If you’re like most people, you love using technology, but only when it works. Using a lithium battery in your battery bank doesn’t make your power system immune from trouble. If you’re experiencing issues with your lithium battery not charging, there are a few easy troubleshooting tips you can try. Let’s dive in and see what might be causing your power problems and what you can do about it.
How Do Lithium Batteries Charge?
Lithium batteries require a BMS (battery management system) to monitor the status of the batteries. This vital piece of equipment helps ensure that the batteries only charge when the conditions are safe for charging. No matter how you’re charging your lithium batteries, you must avoid charging them when temperatures are below freezing.
Because lithium batteries can charge incredibly quickly, many owners choose to use solar panels to charge their lithium batteries. However, you can also charge through a vehicle alternator or shore power. Depending on the size of your battery bank, you can save hours of charging time by choosing lithium batteries over lead-acid options.
Why Is My Lithium Battery Not Charging?
Unfortunately, if your lithium battery is not charging, several things could be causing the issue. The troubles could range from a damaged battery to external complications that have nothing to do with your lithium battery. It will take some trial and error and a bit of troubleshooting to get to the root of the problem.
5 Easy Troubleshooting Tips for Lithium Batteries
If you’re experiencing issues with your lithium batteries, here are a handful of things you should check first. These are some of the easiest and most common places to start, and just about anybody can check them.
1. Double Check Your Connections
One important and easy thing to check when your lithium battery isn’t charging is your connections. Simply wiggle the wires and look for any loose connections that need tightening. This includes the connections to the battery and any other connections in your electrical system.
It might surprise you that a slightly loose connection can cause problems, including problems charging your batteries. Tighten loose connections and test your system again to see if that fixes your problems.
2. Use a Clamp-On Ammeter and Volt Meter
A clamp-on ammeter and volt meter is an extremely safe way to test the flow of electricity through your system. Since you clamp the meter around the wiring, you don’t have to worry about connecting and disconnecting any of your wirings. You can measure the number of amps coming and going from your batteries to pinpoint possible issues throughout the system.
If you have multiple batteries in your battery bank, there will be multiple wiring connections. Each battery must contribute equally when drawing power. If not, you’ll be taxing one battery more than the others in the battery bank, which can shorten its lifespan and result in your lithium battery not charging.
You can also use the meter to test voltages at both the batteries and your charger. You should measure a voltage higher than the nominal 13.2 volts of the battery to see a charge. If the voltage is not high enough, the charger may not be working.
3. Get the Battery Out of Low Voltage Disconnect Mode by Resetting It
Some batteries, including Battle Born batteries, have a low-voltage disconnect feature built into the BMS. This is a safety feature designed to protect your batteries and help ensure they last as long as possible. The low-voltage disconnect mode typically kicks in when a battery reaches 10V, and it’s important that you charge your battery as soon as possible. Within five days is best.
The only way to get a battery out of low-voltage disconnect mode is by resetting it, which means charging it. You’ll need to plug into shore power or alternator power or get a charge from solar panels. If you can, charge them back up to 100% and allow the batteries to balance all of the cells.
4. Make Sure You Are Using an Appropriate Charger
If you just dropped in a lithium battery with your existing electrical system, there’s a good chance your charger is insufficient. Lithium batteries can accept substantially more power compared to other types of batteries. This is why they charge faster.
You may need to upgrade your charger or adjust its settings to accommodate your lithium batteries. Check with the documentation that came with your charger and your batteries to ensure they’re compatible.
5. Call Battle Born Batteries’ Customer Service Line for Help
When in doubt, give our customer service line a call at (855) 292-2831. Our customer service department has experience helping troubleshoot battery systems, even over the phone. If we can’t help fix your problem, there’s a good chance we can point you in the right direction of an expert who can.
How Do I Know if My Lithium-Ion Battery Is Damaged?
If a lithium battery has experienced serious damage, the internal BMS won’t allow the battery to do anything. It won’t accept a charge or provide any power. This is a safety mechanism that keeps you, your vehicle, and your family safe from anything that might not be wired right in your rig. That could be why your lithium battery isn’t charging.
You could have permanently damaged your battery if you’ve ever charged or discharged your battery outside of the recommended specifications or if your lithium battery has been in an accident. If you’re experiencing these types of issues, then you’ll want to have your battery inspected to understand the root of the problem. Call us anytime to discuss any Battle Born Battery questions!
Want To Learn More About Electrical Systems and Lithium Batteries?
We know that building or upgrading an electrical system can be overwhelming, so we’re here to help. Our Reno, Nevada-based sales and customer service team is standing by at (855) 292-2831 to take your questions!
Also, join us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to learn more about how lithium battery systems can power your lifestyle, see how others have built their systems, and gain the confidence to get out there and stay out there.