I have essentially the same question as this. In that question, it seems lithium batteries are prohibited for use in the device because it wouldn't adequately warn the user that the batteries need to be changed. I'm finding the same anti-lithium-battery warning in a cheap multimeter (Gardner Bender GTD-311 if it matters). It seems to me it wouldn't matter much if thing thing suddenly ran out of battery power and needed a new one. It's not a device for alerting homeowners of imminent danger. So, do I really need to seek out alkaline batteries for this device?

These are the type of battery I'm talking about:

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So, do I really need to seek out alkaline batteries for this device? Actually the Alkaline 9 V batteries are much more common (at least here in Europe) than the Lithium based variant. In my country every supermarket etc. sells them. I'd really have to search for the Lithium based type. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10 '19 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ It requires a 9V battery; Li+ won't give you that. 3.7V nominal, 4.2V peak per cell. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10 '19 at 16:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterSmith Maybe they're referring to 9 V Lithium batteries which are designed for smoke alarms: amazon.com/Energizer-LA522SBP-Lithium-Battery-Detectors/dp/… But honestly I cannot see a reason why these would be an issue unless the multimeter has a really crappy design and cannot handle slightly more than 9 V. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10 '19 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure about the 9V batteries. But there are AA sized lithium chemistry primary cells available in the US. They have an open-circuit voltage quite a bit higher than alkaline AA batteries. If I remember correctly, they are around 1.8V as opposed to around 1.6V. Multiply that by 6 and you get to 10.8V for lithium vs 9.6V for alkaline. That may put some meters over their voltage limit. \$\endgroup\$
    – mkeith
    Feb 10 '19 at 17:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bimpelrekkie - Alkaline and Lithium are both very common here. All I meant by "seek out" was "drive to a store" because all I have at home right now are lithium (or so I thought until a moment ago). As luck would have it, we've had an ice storm this morning, and so I won't be going to a store. Luckily, I did find some alkaline 9v batteries I didn't realize were here! \$\endgroup\$
    – bubbleking
    Feb 10 '19 at 17:42

Let's look at the data sheets here.

Lithium: http://data.energizer.com/pdfs/l522.pdf

Lithium Curve

Standard: http://data.energizer.com/pdfs/522.pdf

Alk curve

My guess is we can probably use the 20-33 mA curves for each (the "toy" curve). They look roughly the same in terms of what voltages are outputted (lithium is just way more flat). Based off of this, you should be fine. The only thing of note is that your "low-batt" won't work quite right (it'll probably kick in at around 6.5V or so, which you'll see for 5 minutes before it keels over).


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