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Thread: My house almost burned down today

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    Flashaholic lateralus180's Avatar
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    Sigh My house almost burned down today

    Had I not walked in the room when I did, my house would have caught on fire. Since the fire would have begun upstairs where no one was, it would have most likely escalated to a large room fire or fully engulfed structure fire.

    I have had the 4Sevens single bay charger for about three months. It has been used to charge AW brand (exclusively) 16340's, 14500's, and 18650's. I use the black cell, protected 3.7v lithium ion batteries with my 4Sevens lights and Zebralight SC600.

    I was in and out of the room tonight while doing some chores, and had left my 2200 maH 18650 battery on charge. I keep a very close eye on the red/green LED light on the charger, and make sure I take the battery off charge as soon as the light turns green. I don't know if the charger has an auto off when it turns green, or if it continues to charge but I like to take the cell out as quick as possible to avoid over charge. With that being said, the selector slides on the face of the charger were set to the recommended setting for a 2200 maH 3.7v LiIon battery. The charge was set at 4.2v (the other option is 3.6v, used to charge 3v cells), and the other slide was set to 1A (vs 0.5A used for smaller capacity cells). These recommended settings are on 4Seven's web site. The battery was used previously in my Zebralight SC600 and I am certain that it had low life remaining.

    As I walked in the room to get something, I could smell burning plastic. I took a quick look at the charger which had a red light indicating the cell was not fully charged, and what I saw was smoke pouring out of the positive end from an opening. The charger was quickly unplugged and taken out of the room. I actually burned my hand because the bottom was so hot. The plastic on the bottom side near the information sticker was soft and bubbled, I suspect there was a small fire inside or intense heat. Had I not unplugged it when I did, I think it would have caught fire within minutes.

    What could have caused this? My guess is the circuit was goofed somewhere and the electricity was forced to circulate throughout the charger for a period, resulting in great heat build up. Any guesses?

    I am very grateful I walked in the room when I did, otherwise the wall and carpet would have been on fire at least. The whole room or upper level of the house could have been on fire as well. I have read into lithium ion battery and charger dangers, as well as fire stories resulting from mishaps.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic lateralus180's Avatar
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    Default Re: My house almost burned down today

    The AW Lithium cell was quite hot after removal, but about the same temperature as when normally charging. I tested the cell roughly 30 minutes after taking it off charge, and it seems to work fine.


    Is this perhaps something I can claim with the warranty? I had the battery set in correctly, and as stated the red led was on showing the battery was not fully charged. I am convinced I did nothing wrong.
    Last edited by lateralus180; 11-25-2011 at 08:24 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My house almost burned down today

    Sure sounds like a dead short in the charger. Should certainly be able to tell when you send it in to them and they check it out. They need to diagnose the failure.

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    Flashaholic* Lou Minescence's Avatar
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    Default Re: My house almost burned down today

    I would call 4 Sevens. I have noticed my charger gets hot when charging larger batteries. I elevate it on some pieces of steel to get better air circulation. There were 2 versions of that charger. the first was recalled.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic lateralus180's Avatar
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    Default Re: My house almost burned down today

    I thought I purchased it 3 months ago, but after looking at sales records it was back in April. The charger was recalled in February I think, perhaps I got one that was recalled and never taken off the shelf?

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    Flashaholic* Black Rose's Avatar
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    Default Re: My house almost burned down today

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Minescence View Post
    I would call 4 Sevens. I have noticed my charger gets hot when charging larger batteries. I elevate it on some pieces of steel to get better air circulation. There were 2 versions of that charger. the first was recalled.
    Actually, there are 3 versions of the 4Sevens charger.

    On the 3rd version both inputs are 5V, whereas on the 1st and 2nd versions the inputs are 12V & 5V.
    Last edited by Black Rose; 11-27-2011 at 09:21 PM. Reason: Clarification

  7. #7

    Default Re: My house almost burned down today

    lateralus180 - Sorry to hear about this. Please contact us at customerservice@4sevens.com to get a replacement v3 charger.

    -David

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    Flashaholic lateralus180's Avatar
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    Default Re: My house almost burned down today

    David

    I sent 4Sevens an email the day after I posted the thread. I wasn't aware that there was a recall before posting the thread here. I received a prompt reply notifying me that 4Sevens had shipped me a version 3 replacement free of charge. Thanks!



    For those in the market for a charger, the 4Sevens single bay has been great for me (aside from this issue on the recalled version). This thread wasn't meant to give 4S a bad rap, or to present a negative review toward the product. I have owned two ultrafire dual bay chargers and they are garbage. The 4S single bay charger worked 100% for me with no problems until the other day, but its been taken care of.
    Last edited by lateralus180; 11-29-2011 at 03:33 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: My house almost burned down today

    Quote Originally Posted by lateralus180 View Post
    The AW Lithium cell was quite hot after removal, but about the same temperature as when normally charging. I tested the cell roughly 30 minutes after taking it off charge, and it seems to work fine.


    Is this perhaps something I can claim with the warranty? I had the battery set in correctly, and as stated the red led was on showing the battery was not fully charged. I am convinced I did nothing wrong.
    Sounds like either a faulty charger. Lithium cells shouldnt get hot while charging. Maybe warm if youre charging at a high rate. (I.E. 1C or so) charging at 1/2C like you were, I'd expect nothing more then just lukewarm or less.

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    Default Re: My house almost burned down today

    I had a version 2 charger that started melting the case on the charger while I was charging a 4Sevens 26650. I smelled it in another room and disconnected it immediately. I sent it in to 4Sevens and they told me that it was defective and replaced it with a version 3. I am very happy that I smelled it burning! They never indicated exactly what was wrong with it. They did tell me to dispose of the AC unit because it was bad.

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    Default Re: My house almost burned down today

    I'd report this with 4Sevens and Consumer Product Safety Commission. I keep reading of all the safety risks of battery chargers, and have become wary. I think the only way battery and charger manufactures are going to improve safety is by having some expensive lawsuits. I'm still waiting for a "smart" charger.
    Wish: 1) Super low beacon; easy find flashlight. 2) Low voltage indicator, so not stranded without light. 3) Simple, one handed control ring mode changer (magnetic control ring). 4) Flood beam for walking/tasks. 5) Pocket carry. 6) LiFePO4.


  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Lou Minescence's Avatar
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    Default Re: My house almost burned down today

    Here is the link on how to tell if you have the recalled Version 1 charger.http://lygte-info.dk/review/Difference%20between%204Sevens%20charger%20V1%20an d%20V2%20UK.html

    Could you post some pictures of the melted charger ?

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    Flashaholic* srfreddy's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm on my 3rd 4sevens charger, the first 2 wrecked 18650's. I left them charging on the floor beside my desk, when i checked on them, the cell was way to hot to even touch momentarily. I chucked the cells... Now am keeping a very careful eye on my chargers.

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