Defribulater for Workplace - Can't get Batteries?

We bought a Defrib Unit for our workplace 2 years ago, since it’s one of those things we thought would be good to have in addition to a medical kit. It’s very simple and easy to use.

The unit started to beep constantly back in February and on investigation, it seems the battery was flat, cannot be recharged, and needs to be replaced. The manual for the unit said it should last 4 years and was warrantied for 4 years. It was within the warranty expiry date printed on the battery.

Emailed the local Victorian supplier (Unit is from USA) and they said, no, the battery is a consumable and not warrantied. We pointed out what the manual said and they reluctantly agreed to take it up with the importer, in Sydney.

Long story short, the importer agreed to claim a bettery under warranty from the manufacturer.

It’s the beginning of June and now we’ve been told the new battery should be here at the end of the month.

It feels like a scam and the whole warranty and consumable thing just stinks to be honest. In the USA they honour a 4 year warranty and out here it is regarded as a consumable … nice business if yo can get it.

Is this something to take up with Consumer Affairs?

It’s of no use at all without a battery and we bought it so it is available in case we need it,but if we have to wait months every time a battery is needed … well, have to rethink this one?


Many companies are having difficulties sourcing stock inventory at the moment, whether it is for a whole device or spare parts. Examples include car parts where there are waits potentially of many months before crash repairs can be completed, some electronic and electrical appliances where stock is unavailable and the list goes on.

Delays in supply of replacement batteries could be a temporary problem which may be rectified in the future when supply chains return to normal.

Could you post links to the Australian and US manufacturers warranties.

I have seen warranties where batteries have a shorter warranty period than the rest of the device/appliance. One example is rechargeable smart devices where batteries may have a 12 warranty, whereby the rest of the device has 2 year or more warranty. Batteries are often considered consumables and life can he directly impacted by the way the consumer charges and discharges the battery.

It is unlikely to be successful for the above reasons.

If they can’t ultimately provide a replacement battery, especially while a product is within a manufacturer warranty period, this could be worth persuing if no other resolution was offered (such as replacement or refund). A reasonable person would expect a seller/manufacturer to have replacement consumables, such as a battery, for at least the period of the manufacturer’s warranty.


PHB - Delays in supply of replacement batteries could be a temporary problem.
**The local reseller keeps telling us they will be in stock, next week, or the end of the month, and now it next month. If there is a supply shortage, why not fess up and say so?

The local supplier ha no warranty statement on their site, it just says
“This replacement battery pack has a standby life (installed in the unit) of 4 years, 100 defibrillation shocks, or 6 hours of continuous operating time., including daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly self-tests”

When we asked about the warranty, this is the response from the local supplier “Thanks for the email.
I’ll definitely help sort this, but unfortunately defibrillator batteries being a consumable aren’t covered by a warranty.”

The manual that comes with the Defib units has this statement.


We bought the unit in 2020, the battery iteslef has an expiry date of 30 April 2023. It failed in February 2022.

20,000+ of these have been sold in Australia, there has been no notice to owners about this shortage and we only knew becuase ours has failed prematurely.

From what you say, I guess the advice is to suck it up, such is life?


Based on their warranty statement, you should send them a formal demand for redress. Give them a reasonable time to respond say 7 days. If no satisfactory response by that time start a claim in your Civil and Administrative Tribunal. This warranty is in addition to your Australian Consumer Laws and the ACCC note that the warranty must be honoured:

" Common warranties

Businesses sometimes make extra promises or representations verbally or in writing generally about the quality or standard of a good. For example, they may refer to:

  • the quality, state, condition, performance or characteristics of the good
  • what the good can do and for how long
  • the availability of servicing, supply of parts or identical goods.

If a manufacturer or supplier provides such a warranty, there is a consumer guarantee under the ACL that the manufacturer or supplier will comply with that warranty. If the supplier or manufacturer fails to comply with the warranty you will have rights against them under the consumer guarantees.


You buy a book shelf and the sales person tells you that it can hold up to 100 kilograms. This is a statement about what the bookshelf can do and it must meet this standard.

Warranty against defects

Some businesses will also provide a warranty against defects, also called a manufacturer’s warranty. This is a representation to a consumer, made at or around the time that goods are supplied, that if the goods (or part of them) are defective, the business will:

  • repair or replace goods (or part of them)
  • resupply or fix a problem with services (or part of them)
  • provide compensation to the consumer.

A warranty against defects is usually limited by time.

All suppliers, manufacturers and service providers that provide you with a warranty against defects must comply with that warranty. If they do not, you may bring an action against the person or business who provided the warranty, either under the ACL or for breach of contract.

