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The Myth of Storing Non-rechargable Batteries in the Refrigerator

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Ganado, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Non-Rechargeable Batteries:

    1.Is it a good idea to store batteries in a refrigerator or freezer?
    No, storage in a refrigerator or freezer is not required or recommended for batteries produced today. Cold temperature storage can in fact harm batteries if condensation results in corroded contacts or label or seal damage due to extreme temperature storage. To maximize performance andshelf life, store batteries at normal room temperatures (68°F to 78°F or 20°C to 25°C) with moderated humidity levels (35 to 65% RH)
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    You speak of Non-Rechargeable Batteries... And single out Energizers... What you do not say is that Battery Chemistry, is what determines the best Storage Tempratures for any type of Battery... Energizers are Alkaline Batteries and the above is true for that type. However, if you are as old as I am you will remember the Older Zinc/Carbon DryCell Batteries, and those were best stored, below 40F... Not ALL non-Rechargeable Batteries are equal or use the same Chemistry....
    Ganado, 3cyl and sec_monkey like this.
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    But as old as those batteries are... we are not purchasing them at this time. Each battery has its own characteristics on what works best for its longevity... but lets try and stay in the here and now. If one has batteries from the 70's and 80's that is still functional... cool.... but most folks now days want to know how the current batt's perform long term under whatever circumstance or means of storage.

    I know for myself, I have a ton of non-recharge which I rotate as much as possible... as well as have an ample supply of rechargeable batt's. Any current info on best practices for storage and maintaining a battery to the best life possible is important....IMO
    Ganado and sec_monkey like this.
  4. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+

    The trick of storing batteries in the freezer was true back in the days when most batteries were the old carbon dry cell type.

    The new alkaline, lithium, etc. versions do not benefit from being frozen and can actually be damaged, as the quoted article points out.

    The "battery in the freezer trick" is an old shop story that just won't die. Store your batteries at room temperature in a dry location and they will be fine.
    Cruisin Sloth and Ganado like this.
  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I have been on jobs where the customer had replaced a battery and it was still dead, as was every other battery in that box of shelf stored room temp batteries. These were alkaline 9vt, Duracell batteries. The box was labeled as 2004. Every battery, still capped, all 30 batteries dead.
    Customer was getting angry with ME , because I was telling her the impossible! But a multimeter proved every one dead.
    I go though a lot of batteries with flashlights, and tools. As a result, I no longer buy non rechargeable at all.
    And I don't care what they say, I know from personal use, that temp affects battery use. An alkaline is stronger when warm than cold. A frozen battery in an outdoor control may not function, but hand warming the battery will increase the radio function. Machines with internal batteries (rechargeables) had to go to selfstick battery warmers to function.
    Temp DOES effect battery function.
    3cyl and sec_monkey like this.
  6. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    Late 80's I scored about a hundred size D Energizer alkaline batteries for like $10. They had some kind of holiday labeling on the batteries themselves and the store had bunches left over and they weren't selling. So they put them on super clearance and I bought them all.

    I packaged most of them as a pair in vacuum sealed bags. This insured no condensation or shorting could affect them. I put most packages in the freezer but not all, some were in shop or tool box etc. where I often needed them. I used them for the next 10-15 years. (found another package just a few month ago in a box, completely dead.) I did find that in the 4-8 year time after storing, I clearly had better batteries with those in the freezer. When I got out past 10 years the few I had left not in the freezer were dead and the freezer few had a little life but not great. Decided it wasn't worth tying up my freezer space but they clearly did store a little better there. Keep in mind this was late 80s alkaline battery chemistry and they have made improvements.

    Generally, cold slows chemical reactions and battery death in storage is a chemical degradation reaction. However, frost and condensation on the battery can cause corrosion or maybe more likely a high resistance conductive path between terminals that can slowly discharge the battery. If sealed in vacuum storage or Mylar storage bag, I would still consider keeping them in a freezer.

    It is important to bring them back to room temp before using to get most out of the battery. And little trick, if the battery is not quite dead but real weak, warming it good can sometimes squeak a bit more juice out them. YMMV....

    Ganado likes this.
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    If you use Mylar, you don't want the type with conductive coatings ---
  8. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    I disagree with not storing them in the fridge, how else are you going to find them if you don't have a fridge drawer filled with batteries. I recently scored a holiday ornament plastic box at Wally world, I think they only have them after Xmas, must have 25 places for "stuff" I have all my rechargeables and alkalines, except my Li-ion 18650's that wouldn't fit.

    Ask me about 18650's if you haven't discovered them.

    Ganado and ghrit like this.
  9. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Interesting. Nice find @Ganado I never knew people used to tore them in the freezer but it reads like Energizer had a change in how they make batteries so that they no longer require it. Good to know in case someone tells me to keep them in the fridge, I now know better.
    Ganado likes this.
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