Battery repair and refurb

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  • Updated 2 months ago
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  • (Edited)
Plenty of posts have requested a repair service for EGO batteries. I want to know how much REAL interest there exists for such a service, as I'm considering looking into the viability of providing such a service.

I don't believe that actual battery repair is possible/viable. The properly test and repair a battery would incur a long turnaround time. Therefore, the service would be more along the lines of providing repaired/refurbished batteries, perhaps with a discount or "core fee" similar to how automotive batteries are sold.

The questions are, how much would people be willing to spend for a refurbished battery? Refurbished performance would be at or near new battery performance. How much warranty/what guarantees would be needed?

The quality and reliability of the batteries would generally be higher than buying used batteries. Reason being, used batteries may work but the details and history may be questionable.

The service would be provided only for those units that are out of warranty or otherwise ineligible for warranty.

Compared to buying a used battery, the cells of a refurb would be rebalanced and cycle tested. My interest in this is not to get rich, as there is very little money in repair versus the time spent. However, such a service could extend the life of the batteries, thus keeping them out of landfills, improve overall owner satisfaction and reduce Total Cost of Ownership for EGO products. Aside from that, EGO batteries are overall pretty amazing and have uses outside of powering lawn equipment. Even if the repair/refurb batteries are used for purposes other than powering EGO lawn equipment, extending the life and usability of these batteries should be a win for everyone. Any money made would be used towards projects centered around finding new uses for the batteries. Still waiting for the EGO shop vac...

Thoughts and questions?
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Steve Groesz

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Posted 8 months ago

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szwoopp, Champion

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Official Response
That sounds like a great idea.
I have not really looked at cost of used batteries, so I have no point of comparison.

Ego gives a 1 year warranty on refurbished tools and batteries, so that would be the standard as far as warranty period.


Good alternative to buying new! 
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Grant

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When can I send you my batteries?
its a service that is greatly needed and will be increasingly. if you have what it takes, i think you should do it.
if i had the skill and knowledge, i would.
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Steve Groesz

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well, cool. I also sorta expected EGO to shut down the thread, but I'm glad they haven't.  My goal is not to try to compete with Ego nor to attack their bottom line.

It seems EGO prices their refurbished product around 2/3 of the price of new, which is also what I'm targeting. Hopefully if I can prove the quality and reliability of the product, Ego might be willing to work with me as far as supplying parts? *hopes*

It will be a while. Lots of research and testing to be done. But, I feel better that at least for now my effort won't be in vain. :)

As for me, I have almost 20 years testing, repairing and engineering critical reliability electronics.  I appreciate the support, as I will be putting time and effort into producing a reliable product.
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Steve Groesz

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Who can I contact to discuss parts availability and pricing from EGO, along with Requirements to purchase and use said parts?
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szwoopp, Champion

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Start with a call to customer service.  They should be able to give you a name and contact info or pass on yours to the right person.
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Steve Groesz

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Ironically, the refurbished mower with 7.5Ah battery I bought just a little over a month ago - the battery is not working.  I charged it, used it once, charged it after using it, then went to use it yesterday and no dice.

The status check button flashes green, then goes red. I put it on both types of chargers and the chargers refuse to charge the pack. Tried plugging and unplugging both chargers with the battery connected and disconnected, no difference.

It's a shame.  I'm going to return the mower since it's the end of the season - I don't need to store it over the winter and worry about whether the battery will last or not.  I will continue my research - there are many improvements and possibilities these batteries are capable of.

Additionally, I have found at least one site that repairs battery packs, though they don't mention EGO batteries.  Also, an ebay seller I have contacted who deals with dead batteries says he has clients who repair the batteries, but I have no further details. If anyone knows of other places/sites/people who offer to repair these batteries, I would like to know who they are.
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Joseph Maguire

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Considering that a 7.5Ah battery costs around $350 (almost as much as the battery and self-propelled mower combined... or, if you subtract the cost of the bare battery, the mower costs $150), being able to get a factory/authorized dealer refurbished battery with a core charge would help reduce the cost. 

My "big" battery just went dead yesterday.  I'm not sure if it's the cells themselves that are bad, or there's a malfunction in the charging or cooling circuit, but the mower runs about 10 to 15 seconds before the indicator on the mower and battery start flashing red as if the battery is run down, despite having been on the quick charger and the charger says the battery is topped off.  It's not the charger, because I have no problem with the 2.5Ah battery (and that's what I've used to finish the mowing).

Seeing that a new battery costs such a princely sum, and I'd hate to just discard/recycle it, being able to exchange it as part of a reconditioned battery program would be fantastic.
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Robby

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@Steve I considered providing a similar service after refurbing one of my own batteries in 2018. I bailed on the idea due to lack of time and a small number of total batteries being out of warranty, but of course as time goes on that number grows.

I think for the 7.5Ah batteries and probably 5Ah batteries, there is a decent if modest business here. The smaller batteries are tougher -- the labor takes just as long but the value is so much less. I considered 3D printing 7.5h form factor packs so that I could convert 2/2.5/4 Ah packs to 7.5Ah packs, but it might be patent infringement to provide those upgrades commercially (IANAL). Finally, core credits are a good model but not without risk; replacing the cells or a temperature probe is easy, but if the BMS itself is busted, the core is basically worthless.

Sharing these thoughts in case any of it is useful to you. Good luck launching the service if you go that route.

Robby
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Steve Groesz

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Thanks for the comments and thoughts Robby. Time is proving to be the biggest hurdle for me at the moment. Even with the apocalypse upon us, I work in a 'critical infrastructure' industry, so I don't expect that I'll be getting a break anytime soon.

As for the BMS, I am working on fabricating an after market replacement. If I can get that done, the BMS board becomes less of an issue. Ideally, Ego would be willing to supply replacements, even if under contract. But they don't have a system to provide that service at the moment.

Even more difficult to replace are the phase change sleeves on the batteries. My hope is to recover and reuse sleeves from bad cells. Circuit boards and batteries can be repaired / replaced.