Quick Alkaline Battery Testing
Charged or Exhausted? Find Out in Two SecondsIts impossible to tell the difference between a charged battery and a depleted one by looking at them. Both look the same. They're not typically tested until a device needs a battery replacement. Some prove disappointing.
There's a quick and easy way to determine which alkaline batteries are good, and which should be discarded. It only takes a second or two. No need to drag out any diagnostic tools for this either.
Hold the battery vertically, and drop it on a hard surface from a height of 6-10 inches. If it bounces and fails to stand up, it's a bad one. If it doesn't bounce as much and stands up on the hard surface it's good. It doesn't even matter whether the positive or negative end is in the downward position.
Why A Dead Alkaline Battery Bounces presented by Lee Hite (5.5 minutes)
Lee Hite explains: "An exhausted AA size alkaline battery bounces better than a fully charged AA alkaline battery caused by the hardening of the electrolyte during discharge that reduces the anti-bounce effect."
Electrolyte paste makes up the core of an alkaline battery. When a battery is fresh, the paste is soft and moist. The paste transforms into a hardened mass when the battery is spent, used up, bye-bye. The hardened mass bounces best, but its usefulness is gone.
The bounce test will work on AA, AAA, C, D, and 9 volt alkaline batteries.
Maybe someone will discover a quick and tool-less test for house batteries too. Until that time comes, carry on with standard testing for these.
If the device is acting goofy, or not at all... the batteries in the device are dead.
When selecting replacements, the batteries still in the package are good. Those already in the trash are dead.
When changing device batteries, intermittent stops are not allowed. Dead device batteries may only go from the device directly to the waste basket (not to a desk or table top, etc). New batteries may only go from the package directly into the device, without an intermittent stop.
Intermittent stops and cruiseheimers disease are the problem. If the crap hits the fan in the middle of a battery change, like a dragging anchor, when the dust finally settles, any battery in an intermittent stop location will always be subject to "was it coming or going?"
Mike Derivan ("Sweet Dreams")