How to Revive Dead Drycell Batteries

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.

NiCad batteries have a NiCad batteries have a "memory" which reduces the time they can power devices.
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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Things You Will Need

  • NiCad battery charger
  • Device powered by the NiCad batteries

Tip

  • Refer to the user guide or manual for using the charger that came with the NiCad batteries. Not all charges automatically switch off, and some can damage the batteries because of overcharging. The useful life of NiCad batteries can be significantly reduced by overcharging.

About the Author

Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.