), but if the LEDs aren't turning on then it seems like either the battery's no longer delivering any power (a generally good result, at this point), or maybe just not enough to (visibly?) turn on the LEDs. I am not sure if there's a minimum current to those strips. I think this is why lots of folks recommend a 12V (esp. for 3S LiPos) car lamp, as they're cheap, common, and will drain the battery down continuously toward zero current with no "low cutoff".

The other possibility is that physical damage in the "puffing" process has disconnected the circuit inside the battery? I'd be worried that the individual cells might have power left even if the battery can't deliver it. If you have a meter and can read the main-lead output as well as across each pair of wires in the balance connector (you didn't mention the capacity or cell count of the battery) you would have a better idea.
I agree with every single point you make, but all in vain!!! I don't have a volt meter, and I really need one! I had thought about the fact that the LEDs may be only be very dimly lit; that the battery may be empty already; that the puffing may have disconnected a wire; that the cells may have leftover power... grrrrrrrrr I need a voltmeter. That's top of my buying list now!!
 
#10
You can get an adequate voltmeter at Harbor Freight for a few bucks. The only thing to look out for is the connection between the leads and the unit itself. Otherwise, they have served me just fine!
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#11
Call your local Batteries Plus and ask them if they will recycle it for you.

I have never taken them a severely puffed lipo but they take and discharge and recycle my lipos for free as part of a national policy.
 

Snarls

Gravity Tester
Mentor
#12
Get a 12v (assuming 3s) automotive or landscaping light bulb and hook it up to the battery. After a day or two it will be fully drained. Then you can tie the leads together and throw it in the trash or give it to the battery recycle guys.
 

orange_rc_pilot

If he can, then so can I!
#13
Thank you all for your suggestions.

Since I'm too scared to so much as touch the battery, I'll probably go with +cranialrectosis 's idea of giving it to specialists. There's one 5 minutes from my house.

Thanks again, everyone! This may have helped me avert disaster...