Test If Your Batteries Are Dead By Dropping Them On A Hard Surface

Skip the battery tester and use this quick and easy way to test if your batteries are dead: just drop them. This video, by electrical engineer Lee Hite, explains why dead batteries bounce.

On YouTube, he says:

This test works equally well for AA, AAA, C, D and 9 Volt alkaline batteries.

It is our understanding that the following chemical reactions occur and helps to explain our observations.

A non-rechargeable alkaline battery begins life using zinc powder mixed into a gel containing a potassium hydroxide electrolyte separated from a paste of manganese dioxide powder mixed with carbon powder using a porous membrane. To minimize hydrogen outgassing an extra measure of manganese dioxide is added. As the battery discharges manganese dioxide powder changes to manganese oxide causing the powdered granules to bond both chemically and physically. This packed-sand consistency reduces the antibounce effect exhibited by the gel mixture when the battery was fully charged.

Got that? No matter, the takeaway is you can easily tell if a battery is still good or not. All you need is a hard surface.

Why a Dead Alkaline Battery Bounces! [YouTube via The Week]


    Neet. I like this type of learning, To the point, with practical demonstrations of the principles being discussed.

      I think you mean, 'neat'. Or are you Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEET)?

        Yes I meant neat. Late night commenting leads to using unknown acronyms instead of words :p

    should probably chuck in a disclaimer considering on the back of my battery packet is advises against this.

    I tested this with a car battery.
    Turns out it isn't flat, but the cat it landed on, is.

    I check all batteries with my trusty multimeter. Can also check car battery health to a degree with one. Nothing will beat a hydrometer though for car batteries coupled with a carbon pile load tester.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now