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I have this battery charger at home. It has a voltage test function. I also have a lot of non-rechargeable batteries lying around. Is it possible and safe to use the charger's test function on non-rechargeable AAA or AA batteries?

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That charger device clearly states that it is for NiCd and NiMH rechargeable batteries only. It would be a risky proposition to put other batteries in that unit whether they be lithium or alkaline types. I think it would be just too easy to put the unit into the wrong mode.

What you want to do instead is get yourself a digital multimeter that can measure voltage of any battery that you may have laying around. These days you can pickup a suitable device that would fulfill your needs for a surprising low cost. Check out offerings on Amazon for example. The good thing about this approach is that you will find other uses for a digital multimeter once you have it and learn how to use it.

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    A digital multimeter is a very worthwhile investment. Specifically with batteries though, my understanding is that a test-under-load is superior to a simple voltage check, and a good battery charger/tester would hopefully do that. But since the relevant curve varies by battery chemistry, using the wrong type of charger (unless it specifically says it can test other types) doesn't make sense. – manassehkatz Jul 8 '18 at 14:05
  • It is worth knowing that what a charger does is convert one chemical compound into another by applying voltage in reverse. The "Negative" element actually grows back so that it can release electrons in the normal way. Because the negative compound does not reform into its original efficient shape, over time rechargeable batteries will no longer take a charge. While non-rechargeable batteries will also reform, it does not do it fast enough to absorb the energy and must therefore release the excess as heat, which expands the interior and causes a nice boom – Frank Cedeno Jul 8 '18 at 15:42
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I have a suspiciously similar LaCrosse charger that I have used for testing alkaline batteries. My charger spends a few seconds detecting and displaying the voltage before it begins charging, so if you're a bit quick, yes, you can use it to test voltage.

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No. It is made for NiCd and NiMH batteries only, which happen to work at the same voltage. The charge indicator will be useless for any other type of battery, which by nature operate on different voltage.

Buy a real DVM, measure the actual voltage, and google up a table that shows voltage vs. state of charge for that battery type.

  • If you go look at the charger, it outputs voltage. Doesn't have anything to do with the "type of battery". Still not sure that it would be a good idea, but it does show voltage. – CrazyCasta Jul 8 '18 at 19:25

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