EGO Battery - Safe Storage and Sleep Mode?

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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  • (Edited)
Hi there,

I'm liking the new Ego Snow Blower and was thinking of getting one, which would probably then cause me to replace my old gas-powered Lawn Mower with an Ego Mower as well. The only thing holding me back is my fear of Lithium Batteries in general, and how they can cause some serious damage if thermal runaway occurs (however rare that may be). 

My question is: How does everyone store their Ego batteries? I know that Remote-Controlled Helicopter enthusiasts, who use LIPO (Lithium Polymer) batteries, go to some great lengths to store their batteries in "battery bunkers" using things like Lipo Bags, Ammo Boxes and Cinder Blocks etc. 

Now I'm pretty confident that Ego batteries are better engineered and safer than LIPO batteries that some of the hobbyists use, but ... are any of you storing your Ego batteries in special fireproof containers or anything of the sort when not in use? Are there any "Definite Do's" and "Definite Don'ts" that come with storing an Ego battery?

Do they need to be kept away from metal objects for instance, for fear of an accidental short-circuit situation, or does the outer cover of the battery prevent that?

It would be great to get a sense from the community as to how and where you store your Ego batteries, both in Cold Weather and in Warm Weather conditions so that my fears can be put to rest and I can officially become the owner of some fine Ego products.

Thanks in advance for any feedback,
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Steve

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Posted 3 years ago

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Dominic49

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there is a big difference in the battery chemistry of the LiPo pouch packs that hobbyists use and the high quality 20r and 25r 18650 cells used in EGO batteries. Follow the directions in the box and you should have no issues for years to come.
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Steve

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Thanks Dominic49, sounds like reasonable advice.
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David HD, Champion

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Official Response
I store my EGO batteries (2.0 Ah & 5.0 Ah) inside my house when not in use (as recommended in the manual).  I keep them on the top shelf of my laundry room closet, away from any chemicals and detergents.  But to answer all your questions, I copy a section of the EGO battery manual below for your review.  I have attached a link to this manual for you to download and peruse at your own leisure, should you have more questions about it.

The bottom line, these EGO batteries are well built and will provide plenty of power for all your EGO power tools - as long as you take good care of them (per the manual recommendation).  That said; all EGO batteries have a 3 Year Limited Warranty on them!  I own both the 15" trimmer and their new backpack leaf blower, with great success!








https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0262/2513/files/14-1030_EGO_Battery_manual_NA_V1_online.pdf?7460862723730294504
(Edited)
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Steve

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Thanks very much David for the detailed response. I'll have a look at the manual, but basically it sounds like as long as I keep to what the manual says (and what was outlined in your response) and follow its precautions, I should be fine. Looks like I'm gettin' an Ego Snow Blower!

Thanks again,
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Hi Steve,

Just to add to the great advice already given, generally speaking, if your garage stays above freezing and below about 90F, keeping your batteries there shouldn't be a problem. If not, keeping them in the house is the better option.

I installed a cabinet to house my various battery chargers as well as my 12v power tools. I chose a metal cabinet because a) I can use magnets to mount things, and b) because if anything ever did happen while charging a battery and things got hot, a metal cabinet would hopefully contain the heat without igniting.

To be clear, I'm not really worried about a battery catching fire, but given the choice between a particle board or steel cabinet I chose steel for the application. This isn't where I store the batteries, just where I charge them. That Lowes had them on clearance didn't hurt either:



The dual Ego chargers are in anticipation of getting the snowblower, which I have yet to do... :-(
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Steve

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Thanks Blue Angel, that's a great setup you have there. Gives me some ideas to work with.

You mentioned the cabinet is where you charge your batteries. Where do you store them when not in use and not being charged?

Unfortunately I'm in Canada and my garage gets pretty cold in the winter. I've never tested it myself, but I'm pretty confident it gets below freezing in there on really cold nights.

 I'd probably store them in the garage from say, April to October or November ... but from December to March, I'd probably keep them inside.

Thanks again,
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Steve, I'm in Canada too (Ottawa), but my townhouse garage shares two walls with the house and a third with the neighbor's garage, so it never goes below freezing. It helps that I insulated the ceiling and garage door as well.

I keep the batteries in regular particle board cabinets that back against the heated house walls and they're mounted high, above eye level. The thermometer on my work bench, only about 3 feet above the floor, rarely goes below 5 degrees C.

Something I've considered for the future would be to insulate a small cabinet and actually heat it in the winter. This could be done with a simple wall thermostat and a 40W light bulb mounted near the bottom of the cabinet. Two bulbs in series might be more reliable since they would last way longer, or some type of heating element out of an old kettle or coffee pot (properly mounted of course).

