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March 19, 2007

Helpful Hints from joeeze: How to prevent battery-operated appliances from being turned on accidentally — no more dead batteries and nonfunctioning devices


It's one of life's rules that when you most need something to work, it doesn't.

Just now a wonderful idea dawned on me, the solution to the vexing problem of unwittingly/accidentally turning on a flashlight or radio and having it use up the batteries without your ever knowing it — until it's too late.

I was putting my Sharper Image Sound Soother (top) into a duffel bag.

As is my wont, I removed one of the batteries and prepared to tape it to the case of the device so that the poorly-designed push on/off switch wouldn't get nudged while being jostled around and turn the device on.

I mean, the last time that happened and I arrived wherever I was going, turned on the sound of a steam train but heard nothing but my own tinnitus, I about started steaming myself.

Dead batteries — 6 brand-new AAs.

Annoying, what?

Today, as I held the battery in my hand, I thought to myself — wait a minute.

Half the time after I put in new batteries, the flashlight or whatever doesn't work because I didn't insert them in the correct orientation, with the polarities as designated.

What if I simply put one of the 6 AAs in the wrong way: device off, no battery taping needed, no dead batteries/nonfunctional appliance.


Try it — it really works.

Or doesn't, as is the outcomed here desired.

Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then.

March 19, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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It is only because I enjoy bookofjoe so much I posted my caution above. In fact, bookofjoe is my favorite website!

Posted by: anon | Mar 19, 2007 10:57:55 PM

Whats wrong with tape? A small piece of electrical tape inside, that you can put over one end and then popped back in will take care of things. Need to use the device, pull it off, throw it on the cover and pop the battery back. Won't lose a thing. Anything to cut off the flow...

Beyond that, you really should be using rechargables. The trick I've learned from these things -- write the date of the first charge on the side with a sharpie. After not wanting to throw out a 4 year old set that had been charged at least a hundred times each...and getting the newer ones mixed into the other set (looking identical) -- this strategy has helped keep track of sets and rotate them out for new ones in a timely manner (before they get down to a 15 minute lifespan).

Posted by: clifyt | Mar 19, 2007 10:37:58 PM

Joe, just take out the batteries and inset them in a ziplock bag. You'll be glad you did.

Posted by: David | Mar 19, 2007 10:04:28 PM

Si, It seems I've seen batteries smoke when inserted incorrectly.

However, BookofJoe is still the most enjoyable source of tidbits and trivia for a welcome break during the work day.

Posted by: Kay | Mar 19, 2007 6:51:57 PM

I would urge caution because most of my battery-powered devices warn that reversing the battery direction/polarity can damage said device.

Posted by: anon | Mar 19, 2007 5:07:43 PM

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