Can I let a battery sit before installing it?
What happens if I let a replacement battery sit around?
Suppose you let a replacement battery sit around unused for an extended period. In that case, it can experience self-discharge; this is the natural loss of capacity and energy that occurs even when a battery is not in use. This can result in the battery losing some of its performance capabilities, such as reduced run-time or a shortened lifespan.
Moreover, if the battery has been sitting around for too long, it may become discharged entirely or even damaged due to extended periods of inactivity, which can prevent it from holding a charge or functioning correctly when you finally install it.
Why do batteries not work after you let them sit?
Batteries may not work after being left unused for an extended period because of a phenomenon known as self-discharge. Self-discharge is a natural process that occurs in all types of batteries, whereby the battery gradually loses its charge over time, even when it is not in use.
When a battery is left unused for an extended period, the self-discharge process can cause its charge to drop to a critically low level, making it difficult or impossible to recharge or use the battery. Additionally, if the battery is completely discharged for an extended period, it can cause irreversible damage to the battery's internal components, which can prevent it from holding a charge or functioning correctly.
Other factors, such as temperature and humidity, can also contribute to battery degradation over time, especially for certain types of batteries like lead-acid batteries or nickel-cadmium batteries.
Therefore, it is essential to use and maintain batteries regularly, follow the manufacturer's guidelines for storage and use, and ensure that they are charged periodically to prevent self-discharge and prolong their lifespan.
Example of this issue outside of the technical world?
Letting a car sit for an extended period
If you leave a car sitting without turning it on for an extended period, several things can happen that can negatively impact the vehicle's battery and other components.
The battery may gradually lose its charge due to self-discharge, which is a natural process that occurs even when the car is not in use. Over time, this can lead to a completely discharged battery, which can prevent the car from starting or cause other electrical issues.