If the door sealed reasonably well and the cabinet was lined with foam insulation, the cabinet could maintain a low temperature of say 10C (50F) without using much electricity and would let you keep all your batteries in the garage.
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Steve

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Thanks again Blue Angel .... I like the light bulb idea ..... simple yet elegant solution and would most likely get the job done.
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Eric

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Actually sorry, while that looks good, that's a really bad setup.  Unless there is a way to toggle the power via switch on and off to the individual units, all those batteries are stored at full charge which is HORRIBLY hard on them.
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Jacob

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Someone needs to make a battery storage thingy that keeps batteties at like 40 -60 deg f all the time. The peltier effect could handle this but it's not very efficient. I need one bad for my shop cuz it isn't always heated.

Someone make me an environmental chamber for 100.00 please :)
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Steve

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Great idea Jacob, I'd be in for $100 too.

I came across a battery container (for LIPO's) that not only prevents fires from spreading, but also apparently handles the toxic gases that get released should there be a lithium-based fire (knock on wood!) using some sort of Fiberglass flame arrestor and you end up with "clean" smoke , for about $50.

I'm not sure if it's "legal" to post links here, but it's called the Bat-Safe (no affiliations with that product), and was designed, again, for LIPO's. If you google Bat-Safe (with hyphen) and LIPO, I"m sure you'll find the product.

The dimensions of the container are such that an Ego battery probably wouldn't fit inside, but that would definitely put my mind at ease for sure. I've emailed the company if they have plans on making larger boxes, no response yet.

Perhaps an opportunity for Ego to come up with something similar?

Just a thought :-)
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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For what it's worth, after spending over two years on this forum I have yet to see anyone complain about their Ego battery having a "thermal event". :-)
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Steve

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Hey Blue Angel (and everyone else) ... I *do* have to apologize for coming across as paranoid (see one of my previous posts lol), I've always had OCD-like tendencies *shakes head*.

But like I said before, I've never seen a Lithium Battery so well engineered and thought-out as the Ego, complete with cooling vents to keep the battery cool during charging etc., which is *very* reassuring and which is why I'm about 99% of the way to getting one, I guess I'd just like that extra piece of mind. It doesn't help that I'm not a "handyman", never was (hears the crowd say "I never would have guessed!" lol

If the result of a Lithium fire was nothing more than a burnt battery and some soot in my garage/basement, then I wouldn't even worry about battery storage (as much) ... but because a lithium "event" .... "can" .... or "might" .... be catastrophic (knock on wood again) .... then it just makes sense to put *some* thought into precautionary measures .... not going overboard mind you, but just taking *some* time to avoid a "catastrophe".

Having said all of that, I'm still just about ready to get one. I know my back is gonna thank me!
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Ken, Champion

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I own a Phantom drone and I do take some precautions with storage of the LiPo batteries because they are a different beast from Lithium-Ion.

But you probably have less to worry about storing Ego batteries than you do a can of gasoline for traditional tools.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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GREAT comment Ken!  That kinda puts things into perspective, doesn't it? :-)
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Steve

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Hi Ken, thanks for chiming in, I appreciate the reassurance.

So, as someone who owns both LiPo and Ego operated gadgets .... what is it about LiPo batteries that makes them (seemingly) more prone to fires than Lithium-Ion batteries like the Ego? Is it that LiPo's come with less (or no) Cell Management Software (ie. Protection Circuits) and/or that LiPo's are (I think?) encased in softer material?

I'd be curious to know, if you're willing to share that is, how you store your LiPo batteries. Have you had a look at Bat-Safe? Apparently that's perfect for LiPo-type battery storage.

The other question I had is .... Dominic49 mentioned that Ego batteries use 20r or 25r 18650 cells. Can someone confirm this? Do we know who the manufacturer of these cells is? ie. Samsung, for instance? I'd be more comfortable knowing the cells were made by a reputable manufacturer like Samsung than some unknown company somewhere in China. 

Thanks again everyone for your reassuring feedback,
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Blue Angel, Champion

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The 2500 mAh cells in the 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5Ah batteries are indeed genuine Samsung 25R cells. The 2.0 and 4.0Ah batteries used 2000 mAh Sanyo (now Panasonic) cells. The 4Ah pack I pulled apart did, anyway.

Most name brand power tools use high quality high draw cells from the major cell manufacturers.
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Steve

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Thanks for that Blue Angel. Good to know they're using Samsung cells. I wouldn't have expected anything less, but then again, I've also learned never to make assumptions in life. 

You have all been a great help.

Off to Home Depot I go!
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Steve, happy shopping at Home Depot.  Do share a video of your new "snowblower" in action once bought.  For those of us who don't have one yet, we will be drooling with envy ..... : )


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Steve

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LOL ......... thanks David. I'll have to take my cell phone, which also uses a lithium battery, out of it's protective steel-reinforced Ammo Box first! lol (kiddddding)
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David HD, Champion

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You should also consider a "fire hazard" suit when using your new snow blower ... in case the battery catches fire. This way, you will be safe for the winter ... just kidding of course.
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Steve

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A fire-proof hazmat suit .....I knew I was forgetting something. This will be me getting ready to place the batteries in the snow blower lol (not sure where my gloves are but what the heck, I'll live dangerously!



