FAQ – AED Electrode Pads & Batteries

Helpful tips on maintaining your AED


AED Electrode Pad Frequently Asked Questions

How do I dispose of my AED electrode pads when they expire or have been used?

AED electrode pads are non-toxic and can be disposed of in regular trash receptacles.

Where are adult AED electrode pads placed?

Two-piece adult electrode pads are placed with one pad on the upper right chest and one pad on the lower left rib cage. All AED electrode pads have a visual representation on the pads themselves to show you where to place them.

The ZOLL AED CPR-D-padz: ZOLL Medical has a one-piece adult electrode pad which uses a cross-hair center piece to help you align the pads properly. This center piece also gives real-time CPR feedback on compression depth.

Where are AED electrode pads placed on a child or infant?

For children under 55 lbs, pediatric electrode pads are recommended. In most cases, one electrode pad would be placed in the middle of the child’s chest, and the other in the middle of the child’s back. Apply according to the visual representation on the pediatric electrode pad packaging.

If your AED has an infant/child key, insert this key in the AED and use the normal electrode pads as instructed.

Do AED electrode pads expire? If so, why?

Yes, all AED electrode pads expire. Electrode pads contain an adhesive, a conducting gel, and a metal electrode. These components can break down over time and manufacturers cannot guarantee the pads will function properly in an emergency past the expiration dates listed on the packaging. It is important to be sure the electrode pads stored with your AED have not exceeded their expiration date.

Expiration dates are found on the AED electrode pad packaging and are intentionally made easy to identify.

What is the shelf life of AED electrode pads?           

The shelf life of AED electrode pads varies by make and model. Shelf life ranges between two and five years. Check your owner’s manual or download our Ultimate Buyer’s Guide and review the Comparison Chart, which lists each AED and its unique attributes such as electrode pad and battery lifespans.

How much do AED electrode pads cost?

Adult electrode pads are priced anywhere from $38 to $225 per set, and pediatric electrode pads cost between $95 and $209. Cost depends on the AED make and model. Pediatric pads are more expensive because they typically contain an attenuator to adjust the energy levels down to those safe for children under 55 lbs.

Should I have more than one set of AED electrode pads with my AED? If so, why?

Keeping a spare set of electrode pads on hand with the device is recommended for two reasons:

  1. If the electrode pads accidentally get compromised during a rescue: The adhesive on AED electrode pads is exceptionally strong, and if the pads slip or are dropped, they may pick up lint after getting stuck to clothing or carpet, pick up dirt and debris from the chest or ground, or there may be a large amount of hair on the patient. This could lead to the electrode pads not adhering to the chest enough to work properly. Since mistakes understandably happen in high-stress situations, having a spare set ensures there is a backup should one of these scenarios occur.
  1. If another rescue needs to take place before the first set of electrode pads has been replaced, having a backup set of electrode pads will allow the rescue to proceed.

AED Battery Frequently Asked Questions

How much do replacement AED batteries cost?

Replacement AED batteries cost between $35.95 and $427, depending on the make and model of your AED.  

What kind of batteries does my AED take?              

Most AEDs use manufacturer- and model-specific lithium batteries. To determine which battery your AED needs, visit our AED Accessories page and select your AED make and model. The manufacturer-approved batteries are listed with the devices.  

One exception is the ZOLL AED Plus, which uses ten consumer lithium 123A batteries. These batteries can be purchased online or at most major retail outlets who carry batteries. All ten batteries should be replaced at the same time. ZOLL also specifies the use of Duracell, Sanyo, or Varta batteries only. AED Superstore also sells these batteries.

In the case of the Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR® Plus and Physio-Control LIFEPAK EXPRESS® AEDs, these devices have an internal battery which is trickle-charged using a CHARGE-PAK charging unit that’s sold together with new electrode pads.

Should I have a spare battery? If so, why?

Having a spare battery gives peace of mind your AED will be able to function during a rescue in the event of a cardiac incident. The worst time to discover your battery has expired or is depleted is in the middle of a rescue. Storing a spare battery with your AED ensures you can quickly insert the replacement and continue the rescue with little interruption.  

How do I dispose of my AED battery when it expires or has been depleted in use?

Most AED batteries contain lithium and must be disposed of properly and in accordance with the customer’s local regulations for disposal of hazardous materials. Some municipalities may have a hazardous material recycling center or have a special hazardous material disposal day for the community.

