Drained Batteries – Meaning, Reasons, and Recharging

Sep 21, 2020   Pageview:150

If you want to what does battery drained means, and reasons behind it, then continue reading. This post is all about drained batteries you need to know.

What means battery drained?

When a battery loses voltage, its power – that is, its capacity to function – is depleted. This process is known as battery drainage. It happens both actively (by the use of the battery to power a particular device) and passively (by leaving the battery unused for an extended period of time). Every battery has a limited number of duty cycles: a particular battery can only be fully-charged and then fully-drained for a fixed amount of time.

Continued usage after surpassing this amount will cause the device to either malfunction or slow down. Some batteries are designed to be discharged entirely, while others are designed to always have some level of charge. A typical duty cycle comprises a given percentage of the drain, followed by a full charge, thus allowing the device to continue functioning.

Battery drainage is very common and can be prevented by scheduling regular maintenance checks. Car battery owners must pop that hood open once every six months to assess their battery situation. A drained battery can result in restricted usage. It can present an inconvenience if you have promised a car ride to your kids, who might not be happy with the inevitability of the entire situation. You can also replace the battery with cells that involve more capacity and power. Faster drainage can occur if you put up in a place that has extreme weather.

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Why does your battery keep dying?

The evolution of screen display technology has introduced certain features (such as brighter screens, higher definition display, and live wallpapers), which are aesthetically appealing, but ultimately drain the battery. If these high-energy features are used without users taking counteracting measures - such as using adaptive brightness and limiting the screen timeout duration– the battery tends to deplete rapidly.

Specific applications (such as in-built Google apps and communication apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp) work in the background, continually polling information in order to deliver quick updates, even when they are not 'open' on the phone or being actively used. Because of this constant functioning, these apps are also prone to lagging and further pressure your device's battery capacity.

When it comes to cellphone batteries, using phones in an area with poor network connectivity puts extra pressure on the battery to stay connected to nearby network towers. Using Airplane mode in such areas can help the dying battery. Still, it can also completely debar the user from being able to make or receive phone calls. Connectivity systems such as GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth face similar issues as they work for long periods of time and demand heavy-power consumption for their functioning. These systems are also often not turned off even when they are not being used, leading to an even more extended period of usage.

Additionally, when older phones update to newer software (for example, users of iPhone 7 or 8 transitioning from iOS 13.6.1. to 14.0), sometimes the new software includes functions that the old phone's hardware isn't able to support, causing unexpected strain on the battery. Josh Galiando, Director of Training at uBreakiFix, summarizes the issue by explaining that "At some point, software always outpaces the device itself and very often adds additional strain."

Batteries also need to be used in controlled temperatures. Suppose the temperature of the surrounding environment is above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. In that case, the battery is at risk of over-heating, and temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit prevent the slow discharge of battery ions, causing faster drainage. Areas with extreme climates thus induce a shorter battery life.

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Can a completely drained battery be recharged?

Most batteries, once fully-drained, entail the capability of being fully-recharged and re-used again. Chargers and power banks are used to revive mobile phones and laptops, and jump-starters and dedicated battery chargers are often used to safely restore a dead car battery to full-charge. For dead AA/AAA batteries, Lensvid recommends a more unconventional method that might work temporarily: they instruct taking a fully charged battery (of the same type), and your "dead" battery and holding the two negatives ends so that they are fully touching.  The process further involves placing the two together between a pair of metal tongs for 30 seconds. It might be that the procedure revives your dead battery and starts to function again.

However, a fully-drained state is damaging to the battery-life: for example, every time the lead-acid battery of a car is discharged below the threshold of 10.5 volts, it causes excessive sulfation in the lead plates and damages them irreversibly. The plates may continue to work, but they will likely not be able to function at full capacity again. The more sustainable solution is to avoid this state of full-drainage. Regular maintenance checks on your device should include an assessment of the battery so that problems can be detected before they cause irrevocable damage.

Frequently, rapidly depleting batteries are noticed by users without the need for maintenance checks. For instance, sometimes batteries start depleting faster even though the duration and manner of usage of the device are the same. In such cases, it is advisable to reboot your device – this not only gives it a chance to rest but also to close applications that might have been lagging. A more extreme measure is going for a factory reset, but this measure can become necessary if the issue is that the OS or some downloaded data is corrupted. If the phone's information is backed up to a cloud that can be accessed later, then a factory reset is usually recommended for extending battery life.


Battery drainage is ultimately a response to the limitations of a battery's capacity to function and can be rectified by taking measures to lower battery usage on a regular basis. If the battery continues to drain at an alarming rate and dies altogether, more often than not, it is still possible to recharge it and prevent battery failure through adequate maintenance checks.  Or, you can utilize revival measures to resuscitate your battery.

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