Why does changing battery order extend battery life?


I went to change channels on our TV and the stupid batteries were dead. A quick look in the “battery drawer” showed that we were out of AAA batteries. So, hoping to make it through the evening I took off the battery cover on the remote, removed the batteries and swapped the order and replaced them. The remote came to life and has been working now for a few hours. So, the question is, why would moving the batteries around bring them back to life? I would think that each battery has only so much power remaining, why would the order they are sitting in the device change the amount of power they are able to supply?

It has nothing to do with the order.
It breaks the non-conductive film on the contacts. If you just rotate the batteries in place, that does the same thing.

Fair enough, but why does that provide more potter from a dying (dead) battery?

I’ve never heard that. I always assumed it was because taking the batteries out for a few seconds let them build up enough charge to work for a few more minutes (or even longer in something very little draw like a remote).

Because the film is insulating, and it takes precious voltage away from the device.

yeah the battery contacts in the device and the ends of the battery can build up some corrosion. removing the batteries or rotating them cleans/removes the corrosion from those surfaces.

Taking them out also means you’re handling them, warming them up a little. The reactions that generate the voltage will run a little faster, giving the batteries a little more power.

I just take the cover off and warm the batteries in place, using my thumb. I also rotate them, to break any contact corrosion, but I think the temperature is the bigger effect.

ETA: Once you’re started using them, that will also generate a little heat, keeping the temperature up (slightly) over what they had been.