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Overcoming the Dreaded Memory Effect

November 29th, 2011 by

Battery Memory Effect

In the beginning, you spend hours on the phone talking with no interruptions. Then after a few months, years if you are lucky, the power fades. No longer can you walk around your house talking about nothing in particular. You know the signs, the light is gone and more often than not, your conversation is cut short. That’s right; your cordless phone just can’t hold a charge anymore and the memory effect may be to blame.

I know what you are thinking. How did you let it get this bad? If it isn’t working, it isn’t working and it is time to cut ties with your rechargeable device. The memory effect has taken a toll on your once budding time together. You need something that will last, but how long until the memory effect rears its ugly head at another device?

Technically speaking, what is the memory effect? The memory effect is when nickel cadmium (NiCd) and nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) battery cells are only partially discharged on a regular basis. Eventually the cells begin to form potassium crystals on their plates, which prevent the battery from providing its rated output. In laymen’s terms, your stuff keeps going dead even after you charge it. All it means is you aren’t getting as much time on your device before you need to recharge.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the memory effect. For starters, most people have no idea which batteries suffer from it. NiCd and NiMh can both struggle with power loss due to memory effect. A number of cordless devices such as your cordless phones or power tools are likely to contain this type of battery. If you are losing charge time, check the battery casing to identify the chemistry. Only NiCd and NiMh can suffer from memory loss, though that is not to say your other battery chemistries don’t lose charge as well.

Cordless phone won't hold much of a charge? It may be suffering from the memory effect.

Cordless phone won't hold much of a charge? It may be suffering from the memory effect.

So how can you fix the memory effect? Unfortunately, there is no at-home remedy for this problem; however, there are expert solutions and preventive care. Interstate All Battery Center® has the solution.

Every battery is made up of individual cells. To get your battery back to the factory settings, each cell must be conditioned individually. If your device can no longer hold a charge, instead of buying a costly new battery or device, expert reconditioning offers a more affordable solution to the memory effect.

To help protect your working devices from the memory effect, you can exercise the battery. No, this does not involve forcing your phone to run laps. Instead allow your device to run down to the low battery indicator before recharging. Keep in mind this is a delicate balance. Let the battery run low, but if the battery stays fully discharged for an extended amount of time, you could cause more damage.

There are two types of people in this world: those who put their cordless phone back on the charger after every call and those who constantly have dead phones because they are left all over the place. Find the happy medium. With any good relationship, there needs to be balance.

Give your devices another chance before breaking up. After all, you still remember the good times, even if your device is suffering from the memory effect.

By Shayla Jenkins (7 Posts)

Posted in All Battery, Tips



  1. […] go for NiMh. Think “Need Instant Monstrous Horsepower.” This chemistry’s got it all: little memory effect, more power storage space and more times it can go through the recharge-discharge cycle. It’s […]

  2. […] Overcoming the Dreaded Memory Effect ( […]

About The Outrageously Dependable Blog

Interstate Batteries® sells more than 16,000 kinds of batteries—from AA alkalines and automotive batteries to critical power solutions, and everything in between. Combine professional battery services, recycling programs and the largest battery distribution network in North America, and you’ll find Interstate has EVERY BATTERY FOR EVERY NEED®. Learn more about Interstate Batteries or shop online!

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