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They say cats have nine lives. If that’s so, batteries have them beat, by a lot. It’s not unheard of for rechargeable batteries to make it through 500 to 800 recharges. To get the highest return on your investment, follow a few simple rules to make sure your battery lives for ages.
The Battery Seems Defective
If your battery doesn’t perform at a high level right away don’t tinker with it and cause damage. Batteries can take time to perform at their highest level. It’s called a “break in period,” and the only cure for it is patience. On average a battery can take four charges before it reaches full strength.
The problem with storing your battery often comes down to self-discharge. Self-discharge occurs when the chemical reactions creating and dispelling power reduce the stored charge in the battery. All batteries self-discharge over time. Caring for your battery while in storage will help it last.
Nickel metal hydride and nickel-cadmium batteries need more TLC. That’s why it’s important to charge them every few months to make sure they don’t lose their strength.
Store Batteries Right
You might not need to regularly use your battery. That’s fine, but you should store it correctly. Keep batteries in cool dry areas. Generally, you shouldn’t store your battery at temperatures over 80 degrees, but it’s important to check your instructions or manual, as the temperature tolerance could be even lower. The optimal temperature for storage will be included in the documentation.
Don’t Overcharge Batteries
Batteries have limits. Pushing them past their limits can cause swelling. Swollen batteries age rapidly and become useless or unsafe. Watch your battery carefully to avoid overcharging.
Don’t Drain Batteries Dry
All batteries need to have a little bit of juice in them to survive. That’s why many have protections that shut down the unit once the available power is low. Don’t push your battery past this point. Doing so can cause your battery to age quickly, or result in death.
Use the Right Charger
This may seem obvious, but it’s important. The consequences for using the wrong charger are big. Because batteries have different compositions, they need to be charged at different rates. Some chargers feed batteries at a slow rate, while others charge quickly. If you were to use a battery charger that works quickly on a battery requiring a slow charge, explosion is likely. There’s no coming back for your battery after that. Consult your manual or instructions on the correct charger.
Now that you know how to take care of your battery so it will last for ages to come, you’re ready to find the best battery for your needs. Let us help. Give us a call at 800-521-4045, shop our store or contact us online. We’ll help you find what you need.