Makita Battery Charger seems dangerous to me, anyone else have similar issue?

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Forum topic by Eric_S posted 01-04-2011 09:26 PM 7890 views 0 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4279 days

01-04-2011 09:26 PM

At first I thought it was the wiring of the outlet I was using to connect my Makita Li-Ion battery charger, but its the charger as it happens at every outlet in my house. When I plug it in, you see a big spark. I burned one of my outlets plugging it in and had to reset the fuse. It has always happened since day of purchase.

I’ve tried with a battery connected before plugging in and without and it happens both ways. I have a Makita DC18RA Rapid Battery Charger for Li-Ion Batteries.

It scares the hell out of me everytime I plug it in. I think i’m going to get electrocuted or start a fire, once its plugged in its fine. I was thinking of attaching it to a surge protector and just switching it on and off.

This just doesn’t seem correct or safe? Is mine defective in some way?

Any advice? Anyone have a similar issue? Is plugging it into a 20amp GFCI outlet safe? I would think so.

EDIT: to clarify, the spark happens only at initial plugin, it isn’t constantly doing it. The batteries charge fine as well but yeah it’s scary still.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

40 replies so far

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 3911 days

#1 posted 01-04-2011 09:31 PM

I don’t have that one… but that doesnt sound right to me… I wouldn’t use it until you can have it serviced…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 4781 days

#2 posted 01-04-2011 09:34 PM

I would return it to Makita.
See if we would have the Coffee Lounge you would get more feed back as we have quite a few elecrician on the site.

View stevecabinum's profile


23 posts in 3883 days

#3 posted 01-04-2011 09:38 PM

I’ve had one for years and they all do the same thing. There’s an active circuit in the charger that likens it to plugging in a lamp with the switch on. This is what causes the spark you’re referring to in your post. Nothing to worry about. I have a dedicated space in my shop where it lives and only unplug when necessary.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4199 days

#4 posted 01-04-2011 09:39 PM

not safe a charger shuold not ignight with a big spark or a little one
something is wrong with the electronic in it or a connection terminal

they shuold take it back and give you a new

take care

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4279 days

#5 posted 01-04-2011 09:40 PM

thanks. I’ll call today.

Steve, I dont think anything that burns an outlet when plugging it in can be considered safe. Its reassuring though to know that yours does this too.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4199 days

#6 posted 01-04-2011 09:43 PM

wrong conclusion to come with after just 8 minuts
See if we would have the Coffee Lounge you would get more feed back as we have quite a few elecrician on the site.


View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4279 days

#7 posted 01-04-2011 09:45 PM

GMman that really wasn’t necessary to post that.

And electricians can see these forums too. I think its a product issue though, not a wiring issue in my house.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 4190 days

#8 posted 01-04-2011 10:09 PM

You definitely have a defective charger. I have this unit and have had it for 2 1/2 years. And never anything like what you are describing. A call to Makita will get you a return ticket and shipping, I’m sure.Their customer is one of the best.
Best wishes, Rand

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5302 days

#9 posted 01-04-2011 10:31 PM

I have to agree with Steve. Mine does the same thing.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4757 days

#10 posted 01-04-2011 11:59 PM

I think you need to have it serviced.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 4094 days

#11 posted 01-05-2011 12:00 AM

I have been researching getting a cordless Li-ion drill/impact driver combo set, and there is supposedly a known issue with the Makita chargers eating the battery life of the batteries. Not sure if that’s related to the spark, but it could be.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Drew's profile


419 posts in 4184 days

#12 posted 01-05-2011 12:10 AM

Mine does it.


View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4279 days

#13 posted 01-05-2011 12:45 AM

wont be able to call until tomorrow :(

So it sounds like a lot of people have this issue then?

live4ever, i love the drills though. The charger is a rapid charger(15 min to charge) and I have had them for almost a year now. I do charge them frequently though, but haven’t noticed the battery life getting shorter. I wasn’t paying too much attention to that but now I may.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View funchuck's profile


119 posts in 4141 days

#14 posted 01-05-2011 12:46 AM

I have the Makita Li-Ion set, and mine doesn’t do this. If it did, it would’ve gone right back to the store (bought on Amazon). Mine is about a year old, if that matters.

-- Charles from California

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4858 days

#15 posted 01-05-2011 12:57 AM

My charger has done the same thing ever since I got it. Never burned the plugin or tripped the breaker. Eric, please let us know what they say.


-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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