Cordless Power Drill - Recharging?

I've had a Black & Decker cordless power drill for 3-4 years - used maybe 10 times and always recharged when finished. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that it didn't seem to be charged, and when I tried to recharge it I don't think it charged fully. Eventually I took it to a B&D Service Store, and the employee said that although the battery was old enough to be going bad, mine seemed to be OK and accepting a charge just fine. I left puzzled. At home I put a voltmeter on the B&D wall wart recharger that came with the drill, and instead of 15 vac output as labeled and specified in the manual, I was only getting about half a volt.
I had a couple of other 15 vac wall warts left over from phone answering machines, so I tested one of them, and it was providing 15 vac, so I plugged it into the drill. Battery seemed to recharge for about 30 minutes, with the wall wart getting warm (as the manual said is normal). Then it went cold, and when I applied the voltmeter I got about 1 volt.
Same thing with the second spare wall wart.
So, something in my power drill and/or the battery appears to be ruining the wall wart transformers.
Has anyone here experienced this phenomena? Suggestions to remedy the problem without tossing the drill and battery and buying another?
Enlightenment appreciated.
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CWLee
Former slayer of dragons; practice now limited to sacred
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CWLee wrote:

I would think the adaptors were too small in current output. Look at the rated output current for the drill charger and check against the others.
Rheilly P
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Your problem is likely dendrites shorting your cells. The charger cannot fix that, it takes a high current burst to melt the dendrites and then the battery should recharge normally. The charge won't last since the dendrite crystals have poked holes in the dielectric, but can still be usable.
A short burst of 24 vdc, like from 2 car batteries in series, should revive the dead cells. Mine are so far gone I zap them with high current 24vdc for 20 seconds until I get at least 14.4 volts out, then recharge normally. They will then hold a useful charge for a couple of hours before going dead again. A nuisance, but less than continually buying new batteries at high prices.
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There are two things you have to consider.
1) the voltage: must match. Too high and the connected device will fry. Too low and the connected device won't function.
2) the current: must be enough. Too low and the supplying device may fry as you've discovered. Too high and the supplying device will simply be larger than necessary. Otherwise, having a supplying device that can deliver more current than needed is OK.
And of course the billion kinds of connectors available. It is high time all this nonsense was standardized. Douglas Adams did an excellent piece call "war on little dongly things" talking about this insanity. http://www.parttimepimp.net/ptpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t@0&hilit=locked
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AZ Nomad wrote:

Hmmm, Depending on what kinda battery(Ni-Cad, Lithium, etc.) method of care is different. Ni-Cad has to be deep cycled. If you keep chrging it, it will hold charge less and less developing memory. Newer batteries don't do this.
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Your first problem is its a B&D and if it lasted 4 years then you got your moneys worth. Mine lasted 5 minutes. B&D won't use high quality batteries at those price points.
Your second problem is your charger's output is in vac, that won't charge a dc battery. Are you sure you've measured vac and not vdc?
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Nick and Ryeilly are right.
You may have killed that small charger trying that. You need a charger matched for the batteries you are charging, and matching means more than just the same voltage.
You batteries may be dead by now. Letting them drain and leaving them that way can damage a battery. Also they have limited shelf lives. If you understood what nick said, that may give you some longer life out of those batteries you have. I usually just give up on mine when they get old and replace them. The newer batteries are lasting longer and giving better service in my experience. BTW one of my B&D chargers had a rejuvenate cycle that seemed to help a little. That was long the lines of what Nick was suggesting.
In the end it may well be that you should buy a corded or non-power tool as your use is light and it may not be practical for you to use current technology battery power for that use.

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wrote:

theres a company in bedford pa, THAT REBUILDS BATTERIES BETTER THAN NEW.
lost the address, excellent prices, have regular and super capacity rebuilds too
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http://www.primecell.com/pctools.htm
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

There is another company, I think in Washington state that does the same thing. They have an ebay store and shouldn't be difficult to find. I just used their services and the battery packs work like new, and cost half of what Milwaukee wanted for replacement battery packs. I do work in the electronic field and couldn't find the individual cells for less $ then what they charge to do the job for me.
Here it is but they seem to be on vacation?
http://stores.ebay.com/Battery-Pack-Rebuilders-LLC
Tony
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I had a few Bosch batteries re-built at a Batteries Plus store and found they worked well at first but did not have the lifespan of the originals. I would not have them re-built again.
cm

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I've had the same experience with rebuilt cell phone and laptop batteries. I always buy 'genuine' batteries now although I try to find somebody who isn't charging 'genuine' markups.
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I've had Porter Cable batteries rebuilt by Primecell.com and they are better than new. You can get higher rated batteries.
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After 4 years, I don't care what the pimple-faced stoner at the B&D service center says. The battery is shot, especially if it hasn't been used much.
Most power tool manufacturers use crap cells in their battery packs. I don't know of one that uses decent cells. You can buy a $20 B&D or a $400 Makita or Milwaukee. Same cells. All crap.
NiCd memory is a myth. It used to be true, 20 years ago. Technology has a way of progressing, but old wives' tales have a way of living on forever.
The charger base has a rectifier bridge in it that changes the AC to DC. 15VAC is the correct wall wart, but it needs to be big enough to supply the current. This doesn't preclude a short circuit in the charger base or battery ruining your wall warts, though.
All in all, for the time and money you're spending, you'd be money ahead just chucking the old drill and getting a new one. I personally like the Ryobi OnePlus from Home Depot. Good midrange price point, good value for the money.
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