How to Test Batteries at Home

We all have batteries lying around the house, sometimes they appear in random places, on a countertop, under a couch cushion, or in a kitchen junk drawer (surely there’s SOME life left to it, right? I mean, why else would someone have thrown it in there??). Here is a simple test that you can do yourself to test if your battery still has some life left to it . . .

This works on the following size batteries: A, AA, AAA, C, D

Stand the battery up on the negative end (the flat end).

Pick it up about 3/4 of an inch off a solid flat surface.


Drop it. If it lands with a small thud back on the flat end and stays in place, the battery still has a charge.

If it bounces and then falls over, the battery is dead.


Still unsure of what it’s supposed to look like? Here’s a Video that will show you:

(Please note, the Dead battery in the video did have a “charge” of .71 (less than the amount needed to power a mini flashlight and was indeed, dead.)

When Discarding a battery, place a small piece of tape over each end to help prevent possible fire.

9 Volt batteries can be tested by wetting your finger and laying it across the top of both posts (positive and negative) if you get a Tingle- it’s LIVE. If you don’t feel anything, it’s dead. Please note, the “Tingle” can be pretty strong and shouldn’t be attempted by those with heart conditions or pacemakers. (That’s my disclaimer right there!)

Never store a 9 volt battery in a junk drawer where it can come into contact with a metal object such as a paper clip, steel wool, etc as this can cause items to ignite and create a fire in your home.
If you don’t believe me, put a 9 volt battery in your pants pocket with some loose change and you’ll feel the heat in short order… we could even call you Hot Pants! Always dispose of batteries by placing electrical tape over the tops of the positive and negative posts.

Photo by Canstockphoto

About Liss 4069 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.


  1. good to know about the tape when disposing of those….i didn’t know about the fire hazard. thanks for the information.

  2. Fresh, yes. Dead? Not so much.

    Researchers at Princeton University have found that the common test of bouncing a household battery to learn if it is dead or not is not actually an effective way to check a battery’s charge.

    “The bounce does not tell you whether the battery is dead or not, it just tells you whether the battery is fresh,” said Daniel Steingart, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.

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