So-called Dead Batteries

Hi all,

Fist post here on this great forum!
We sometimes encounter what we call ‘dead batteries’, which are batteries that don’t have any power in them straight out of the box.
I understand this inherent to the way they are manufactured.

Was wondering if they were any stats on those… batteries (as % of total batteries sold)?


Wow, really? I’m only a few months down the road with hearing aids, but I have not encountered any DOA RayOVac batteries yet. One thing I noticed they said on their website recently when I was looking for something else was that you’re supposed to pull the tab off to get air mixing with chemicals inside the battery and wait one minute before powering the aid up. I don’t think powering it up as soon as you pull the tab kills a good battery, but the battery may not work with enough power for that first minute. The other thought that occurs to me is that you may be using mercury-free batteries. Some aid models do not do well with those, according to my audiologist. You’ll have to find a fix soon, though, or find an overseas outlet, if that’s your issue, because only mercury-free batteries will be generally available in the USA as of this summer by agreement between the government and the battery manufacturers. One other thing. Batteries do not age gracefully. Make sure the Use By date is years in advance before buying, according to my audiologist. The fresher the better. Sorry if all this is old hat and irrelevant to you. Other newbies may find it useful.

I had that issue with Eveready brand of the 675 batteries. I noticed that it has 4 holes on top, whereas the Walgreen brands I normally use has 5 holes.

I guess it does take time for the air to mix in, but I thought the battery never did revive from a closed state after pulling the tab. I lost 2 of six batteries (same package- exp not until 2-3 years later) in this fashion, so I am not likely to waste my money on these batteries in the future…

I also have never heard of such a thing.
Although I have been wearing for about three months now.

I got Starkey 312 batteries with the aids when I bought them, and picked up one pack of Duracell just to compare. The Duracell were about 20-30 percent more expensive and gave me ten days instead of eleven to thirteen days for the Starkey batt’s.

Looks like I will be buying batteries from my AuD from now on!

I’ve only used about 70 batteries so far and haven’t got a dead one yet. The iCellTech batteries from last as long as the Ray-o Vacs for me.


I don’t think the number of holes matter much since there are some cells with only 1 hole. My feeling is that the more important factor instead of brand would be how long the batteries have been warehoused. Generally speaking, your dealer’s batteries should be pretty fresh. I’m guessing the would be the case with batteries from Costco or Sam’s Club and probably Chinese batteries from a supplier that moves a lot of stock. I have seen batteries from the local drugstore and Radio Shack that have signs of corrosion on the rack. Whenever you purchase batteries, make sure you carefully inspect the area around the seam of the cell casing for white or greenish corrosion.

For the most part, you should ignore the freshness date on the package because I’ve seen corroded batteries in the pack long before the “best before” date.

Most modern hearing aids will not turn on immediately but require a few seconds to “boot” up. Sometimes the aids are programmed to have a few seconds delay before they start amplifying. Make sure you give the aids a few seconds to turn on before declaring it dead.

Once a battery has been activated, it will self-discharge even if you don’t use it. Don’t pull the tab on a battery to test it and then replace the tab. Make sure you don’t keep dead batteries or nearly dead batteries laying around. It gets confusing after a while.

If you’re have problems with your aid and you suspect the fault lies with the battery, use a battery from a different batch that you know to be fresh and see if that solves your problem.

Yes, I don’t think the brand is as important as the life it has lived in since manufacturing. As you point out, if the tab comes off, the battery is done due to self discharge. I have never seen signs of corrosion on a battery, but you are not the first one to have reported this. The metal shell is not part of the active battery system, but you can be pretty sure that battery has not lived an easy life if it is corroded. High humidity can both cause corrosion and weaken the tab adhesive.

I bought a box of 8 or so battery packs at a warehouse club once. They looked fine and were well within their expiration date. When I went to use the first one, the sticky tab popped right off, the adhesive was no longer sticky. I cycled through several batteries in the box…all dead!

Along the same topic, I noticed that the Starkey batteries seem to go full-power right up to the point of their death whereas, it seems the Duracell batteries I tried (were not only much more expensive but) seemed to fade out for the last hour or two before they died.

Yesterday, I had my Audi’ turn up both left and right hearing aids a bit, then I noticed afterward that the left side seemed to be quieter than the right side. Since my left side is a bit worse, the left aid seems to use up batteries just a tad sooner (perhaps a half hour or so compared to the right side).

