Lithium batteries are found in the majority of the devices we use today. They store a whole bunch of energy in such a small amount of space. However, you may be wondering what happens when you get lithium batteries wet!
In this article, you’re going to have all your questions answered! So keep reading to find out!
What Happens When Lithium Batteries Get Wet?
What happens to a lithium battery when it’s dropped in water will depend entirely on the state of the battery. In cases where the battery is intact, it will slowly start to discharge over time. However, if you take it out quickly enough, this discharging is unlikely to happen on a noticeable level.
Fortunately, the way lithium batteries are designed, it’s quite difficult for water to enter them. The battery itself is completely sealed together, and they’re often wrapped with plastic as well, further reducing the chance of water getting in.
However, The metals inside the cell of the battery would oxidize rapidly, which will reduce the overall performance of the battery and potentially interfere with the circuitry. While you may have seen videos on the internet of lithium batteries bursting into flames, the chances of this happening are extremely improbable.
However, even if you drop a battery in water or get it wet briefly, you should still be cautious as this can cause damage to the battery, which over time could become worse.
Dropping A Lithium Battery In Fresh Water Vs. Salt Water
If you drop a lithium battery in freshwater, it’s going to have a slightly different outcome than dropping it in saltwater. The only real difference you’ll notice is that over time saltwater will discharge a lithium battery faster than freshwater as it’s a better conductor of electricity.
You’ll also be able to tell what water you dropped your battery into based on whether white powder forms overtime or not. When dropped in salt water, you may begin to notice the white powder, which doesn’t occur in freshwater.
And lastly, over time, the saltwater is likely to corrode the battery much faster than freshwater due to the salt in it.
What To Do If Your Lithium Battery Gets Wet?
If your lithium batteries have gotten wet, then the first thing you should do is remove the water immediately. If you’ve dropped them in the water, get them out as quickly as possible, or if they’ve been splashed with water, dry them immediately.
Once you’ve done this, you should leave then leave them out to dry over a couple of days to make sure there’s no water left in them. Hopefully, after a few days, when you try to use the batteries, they should work fine!
How To Put Out A Lithium Fire
If you have dropped your battery into the water, and for some reason, a lithium fire has occurred. Here’s what you should do.
In the case of small batteries, simply dousing with water is enough to put the fire out. It will dilute the lithium enough that the reaction will no longer be noticeable.
However, if it’s a big fire, you’ll need a class D fire extinguisher to put it out. Foam, CO2, and ABC dry chemicals are all great choices. If you do plan on putting large fires out yourself, make sure you’re wearing protective clothing and eye protection, as well as a respirator and rubber gloves.
But in the case of larger fires, the best course of action isn’t to tackle the fire yourself but rather to call the fire brigade.
As you can see, getting your lithium battery wet isn’t the end of the world. In fact, in a lot of cases, they can actually continue to work after they’ve been dried completely! However, caution should always be used when trying lithium batteries once they’ve been wet, as they may end up damaging the appliance you put them in.
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