LITHIUM BATTERY EXPLOSION!!

Modernflame

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
4,368
Location
Dirty Dirty South
FOLLOW UP. RTD made it right and refunded me for the batteries. Understandably, they wanted photos, which I was not able to provide, but when the facts came out they refunded my entire purchase immediately. Good customer service goes a long way!
 

stephenk

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
761
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Sounds to me like a manufacturing defect with the affected cell. Anyone know the manufacturer of the base cell that would have been re-wrapped by AW?
 

Redd

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
12
Amazon has a special problem. They call it "binning".

Most folks are unaware that when multiple vendors sell "the same" item on Amazon, Amazon takes the items from all of them and stores them in ONE BIN at each warehouse. So if you buy a popular brand name charger that is available from ten vendors, you have no way to tell which vendor actually supplied the item.

Amazon has very quietly conceded that they are aware some vendors are supplying COUNTERFEIT GOODS and that binning makes it impossible to tell which goods are counterfeit. So before anyone says the battery vendor supplied counterfeits...There's apparently no way to tell who the actual supplier was, when the goods came from a shared bin on Amazon.

Amazon's lack of public comment on many issues (scammers, counterfeits, etc.) may eventually come back to bite them. This has been going on for several years, with no publicity from Amazon about the issues or solutions at all. FWIW.

I've been tempted to do all my charging in a Dutch oven with the lid on, just in case. Except of course, I can't find one big enough for the cell phone and laptop.(G) I have made a point to add a fire detector on the wall above the area where these things are usually recharging at night though.

Another unpublicized safety item: Ionization type smoke detectors (all the cheap ones) have a working life of 7-10 years, and then a build-up of simple dust and crud from the air usually kills them. They just stop working and don't go off--as I learned after a fire. If you are using a fire detector, please, even if you really do test it from time to time (not the battery test button, but an actual smoke test) THROW IT OUT when it is ten years old. The new ones come with a ten-year battery, making them cheaper to replace than they are to feed batteries.
 

joelbnyc

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
228
Location
NY
Crazy world we live in when people will endanger the lives of strangers, go to the trouble to counterfeit items that retail at $5-20 just to make a dollar or too extra profit per transaction.

I've ordered more than a few items from Edison Bright through Amazon, as well as RTD vape store for Efest IMR cells. Seemed trustworthy, but yah this is a reminder to us all to be cautious. Maybe I'll go scratch off those Efest counterfeit protection codes and check them online.

The Amazon 'binning' and counterfeits thing is a serious problem, with all sorts of goods. I would normally hesitate to order cells through Amazon, rather stick to a trusted vendor like Illumination Supply (illumn), Battery Junction, LiIon Wholesale, Going Gear, etc.
 

Modernflame

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
4,368
Location
Dirty Dirty South
Thanks, Redd and Joelbnyc. In retrospect, I believe I got the one faulty cell in a million, or perhaps two million. Having said that, however, I will never purchase either batteries or chargers from Amazon, because I've become hyper-vigilant about counterfeit products. I've since replaced my charger and some cells. Actually, one member of this forum graciously donated a charger and a number of proven cells to my cause. No issues since. I hope my experience will remind everyone to take care, to never leave charging cells unattended, and to have a plan of action in case of emergency.
 

vadimax

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
2,231
Location
Vilnius, Lithuania
Per my (limited) experience the cells even if used in pairs, the voltages are not the same.

Per my limited experience (3*NCR18650B and 2*IMR16340) they charge and discharge with 0.001V precision :) Very often even display identical voltage on my DMM. All is needed -- same manufacturer, same batch.

But! I have two Olight RCR123s. One of them was idle and another one got some service. Now they are always out of sync even when I charge them together.
 

vadimax

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
2,231
Location
Vilnius, Lithuania
Unfortunately, I did not take photos. Only one cell vented (and that quite dramatically). The other was in tact, although the wrapper sustained damage from the fire. This is my first experience with a thermal run away, but I've always been the cautious sort. I ordered the batteries from RTD electronics and I inspected them prior to charging. No bulging, discoloration. The wrappers were complete. The initial voltage was 3.74 in one cell and 3.76 in the other. I obtained the NiteCore charger from Amazon. After the fire, I discarded both AW cells along with the charger. The charred remains of the guilty cell appeared almost inside out, splayed open like a hot dog left in the microwave too long. The electrical wiring in the walls is from 2002. I don't think the charger was fake, but the cells are a question mark. I've never used that site before.