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David HD, Champion

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Now we're talking but make sure the suit is in Green ... LOL!
(Edited)
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Steve

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lol sharp! Or in this case, Ego.
(Edited)
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Ken, Champion

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I have some small, cheap LiPos for my first (toy) quadcopter that I worry about more than the Phantom batteries, which do have extensive protection circuitry like Ego batteries have. They self-discharge if they're stored more than a week or so, for example.

There are engineers here who know way more about battery chemistry than I do, so don't take my word as gospel. But from what I understand, LiPos are very similar to Lithium Ion but the cells are wrapped in soft plastic rather than metal casings. That makes them more prone to puncture damage, which can lead to the fires.

From what I've read, the technology has improved a lot so fires aren't as big a worry as they used to be, especially if you're using high quality batteries. I make a point to spend a few extra bucks and buy only DJI's OEM batteries for the Phantom rather than no-name knockoffs.

I also store the batteries in fire-resistant LiPo storage bags, and I keep them in a corner of the garage in a metal box I already owned, on concrete and away from anything else that could catch fire.

LiPo bags are cheap and come in various sizes. These fit the Phantom battery exactly, and I paid about $6 for two on eBay.
(Edited)
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Ken, Champion

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This is what a Phantom drone battery looks like. It's about the size of the palm of your hand. And we drone enthusiasts have all the same anxiety as Ego tool users: How many minutes can we get out of charge, and how quickly can the battery be recharged so we can play with our toys again!
(Edited)
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Steve

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Thanks for sharing Ken. And yep, I had a feeling the difference had to do with a combination of the enclosing material/casing as well as the circuit protection.

I just hope that the Ego comes with on-battery circuit protection as well as (or, not only) in-charger circuit protection.
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Eric

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Long story short, any of these batteries can go up at any time, although ones with hard cells (i.e. ego) are statistically more likely to remain stable vs the soft packs that are in the remote control industry.  As well, there is basically no truely safe way to store cells other than in a bunker away from your house at a controlled humidity and cool temperature.  The best you can do is in your garage if it is moderately controlled (50-80ish) on an outer wall.  The cooler the better, but not freezing.

If one of these large packs go up, it's massive.  Look at one happens with much smaller RC batteries and different ways to store them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnNId0mDnBo
(Edited)
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Steve

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Thanks for this Eric. Apparently researchers at Stanford have come up with some polymer that makes Lithium batteries fireproof. The article (and video) here explain how it works: http://news.stanford.edu/2016/01/11/safe-battery-toggle-011116/


Still a few years away, but definitely sounds like the wave of the future.
(Edited)
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Chris Czerwinski

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Ego Snow Blower true test - Wisconsin cold and latest snow storm......

Batteries didn't want to charge it the cold. Granted it dipped below zero... but have two 5AMP/hr batteries and when I put them on the charger, just got a single red light on the charger (Charger is in my unheated garage). Wasn't sure if it was the charger or the batteries. My solution was to bring them in and warm up. They charged after returning batteries to room temp. I guess I plan on bringing the batteries inside from now on, but not as convenient, and I have to remember to do so. I would say the blower power is 90% of what my 2 stroke was. Handled the snow adequately, about 6-7 inches at a time (13" total). I was antsy to test it out so I didn't wait until the storm ended. however the chunky stuff from the plows was a pain.... but it is a pain with 2 stroke blowers also....  Run time was 35 minutes before I could tell it was losing power. When they finally started charging, indicator showed them around 50%..ish.
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Steve

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Between mowing sessions...where to store battery?.

I mow the lawn about weekly and don't use all the charge in the battery.   During that 7 day span, should I leave the partially charged battery in the mower?  Or charge it up anyways and leave it in the charger?  
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James Ward

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled How best to store my lithium battery over the winter ?.

Winter storage  ?
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Vincent

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Battery storage suggestion.

I emailed Ego about this last week but never got a reply. I just purchased an Ego lawn mower, string trimmer and blower. All have their own battery and charger, so I have a total of 3. I only have a small lawn and think that I will only need to use one battery. What is your suggestion for maintenance of my other 2 brand new, unused batteries? Is it better to cycle the usage between the batteries, or just store them and keep them unused?

Thank you!
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SCDC, Champion

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It is really simple with EGO.  The batteries take care of themselves.  They self discharge after a while to an optimum storage charge.  Just keep in a cool dry place and you will be fine.  I store mine in my storage building with a small fan always blowing over the batteries and charger, because it gets warm in there.  You really don't have anything to do but keep them stored.
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David HD, Champion

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SCDC, do you have some kind of "home made" circuitry where the power for the fan is being pulled from the stored batteries?  That would be an awesome design ... :-)
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SCDC, Champion

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no but this would be awesome.  I need a battery mount from a broken tool.  I like the idea.