Let batteries sit a bit after removing tabs? Really?

Word from the manufacturer I work with is to leave them for 30 seconds to a minute to allow the air to activate them fully and allow for the battery to develop the maximum charge available. According to them, as hearing aids are becoming more and more dust / water resistance the battery compartment itself does not allow as much air in as what they used to. In addition, this was also strongly recommended for any of the MFI hearing aids, I’m guessing because they drive the batteries even harder. That being said, for so many years I have popped batteries straight out of the pack and into the hearing aids, I too struggle to remember to do this every time!


I didn’t know about this for years. Then I MEASURED IT WITH A VOLTMETER. When you first remove the tab, the voltage is low (I can’t remember, maybe 1.2v?) and it slowly rises. After about a minute it’s at 1.45v which is the spec more or less. I don’t know for sure if it really affects longevity, but I suppose if your hearing aid “boots” immediately after the tab is removed, then you are good to go.

Several years ago on the old HAF I did several tests with HA batteries. One test was removing the batteries each night and putting tape over the holes. When I did this I gained about 1-2 days out of them, but it was a pain to do it every night. Another was to wait one and then five minutes before putting the new batteries in the HA’s; the results were there was little difference between just pulling the tabs and putting the batteries in the HA’s. However, on the 5 minute wait, the batteries lasted about one day longer.

1 Like

We spent a few hours in our local emergency department because our daughter was wandering around the house with a packet of batteries. Errr… how many had I used? Unsure and off we went. I got a bit of well-deserved admonishment from the hospital staff over that one (she hadn’t ingested anything). The thing is I’m not sure how dangerous non-mercury zinc air batteries actually are. Everyone seems to assume. Does anyone know for sure?

From this, I’d say probably not that big of a deal, especially if mercury free.

However, clearly it’s best avoided.

My audiologist told me that they would activate by the time you get them in, and you don’t have to wait the full minute. Then he later said that they only last about five days, when I have seen online that they should last for about seven days. Perhaps his not waiting is causing the two day difference in durability???

Though I am completely uneducated in such things, I would think that life expectancy, in days, would be governed by device and settings.

I have 8 year old Rexton aids and have never gotten less than 7 days out of my batteries. But then, by todays standards, those things are pretty rudimentary.

I’ve had a surprising number of dud Duracell 312s recently. In contrast, I’ve never had a dud Rayovac.

I am going to try leaving the Duracells alone for longer after the tab is removed to see if that helps bring them to life, because when they do work they seem to last a day or so longer than the Rayovacs.

I am using Rayvac (Costco Pvt Lbl) and have used the Duracell and found they do last a bit longer. But, they cost about twice as much as the Costco ones.

It’s not just the children swallowing the button cell batteries, pets do it too.

All batteries have a two chemical make up (simple description). HA batteries use oxygen as one of the chemicals. Makes them lighter.

“The operating life of a zinc–air cell is a critical function of its interaction with its environment. The electrolyte loses water more rapidly in conditions of high temperature and low humidity. Because the potassium hydroxide electrolyte is deliquescent, in very humid conditions excess water accumulates in the cell, flooding the cathode and destroying its active properties. Potassium hydroxide also reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide; carbonate formation eventually reduces electrolyte conductivity. Miniature cells have high self-discharge once opened to air; the cell’s capacity is intended to be used within a few weeks.[6]”

From Wikipedia article.

1 Like

For the complicated answer, like aggie60 said.

1 Like

A pal told me that at night he takes the batteries out of his HAs, puts the sticky tabs back on and that he swears the batteries last longer this way.

I find it conceivable, although I doubt is much of a difference and it is a fair amount of hassle. Rationale would be it that it slows down the chemical reaction. I don’t plan on trying it.

1 Like

I do not remove the battery but open the aids so that the batteries aren’t “on”. My Power One batteries last 5 to 7 days. Also use the Perfect Dry Lux, when I think of it.

1 Like

Depends on the HA and they are much titghter than they were even a short while ago.
I presume we are talking about zinc-air batteries.

My grandmother used to darn sock. That’s become economically insignificant.

1 Like

A voice of reason amongst the crowd…well played Sir.

An eighth grader discovered that your hearing aid batteries can last up to 85% longer if you wait 5 minutes before inserting them into your HAs. That’s an extra 2 days for many of us.
A huge savings in convenience, money, and reduced environmental impact.

Here’s a YouTube video with his story https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Pbt7VaBTnJM