5-Minute Rule Extends Battery Life

The ASHA Leader, August 2015, Vol. 20, 11. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.20082015.11

An eighth-grade student in Rochester, Minnesota, recently made a money-saving discovery for people who use hearing aids: Waiting five minutes to put a newly activated battery in a hearing aid may extend the battery life by two or three days.

Ethan Manuell, who wears a hearing aid in his left ear, studied the effect of “wait time” on battery life. To activate a new battery, users remove a sticker from the battery, allowing oxygen to mix with zinc-oxide inside the battery. Manuell did tests to see if waiting a little longer before putting the battery into the device would make a difference.

He found that if users wait five minutes after taking the sticker off, the battery will last up to three days longer, a considerable increase beyond the usual two- to seven-day battery life (depending on the model).

Manuell has won several awards, including a U.S. Naval Science Award, and received recognition for his “five-minute rule” discovery.

© 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

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