What Are the Causes of TV Remote Battery Drain?

If you like to keep up with the latest advances in technology, chances are you have at least one remote control per TV. That can add up to a lot of remote control batteries if you own several TVs. Some of these remote controls require AA alkaline batteries while others require lithium ion batteries. Replacement of both types of batteries can get to be quite expensive if they drain too quickly. These batteries may drain quickly for several reasons.

Read your TV's owner's manual for tips on getting the most life out of your remote control batteries.

Buried Remote Control

The most obvious way that your remote control batteries can drain quickly is by tossing the remote on a coffee table where it gets buried under a layer of magazines, books and other heavy objects. These objects can press down on the power button continuously, causing the batteries to drain. Find a designated spot to store your remote control when you are not using it.

Blocked Signal

Your remote control needs to have a clear path for its signal to reach your TV or other components that you are trying to control such as a DVD player. The remote control will not work when there are objects such as furniture or smoked glass doors on an entertainment shelving system in the way. Therefore, repeated attempts to get the remote control to work by pressing buttons will drain the batteries. Keep a clear path to your audio visual components. Open or remove the entertainment shelving system doors if they are presenting signal interference.

Thirty-Second Delay

Many remote controls have a 30-second delay between pushing a button and having a TV respond. Pressing buttons during that delay time will drain the batteries. Give the remote control the full 30 seconds to work.

Programming and Settings

You use a bit of battery energy each time you press a remote control button. Read your owner's manual prior to programming your remote control and the TV to prevent trial and error button pushing during the process. Program the minimum amount of settings you need in order to save battery life. Do not "play" with the remote control buttons to figure out what they do. Check your programming results once then only use the remote control when you need it.

Pressing and Holding

Pressing and holding down remote control buttons will drain the batteries very quickly. Press and release the button immediately unless programming calls for you to hold the button down.

Old or Mixed Batteries

Old batteries or mixed usage of an old battery with a new one may cause your remote control to function only intermittently or not at all. You may find yourself continually pressing your remote control buttons to get it to work, draining the batteries even more. Keep track of when you replace the batteries and do not use an old battery with a new one in a remote control.


Even brand new batteries will drain of energy if the remote control has not been used in several months. The batteries can also leak, corroding the battery terminals and the remote control case. Remove the batteries first before storing a remote control.