For the home handyman, Ryobi 18v tools are of excellent value. They have the biggest range and are well built. But occasionally the Ryobi lithium 18v batteries will fail to charge.
If your Ryobi battery says fully charged but won’t work then you have an issue with the battery itself. This is not a common issue but can be frustrating and expensive if your batteries stop charging and are defective.
The reason that these batteries fail to charge is down to the internal charging circuit on each battery. This integrated motherboard circuit tells the charger when to stop charging and prevents over-discharging from your power tool.
Often the Ryobi batteries won’t charge because they have been left fully discharged or flat for a long period of time. The 18v+ battery will continue to discharge slowly over time.
Once they get under 11v or less the battery charger will fail to charge the battery. This will often give you the dreaded red blinking LED with a green light soon after.
In this post, we will show you how to fix a Ryobi battery that won’t charge and show you the possible reasons why it happens.
Table of Contents
Ryobi Battery Charger Not Working
IF your Ryobi battery charger is failing to charge the battery it could be due to a number of reasons.
- Is there mains power to the battery charger?
- Do you have the Ryobi battery fully inserted into the charger?
- Have you let the battery cool down after running in a power tool.
- Turn on the charger before inserting the battery.
- Is the moisture or dirt on the battery contacts?
- Is the battery over-discharged eg: less than 11v
- Has a battery internal cable become dislodged.
- The Ryobi battery is defective
How To Revive Ryobi Batteries
The reason these lithium battery packs usually fail is one or more of the internal lithium cells have a low voltage. This will pull down the whole pack voltage to where the charger thinks it is unsafe to charge.
We can fool the charger by temporally increasing the internal voltage using some alligator clips and the stock charger or using a 12v smart car charger.
Jump Start Ryobi Battery
To try and revive Ryobi batteries you will have to disassemble the battery by removing the 5 torque screws using a T10 security Torx screwdriver. A battery drill makes this process faster as the screws are long.
Note this will void any warrenty on the battery.
To pull out the whole internal battery pack you will also need to remove the two battery spring clamps. These hold the battery to the power tool. They will slide out easily.
Locate the positive connection point and the negative connection point for the battery pack. This is where we will attach the jump start fly leads.
Positive will be on one side of the battery pack and negative will be on the other side.
Make sure to only charge this Ryobi battery pack for around 30 seconds or less. We are not trying to fully charge this faulty 18v battery. Only need to raise the voltage to over 11v DC.
The following video shows how to repair an 18v Ryobi P102 battery that is not charging.
It is no wonder people like to fix these batteries due to the huge cost of buying genuine Ryobi 18v One + batteries.
I have had great success with using the cheaper aftermarket Ryobi 18v One Plus 5AH batteries. They are just as powerful and often 1/2 the price of a genuine battery.
They are compatible with Ryobi p102, p103, p104, p105, p107, p108, p109 and fit all Ryobi 18v one+ system cordless tools.
The reason your battery charger is blinking red is due to the condition of the 18v+ battery. It could be because of the following reasons. Sometimes you will also have a Ryobi battery charger flashing red and green LEDs.
- Over discharged.
- Battery over temperature.
- Failed internal cells.
- Faulty battery integrated circuit.
- Broken internal cable.
- Moisture in the battery.
Most of the time it is a single battery cell that is low on voltage. Raising its voltage is the only way how to fix a Ryobi battery that won’t charge.
Can Ryobi batteries be left on charger?
Yes, they can be safely left on the charger when completely charged. Although the safest standard is to turn off the power to the charger and remove the battery once it is at full capacity.
I remove each battery once I see the green light come on steady on the charger. This means my batteries are fully charged. If you forget to take the battery out for a few days no damage will occur.
Ryobi battery says fully charged but wont work.
If the green light comes on as soon as you have plugged in the battery you most probably have one or more defective cells inside the battery pack. You will have to replace the battery or open up the battery pack to find the faulty cell and try and jumpstart it.
Another possible reason is a solder joint has come loose inside the battery pack. This can happen if the battery is dropped. You will need to open up the battery pack and look for a loose cable or battery solder joint.
Internal Ryobi One + Lithium Cells
Depending on the size of the Ryobi battery you could have 5-10 lithium 18650 cells inside. These will be wired up in a combination of series and parallel. One of my batteries had LGDAHB21865 cells inside. These are LG (Lifes Good lithium batteries)
Looking at the datasheets for this 18650 batterie the minimum voltage is between usually 2.0 and 3.0 volts. The internal protection circuit on these Ryobi batteries disables the cell at 2.5 volts.
18650 lithium-ion batteries are charged up to 4.2V and down to between 2V and 3V depending on the cell’s specification for cut-off voltage. This is why fully charged up Ryobi batteries can be over 20v even though they are 18v tools.
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White Insulator Ring
18650 Form Factor
It is possible if your Ryobi battery is defective to repair it. If you follow the steps mentioned in this article 99% of the time you can get your battery charging again.
I have repaired a neighbors battery after he dropped it from about 8m off a roof. An internal charge lead solder joint had failed. After 5 minutes of tearing apart the battery and resoldering the joint, his battery would charge up again.
The above tips also work for the 36v range of batteries but you will have to separate each bank of 12v to jump-start them.
By design lithium-ion batteries slowly degrade. After around 500 charge cycles you may have 80% total capacity of the original battery. Excessive heat and temperatures below 10 deg celsius will degrade batteries faster.
Replacing the internal battery cells with new 18650 lithium cells can return your battery to 100% capacity. With the cost of cheap Ryobi knock-offs, it may be worth your time to just buy the Ryobi 18v aftermarket batteries.
I love these cordless tools. They are a great addition to the DIY toolbox and every man should have these tools in their garage.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any other tips and tricks to revive old Ryobi batteries.
Disclaimer: It is very possible on any DIY project to damage your property, void your property insurance, create a hazardous condition, or harm or even kill yourself or others. This website will not be held responsible for any injury due to the misuse or misunderstanding of any DIY project. You can also void your warranty by opening products up or tampering with them in any way.
I am a qualified Industrial Electrician for the past 20 years and I love to share my knowledge on home repair jobs.
I love fast toys like Motorcycles, Cars, Jetskis, and Boats so writing about them is easy.
To keeps costs down I do all my own mods, repairs, and servicing. These skills I want to share with everyone. DIY is a skill everyone can learn.