How to Mix Old & New Batteries

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Most manufacturers warn against mixing old and new batteries as well as batteries from different manufacturers. With most devices, mixing old and new batteries will simply drain the new battery faster, costing you more money than if you had bought new ones. However, mixing batteries in some older devices can lead to battery leakage or explosion. For instance, if the device does not have a low-voltage detector to prevent the device from trying to draw energy from a dead battery, the battery may be over-discharged and could potentially explode. Mixing batteries also forces the new batteries to work harder, which can cause them to overheat. That being said, sometimes you only have a few new batteries, but not enough to replace all them in a small electronic device. As long as the device is small, mixing batteries can be completed successfully and safely.

Things You'll Need

  • New batteries
  • Small electronic device
  • Old batteries
  • Make sure the device that needs the batteries is fairly new and small. The risks associated with mixing batteries are minimized in smaller devices. For example, mixing old and new batteries in a television remote will provide you with plenty of battery life.

  • Stick to the same brand. Using the same brand of batteries will prevent any problems that may arise from mixing different kinds of batteries, such as serious overheating.

  • Replace as many of the old batteries as possible. A device must have a certain amount of power, or voltage, to work. Since the old batteries will not be providing their share, the new batteries are forced to work harder to provide the power, running them down faster. Using as many new batteries as possible eases the strain on the new batteries.

  • Keep track of which device has mixed batteries. Doing so will help you remember to exchange all the batteries the next time, instead of having to continually mix batteries, which is not good for the device and will cost you more money.

  • Replace all the batteries as soon as possible. A full set of fully charged batteries will ensure the maximum life for both the batteries and your device. This means throwing out all the batteries, as the new ones have been draining faster.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not try this in old or large devices. This will increase the likelihood of serious and dangerous malfunctions.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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