Punt That Puffed Pack
I’ve got a Lipo back that swelled up due to overdischarging, and I want to dispose of it safely. What am I supposed to do?
Once fully discharged, a Lipo can be safely discarded in regular trash, but recycling is the preferred option. Ask your local hobby store if it accepts Lipos for recycling. If it doesn’t, visit the website call2recycle.org to find out where you can drop off your Lipo pack. Many home-improvement stores and electronics stores will take your Lipo and recycle it properly.
Before discarding or recycling your pack, however, you MUST make sure it is fully discharged. Many chargers include a discharge function but cannot discharge all the way down to zero volts. Instead, a #1157 automotive bulb can be used to discharge the pack. A single bulb will pull about 2 amps to gently drain the battery. Solder a plug or a pair of alligator clips to the bulb so that it can be connected to the pack. Place the pack in a Lipo-safe bag, a bucket of sand, or another fireproof container and attach the discharge bulb. After the bulb goes out, leave it connected for 24 hours to be certain the pack is fully discharged. You can then snip off the pack’s connector if you want to reuse it. Leave enough wire on the pack to twist the leads together, creating a short circuit. This will prevent the battery’s voltage from recovering. The battery is now electronically inert, so you can safely recycle or dispose of it.
This pack has “puffed” and should be discharged for safe discarding or recycling.
Left: Place the battery in a fireproof container (not shown) and attach the bulb to discharge the pack. Right: After the pack is fully discharged, snip off the connector for reuse, then strip and twist the battery leads together. The pack is ready for recycling or disposal.
A single #1157 automotive taillight bulb draws about 2 amps and can be used as a discharge load.
To make a bulb discharger, solder a wire across the contacts on the bottom and another wire to the bulb’s base. Attach alligator clips or a plug to match your pack.