Why Is My Traxxas LiPo Battery Swelling?

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Traxxas LiPo batteries are a great way to keep your electronic devices powered all the time. No wonder LiPo batteries are the leading choice for folks looking for higher power and longer run times. However, there’s one common problem with these batteries: swelling.

Your Traxxas LiPo battery is swelling due to electrolyte decomposition, which generates gases in lithium batteries. The gases are carbon monoxide and dioxide, whose processing induces swelling of the LiPo battery. How you handle your battery can influence the rate of electrolyte decomposition.

If you notice Traxxas LiPo battery swelling, your first instinct is to question why. In this article, I’ll discuss things that speed up the swelling of your LiPo battery and what you can do to fix your swollen battery. Read on for more information!

Which Factors Enhance the Swelling of Your LiPo battery?

Having used the LiPo batteries for some time on various electronic appliances, I can confidently tell you that this brand is reliable and worth your hard-earned money. 

If properly handled, the swelling process is usually slow and takes a long time, allowing the battery to last two or more years without issue. And just like every other electronic tool, I suggest you read the LiPo battery manual to learn more about it!

Either way, your Traxxas LiPo battery is swelling because:

1. You’re Over-Discharging Your Battery

Over-discharging your LiPo battery can wreak havoc on the battery itself. That’s because your battery has a minimum cut-off voltage which shouldn’t exceed 3.0v for healthy battery life. Before your battery voltage gets to the cut-off stage (3.0v per cell), stop using the battery.

Continued use of the battery beyond that point will accelerate a chemical reaction in your battery to keep up with your device’s need for power. This electrolyte process produces more gases that puff up your battery, even if it’s brand new.

2. You’re Not Charging It Properly

How you charge your LiPo battery can also impact how quickly or slowly it swells. Don’t just settle for any charger. Get a suitable charger for LiPo battery recommended by manufacturers instead.

Traxxas 2972 EZ-Peak Plus 100 Watt NiMH/LiPo Dual Charger with iD System

While charging, keep your batteries in a LiPo bag for safety; if you don’t have one, get one! Not having a quality charger and a LiPo bag can impact your battery’s power while also compromising the chemical processes within a battery.

3. Lack of Proper Storage for Your Battery

Your battery storage is critical since it affects your battery’s electrolyte decomposition. High and low temperatures can impact your battery’s temperature and the normal chemical reactions inside it. That’s why it’s best to store your battery at room temperature.

Cold weather can affect the discharge rating of your battery, decrease its run speed and time, reduce power, and cause it to suffer from increased resistance.

On the other hand, your battery will experience a faster chemical reaction with increased temperatures. This ramped-up performance could lead to an elevated chemical response that produces gases at a higher rate.

The abnormal slow-down in cold weather and the unrealistic speed-up of your battery in hot conditions end up inducing the swelling of your LiPo battery. 

4. You’re Overcharging Your Battery

Never leave your battery plugged in for charging while unattended and for more than 2-3 days. A standard charge per cell is typically 4.2v. If you don’t plan to use your battery for some time, discharge it to 3.6v-3.8v per cell.

While it seems like a convenient idea to have your battery charge overnight, only do so when you’re sure that your battery won’t overcharge. Increased temperature due to overheating and overcharging is risky, as it may cause fire, especially if your battery is already swelling.

5.Your Battery Has Exceeded Its Lifespan

Like every other product, your LiPo battery has a lifespan. Even when you take care of your battery, the lifespan of your battery is typically 2-3 years.

Your battery naturally becomes swollen by the time it reaches the end of its lifespan. Using an old LiPo battery puts it at increased risk for chemical fire common in worn-out lithium-ion batteries.

6. There’s Some Sort of Mechanical Damage

The flexible polymer case doesn’t protect your LiPo battery, and it’s prone to physical and mechanical damage if it drops hard or suffers a blow from another piece of equipment. The electrolyte solution can begin leaking out.

Of course, a damaged LiPo battery is even more prone to swelling. It endangers your electronic devices through corrosion due to the acidic electrolyte solution that it releases. To make matters worse, the leaking gases can easily cause a fire.

Can You Fix Your Swollen Battery?

It might be hard to part ways with a swollen, damaged, or old LiPo battery, especially after several years of reliable use. You might be desperate to fix your swollen battery to get a few extra months of use out of it before tossing it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any scientific advice explaining how to reverse or fix a swollen Traxxas LiPo battery. If your battery is swollen, here’s what I suggest doing:

How to Dispose of Your Swollen Battery

You only have one thing to do with a swollen battery; dispose of it, period! Getting rid of your battery will clear you of the danger of a possible explosion, chemical fire, or chemical leakage that can put both your Traxxas and yourself at risk.

After getting rid of the old, swollen battery, replace it with a brand new one.

Because of the potential risks that a swollen Traxxas battery carries, you want to be careful when removing it and throwing it away. Here’s how to get rid of your battery:

  • Hook up your battery’s terminal to an electrical charge. Any device like a high resistivity resistor or a simple light bulb will do. A 20w halogen bulb can efficiently discharge your LiPo battery. You can speed up the process by hooking up several bulbs in a parallel line. When your lights go off, then you know the discharge is complete. 
  • Take it to a battery recycling facility near you. Once your battery discharge is over, turn your battery over to the professional handlers of a hazardous waste facility. If you can’t find any near you, check for them online. You can also return your battery to any Traxxas battery distribution stores near you.
  • Handle your swollen battery with care. Your swollen LiPo battery is a threat to you and others around you. Never use, store, discharge, or charge your puffy battery. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Don’t forget to exercise absolute caution when you handle your swollen LiPo battery.

What Not to Do When Disposing of a LiPo Battery

Now that you know how to dispose of your old Traxxas battery, there is something to keep in mind that you shouldn’t do: 

You should never use the old and now outdated method of immersing your battery in saltwater. This strategy can cause electrolyte leakage into the water, which is far from eco-friendly. Besides, the process is too slow and ineffective, as it can take weeks to complete.

Final Words

Given the extended lifespan of a Traxxas LiPo battery, you can feel confident that your battery will last for years to come. There are also ways that you can prevent your battery swelling. Keep the battery’s temperature stable, don’t overcharge it, and don’t forget to store it at room temperature.

If you fail to care for your battery, you’re putting it at risk for electrolyte decomposition, which could eventually lead to a fire or chemical leakage.

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