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Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner Battery Replacement

By on October 12, 2016
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‘Stick’ vacuum cleaners are used for smaller jobs because they are light, easily maneuverable and don’t need a long power cord attached to operate. One of the major problems with these ‘stick’ vacuums is the fact that the manufacturer installs batteries that will last to just outside the warranty period.




Ours at home was suffering from that fault. After being a useful household appliance for a few years, after charging, it would last for a maximum of 5 minutes before cutting out.

My wife suggested that I might be interested in repairing it (or at least I think that’s what she said – or suggested that she might go out pricing new ones…)

vacuum-cleaner-battery-replacement

After testing the charger in a loaded state, it provided a healthy charge of 15.53 Volts for a 12 Volt system. But even after an overnight charge, the batteries refused to charge.

It was time to disassemble the vacuum and see what the fault could be. The battery pack is a series pack of 10 batteries with 1.2 Volts per battery – 12 Volts combined. I tested each battery individually and found some of them were as low as 0.5 Volt and others had no voltage at all.

I ordered a 10 pack of batteries from overseas, but because I wanted to add ‘More Power’ to the cleaner, I bought 2200mAh batteries instead of the original 1300mAh ones.

While this might seem very basic, most of the repairs we do are mundane and simple, but they need to be done nonetheless (happy wife, happy life – you know the drill…)

vacuum-cleaner-batteries

One of the main problems I had was removing the original batteries as these were spot welded and the tabs needed to be reused. I started out using a screwdriver and carefully removing them, but found a much more successful method by using pointy nose pliers to pop the welds off.

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Once I had all the straps off the batteries, I found that holding the batteries together with insulation tape made it easier to hold them and stop them from rolling.

batteries-fault-in-vacuum-cleaner

The next process took a little practice, I must admit. I’ve been soldering successfully for years and I must say, these batteries tested my skills. Not enough heat, too much heat and then the straps would move – all designed to make my day a little more difficult. However, with practice, the end result was successful. Roughening up the surfaces with sandpaper, applying solder to the batteries under the straps and adding extra flux all helped to with the final outcome.

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battery-fault-in-vacuum-cleaner

Ensuring the temperature sensor was in place finished the job.

After assembly, the vacuum cleaner was placed on charge overnight. Unfortunately, there is only one way to ‘road test’ these things – vacuuming! I had no trouble cleaning the entire house on one charge, which is a far cry from the 5 minutes I was getting previously.

If you are interested in this repair, you can see a video on my channel following the link below:

mark

This article was prepared for you by Mark Rabone from Australia.




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Note: You can check out his previous repair article below:

https://jestineyong.com/toaster-trips-house-circuit-breaker/

 

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36 Comments

  1. Dries Laubscher

    October 12, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Hi Mark. Got a deja vu feeling when reading your article. btdt and my soldering skills nowhere near yours. Yes, roll tearing the straps off is the best way I found as well. You're certainly never going to unsolder them. But thanks for the memories lol

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • Mark

      October 13, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Hey Dries,
      It was either repair the vacuum or risk my wife 'looking' at prices for a new one. It was worth the repair time and I believe that it will last longer with the upgrade now than a new one would in a few years time when the lower grade batteries fail.

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  2. Albert van Bemmelen

    October 12, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Good to know that you were able to repair your vacuum cleaner Mark. I myself would not use sandpaper and solder the contacts on whatever battery though. Especially the Lithium/Li-ion ones because they explode certainly when they get too hot. And it won't do any good on their chemical insides if they get tempered with. I once read about using the charge of a high voltage Capacitor to weld the contactstrips onto the cells.
    I myself still use the old fashioned Vacuum Cleaner on the 230V AC mains power which I think also is the best way to clean without ever having to worry about failing batteries. I recently heard that they are limiting down the Maximum used Motor Wattage of new Vacuum Cleaners to save wasting of energy.