A promise about what the supplier or manufacturer will do if something goes wrong can be a warranty against defects even if it is not provided in a formal document. Any material with writing on it could evidence a warranty against defects, for example wording on the packaging or on a label, if those words contain such a promise.

A warranty against defects is provided in addition to the consumer guarantees and does not limit or replace them.


You buy a motor vehicle that comes with a three-year or 100,000 km written warranty outlining what the manufacturer will do if there are certain problems with the vehicle. This is a warranty against defects."


The other factor to consider is:

fixed within a reasonable time

Reasonable isn’t defined. Based on risks, if a defibrillator is a necessary device (such as for a doctor or hospital) or a voluntary device in a very low risk workplace (such as for a workplace on the off chance of needing it) will determine what a reasonable time is. If your workplace requires it as necessary device due to risks, a month to wait for a replacement battery could be seen as being unreasonable (unacceptable), while a voluntary type device a month may be seen as being reasonable. With potential safety devices, reasonable times will be difficult to assess as each situation will be different, along with risks of not having the device available.


I see two problems here.

  1. The above quoted text. In the 21st century and we are still designing stuff to generate waste unnecessarily? Rechargeable batteries would be nicer, but if not …

  2. Why can’t they use vaguely standard batteries that can be sourced in Australia and around the world?

This is after all a safety-critical device, in the event that it does actually have to be used.

I can feel a law suit coming on if someone died because the defibrillation unit was out of action because it didn’t have a battery.

I guess a couple of months every 4 years isn’t terrible and hopefully the next time the battery needs replacing perhaps the supply chain disruptions will be a distant memory and you won’t have to wait months.


Pandemic supply chain issues are real so could be just delays. As to warranty I can imagine it would be painful. I recently purchased a defibrillator as well - Heartsine Samaritan 500P Marine Combo. But made sure to buy within Australia but checking the retailer I got it from, they’re out of stock too so could be general supply chain issues

**** OUT OF STOCK** National supply shortage. Pre Order now to secure your order for delivery early June 2022. As Australia’s largest supplier, we are taking orders now**. 350p & 360p Models are available on sale now !!

It’s meant to have 8yr warranty and coincidentally like yours comes with 4yr battery/pad life replacements @AUD$200-210 for battery/pad integrated Apparently, if the Heartsine unit is used for an actual event to save a life, then you can contact them for a free replacement battery/pad. Will have to see if that policy holds up over time!

Was curious so checked my pad/battery’s specs

Disposable single use combined battery and defibrillation electrode
Check expiry date*
0.44 lbs (0.2kg)
Lithium Manganese Dioxide (LiMnO2) 18V
60 shocks at 200J or 6 hours of continuous monitoring

@billie what brand/model defibrillator did you get? If it’s a life saving device, probably worth getting a 2nd unit too if the workspace has a lot of people?

edit: oh you mention easy to use, has your unit already been used? Not sure of your model but with Heartsine Samaritan 500P, the pad/battery is one use only so you’re meant to replace it after one use. I believe the idea is once the battery is depleted somewhat, it may not last that 4yrs so prematurely would not work after first use and a long idle time of years.


I don’t know if medical equipment has to have batteries of a particular standard, but generally I agree with the sentiment, why yet aother type of rechargeable battery! It’s like Battery drills, I have gone back to corded drills as I have to replace the entire drill each time the batteries run out as they tend to be obsolete.

Understood, but the battery didn’t last 4 years, it lasted 2 years in our possession and it’s been 4 months now, with no end in sight, just another promise. We’ve tried to be reasonable all the way through and don’t want to flame our supplier who is at the mercy of the importer and OEM.


Supply chain issues, yes it’s why we’ve been patient, but I thought I’d mention it here in case anyone else had a similar experience and what options might be available. I get it that in the scheme of things, Australia is well down the totempole. It was annoying though to find the supplier immediately went to the “no warranty” statement until we sent them a copy of the statement in the manual.

In your defib unit, the manufactuturer makes this statement about the battery/pad warranty - “The Pad-Pak and Pediatric-Pak warranty extends to the expiry date stated on the pack.” So you do have warranty like I do, and it would probably be the same case if it failed early - no supply.

Defibtech Lifeline View Pack - approx $3K US made but supplied locally. Just looking at the site of the local reseller, they don’t even have it on their site except to “buy now”. It has a 5 year unit warranty and a 4 year battery warranty. We noticed the pads had expired and while the supplier had those, we now have new pads aging away and still no battery.

My staff convinced management to get it to complete our First Aid, safety fitout - it was renewed around that time and this was in 2020, just prior to covid outbreak #1.

It has not been used and the battery is meant to be good for 100 uses. Pretty sure you have to replace the pads though after each use.


