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How to Test 1.5 Volt Batteries with a Voltmeter

by Anthony Smith

Many of the batteries that are commonly used in toys and electronic devices are 1.5 volt alkaline batteries. These batteries--which are commonly known as A, AA, AAA, C, and D--are different in size but all carry the same voltage. If your household is like many others, there are a number of these batteries lying around and you may have lost track of which ones are good and which ones no longer carry a charge. You can use a voltmeter to quickly test them.

Step 1

Turn on the voltmeter and set the range of the meter to 2 volts DC.

Step 2

Set the battery on a flat stable surface so that it doesn't roll away when you let go of it. You will need both hands to test the battery.

Step 3

Place the positive lead (usually red) from the voltmeter on the positive terminal of the battery. The positive terminal of the battery is located on the end that has a "+" symbol marked on it.

Step 4

Place the negative lead (usually black) from the voltmeter on the negative terminal of the battery. The negative terminal of the battery is located on the end that has a "-" symbol marked on it.

Take note of the voltage reading on the voltmeter. A brand new, fresh battery may show a voltage as high as 1.58 volts. Batteries that show a voltage of less than 1.3 volts may begin to exhibit decreased performance, and batteries with less than 1.0 volts should be replaced.

Items you will need

  • Voltmeter

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