Batteries, beer and car wash bays: failure to function in extreme cold

Click to play video: 'Brrrr! Edmonton plummets to around -45°C with wind chill' Brrrr! Edmonton plummets to around -45°C with wind chill
WATCH: Brrrr! Edmonton plummets to around -45°C with wind chill – Jan 16, 2020

We’re not the only ones that don’t want to work when it’s this cold out, some things just fail to function at extreme low temperatures.

READ MORE: Tips to keep your vehicle running smooth in the cold weather

In certain cases, components freeze up or liquids congeal in the frigid cold.

Phone dead: A common sight during colder temperatures. Global News


Aside from your vehicle, the first battery-powered device you’ve probably already noticed having issues is your phone.

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Jakob Peyerl is an iPhix repair tech and says your phone has to work extra hard to keep everything warm and in order to do that, it has to use extra power.

“Also, sometimes you’ll notice the screen on your phone might start acting like it’s really slow and that’s also because the LCD inside the phone just starts to freeze,” Peyerl said.

Click to play video: 'Batteries, beer and car wash bays: failure to function in extreme cold' Batteries, beer and car wash bays: failure to function in extreme cold
Batteries, beer and car wash bays: failure to function in extreme cold – Jan 16, 2020

READ MORE: Why can’t I use my cell phone out in the cold?

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In fact, anything battery-powered, from your car to your camera, has a tough time in sub-freezing temperatures.

In the cold, batteries can lose charge quickly or sometimes not work at all.

“Basically, the cold weather, it deteriorates almost all batteries,” said Ken Waldrum from Battery World.

READ MORE: In Photos: Here’s what an extreme cold snap looks like in Canada

Waldrum said alkaline batteries deteriorate the quickest and the brand doesn’t matter — Duracell or Energizer.

“They’re all basically the same — you can only be getting 10 per cent of your capacity in this weather,” Waldrum said.

Car Washes

That isn’t all that suffers — if you’re looking to clean all that salt and sand off your vehicle, you may be out of luck.

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Often touchless and bay car washes have to close when temperatures dip below -20 C.

READ MORE: How cold is too cold for outdoor recess? Guidelines vary across Canada

John Brown closes his car wash bays at Starburst Car & Truck Wash when that threshold is reached.

Brown said the frigid, frosty weather can cause ice buildup on the overhead doors.

“Then the springs break and [the overhead doors] can damage either a car or individual,” Brown said.

Temperature controls

Happy hour was ruined at Rapid Ascent Brew Co. when the extreme cold froze their temperature controls, turning their suds into slush.

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“All of the beer was at -7 C, meaning it was frozen solid,” owner Troy Kamphuis-Finnigan said.

Kamphuis-Finnigan said the lines froze overnight, which in turn froze all the beer.

“We had to dispose all the beer and clean all the lines,” Kamphuis-Finnigan said.

Extension cords, street lights and hydraulic hinges are also on the list of things that when the temperature drops as low as Alberta’s experienced this week, just don’t work properly.

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