Battery stores such as Batteries Plus may be able to take a used lithium battery as well. Batteries Plus does not charge for recycling of a non-rechargeable lithium battery. This option is for the disposal of one or two batteries.

As an alternative, AED Superstore will recycle any AED/defibrillator batteries sent to us (whether they are rechargeable or non-rechargeable).You are responsible for any shipping charges related to sending the batteries to us, but we will cover all costs to recycle your batteries. For more information, visit our Battery Recycling page.

What is the shelf life of AED batteries?

The amount of time an AED battery will power your device in standby mode (i.e. without turning the AED on or using it during a rescue) varies by make and model but usually ranges between four and seven years. Check your owner’s manual or download our Ultimate Buyer’s Guide and review the Comparison Chart which lists each AED and their unique attributes such as electrode pads and battery lifespans.

What is the difference between an expiration date/install by date/manufacture date on the battery?

Batteries that have an expiration date should be used and properly disposed of on or before the expiration date listed.  

Batteries that have a manufactured or install-by date should provide power to your AED for a specific number of years (which varies by brand) from the date the battery was installed in your device.

How do I know what kind of date is listed on my battery?

The following symbols can be found on the batteries themselves:


Manufacture Date –   


Install by Date –     

Expiration Date –   

How do I check my AED battery to make sure it’s still working? How often do I need to check?

Your AED will perform self-tests to ensure it’s in working order. Depending on the model, it may beep or do something else to alert you when it needs service. You don’t need to actively test or monitor the AED to make sure it’s working. Turning the AED on and off just to check it can drain the battery unnecessarily. Just be aware of when it’s giving a visual or audio alert that it needs maintenance.

How do I know when to replace my AED battery?

It depends on the model, but the AED will typically beep or have a status light or indicator that tells you when the battery is low and needs to be replaced. Your AED will also fail its self-checks.

Is my AED’s battery rechargeable, or can I get a rechargeable battery?

It depends on your make and model of AED whether a rechargeable battery is available. However, we suggest you read our article on rechargeable vs. non-rechargeable batteries. Unless you’re in an environment where your AED is going to get a lot of use, you’re probably better off with a long-life, non-rechargeable battery.

S. Joanne Dames - MD, MPH

Updated: 10/30/2018

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22 Responses to “FAQ – AED Electrode Pads & Batteries”

December 22, 2016 at 4:51 am, Nejim said:

We have multiple of Cardiac Science AEDs in our Oil Xploration field and various process plants; most of the time we come to know about battery expiry in a short notice and it is difficult to ge the item shipped here as air freight is not possible. We would like to keep some spare batteries in stock so as to use them as and when required; kindly advise the shelf life of batteries( if un used)


December 27, 2016 at 2:10 pm, AED Superstore said:

Non-rechargeable Cardiac Science batteries have a shelf life of 5 years from the date of manufacture before installing in an AED. If the battery is then installed in the AED on or before the install by date the battery will last for its specific warranty period (warranty varies depending on battery part number and AED model).


August 18, 2017 at 5:29 pm, Amanda van Zyl said:

How long can the AED pads be left on a patient or after how many shocks do they Ned to be replaced? Phillips heart start machine


August 30, 2017 at 9:20 am, AED Superstore said:

The AED electrode pads should be left on the patient until they are removed by a medical professional (EMT, Paramedic, Nurse, Doctor). There is no limit to the number of shocks. However, the electrode pads will need to be replaced once the rescue attempt has concluded. It is a good idea to have an extra set of electrode pads on hand in the event the AED is needed before the replacement electrode pads arrive.


January 16, 2018 at 4:50 pm, Brian Peck said:

Are there any service providers that will maintain your “fleet” of AED devices? I’ve not been successful locating any. The closest I found is a primarily a tracking & reminder service.


February 13, 2018 at 7:58 am, AED Superstore said:

AED maintenance is simple: You check the expiration date on the electrode pads and note the installation date of the battery. From there, you check the AED’s status indicator every couple weeks and make sure it is green (and not red), and that the AED is not chirping (which indicates a problem). A tracking/reminder service, like our ARCH Medical Direction (https://www.aedsuperstore.com/medical-direction-and-oversight.html) will help keep track of expiration dates and send you a reminder to check your AED and let you know when it is time to replace the electrode pads and/or battery.


January 21, 2018 at 5:06 am, Dennis said:

I have a question on the Legal Liability. Is our Church liable if someone dies after using the AED?