I hear ya. It’s blind faith that must have to believe these batteries last their claimed lifetimes. I re-read my unit’s manual, they do say you should have a spare 2nd battery/pad pack too. I guess probably need to space them around 18-24 months apart for better coverage?


I was planning to mention that earlier, as a WPH&S risk assessment for cases where a defibrillator is an essential item in the workplace, would have contingencies to ensure it was functional at all times. Not only a spare battery be a minimum (or backup power supply such as a genset), there would be regular testing regimes to ensure both installed and spare batteries, were in good operating condition.

It is likely to be the responsibility of the employer to have a functional defibrillator, if a defibrillator was found to be an essential item in that workplace.

As the manual advises of a (functioning) backup/spare battery, an employer needs to ensure that their risks are effectively managed.

This is a separate issue to the life of a battery.


Yeah, my manual says my unit will auto test itself once a week and alert if there are issues.

The SAM 500P performs a self test routine at midnight GMT
on Sunday. During this self test period the status light will
blink red. The status light shall return to green on successful
completion of the self test routine. The self-test will take no
longer than 10 seconds to complete.

under Alarms listing

Low battery audible warning (typically 10 discharges remain if stored and maintained in
accordance with HeartSine recommendations), check pads audible warning (alerts the
user of electrode disconnect), status indicator flashes red if self-test fail or when service
required, status indicator flashes green if device ready for use


Possibly so. I didn’t specify against whom the law suit would be commenced. :wink:

It’s not entirely separate - since the crapness of the battery (whether in terms of meeting its 4 year life or in terms of availability of a replacement) could impinge on the legal suitability of the product, if employers actually started getting sued.

While that is a good idea, there are risks in that approach. If you buy a brand new unit and you buy a spare battery at the same time (which on the face of it would be prudent) then the spare may degrade at approximately the same rate as the installed battery. So suddenly after 4 years (or 2 years in the case of the OP) both batteries could be no good. So the spare was useless.

It depends on the battery chemistry (unstated?) and it depends on the maintenance regime that was applied to the spare.

If you could rely on the 4 year lifetime then optimal strategy might be to order a spare after “3” years. You should then have the spare, even allowing for global supply chain disruptions, before the original dies - but the spare still has a good life on it by the time it gets installed.


If the importer really cared about it’s customers, they would pull the battery out of a stock unit.
This is a life saving device!

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As is proper training in use by eg St. John’s.

Am amazed any workplace would have a defib without backup

Millions have been spent on defibrillators in communities around the country eg volunteer fire brigades, which don’t have the resources to keep them in good order. They are attached to isolated fire brigade sheds which are only occasionally visited. Lack of proper thought on where these critical items should be placed. This happens all the time.


Another issue is recalls - Our fire brigade has just had a recall on Philips HeartStart HS1: Faulty Gel Pads that are used in certain defibrillators…


The other point to make is some state health departments/ambulance services suggest you register the location of privately owned defibrillators. The purpose is that most sit idle and could be used to save a life of someone nearby.

Hopefully on registration they provide information on how to maintain a automated external defibrillator (AED) so it is available for use, if and when needed.

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Having a spare battery that ages at the same rate, if you bought at the same time means 2 replacement batteries at $400 each (!) each cycle.

If you stagger buying the batteries and buy one every 2 years, sure that could work, but it relies on a business system that is triggered to buy the battery.

It’s a bit like smoke detectors, they are so reliable, that you don’t have to have backup methods these days, why do we need them for something like this?

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As is proper training in use by eg St. John’s.
Am amazed any workplace would have a defib without backup

A backup unit?

Do you have a Defib at home, backed up with another unit?

There’s 4 of us in this workplace. The workplaces around us, do not have a Defib unit at all, e.g. next door to us has over 60 people, no defib unit.

There’s an argument for backups and coverage sure, but again, like smoke detectors, do you have a backup smoke detector for every smoke detector in your house? The issue has become one of management of resources, not the medical risk. My concern is how many Defib units are out there, failing and now cannot get batteries at a huge investment cost to organisations. When you buy a Defib unit, it’s like buying anything else, you order it you get it you instal it against needing it. To find out that when it fails, it’s not restorable is the problem. If you had a backup, to be honest, it would be in the same position, it fais eventually and becomes useless and the original unit it was backing up, is still useless.

I feel like we’ve all been taken in, by a technology fad … we all were convinced it was the best thing to do for health and safety, and now we’rea ll being left with useless assets.

What we need is a Defib that has a reliable and rechargeable battery that is permanent in the unit for the life of the unit, not the little rechargeable and very expensive ($400 each) battery in the current offerings.

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