    Likes(2)Dislikes(0)
    • Robert Calk

      October 13, 2016 at 1:10 am

      I haven't had any problems soldering to battery terminals. Just be careful and quick, then use a moistened sponge or something to cool it down fast.

      Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
    • Mark

      October 13, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      Interesting comment. Yes I have heard of Lithium/Ion batteries creating fires. These were Ni–MH and yes I thought about whether to use wet'n'dry on the batteries before soldering and the heat being used. I have also seen some basic spot welders that can be made, with microwave oven transformers, but haven't heard of using a capacitor. Do you have any links or videos that you could recommend?
      We still have a 240 Volt AC cleaner that we use for the house. The stick is just used for small clean-ups, but I wanted to show how changing the battery capacity could increase operation time enough to clean an entire house. Must admit, it was pretty hard on the back!!

      Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
      • Albert van Bemmelen

        October 14, 2016 at 2:53 am

        Hi Mark. To answer your Welding Batteries see this link with much detailed info about why and with what:

        http://www.ebikeschool.com/how-to-build-a-diy-electric-bicycle-lithium-battery-from-18650-cells/
        Cheers!

        Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
        • Mark

          October 15, 2016 at 7:25 pm

          Thanks for the article Albert.
          Fortunately I used NiMH batteries, but will keep this in mind if I use LiIon batteries in the future.
          I will have to do some more research on using a capacitor for a spot welder.
          Thanks for all the advice - we never stop learning!

          Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
  3. Everett Crosiar

    October 12, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Albert van Bemmelen is correct; You should not solder the contact onto the battery due to the danger of an explosion when they get too hot. These batteries WITH TABS already soldered are available on both E-bay and Amazon(see http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pc-Exell-AA-Size-2200mAh-NiMH-1-2V-Rechargeable-Battery-Cell-W-Tabs-USA-SHIP-/271884744826?hash=item3f4d97f87a:g:XMwAAOSwBahVaKvD).

    Likes(2)Dislikes(0)
    • Mark

      October 13, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Hey Everett,
      Thanks for your comment. I agree that soldering can create excess heat, but I must admit that when I gained practice, the time heating the battery was minimal.
      Thanks for the link to the tabbed batteries - I didn't realise they made them already with tabs. I will keep them in mind for any future repairs.

      Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
  4. Bulent NUR

    October 13, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Good skill repair thanks for sharing.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  5. Robert Calk

    October 13, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Good job, Mark. The new batteries will probably last a long time.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  6. Joe

    October 13, 2016 at 3:05 am

    Good video! There is nothing better to repair your own appliances and see them working again! It is a sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately here in America, they tossed them away, but good for me because I pick them up from the curb see if I can fix them and sell them later on in a Flea Market! if it cant be fix I take whatever parts I need and save them for other projects or similar repairs.
    Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.

    73, Joe-K4JGA
    JGA Electronic Repair Center
    Central Florida - USA

    Likes(2)Dislikes(0)
    • Mark

      October 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      Hey Joe,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, there is a certain satisfaction when you repair a broken or inefficient appliance. To see something being thrown out simply because of a repair or upgrading to a later model annoys me and creates huge landfill problems. The only issue is- where to put all the 'picked' items before you get time to repair them!!

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  7. Parasuraman S

    October 13, 2016 at 5:55 am

    Great! I have soldered many Lithium Batteries for many purposes! Never knew that it would explode! My God! Looks like I was just lucky!

    Likes(2)Dislikes(0)
    • Albert van Bemmelen

      October 13, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Yes dear Mr.Parasuraman S. Especially the higher Energy-packed Lithium and Li-Ion batteries are dangerous. And therefore are not allowed in a normal Airplane since begin 2015 (if I am correct) and now may only be transported in special cargo Airplanes. The 3V Lithium Bios/RTC battery on desktop and other pc mainboards exploded with a big bang when we hotfixed mainboards and forgot to remove them before the bga heating repair. And when they are short circuited they get very hot instantly and can create a fire and/or explode. And afterwards our complete workspace air was filled with the smell of the chemical insides of the Lithium. This does not happen as easily on other batteries because Lithium/Li-ion have the highest energy density. And their energy capacity has doubled in the last 10 years. And new Lithium-Ion batteries to come claim to be 2000 times more powerful!

      Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
    • Mark

      October 13, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      Hey Parasuraman,
      Yes I have soldered many batteries before this and had no issue, but as Albert says in a later comment they may shorten the life of the battery, which is something I hadn't thought of before.

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  8. Gerald

    October 13, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Hi Mark. Interesting repair, mainly the testing part of it! Hopefully your wife will not get used to it and ask you to regularly test the status of the new batteries 🙂

    Regarding soldering the batteries, those are not Li/Ion as Albert mentioned but Ni/Mh. I never heard of those exploding but I might be wrong. Batteries are a complex topic with too many different types so I wouldn't get too involved in this discussion.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,
    GM

    Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
    • Albert van Bemmelen

      October 13, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Yes, I agree Gerald. But when we overheat any Battery we could shorten its lifespan. Afterall the contacts are always welded and not soldered.
      The same happens to Electrolyte Capacitors when we overheat them over the max temperature given on its marking (105 degrees Celsius or higher). After this they say that the lifespan of the Capacitor has reduced with 50%!

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
      • Mark

        October 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm

        Thanks Albert,
        In the back of my mind, I had thought about what the heat would do the battery itself. I wasn't really concerned with the exploding side of it with NiMH. But I appreciate your comments as they will give me some food for thought before I solder batteries again. Perhaps the batteries with tabs included that Everett mentioned might be the option for next time.

        Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
    • Mark

      October 13, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Hey Gerald,
      Yes I agree, batteries with all their simplicity are very complex in reality.
      There are many people a lot smarter than myself on this site that would have a better understanding of their correct use, maintenance and installation.
      As for my wife, I think the warranty I provided on the vacuum finished after the initial 'road test', but I'm sure it will be good for many years to come!

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
      • Gerald

        October 13, 2016 at 4:59 pm

        Good on you Mark! Since my previous comment I did some research on Internet. There are animated debates on soldering or not soldering batteries. Mainly amongst the radio modelling fans who are doing it (soldering) all the times. A few points came of my readings:

        - NiMH batteries might be damaged with excess heat but are not likely to explode or burn. The worse I have read are leaking batteries after soldering but the guy think it was because of poor sealing quality.

        - Spot welding would probably generate more heat than your soldering iron. If they use this method is mainly for cost reasons...

        - Most conclude that if you prepare your soldering correctly (cleaning, using flux etc...) to minimize the heating time you should be OK. Also use a soldering iron with enough power to heat up quickly.

        - Li/Ion batteries are a totally different matter. Stay away (Samsung said :))

        Hope this will help but I strongly advise anyone to search on this subject on the net. It is very entertaining!
        Cheers,
        GM

        Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
        • Mark

          October 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm

          Thanks Gerald,
          I did feel fairly confident soldering NiMH batteries and would think twice soldering LiIon ones though. As I stated, once I go my method correct, there was very limited soldering time and the batteries could be touched by finger almost straight away. I am happy with the result, but only time will tell if the lifespan will be shortened.

          Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  9. Yogesh Panchal

    October 13, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Mark,

    I am sure you got the reward for this repair from your better half.

    Yes Tedious job is to solder the battery terminals which are spot welded.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  10. Humberto

    October 14, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Hi Mark, it's very helpful when you fix your own devices (your wife must feel very happy, of course), and save them from the dump. I suppose these batteries will last much more than the original ones.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • Mark

      October 17, 2016 at 6:16 am

      Hey Humberto,
      That was the main reason for the repair. Yes I could have bought a new unit, but I prefer to save money & to save rubbish from landfill.
      My main priority is to get into the good books with my wife :), which is always a good thing!!
      I'm glad that the repair has encouraged so many positive comments that will help us all next time we do a similar repair.
      I also wanted to see how long these 'MORE POWER' batteries last in comparison with the originals.

