Can an efoil battery catch on fire by itself?

A Waydoo owner posted this on Facebook

Beware batteries that are not waterproof. One of mine took on 2 cups of water and failed. Drained the water out and contacted support at waydoo. Was told battery was fine and to charge it. Told them it wasn’t I had tried and could I get a replacement. Was told to file a report with them. Was told to not worry about battery and hold on to it.
Left it outside to drain more until no more water came out and put it in my garage. Monday, a week later, my house burned down. Fire started in the garage. Fire investigator is considering this battery as source of fire.
No loss of lives but note to others. Don’t trust anyone that tries to tell you water in a li/po battery is not a worry.

Waydoo told him to charge the battery even though it contained water. He doesn’t say if he took their advice or if it was attached to the charger at the time of the fire. A news story says there was a Tesla in the garage and they’re not sure what started the fire.

This wouldn’t be the first case of a Waydoo catching on fire. One owner caught his Waydoo on video shooting flames from the motor but that was with the board fully assembled: Redirecting...

Yeah this can definitely happen. As the nickel or electrodes corrode they can eventually short and then start a fire. Terrible advice from Waydoo!
Batteries that have had contact with water should always stay outside!

That likely didn’t happen and allowed a short to occur. I’ve had batteries that salt water got into and they become hot to the touch and my battery guy and I had to dispose of them. We had it lucky cause we removed the heat shrink and kapton tape and could see where water was still hiding inside the packs. The cells eventually drained themselves down after about 24 hours.

If you are using Li-Ion or LiPo when it major danger of such batteries. All current brands using Li-Ion.
Only one type of battery will not cause the fire - LifePO4.

Also where are LiNMC and LTO (Lithium-titanate battery) they are also flammable but water doesn’t make so much damage to them. But these types of batteries not used by any company right now, and due regulations and customs specific it very hard to get them in EU or USA - but possible.
Also there are some batteries which called Lithium-Carbon-Cobalt-bla-bla-bla.
We need to wait 1-2 years while these types of batteries be more famous and available.

The answer is yes , pics of a first Onean battery are somewhere on e-surfer forum , weak bottom , water got inside , corroded or electrolyte… shots…end up with a fire of some 25r cells with battery at rest after use…

Not only Waydoo batteries can catch on fire, a cheap BMS in a DiY battery can start a fire in a van with all your foiling gear too.

I’m storing my battery in a welded steelbox, lined with 50 mm rockwool. Not sure if this is safe enough but better than nothing, I guess… :roll_eyes:


There are so many ways salt water in a battery can start a fire.

To start with voltage across salt water plates all the magnesium out of the water, you can get a ‘bridge’ and a short circuit. This might cause the balance leads to heat, and melt if they are PVC, and the wire jacket ‘retreats’. That could cause the two freshly exposed copper wires to touch; then enough heat can melt all the wires around it, then traction leads, and then you can make your battery critical regardless of what the BMS tries to do. This might take minutes or hours. I know this can happen, I have seen it.

Or you can damage the BMS. If the damage goes unnoticed then it might not perform safety tasks like stopping over charging, it might not balance, etc. This might take time to appear, perhaps days, as you use and recharge over a few cycles.

Even safe chemistries can have trouble if the rest of the system doesn’t use the right materials. Batteries are dangerous if they are not considered part of a ‘system’ with safety, redundancy, fault detection, isolation and notification built in.

And lets not forget the factory latent fault. 1 in 1 Million for Korean cells. If you have 200 cells per pack, that’s a dodgy cell in every 5000 packs.

I’ve had a quick look and a ride of a Takuma, and I thought the battery looked well made and designed, but I’d like to know more. If it leaks they are possibly not testing each battery as a system before shipping. I would love to see if anyone has pictures or data on battery problems and fires. Perhaps we can all learn something.

I just re-read and say that it said Waydoo… not Takuma. I have no idea what is in the Waydoo, but that sort of fire (from the Facebook link) is really likely to be a fault in the ESC. BLDC motors are just coils, which are short circuits at DC. You connect a phase to a battery and it’ll go up like that if the battery is full.

The ESC shouldn’t drive a hard short circuit. This can happen when FETs are damaged, but the battery shouldn’t drive a hard short circuit either, as a 2nd layer of proteciton. Your better quality gear has overlapping fault detection.

Is there a way to check periodically the BMS of the battery if it works well with no problem. what would be the correct way. thanks

Yeah, it’s a fuse.

The power switches are made from FETs, FETs fail short circuit (bad), so it the BMS has a failure and can’t turn off, then the fuse has to do it’s job and burn out before a fire starts.

