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Safety Tip - Lipo

DumbAce

Junior Member
#1
Dont Be a Dumbace, Use a Bag -- This Dumbace didnt and just had his first Lipo explode, in my house no less. Just 30 min before I was going to go to bed. Lipo Fire.jpg
This photo shows where a 50 stack of CD's/dvd's were stored (the shelf above the battery) the charger in the bottom right.. and smoke damage all over Smoke Dmg and DVD's destroyed..jpg The fire started to run up the wall but I was able to get it out... BTW, Lipo's turn into a plastic gel when burning... dont be a DumbAce and get it all over your hands.
I had burns to my hands (which are now wrapped and hope to be healing) and $1,000 in property damage... Thank god that was all. :black_eyed:

I dont know what happened except to say im brand new to RC planes and Lipo's. I lost my plane the day before and when i found it, the battery had 2.5 total volts... It seemed to be charging well.. I stepped away for about 10 min when I heard what sounded like a car crash coming from my den only to find a fire raging on my computer desk shelves. I dont know if I can trust the charger, or the battery, or if it was just human error and not charge battery's that have 2.5 total voltage.
Could use some help on that question.
 
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DumbAce

Junior Member
#2
BTW what you see there is all that was left of the battery, A towel i used was melted with the outer casing of the battery attached...
 

Foam Addict

Squirrel member
#3
First of, I hope your hands are doing better. I have severely burned my hands more than once, so I sympathize.

Second off, Never, EVER charge them when they are that low, throw them in salt water!
I don't even charge them if they are below 3.0 volts per cell.

Also, get a 50 Cal. Ammo box and drill a hole in the side, A SMALL hole, and run your charge leads in it, then attach the charger to the side.
Then to charge, put the battery in the lipo bag, put the bag in the box, and seal the box. If something goes wrong, grab a towel, grab the box and throw it on the drive way.
I pray that you are doing better, and may you have a happy Easter!
 

DumbAce

Junior Member
#4
Thank you for your comments and sympthy, Easter weekend is starting of with a bang thats for sure. Thats a great Ideal and rest assured ill head your advice. Not only that, ill now be charging my batteries from outside the house, I have a rule, nothing more dangerous than my gun is allowed inside.I thought I had read to not charge the battries if less than 3v per cell before... but stupid me heheheheh. Live and learn.

BTW why throw it in salt water? does that being back a charge? or does it destroy the batter and make it safe for disposal?
 

DumbAce

Junior Member
#7
I was told that these Lipo's if opened to air would catch fire (thus a case puncture would go boom) so i assumed they were air and thus water tight... So my guess by what your saying is its discharging into the water via the connectors and therefor the connectors also need to be submerged ?
 

Foam Addict

Squirrel member
#8
Cut the connectors off, and throw it in the water, let it sit for a week or so, then while leaving it submerged, slit the case, then throw it away 2 days after that.
Sorry, I'll be in Germany for a 2 weeks, so I can't answer till I get back.
 
#9
I've always wondered,

Are lipos in much danger of going up in smoke just sitting there? I know charging is an obvious risk, but can anything happen if the battery isn't connected to anything?

Jake
 

Ak Flyer

Fly the wings off
Mentor
#10
First off, I hope you are okay and I'm very thankful that you were able to avoid any more loss or injury.

Lipos are generally safe unless overly discharged or subjected to extreme abuse. The low voltage will usually make them unchargable. I would check your charger if it survived. There are ways around it but you are asking for trouble. I bought a bag for a whopping 7 bucks. I'm glad I did, but I also never leave them charging when I'm away. When you get a puffy pack, something has usually gone wrong. That's a good sign that something is up. Over drawing will kill them if you pull more amps than their C rating allows. I had a motor smoke in my helicopter yesterday and I was able to land without damage but the motor got hot enough to burn my fingers and the esc as well. This over current caused the battery to puff up really bad. I think I'm going to dispose of it and not take a chance.
 

DumbAce

Junior Member
#11
Cut the connectors off, and throw it in the water, let it sit for a week or so, then while leaving it submerged, slit the case, then throw it away 2 days after that.
Sorry, I'll be in Germany for a 2 weeks, so I can't answer till I get back.
There is nothing left of the battery to throw in the water except for the leads.... Enjoy Germany
 

DumbAce

Junior Member
#12
I've always wondered,

Are lipos in much danger of going up in smoke just sitting there? I know charging is an obvious risk, but can anything happen if the battery isn't connected to anything?

Jake
Yes, and No ;) I had another lipo I put in a plane and flew around with. As it turns out, I forgot that I had replaced the motor in my Bixler 2 and this motor draws more amps than the last. Not thinking about it, I ran this battery and flew around until the battery went dead. When i went to replace the battery it was HOT... I placed it on a rock and let it sit there as it was puffy as well. About 3-5 minutes later, while flying my plane... Poof... smoke (but no fire or if there was one it didn't last long enough for me to get my plane on the ground to put it out)

So Yes, it can happen just sitting out, BUT, chances are you did something to it before it exploded. IF the battery is charged to a storage voltage I understand they are safe... but i'm learning fast that Lipo's are non forgiving and temperamental things which need more attention than a newborn baby.
 
#13
Second off, Never, EVER charge them when they are that low, throw them in salt water!
Please do not use salt water to discharge a LiPo. This is an urban legend that's taken on a life of its own, but when it was actually tested it was found that the salt water corroded the battery leads to the point where they no longer conducted before the battery was discharged enough to be safe.

The correct way to discharge a LiPo is to either use the discharge function on your charger (as long as it will go all the way down to 0 volts) or to build a discharge lead using 12 volt automotive taillight bulbs. Get one (for up to 3S batteries) or two (for up to 6S batteries) taillight bulbs and solder on some wire and your favorite battery connector. Plug in the battery and wait until the lamp goes out, and then a while more (overnight would be best.) Measure the voltage to make sure it's close to 0 (I aim for less than 0.1V). Then disconnect from the bulbs, remove the connector from the battery, strip the battery leads and twist them together, and discard the battery. If using two or more taillight bulbs, make sure they're connected in series, not in parallel.
 
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