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  11. Albert van Bemmelen

    October 15, 2016 at 1:12 am

    Hi Mark, I am thinking in building such a Spot Welder Machine for connecting batteries together in one pack myself. The necessary Microwave transformer I already have. Only the time and the space I do not have at the moment.
    See for instance this very interesting link on the subject: http://www.avdweb.nl/tech-tips/spot-welder.html
    Buying such an expensive Spot Welder is always possible but only if making one is no success.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • Mark

      October 17, 2016 at 6:31 am

      Hey Albert,
      You must have read my mind! I have read about the capacitor welders, but they seem to lack the current required for a decent weld, from what I have seen.
      I have several microwave transformers that I have managed to save from landfill and am keen to see if I can make a successful spot welder.
      Another job on the list.........
      Here's a video for a basic welder. I'm sure there are many modifications that could be done to make it more adaptable.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrlvqib94xQ

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
      • Albert van Bemmelen

        October 21, 2016 at 4:36 am

        I've seen this video of the link you mentioned and others too, Mark. Look for instance on the subject "iron melter". That also is made with an old Microwave Transformer. It is a very impressive video on YouTube. And not dangerous to make or use since the HV secundary is removed and replaced by a very thick koper wire of a few windings that only gives a few volts but an amperage of upto 1000 Amps!! Only the fast melting iron or other melting objects are extremely hot and therefore extremely dangerous!!
        But because I want to repair my own Laptop Battery and 3 others from my brother soon, I just have bought a 1.9KW 709a+ Spot Welder, that also has a solderstation integrated to save Desktop space on the working Table.

        Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  12. Henrique Jorge Guimarães Ulbrich

    October 15, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Thanks, Mark. It was indeed an interesting article. I had already dealt with soldering batteries, I know that there is an explosion risk, but I always do it fast in order to not dangering all. And I never had problems with explosion.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  13. suranga Electronics

    October 15, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the nice article and I have learnt some good information from it.

    Suranga

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  14. Arthur

    October 15, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Hi Mark,Enjoyed your article, also the video. We have wondered which are the dangerous batteries. Have just ordered a solar charging pack for MP3. will check. Have you any experience with Inverter Welders !!!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • Mark

      October 17, 2016 at 6:22 am

      Hey Arthur,
      Are you asking about the actual operation or repair of inverters? Here is a quick video that gives some advantages of an inverter welder.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=996DW4T8IXI

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  15. Albert van Bemmelen

    October 30, 2016 at 1:43 am

    For anyone who thinks about buying a Spot Welder Machine: I recieved yesterday my new 709a+ Spot Welder from China. Sadly it blows my 16 and 25 Amp Automated Fuses at home as soon I switch the Welder on.

    The Manufacturer/Seller of these Machines claim they work fine on Anti-Jammer Circuits or at 63Amps Fused Power Lines.

    A friend of my told me that his son had the same problem at home with his 1500 Watts PC Power supply when it was switched on.
    And he says it was solved by changing the Automated Power Line Fuse to a Slow type.

    So I will find out if I can do that myself too? Maybe some of you Jestine Blog readers had the same problem and how to solve it? Else this will warn anyone for this problem before he buys one Spot Welder too.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  16. Arthur

    February 2, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Why don't you just buy battery holder. Then all what you have to do is to connect couple wires. You do not even need to weld them, just use wing wire connectors.

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  17. Bruce Kantor

    April 9, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Great video. Thanks for sharing.

    One question-- how did you get the top set of 2 batteries free from their plastic holder (the set of two just forward of the on/off switch)? Every way try seems like it will break the plastic holder. Do you remember how you did it?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  18. Peter Tay

    June 24, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    hi,
    just wandering if it could be replaced with 18650 battery (3.7v x 3pcs) ?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

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