Can a Battery Charger be Repaired?

Can a Battery Charger be Repaired?

I have a RYOBI cordless drill with a really sensitive clutch that’s great for use with pocket-hole screws. It never overdrives them. I have had the battery on this drill rebuilt, but my charger no longer charges the battery. The red light on the charger does not illuminate and my multi-meter indicates there’s no voltage getting to the charger’s “brain.” I purchased an aftermarket charger that does not work on this battery, either. Can my original charger be repaired? I suspect the problem is in the box that plugs into the wall outlet. – Bill Sanders

Tim Inman: This is definitely a question to raise with the technical service folks at RYOBI! My experience with repairing this sort of tool is not good. It is built to be “throwaway,” and that’s it. I would throw it away and start over. Seems drastic, I know, but it is probably the best advice to give, if I’m being honest. Why throw good money after repairs, not knowing what you’ll have when the repair comes back? Just bite on a stick and get a new outfit. Let RYOBI know how much you’re upset with their problem, and maybe they’ll help get you whole again without too much pain. If not, there are plenty of other cordless tool brands out there these days.

Chris Marshall: I’m a bit confused about the original problem here. At some point, was the battery not working but the original charger was still fine? So that’s why you had the battery rebuilt, and then the charger failed? Or, were both the battery and charger not working at the same time, so you had the battery rebuilt but also bought an aftermarket charger (presuming the original charger no longer was available for this model of drill)? No matter now … a fix is what you you’re after!

I know nothing about repairing electronics, but I will guess that if the charger is one of those types with a pronged block that plugs into the wall, and it has a thin power cord that plugs into the battery for recharging (similar to the photo above), your charger probably can’t be opened up, much less repaired. These types of chargers typically come with entry-level, low-cost tools. That’s not intended to be a criticism of your favorite drill, just an observation of the type of charger. Obviously, entry-level tools and their chargers aren’t built to last as long as pro quality tools with better chargers. But, even bargain-priced tools can be surprising — I once had a 9.6-volt RYOBI drill that I bought for under $100, and it lasted an incredibly long time. In this situation, though, you may be faced with saying goodbye to your old drill and buying a new one. (And if you do, be sure to recycle the battery. Many Lowe’s and Home Depot stores offer recycling services with free disposal.)

Jason Swanson: Your charger might be repairable, but don’t attempt to do this yourself. Instead, bring it to a RYOBI authorized service center. You can locate one closest to you by calling 800-525-2579 or by clicking here. Often our service staff can determine if a product can be repaired with a quick over-the-counter diagnosis. Be sure to check if your product is still under RYOBI’s 3-year warranty — it might be eligible for replacement. One other point of note: we don’t advise that batteries be rebuilt unless that work is done by an authorized RYOBI service center. Doing so can void the warranty, and it also might be the root cause of your charger problem now.

Jason Swanson is vice president of communications/PR for RYOBI’s parent company, TTI Power Equipment.

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