Perhaps, my advice would be considered an overreaction, but any new cell is being charged by my side for the first run. And I touch it and a charger periodically to be sure they don't warm up excessively. And only when I am sure the cell is OK I may leave it to charge unattended. But the first charge always gets supervision! Just my 2 cents :)
 

CuriousOne

Enlightened
Joined
Oct 14, 2012
Messages
812
I had almost similar issue, just I was nearby and reacted quickly and removed battery and thrown it away. What happened, that due to positive pin of charger being a bit longer than it be, and battery wrapper at top end being slightly damaged, when charger heated up, that long positive pin of charger shorted battery positive and negative terminals together. I heard a hissing sound, then see rapid smoke and fire from melting parts, but I've managed to quickly snap out battery from charger, so when short removed, explosion will avoided. I have photos of aftermath somewhere, can post, if anyone interested.
 

KITROBASKIN

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
4,417
Location
New Mexico, USA
Please please post photos. Thank You for the explanation as to the cause of your mishap.
I had almost similar issue, just I was nearby and reacted quickly and removed battery and thrown it away. What happened, that due to positive pin of charger being a bit longer than it be, and battery wrapper at top end being slightly damaged, when charger heated up, that long positive pin of charger shorted battery positive and negative terminals together. I heard a hissing sound, then see rapid smoke and fire from melting parts, but I've managed to quickly snap out battery from charger, so when short removed, explosion will avoided. I have photos of aftermath somewhere, can post, if anyone interested.
 

Dio

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 23, 2017
Messages
61
I don't know, is there a possibility the cell was just 'old'?

I recall these 2200mAh AW 18650's being the first li-ions I ever got. They were for Solarforce host running a custom P60 drop-in. This is coming close to 10 years ago now surely so it makes me wonder how long and in what conditions the culprit cell was stored - I saw mention of 2002 somewhere back in the thread; should a cell that has been sitting idle for 15 odd years even be considered for sale, let alone use!?


EDIT: LOL man am I tired!! The wiring in the walls was from 2002...anyway...I don't think there would be much demamd for these older cells anymore, surely...?? If that's so, there's still a chance these have been sitting around doing nothing for a good number of years. Food for thought..
 
Last edited:

blueridgeman

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Messages
81
Location
NC
I have this exact battery which I use with a ProVari Provape that's about 5 years old, my charger is a Tenergy TN270. I've never had a problem using this specific battery, I use it because it was part of a package deal and the charger also.

To be be safe I always use a lipo-bag and don't let them sit overnight on the charger. Charging LIPOs when I'm at work is always a concern too since my retriever is here and don't want a house fire.

I was going to buy some 18650s Panasonics from Edisonbright through Amazon but this is a concern of they aren't monitoring their suppliers - I ended up going with some from 2300s olight since those work well with the device.
 
Last edited:

TinderBox (UK)

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
3,487
Location
England, United Kingdom
My old Samsung Mp3 player, the warning is a bit rough, this from around 2012 pre Note 8.

uXL39OZ.png


John.
 

zespectre

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
2,194
Location
Shenandoah Valley
A related PSA...

I went to home depot and bought a few 6x6 ceramic floor tiles (a good ceramic dinner plate would do as well).
They cost about $3 each.

My chargers now sit on a ceramic tile as an additional precaution to limit any overheating or fire damage. Even if a charger goes up, the tile isn't going to catch and neither is the surface under the tile.
 

TinderBox (UK)

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
3,487
Location
England, United Kingdom
A related PSA...

I went to home depot and bought a few 6x6 ceramic floor tiles (a good ceramic dinner plate would do as well).
They cost about $3 each.

My chargers now sit on a ceramic tile as an additional precaution to limit any overheating or fire damage. Even if a charger goes up, the tile isn't going to catch and neither is the surface under the tile.

I use to leave my battery charger in the center of my cooker hob when i had to leave it alone for any leanth of time.

John.
 

pennzy

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
65
I was thinking an old toaster oven would be a safe place to recharge batteries .
 

Latest posts

Top