Or the battery could have a water sensor and an alarm. Or many many other ways but it has to be system thinking.

This would probably be ok, and certainly wise. When the cells burn they can be up to 500’C, so just make sure all materials are insulators and won’t ignite @ 500’C. This means steel and fibreglass or something similar. Also, the state of charge makes all the difference; if you store, discharge to <50% to reduce severity of fire.

Torque jetboards ship their batteries in a steel box, with a fibreglass blanket. They have done testing with faulty batteries, starting fires in their box and it supresses the fire.

Different application but a similar concern–two Tesla modules that I put into the frame of the 1978 GMC Motor Home I’m restomodding. Made a welded steel box 1/4" thick, and lined it with Rockwool. that whole fiery death thing seems unpleasant. I’d show a picture but apparently, I have to wait to be blessed.


Yes and no, current battery technology makes them almost always safe to use, given they are maintained, used and handled properly.
Bad battery packs in most cases show warning signs for a while, long before they “spontaneously lit on fire”.
Before and after a session, run checks for water leakage, corrosion signs, BMS health, loose wires, avoid low voltage/unbalanced cells etc. and you will be good.

I´ve read the story about that battery… But there are some really strange things this guy is posting.

  1. He states that battery was leaking water after he droped it in water!
    2 he writes that he drained 2 cups of water out of the battery… But this battery case is closed and you cant drain water out of it, so I can only assume the battery case had a crack or something like this?? I all of you knows that you shouldnt drop Li-Ion batteries into water, regardless if its waterproof Lift, Flite, Takuma or Waydoo or DIY battery... Second if you "drained" 2 coffee cups of water out of it, you shure dont use it anymore and store it at a safe secure place (even if you know that normally water will discharge the battery and just kill it in a “safe way”)
  2. if you don`t know what to do, you ask your dealer or write the manufacturer and ask what to do or how to proceed.
  3. The fire in his garage took place 1 week after he drained water out of it…?? (
  4. Newspaper reports stated, source of fire is unclear but first signs show it could be the Tesla car??? Later he himself post that he thinks it was battery…

Sorry all my Lipo and LiIon batteries that soaked water all died peacefull. They discharged without any signs of heating or expansion below the 2.6V and died…
So to make it clear I dont wanna say it cant be, but I just don`t believe this story as stated, as it does not make sense happening in this manner!
But those of you who did a battery pack yourself, will understand what I mean;-)
And yes Lipo batteries are different, and while charging those I store them as well in safe place with the new product “pyro-bubbles” on top of it… Great stuff…
Check it out

You have all of the facts wrong.

  1. He never dropped the battery in water, he said it started taking on water immediately during his first use.
  2. He did contact Waydoo and tell him the battery was full of water.
  3. Waydoo told him to keep charging and using the battery.
  4. He already addressed the newspaper and said they went after a sensational story without talking to him
  5. Several days later he confirmed the battery was the source of the fire


@FoilFiesta dont know what your interest is in this whole story. But really, I cant believe that he told waydoo service people that his battery was full of water!!! and they told him to charge it !. Each idiot and he himself should know that you dont charge Li-Ion batteries if they have been wet! Sorry I dont believe that. Either he did not clearly tell waydoo the problem or they did not understand it correctly…!
The story is just to curious. And where is this battery now? I had several burned batteries… I know how it looks like, but in no case it burned completely and disappeared :rofl: unbelievable

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Waydoo has responded several times, they never denied that they told him to charge the battery. If the company who designed the battery says it’s safe to charge, why wouldn’t he listen to them? As far as he knows the battery components could be inside another waterproof box that’s still sealed despite the outer case being compromised.

So you are Mr. Hill or its your friend or how do you know all this details?... on FB you never showed facts nor for me it stays a story... Actually I dont care if true or not or if the tesla car caused fire as reported by the fire brigade…however I dont like people talk bullshit about Li-Ion batteries, use them all over their cellphones, e-bikes, efoils, cars and then telling other to be afraid of them...or telling bullshit as they were submerged and after 1 week started to burn without any outside force on them....and then disappeared into gas...nothing left...Sorry, believe what you want, I dont think it happened this way…
And this is a forum for DIY… so a lot of guys with really good knowledge about Li-Ion batteries and building them… Don`t think that you can convince them that it happened exactly like this…and shows me you never had a wet Li-Ion battery so far… :wink:

All of the info was posted by the owner. Why did you claim you’d read his story when it’s clear that you didn’t and you have no idea what you’re talking about?

Maybe you should inform yourself before posting all these speculative comments and wild accusations.