A vacuum cleaner battery is a very important part of every portable cordless vacuum cleaner. Even if you have a vacuum cleaner with the best characteristics on paper, but your battery pack is failing quickly, you will not be satisfied with your cordless vacuum cleaner as a whole.
Batteries as replacement parts for vacuum cleaners. You can buy them from online stores or in shops specialized for electronic equipment or shops with vacuum cleaner spare parts. Before buying cordless vacuum batteries, there are several things you should know about them.
Can a Rechargeable Vacuum Cleaner Battery Die?
Yes, rechargeable batteries die, too.
Depending on their chemistry type, rechargeable batteries – even when treated properly – can withstand only a limited number of charging/discharging cycles. For example, deep cycle lead-acid batteries (these are NOT common car starting batteries) and nickel-cadmium batteries can endure a few hundred charging/discharging cycles.
Nickel metal hydride batteries can stand up to 500 cycles, while various lithium batteries ‘operate properly’ even after 1000 charging/discharging cycles. When the batteries are not treated properly, their life span shortens significantly and they simply die!
Operate properly means that after some time all batteries lose their capacity, but this is within certain limits, according to various standards. The best tester is, You, consumer – if your vacuum is not performing as it did when you bought it due to failing battery pack, it is time to change the batteries.
Always read manuals of your cordless vacuum cleaners. Which handheld vacuum cleaner or backpack vacuum cleaner (or any other type of battery-powered vacuum cleaner) you have, it determines which replacement battery you will have to purchase.
- Read and write down the exact replacement part ID number of your battery and of course which vacuum cleaner you have. This way you will certainly buy a proper battery pack.
- Non-OEM replacement battery packs are generally cheaper than OEM replacement batteries, but they are not tested thoroughly as OEM’s battery packs and more often lack the performance of original batteries. Sometimes, new original battery packs cost almost like a brand new cordless vacuum cleaner.
- In these cases, buy non-OEM replacement battery packs, but read what other customers have to say regarding batteries you are about to buy.
- If the reviews of non-OEM batteries are bad, there is no point in buying such a battery. Buy an OEM vacuum cleaner battery even if it costs almost as much as a new cordless vacuum or simply buy a new cordless vacuum cleaner.
These batteries are often found in cordless vacuum cleaners and in cordless appliances in general. Most modern appliances have low self-discharge NiMH batteries that can stay several months on the shelf and lose only few percents of their charge.
They have higher capacity than lead-acid or NiCd batteries, almost no memory effect (no memory effect according to manufacturers, but from time to time capacity ‘refresh’ comes handy) and they are much more environmentally friendly.
They have lower discharge currents than NiCd or lead-acid batteries (in terms of ‘C’ currents), but due to the higher capacity and other benefits, they have replaced almost entirely lead-acid and NiCd batteries in battery-powered vacuum cleaners.
Charging and Discharging Currents
Charging and discharging currents are measured in amperes (A) or most often in ‘hour capacities’ – current is given as a number of capacities – current is given as hour-amperes multiplied by ability to supply needed current. For example (easier to understand):
- If the battery has 20 Ah capacity, that means that it is able to produce constant 1A current for 20 hours. The same battery will be able to produce 20A current, but for less than an hour.
- Or even 200A current for less than 6 (six) minutes – actual discharging time at high currents determines the battery’s capability to produce high currents.
- In cordless vacuum cleaners discharging times are often more than a half-hour, so extra high current batteries are not needed – NiMH batteries fit at these discharging currents nicely.
- If the battery is discharged at 1C, that means that the 20Ah battery is discharged at a rate of 20A. Manufacturers often give tables showing how long can battery produce for example 1C, 2C, 5C currents. Good NiMH batteries can be discharged at a 1C rate for more than 50 minutes.