Outdoor Survival Gear, Skills, SHTF Prepping

Skills: 5 Tips For Restoring Dead Batteries


You might have been wondering how to bring dead NiCad batteries back to life since your favorite appliance simply died out. Recharging it has absolutely no effect. Now your power tool is not working and you cannot continue with your project. The cordless phone that used to be there whenever you needed to call someone. The razor just won’t turn on no matter how long you leave it on the charging dock. Your kid’s remote control car is set aside, leaving you wondering whether it is still worth keeping in the room.

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It is a common reaction to throw away the electronic device or the battery pack. But don’t give up on that gadget just yet. Every prepper and survivalist knows very well that there is always a workaround for almost anything that is broken and there is no need to run to the hardware store and spend hard-earned money to get a replacement. Resourcefulness and improvisation are essential survival skills because when SHTF, we will have no one and nothing else to rely on but ourselves.

Now there are many ways to restore ni-cad batteries and we have put them all together in one place. Once again, you will need to conjure your handyman skills, but these methods don’t really take rocket science to succeed. The following are some of the articles and videos that show how it can be done. Notice the differences and similarities of their restoration techniques.

NOTE: Before we go any further, please remember we are talking about NiCad or nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries here. These methods cannot be applied to NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) or Lithium batteries, otherwise they will explode. You have been warned. This is especially important for those who are new to prepping and survivalism.


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1. Revive Ni-Cad Batteries with a Welding Machine

One of the most popular methods suggested by some DIYers is by zapping the battery with an arc welder. While it may be true that this method is effective, most people would be afraid of using a machine with such high voltage output. The risk of electric shock is very high with a welding machine, despite the fact that adjustments can be made to make the output lower and safer. Another danger is the possibility of the battery exploding as the inexperienced folks might zap the battery for too long. In addition, welding machines are known to draw a lot of power which makes them the least economical option to bring dead nicad batteries back to life. And worst of all, arc welders are expensive equipment. See more.

2. Restore Your Nickel Cadmium Batteries with a Motorcycle Battery Charger

The nudging process is essentially similar to the use of the arc welder. However, compared to using a welding machine which can be large, heavy, expensive, risky and eat up a lot of power, a motorcycle battery tender is smaller, lighter, cheaper, more economical and far safer to use.

3. Use Your Healthy Nicad Batteries in Series to Zap the Old Ones to Life

In case you don’t have a battery tender or welding machine, you can use any extra nickel-based battery you may have. You will need two batteries connected in series so that the voltage will be enough to zap the cells.

5. Build Your Own Battery Reconditioning Machine

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Just like the other methods mentioned here, this homemade contraption is designed to give a much-needed jolt to your ni-cad battery. Building the machine is fairly straightforward and the materials are quite cheap. The great thing about it is that you will have a device purpose-built to resurrect old ni-cad packs. Consider it a valuable addition to your home prepper/self-sufficiency kit. Since you’re building an electronic device, take all the safety precautions in order to avoid electrical shock. To learn how to build it, click here.

Now you don’t have to dispose of nickel cadmium batteries and battery packs right away. There is no need to buy new ones, either. Just choose any of the methods we have mentioned, whichever suits you best. Restoring dead ni-cad batteries is another survival skill that you have learned.

Do you have other ideas on how to bring these rechargeable batteries back to life? Tell us about them in the comments.

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