Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
Cleaning battery contacts is an important general maintenance procedure and should be done about every 6 months. The following are some reasons why you should keep battery contacts clean. The steps provided in this tutorial applies to any battery operated device.
1. Cleaning the contacts keep the devices that use the batteries working properly.
2. Keeping the terminals/posts and contacts clean from corrosion can help extend the life of the battery, especially rechargeable ones.
3. Keeping the contacts clean will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Battery contacts come in different shapes, sizes, configurations, and are made from different materials. The following picture shows you some examples:
Example of a spring end of a battery contact:
Keeping rechargeable batteries and the contacts clean can extend the life expectancy of the batteries and keeps the device operating properly. The following is a chart that demonstrates the life expectancy for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries commonly used in laptops:
Picture of a laptop battery and it's contacts:
If batteries and the contacts become dirty or build up corrosion, the battery can no longer make a proper contact. This causes the battery to loose their charge faster and also prevent the device from receiving the proper voltage and prevent it from operating properly.
You can purchase products to help clean the batteries or contacts. The following shows you some examples of a battery cleaning product and a battery contact cleaning pencil. You can actually use a regular pencil eraser to clean battery contacts if you want.
Battery contact cleaning pencil:
1. Make sure you have the proper tools you might need to access the batteries or contacts. Wearing gloves and eye protection is always a good safety precaution when handling batteries.
2. Make sure you have a flat, clean surface to work on with adequate lighting.
3. Remove the device cover to the battery compartment and remove the battery.
4. Check the batteries for burnt spots, leaking, bulging, cracks or breaks. If you see any of these, discard the battery because it will need to be completely replaced. These are indications that the battery is no longer serviceable and failure is imminent.
5. Check the contacts for any signs of damage such as breaks in the metal, broken springs (if applicable), etc. If any damage is found, replace the contacts before continuing to use the device.
6. Using the pencil eraser end, clean the tops and bottoms of the batteries (or if you have purchase a special battery cleaning product, follow the directions).
7. Next, tilt the device you are cleaning (if possible) so that any debris will not fall further into the device. Take the pencil and clean the contacts in an outward motion to help sweep dirt, corrosion, etc away from the device. You can use a small keyboard vacuum to help clean the inside of the battery compartment also.
8. If the pencil eraser is not cleaning the contacts due to large amounts of corrosion, you can use a small piece of metal (this should be the last resort). You gently scrape away any corrosion or packed on debris from the contacts. Exercise extreme caution to not damage the contacts by severely scratching or breaking them.
9. If you are cleaning a 12 volt car battery, you can apply the same measures as mentioned. If you are having trouble removing debris, you can use a wire brush to gently remove it.
10. You can now replace the batteries into the compartment and replace the device cover.
CAUTION: It is not advisable to use chemical cleaning solutions on batteries.
Following these steps and regular preventative maintenance on your batteries and device can help ensure a longer life expectancy for the batteries and longer use of your product.
Posted by Bobby on
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