Monday, December 19, 2011

Alkaline Batteries marked as 'Heavy Duty'...a misleading notion

As I mentioned in an earlier blog there are several grades of alkaline batteries.  The Heavy Duty Alkaline Battery is the lowest grade of Alkaline Battery.  When you purchase an item with 'batteries included', check the label on the battery.  If it is labeled Heavy Duty...no matter the brand...make sure to have extra higher quality alkaline batteries becasue the Heavy Duty ones don't last very long.  So parents out there who want to keep their children happy on Christmas Day...get some good high quality alkalines for their toys!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sealed Lead Acid Batteries...what they don't tell you about how to make them last

Sealed Lead Acid Batteries, used in several items such as your child's toy car (the big ones that they ride), your computer UPS, emergency and exit lights, Streamlight flashlights, Portable battery jumper that you keep in your trunk to jump your car when the battery is dead, High powered spot lights, need to be charged ALL the time.  That's what they don't tell you when you buy them.  We are so used to draining our batteries before charging them so that we don't get memory and this battery is handled in the oposite way.  This battery MUST be charged ALL the time. Therefore, when you use one of these devises, put the battery in the charger and give it a good full charge.  Even if you use your light or your child's toy car for a half hour, put it in the charger, give it a full charge, and remove it from the charger when it's fully charged.  In your emergency/exit lights and computer UPS it should be receiving a trickle charge so you don't have to actually take it out of the unit to charge it.  The other thing that is critical to this battery in lasting as long as possible (in years) is to store it in a room temperature, dry environment.  This battery does NOT handle extreme temperatures well.  So keeping it in your garage in winter or summer is NOT a good idea!  Also, if you're not using it often, about every 3 months make sure to give it a good full charge.  Otherwise when you go to use it, it might be dead and there is no reviving a Sealed Lead Acid (Gel Cell) Battery once it's dead.  So, to recap, 1) always make sure that this battery is charged up; you can never overcharge this battery and 2) store it in a room temperature, dry environment and this battery will last you a good long time!  Pass this on, especially to those of you using equipment in extreme temperatures and equipment not used often.  If you follow these two simple tips then you can spend your money on something more fun like a piece of jewelry or a tool!!