With the winter season and cold weather quickly approaching, the Battle Born Batteries team wanted to explain our heat pads and demonstrate their installation. We received many calls about setting up and connecting the heat pad to our LiFePO4 batteries, so we decided to break down the process in detail.
Why Do I Need a Heat Pad?
We know that our batteries are an investment, and our goal is to help you protect and safely use that investment. Heat pads can help keep your battery at a temperature above freezing in order to accept a charge at cold temperatures. This means that with the help of a properly installed heat pad, you can get out there and stay out there in even colder temperatures than before!
How Does the Heat Pad Work?
Our heat pads come equipped with an ambient temperature sensor. The ambient temperature sensor sits between the battery case and wiring harness, allowing the heat pad to only be turned on when below 35°F. Once the ambient temperature sensor reaches 35°F, the switch is enabled, allowing current to flow to the heat pad.
Once the temperature of the ambient temperature sensor reaches 45°F, the switch is disabled, stopping current from flowing through the pad. If you have any questions about our heat pads – or anything else, for that matter, please give us a call at (855) 292-2831 or email us at [email protected].
Before Installing the Heat Pad:
The ambient temperature sensor should be placed in between the adhesive side of the heat pad and the item wished to be heated (in this case, between the heat pad and the battery).
Make sure to remove the weatherproof connector prior to connecting the heat pad.
The heat pad carries about 15W per side, so 14- or 16-gauge wire is typically recommended for extra wire length.
How to Set Up the Heat Pad:
The first step, as with any installation, is to confirm that you have the right equipment. Eric, one our expert sales technicians, walked us through the process of setting up a heat pad with our batteries.
Our Battle Born Batteries ship with 18-8 stainless steel 5/16 – 18 1” and 1 ¼’ bolts, brass washers and 18-8 stainless steel nuts with nylon inserts.
Items and tools needed:
- (1) Heat pad
- Wire cutters/strippers
- Electrical tape
- Butt connectors
- (2) Ideal In-Sure 4-port push-in wire connectors
- 20-12 AWG stranded wire – color and length to customer’s discretion
- (2) ring terminals (or spade terminals)
To begin, you will need the heat pad itself as well as the battery you plan to wrap. For tools, we used a pair of wire cutters, a wire stripper, and a crimper.
We also laid aside extra wire length, butt connectors (for crimping), ring terminals, 4-port push in wire connectors, and electrical tape (tape not required, but recommended). The extra hardware Eric used was purchased at a local hardware store, and can typically be found at Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, or electrical supply stores.
Make sure to measure the lengths of your wire before ever stripping them.
Locate the four-prong plug off the stock wires connected to the heat pad. As we will not be using this four-prong connection, cut off the plug and trim some of the stock wire’s length.
There are two sets of wires (for the two individual heating elements inside) from the heat pad. The heat pads we offer typically have one black (negative) and one white (positive) for each pair (four external wires total).
Cut your wires and strip the four wire ends extending from the heat pad to about 3/8 of an inch.
Stripping the wires is an important step. Taking off the outer layer of insulation to reveal the copper wire underneath is necessary in order to properly connect the battery to the heat pad.
As the temperature sensor needs to fit closely to the battery, make sure to measure your wire length and always leave a little extra length until you are ready to complete the heat pad’s installation.
Strip the positive and negative wires from each pair. Once you have stripped all four wires coming out of the heat pad and the additional four wires from the temperature sensor, you are ready to move on to the next step.
Grab your 4-prong push-in wire connectors. Plug the two white (positive) wires from the temperature sensor into the first push-in wire connector.
In a second push in-wire connector, do the same with the two black (negative) wires.
Then locate your temperature sensor. This should be a small black panel with two wires (one red and one white) exuding from one end, and one black wire from the other end.
Strip both the red (positive) and white (negative) wire from the temperature sensor, as well as the black wire protruding from the opposite end.
Here is a breakdown of what should be plugged into each push-in connector.
Positive push-in connector: two white (positive) wires from heat pad and one red (positive) wire from temperature sensor.
If necessary, locate your extra wire. We added some length of 16-gauge wire so installation with our batteries was simplified. You want to ensure that your ring terminals (which we will hook up next) can reach towards the battery’s terminals.
Take the length of wire and plug it into your positive push-in connector. This should take the fourth and final slot of the positive push-in connector. This will become the positive ring terminal. For this positive terminal, Eric used about 18 inches of wire.
Negative push-in connector: two black (negative) wires from the heat pad and one white (negative) wire from the temperature sensor.
Now, locate the black wire coming off the temperature sensor. Strip the end of this wire in preparation of attaching to another length of extra wire. Once both ends are stripped, use a butt connector to make that negative connection. Eric used about ten inches of wire for this connection (less than the positive as the temperature sensor has more length).
Once the positive and negative terminals have their corresponding ring terminals crimped and attached, you are ready to test the pad!
Place the heat pad around the battery and line up all the wires. Once everything is aligned, tape up the push-in connectors and ensure that all wires are organized and tucked away properly. Pull the adhesive back off and attach to the battery.
We used black electrical tape to secure the all of the connections. We then used red and black electrical tape to identify the positive (red) and negative (black) connections for easy assembly later. We have a link to a quick guide which can be found here: Heat Pad Quick Guide.
You can now use and enjoy your heat pad! After you make the battery connections, you can test the pad by placing an ice pack on the temperature sensor. If you feel the heat pad start getting warm, everything is in order.