8.12.2019

What to do with a dead Goal Zero - Yeti 150 power bank - hint: replace the battery


https://amzn.to/2yVSdLr


Years ago  I decided to invest in a solar panel and a power source that I could use for camping, car trips and power outages as well as helping out my ongoing emergency preps.  My needs were; something that could power a laptop, recharge my cell phones and run a small light source.  My research led me to the Goal Zero products, which were 'new' and pretty darn exciting back then.

Some background story while I sip my coffee... skip this part if you wish.

I opted for the small Escape 150 (which is no longer made or available) as well as the Goal Zero solar panels to recharge it and invest in a lamp/lantern that plugged into the Escape 150. 
The Escape 150's had a lot of problems.  I ended up with a third Escape 150 before I got one that actually worked. I got to actually use the final Escape 150 just twice, really.  I charged the laptop from it once on a cross country car trip and I used it to power a light in the tent for two hours while camping one night.  Other than that I would keep charging it every 3 months as they suggested at the time but it was dead within 6 months. 
I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it so I kept it and forgot about it... and was kind of pissed that I now had Goal Zero solar panels that were worthless because they carefully made sure their panels couldn't use used with anything but their own products.
 A few years later I pulled out the Escape 150 and took the time to see if I could do anything to fix it.  

Looking online, I found I could replace the battery inside it. I searched for the right battery that would work, ordered one, and proceeded to try to replace it but because of the shape of the Escape 150 it was a difficult job.  It was SUCH a tight fit that absolutely would not fit over the battery.  Many online said they got theirs to fit, others had to file down the corners of the battery to get it to slide in.   We are talking a millimeters here - 1 or 2 mm made a difference!  And my Escape would NOT allow the replacement battery.  I was 'over it' and wasn't going to bother filing the battery down or ordering another. 



End of background story.....



Life was FAR too busy at the time to deal with this stuff so I put it away (again) and forgot about it.

Seeing my Goal Zero solar panels unable to be used was frustrating.  I knew that I ultimately needed to just invest in another of their power banks in order to get use of out of them (because I am NOT comfortable in my skill level of jury-rigging the Goal Zero power cord to work with other brand items - I researched how to and said 'nope, not happening').

In the end - skipping all the details that aren't too important at this point, is that I threw out a broken and useless and antiquated Escape 150 and bought the newer re-made and updated version of the Escape... the Yeti 150.


https://amzn.to/2yVSdLr

I bought mine a couple weeks ago (in the summer of 2019 for future reference).   And sure enough, it was a repeat of the Escape 'dead and won't take a charge' issues.

The Yeti 150 showed up DEAD on arrival.  I emailed their customer service along with photos showing the item was dead when it arrived and would not even take a charge.  "Andrew" answered my email and informed me I needed to print off a return label, ship the Goal Zero Yeti 150 back to them and they would try to find another one in the warehouse to send me.

I jumped through the hoops, did as requested, drove 10 miles into town to a shipping location to send it to them and... waited.  Andrew didn't get back to me so I followed up again only to find out the person in the warehouse was 'out' so they were going to look for another one for me.

Andrew told me in the last email, if they couldn't find another one to replace mine (they were apparently discontinuing them and weren't going to carry them anymore) then he would 'start the refund process'.

They found one.  They sent it. It too was dead on arrival. And it would not take a charge.

The entire panel was blank and plugging it into the wall would not recharge it.



So I emailed Andrew again and sent photos.  I asked him to send a return label and I'd return it, and we could start the refund process.




And I never heard back from him.

I followed up with another email and then, over the next few days, 2 more.  I requested the return label all 4 times and wished to start the refund process he told me we would start if this one didn't work.

And then he completely ignored all correspondence.

I was slated to leave town for a week on vacation and would be 'off the grid'.  So at that point I was doing to deal with it when I got home.

But then I had a brainstorm.

The Yeti 150 was an updated version to the Escape 150 and I had a battery in the closet I had purchased for the Escape.  It just might fit the Yeti 150 as well!
  
What to do with a dead Goal Zero
Yeti 150 power bank
hint: replace the battery


  • I pulled the small Mighty Max battery (12v 15AH) out of the closet.  
  • I removed the screws on the top of the Yeti 150 and lifted the cover off.
  • Pulling the red and black connectors off the battery pack (one was easy and the other was so tight I had my husband help pull that one off), I removed the dead battery that came in the Goal Zero Yeti 150.
  • Laying the new battery in place I reconnected the black and red wires to the corresponding colors.
  • Replaced the lid, screwed the screws back in and... WE HAVE POWER!

The panel showed the battery level and power.
Plugging the Yeti 150 into the wall it responded perfectly and gave me a full charge.

I was able to use the Yeti to charge a cellphone with no issues at all!

In the end, I'm not impressed with the large, well known company that employs 'Andrew' who completely ignored my emails (I've been a customer of theirs since 2011) but I am happy I was able to find a 'fix' to use the product, with no help from them and with no additional cost on my part as I already owned the $35-ish battery I needed to replace the Yeti 150.

In the end I'm thrilled I can once again use my solar panels, I can use the Goal Zero lantern and I have an item I can take camping with me to recharge my cellphone and other small items.

I'm just... happy.  I love the product (when it works!) and am thrilled I know that I can buy a replacement battery (I bought mine from Amazon and I'll link to it, but you might be able to find them where you live too.  I'm not sure since I order my security system and Yeti batteries online from Amazon myself). 


Thrilled with it now that it works!

https://amzn.to/2yVSdLr


This is the battery I bought on Amazon to replace my Escape 150 but also was the right size for the Yeti 150.




Mighty Max Battery 12V 15AH F2 SLA Battery for Goal Zero Escape 150 Power Pack Brand Product

  • ML15-12 SLA is a 12V 15AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) rechargeable maintenance free battery.
  • Dimensions: 5.94 inches x 3.89 inches x 3.95 inches. Terminal: F2. Listing is for the Battery only. No wire harness or mounting accessories included.
  • SLA / AGM spill proof battery has a characteristic of high discharge rate, wide operating temperatures, long service life and deep discharge recover.
  • Rechargeable battery that can be mounted in any position, resists shocks and vibration. Long lasting high performance in high and low temperatures.
  • Backed by a 30 day refund policy and full 1 year warranty.


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You might also be interested in the products related to this post available  through Amazon:



Goal Zero Yeti 150






Mighty Max Battery 12V 15AH F2 SLA Battery for Goal Zero Escape 150 Power Pack Brand Product



Goal Zero Boulder 50 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

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