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Why Is My LiFePO4 Battery Draining So Fast?

Why Is My LiFePO4 Battery Draining So Fast?

Have you noticed your LiFePO4 battery discharging faster than it should? One minute, you have a fully topped-up battery bank; the next thing you know, it's almost fully drained. This could be a hassle, especially when you're off-grid, on the road, or during a power outage and counting on using it as backup power. However, before rushing on to type “Why is my LiFePO4 battery draining so fast?” on your search bar, give this a read first.

Whether you're using a car battery, AGM battery, lead-acid, or lithium battery, a decline in performance and faster discharge rate are usually caused by similar issues. These include battery age, over or undercharging, exposure to extreme temperatures, or sulfation. If your battery drains fast, it also most likely means that you need to replace it, and nobody wants that, especially if you haven't used it enough to get your money's value.

If you notice your lithium battery discharging quickly, don't panic just yet. Here are some reasonsyour battery pack does not last as long as it should. Check them individually and you might just find out the root cause and fix it yourself!

Top Reasons Why Your Battery Is Draining So Fast

Lithium battery issues including fast discharge are usually rooted in mishandling or improper maintenance. This can be caused by the way you charge, storage practices, or improper usage. Below are the common reasons why a LiFePO4 battery might discharge faster than it should be. 

You’re Overloading It

You might be drawing too much power from your batteries. Try calculating your power requirements again to ensure that your battery capacity can accommodate everything that you've been running so far.

Partially Charged Battery

Another possibility is that your battery is not fully topped up to begin with. This is likely to happen when you fast-charge it with a regulator that does not switch to float mode afterwards. If you're using the battery for an RV, improper wiring can also lead to power loss and even cause a fire.

Incorrect Charging

You're either using the wrong kind of battery charger or there is something wrong with your charging procedure. If you're using solar panels that are incompatible with your battery and a PWM solar charge controller, it may not deliver the amount of power you expect. Instead, you may even lose up to 100W as it passes through the regulator.

You might not be charging your battery long enough too. It typically needs 8-10 hours to be completely topped up, and 12 hours if it's fully discharged. Improper charging is one of the usual reasons behind lithium battery issues, so see to it that you follow your manufacturer’s instructions when topping off your power pack.

Infrequent Use Or Charging 

How long has it been since you last used and charged your battery? Keeping it stored for long periods might be one of the culprits behind a lithium battery discharging quickly. If you don't recharge your batteries at least once a month, you could lose up to 10% of their total charge every month, so don't be surprised if it lasts you two hours the next time you take it out camping.

Lack of Maintenance

A simple warm-up of your battery regularly or terminal cleaning can go a long way. If you're using wet batteries, try to add water to them from time to time. While modern technology allows for maintenance-free batteries, a little extra care every now and then can still save your unit over time.

Overcharging

This is one of the most common reasons for battery failure. Overcharging damages batteries and increases the risk of explosion, especially with a non-LiFEPO4 power pack or if you're using the wrong charger for your battery type.

If you've tried all of this and the problem persists, it might be time to consult a professional or buy a new one.

Best LiFePO4 Battery Maintenance Tips

We’re done with the issues; now it’s time for maintenance talk. While LiFePO4 Batteries are known to be superior to other battery chemistries and are, therefore, more durable, you can never go wrong with a little extra care. 

It’s also worth noting that LiFePO4 batteries still have a recommended way of charging and operational range to ensure optimal condition for the entirety of their battery life. So from answering the question “why is my LiFePO4 battery draining so fast?” we’re not moving on to maintenance. 

Check out some of the best lithium battery maintenance tips to keep your power pack in its best form for years. 

Proper Charging Is A Must

As mentioned earlier, charging is a crucial step in maintaining battery help. A LiFePO4 battery would be best if charged with the appropriate charger or a smart charger to ensure that the voltage levels stay within the appropriate range and avoid damaging the power pack. 

Can a lead-acid charger be used for a LiFePO4 battery? The answer is no. Some people do it, but it's not recommended mainly because of the several differences between their charging profiles. Doing so can harm your battery in the long run or cause an early decline and these batteries don't come cheap, so you want to make the most out of them.

Mind Your SOC Range

SOC or State of Charge refers to the remaining capacity available in your battery at a given time. It's a well-known fact that LiFePO4 batteries have an edge in this area as they can be discharged fully, unlike lead acid batteries which can only be discharged down to 50%. 

Despite this, frequent over-discharging will still cause lithium battery issues later. Keeping a LiFePO4 battery between 10% and 90% SOC is best to keep its internal chemistry stable. 

Avoid Charging At High Currents

A LiFePO4 battery's continuous output current is typically 1C, while its maximum pulse current is 2C. Unlike lead acid batteries which can output at high current, using a LiFePO4 battery below the rated maximum discharge is more recommended to help extend its lifespan. 

In case the load requires more than 1C current, it would be better to consider increasing the number of battery packs to minimise the pressure on a single power pack. 

Use Within Appropriate Temperature Level

While LiFePO4 batteries are known for their versatility in changing or extreme temperatures, it's still recommended to use them within the range of 0°C-60°C. Never charge it below 0°C to avoid damage, and heat the surrounding environment around your battery as much as possible during the cold winter season for protection.

A lithium battery discharging quickly is usually an early indication of damage or faulty handling. This is why reading and following your manufacturer's instructions is crucial as soon as you get your battery pack. As mentioned earlier, these types of lithium batteries are in the pricier range—you don't want to keep buying a new one before the end of your existing battery's life.

Speaking of new batteries, check out our collection of premium LiFePO4 batteries at Outbax. We have a full range of deep cycle batteries with grade-A prismatic cells for superior performance and maximum safety, all available at affordable price tags. Trust us, you’ll never ask “why is my LiFePO4 battery draining so fast?” here, as long as you practice the correct usage. Shop now and avail yourself of our special offers, such as free shipping and discounts! 

Last Updated on April 5, 2024