How to Recharge Standard Alkaline Batteries
Did you know that instead of heading out and keep buying new alkaline batteries you could just recharge the ones that you already have?
There are risks with doing this. Any time that you recharge a non-rechargeable battery it can cause the production of gas within the battery.
This can lead to very high pressures being created inside which can potentially cause the battery to leak, or even explode. This is why it says “Do not attempt to recharge” on the side of every alkaline battery. It doesn’t mean that you can’t.
Some points to keep in mind:
- Unlike rechargeable batteries, alkaline batteries will give very few recharge cycles.
- They will lose capacity every charge cycle meaning that you will get less use from them every time that you recharge them.
- You have to constantly top them up to get the most from them unlike NiMh or NiCd batteries.
- They are more likely to leak not just when charging but also when being used in your device.
In my opinion it is much easier and safer to just buy rechargeable batteries but if you have access to a large amount of batteries for free then you may wish to keep this tip in mind.
You are going to need a battery charger and if you look at the MaximalPower FC999 Universal Rapid Charger it even clearly states that it charges ‘even Alkaline (previously Non-Rechargeable) batteries‘. The second piece of equipment that you will need is a battery tester. MaximalPower also sell a combination of both the charger and a tester on Amazon here.
Testing Your Batteries
Depending on how many batteries you have stockpiled this may take a while but you need to test every battery that you have to see which ones actually need recharging as I pretty much guarantee some will test as being fully charged. Why? When our flashlight stops working for example, we replace the batteries but in reality it may only be one battery that had died, not both.
Give Them Life
You can use any charger that you wish but for the purpose of this article we are looking at the MaximalPower FC999 Universal Rapid Charger as it is pretty inexpensive yet works a charm.
Once you place the batteries into the charger, the LED panel will show either “CHA” or “BAD“. CHA stands for charging while as you can probably guess BAD shows that it is a bad battery and needs to be thrown out. I did on a couple of occassions get shown that a battery was bad but when I took it out and tried again it showed as charging though I didn’t take the risk and I threw them out. There are also three lights on the unit:
- Red – Charging
- Green – Fully Charged
- Flashing Red – Bad
Once the battery is fully charged, the charger switches to a trickle charge to keep the battery at its optimum capacity.
There isn’t much point wasting money to keep replacing your alkaline batteries. This is an inexpensive way to ensure that you always have power for your battery operated equipment. You could even ask for used batteries from your friends or on Facebook and you will have more than enough.
Do I think you should neglect to buy rechargeable batteries? Not at all, but in a survival situation if you have nothing else, these work great.