February 13, 2018 at 7:53 am, AED Superstore said:

Every state has “Good Samaritan” laws which will protect the user as long as the AED has been used in good faith. You will want to check your state’s Good Samaritan laws for the particulars, as some laws do require specific standards be met for compliance.


September 20, 2018 at 5:52 am, melissa said:

If the pads get opened before they are needed are the pads still good


September 20, 2018 at 7:58 am, AED Superstore said:

When electrode pads are opened and exposed to the air the conductive gel inside the pads can dry out, rendering them unfit for use. Opening the package before they are needed could also have a negative impact on the adhesive on the pads, which is necessary to provide good contact with the skin. So, unfortunately, if the package has been opened, it will be necessary to replace them as soon as possible.


January 07, 2019 at 8:51 am, Phil said:

I have AED pads that have an expiration shown as 02/2019. Must they be changed by the 1st or last day of February?


January 07, 2019 at 9:03 am, AED Superstore said:

Your expiring pads will last through the entire month but, to be safe, they should be changed before the end of the month.


April 23, 2019 at 10:20 am, Chei said:

If the pads are opened and not use can we keep it sealed for the meantime and for how long, while waiting for our order of new one, incase
we have 1 stock only


April 23, 2019 at 10:27 am, AED Superstore said:

Electrode Pads have a strip of metal embedded in a conductive gel. If the pads’ protective case is opened (or if the seal is broken) that gel may dry out over time. If your new pads have been ordered and they’ll be arriving soon, you should be covered. If you can reseal the pads they may last a little while longer, but they will dry out eventually.


May 31, 2019 at 9:54 am, Matthew said:

How would cpr D padz from ZOLL be placed on a infant?


July 02, 2019 at 8:36 am, AED Superstore said:

Hi Matthew – sorry for the late response!

Ideally, pediatric pads should be used when they are available. If you do not have pediatric pads, and the CPR-D Padz are the only ones available, you can use them. The CPR-D Padz from ZOLL have perforations on the lower left pad. To use on an infant, you would tear along the perforation and place that pad on the infant’s back, then place the upper right pad on the infant’s chest (this positioning is also called “anterior/posterior positioning”). I hope this answers your question.


July 23, 2019 at 12:22 pm, James said:

So if my pads have an expiration date of 2020-03 and are brand new. If i install them 2019-03 would i have change them at 2020-03 or would they be change at two year cycle?


July 23, 2019 at 12:27 pm, AED Superstore said:

Most electrode pads have an expiration date of 18 – 24 months from the manufacture date. This is a hard date, which means the pads will not function properly beyond that date. Once the expiration date has arrived the electrode pads must be replaced.


September 04, 2019 at 10:20 am, Randy P said:

We have two Philips HeadStart HS1 Onsite trainers and both units have begun to not recognize the pads when placed correctly on the manikin. The Trainer will begin to analyze when pressing hard on both pads continually even thought he Trainer is informing to not touch the manikin. I have replaced both sets of adult pads on both units with new pads, but same result. We clean the manikins with Clorox wipes after every training event. Any suggestions?


September 04, 2019 at 10:37 am, AED Superstore said:

The Philips HeartStart Trainers recognize training electrode pads placement by way of either an external or internal manikin adapter. The external is a metallic strip which is placed across the manikin’s chest from the upper right shoulder to the lower left side. Over time the strip can develop cracks or just simply wears out and needs to be replaced. Here is the link to that item: https://www.aedsuperstore.com/philips-external-manikin-adapter-5-pack.html

If you are using an internal manikin adapter, this would be located under the manikin’s chest skin. The ends of this adapter should be located with one end on the upper right shoulder and the other end on the lower left side. It may have become repositioned and is no longer in the optimum location for pad recognition. Check the adapter for the correct position and possible damage. If you need another internal manikin adapter, here’s the link for that item: https://www.aedsuperstore.com/philips-internal-manikin-adapter.html

Keep in mind the internal manikin adapter is only recommended for Laerdal and Prestan manikins. Other manikins’ chest skins may be too thick to allow for training electrode pad recognition.


April 13, 2023 at 8:58 am, Alf Motgan said:

if pads used for CPR feedback only and NO shock put through them can they be sealed and reused ?


April 13, 2023 at 9:01 am, AED Superstore said:

No. Once pads have been placed on the chest they cannot be reused.


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