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General Information

In recent years, our industry has developed newer and better rechargeable batteries. There are three types of rechargeable batteries that are more common to us as consumers; they are the NiCad (Nickel Cadmium), NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride), and the LiIon (Lithium Ion). The NiCad is the most common and is used in most of small electronics. NiCad is better known for its memory effect. If the NiCad battery is recharged before it is fully discharged the cells will begin to create what is called "memory effect". What this means is that the battery only recognizes that it can only discharge to a certain level before it starts indicating that it is fully discharged. In reality, you still have charge left in your battery but your battery is not able to recognize it. This "memory effect" will shorten the life of your battery if it is not corrected immediately. A good example of this is cordless phone batteries. The phone gets put back on the charger right after a call or at the end of the day before it has had time to fully discharge.

To resolve this, always let the battery discharge to the point where the device indicates the battery is low or will not function or powers off during use; this may have to be done a few times to eliminate the "memory effect, then place the device back on the charger or plug the charger into the device which ever your device requires. Be careful not to over charge your battery also, this will also damage your battery and shorten the life of the battery. This is known as "cooking" or "boiling" the battery. Most device re-chargers have built in cut-offs or shut-offs, so when the battery has reached full capacity, the charger quits charging.

Nickel Metal Hydride batteries are the step up battery to the NiCad. The advantage to the NiMH is that they do not have the "memory effect", and they usually have a slower discharge; otherwise the batteries are basically the same. You will need to check the manufacturer's instructions to see if you device will accept the NiMH battery.

To try to use a NiMH battery in a device that is not designed to accept a NiMH battery will damage the device and the charging unit. Your manufacturer's manual will clearly state if your device will accept the NiMH battery. If you are going to use a NiMH battery it is still a good practice to use the same charging procedures as charging the NiCad battery.

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Charging The Battery For The First Time

Most new batteries are not charged and must be charged before they are used. Some batteries may require three to four charge and discharge cycles before achieving maximum capacity. Charging the battery for the first time you may see the Charged indicator light appear in a few minutes, the battery is not fully charged, you will need to remove the battery from the device and reinsert the battery and put the device back on the charger.

One of the normal characteristics of rechargeable batteries is that while they are being charged, the battery and charger will feel warm to the touch. When charging multiple sets of batteries, always let the charger rest for about 30 minutes, this will allow the charger to cool off and better charge the next set of batteries.

Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

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Things You Should Not Do To Batteries

  • Do not incinerate (burn) the batteries.
  • Do not mutilate or take apart the batteries.
  • Do not expose to extreme heat.
  • Do not mix old and new batteries.
  • Do not use damaged batteries.
  • Do not leave batteries in device for long periods of time when device is not being used.
  • If a battery feels hot, do not use: let the battery cool off.
  • Do not subject battery to moisture.
  • Do not leave batteries in charger.
  • Do not use battery right out of charger; let the battery cool off.

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Battery Care

  • Clean battery contacts every six months.
  • Store battery in a cool dry location.
  • Keep away from moisture.
  • Keep away from fire or extreme heat.
  • Before recharging let battery and charger cool off for 30 minutes.
  • If a device is not being used for a long period of time remove batteries and place in a cool dry location.
  • Always follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • After charging a set of batteries always remove from charger.
  • After charging, let the batteries cool before using, this will extend the life and get better performance from the battery.

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Battery Disposal

To properly dispose of any type of battery, you should contact your local Hazardous Waste Material Department in your area. Do not incinerate (burn) the batteries, this can cause harm to the environment, or be harmful to you, or the battery can explode.

You can call your local recycling company and they will take in the batteries.

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