Guide To Testing AA Battery With Multimeter


One of the most very frustrating things for kid is when his favorite battery operated toy stop working due to dead AA batteries. It’s also similar to guy who spend his whole in the office doing completing all of his job to catch the game of his favorite team. Then as he grab the remote and press the power button, but the television refuses to switch on. Both of them are just some examples of how frustrating and annoying it is when a AA battery eventually quits on you or the device that it powers. Even to rechargeable AA batteries, situation like these may happen.

However, if your rechargeable AA batteries are charged and still unable to make the battery powered device work.. There’s a chance that your batteries are dead. If you are unsure that your AA batteries are dead, then perhaps you can follow this guide to test a AA battery with a multimeter. This is one way of knowing if your AA battery is still usable or already dead.

Understand AA and AAA Batteries and Their Chemical Structure

Like the standard battery, a rechargeable battery has an ionic paste within its cell. This chemical paste gives it its ability to take in current, store it as charge and the convert it to power its load. Non-rechargeable batteries are assumed that they are purchased with 100% charge then disposed when they are completely depleted. In the case of rechargeable AA or AAA batteries it is very difficult to tell if it is still accepting charge once they aged.

If you have a voltmeter or a multimeter it is possible to see if a AA or AAA battery can still accept charge up to its maximum capacity. To do this, you have to make sure that the battery is charged. Then you can subject it to a voltage test to see whether or not it accepted and stored the charge from the charging operation.

To use a multimeter to test your AA or AAA battery or to carry out the voltage check. You can refer to the step by step guide below.


Step 1 – Charge the AA or AAA Battery Using the Appropriate Charger

The first step in carrying out voltage check on your AA or AA battery is to charge it. Take the appropriate charger of the battery and then place it into the charger dock or compartment. Then plug in the charger into a power source to recharge the battery.

Step 2 – Prepare the Multimeter to Carry Out the Test

While the battery you will test is still charging and you are waiting for it to be fully charged. You can get the multimeter and start configuring it to right settings. Simply turn on the device and then set up to measure the direct current, and then make sure that it will measure up to the maximum amount of volts the battery can deliver.

Preferably, you want to set the multimeter to the configuration that is the same with the amount of voltage of the battery. If the device doesn’t have that option, then you can set it to higher level which is closer to the battery’s voltage. Let’s say the battery is at 3.7 volts and there’s no configuration for that amount, and the closet value which is also higher is 6 volts. Then you have to go to that settings.

Step 3 – Carrying the Actual Voltage Test with the Multimeter

Once the AA or AAA battery is fully charged, you can now proceed to the actual test with the device properly set. To do the voltage check, start by touching the metal tip of the negative probe of the device to the negative terminal if the battery. Then take the positive probe of the multimeter and touch its metal tip to the positive terminal of the battery.

To avoid confusion, keep in mind that the negative probe is the one with the black cable and the red one is the positive probe. After touching the metal tips of the multimeter to the respective terminals of the battery, you have to observe the LCD display of your multimeter to take note of the reading.

As for the result of the voltage check, what you want to see is a number slightly higher than the maximum capacity of the battery. This means that the battery took in the charge and stored it. If the reading posted a number that is significantly lower than the amount of the maximum voltage capacity of the battery. It’s bad news. It only means that the battery is hanging on for its life or maybe on the edge of its service life.

Final Thoughts

When your rechargeable batteries quit on the electronic devices that they power, it often surprises the users. Since most of these batteries are used to power the handy gadgets that we always use on our daily routine. Most of the time once when they are showing signs of failing we recharge them immediately. Make it a habit to test a AA battery with multimeter after every charging operation to keep you updated of its overall condition.