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How to Revive Dead Drycell Batteries

Jeff Grundy

Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) batteries, often referred to as dry cell batteries, are known for a memory effect that shortens the time they can power a device. The memory effect of a NiCad battery becomes an issue when you do not allow the battery to drain completely before recharging it. Recharging a NiCad battery before it discharges completely only once or twice is enough to cause the battery to lose a charge prematurely. In many cases, however, you can revive or recondition a NiCad battery and extend its usable life without too much trouble.

NiCad batteries have a "memory" which reduces the time they can power devices.
  1. Ensure the NiCad batteries are in the device. Power on the device. Operate the device until it stops responding or working due to weak batteries.

  2. Allow the device to remain off for several minutes. Switch the device back on and again allow the batteries to drain completely. Repeat the process a third time to ensure the NiCad batteries discharge completely.

  3. Remove the batteries from the device. Insert the NiCad batteries into the charger. Charge the batteries until 100 percent full.

  4. Reinsert the batteries into the device. Use the device until the batteries fully discharge. Do not charge the NiCad batteries again until they no longer provide any current at all to the device. This will improve the battery life between charges and extend the useful life of the batteries.