This brings me to think that different batteries behave differently when they are about to die. The Starkey batteries I have been using from the beginning last full-power all the way up to the point of the aid beeping at me - notifying me that the battery is about to die. On the other hand, the Duracell seem to kind of fade for the last hour (or two) before they give the signal that they are about to die.

I just notified my Audi’ that I believe the aids are equally-balanced and that it was a battery in the left side that was going around the time she turned them both up a bit. As soon as I put in new batteries, the left and right are back to normal.

I pay a lot less for the Starkey brand 312 batteries than I did for the Duracell, and I get on average about 11-13 days out of the Starkey batteries vs. about 10-12 days for the Duracell (about two days on average LESS for Duracell). And, the Duracell were about 50% more in price than my Audi’ charges for a pack of six Starkey batteries!

If Starkey in the US is the same as in the UK, they are just using Rayovac batts.

I think the most important thing with batteries is to buy them from somewhere that turns them over quickly, mis-stored batteries will deteriorate faster than their shelf date.

That’s why we tend to get such conflicting evidence on the performance on here.

Good thought!
It only makes sense, if something is stored in an overly-hot or overly-cold atmosphere - or even if there is much humidity or very little, I am sure it would affect how the battery functions when it is finally put to use. Especially when we are talking about something that works somehow by chemical reaction or some kind of chemical change once that seal is removed for usage.

Never had a problem with Rayovac batteries and I have been using HA’s for 19 years, only ever got a dud once on an out of date pack!

Cheers Kev:D

Congrats on your post-op hearing. I can understand your exclamation mark. :slight_smile:

I have seen batteries with self-activating and self-discharging tabs. Not good!

High humidity is a problem here. As a service guy, I used to see a lot of problems with German made batteries. The casing would balloon up and lock the battery in the aid. I’d have to dig those out of the aid and sometimes, they’d leak. Not good! My guess is that the casing was made thinner to allow longer battery life. The metal was so thin that you could put a mark on it with your fingernail. Hopefully, they don’t make these batteries anymore.

My recommendation is that people should get the cheapest and freshest batteries that they can find. I suspect that you probably think that way too. :slight_smile:

I found that to happen with an unusual number of Duracell batteries, if not completly dead then with a weak charge. I no longer use them.

I am the partner of a new hearing aid user (just got Passion 110’s this week) and he loved them until going away on his first business trip. Changed the batteries for new ones as recommended by audiologist (she said those that come with it might not be fresh), travelled on planes etc so didn’t have them on, turned them on that night before attending a dinner (main reason for getting them) but absolutely no sound. Is it dead batteries (Widex type 110 as supplied with aids) or is there some trick he doesn’t know? He rang the audi but they didn’t seem to have an answer and are now closed for 3 days. He wants to keep using them to get used to them - should he just try other batteries? He doesn’t have spare batteries with him but returns home tonight and we can fiddle with it then. Any other suggestions?

Most of my DOA’s have been Duracell or EverReady. Costco’s are great. but I don’t live near a shore. Iwill try the on-line as someone suggested.
I’ve worn Aids for most of my adult life

Something to watch for concerning hearing aid batteries. If you leave them in the car, or they get hot, the glue on the back of the sticky tabs loose their seal or melt down into the little holes drilled into the battery.

I have gotten so that I wipe off the back of the battery on my pants after I remove the sticky tab to make sure that none of the glue stays in the little holes. I also don’t want any of that glue to get into my hearing aids.

Good tips, thanks Normandy. I usually keep a card of fresh batteries in my glove box. Perhaps that’s not such a good idea…:cool:

I wonder how many actual different hearing aid battery manufacturers their really are? I can only assume that one manufacturer makes many different brands and labels them for for each brand. I buy Renata batteries and have always had good luck. But I wonder if they are not made by someone else and just branded Renata?

Good question…who knows??

I would bet thtat Energizer and Duracell manufacture their own. I have Power-One, they look like an independent manufacture, as does Rayovac.

All these companies show off their own technology in their batteries, so this is probably true. “Small” brands or store brands are more than likely bulk manufacture by one company (Rayovac = Starkey, I may have read in this forum?)

Go with a major brand and you won’t go wrong in most cases. I use Power One because I got them free and it is what my audi recommends.