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View Full Version : Batteries, batteries, and damn batteries...



Shadow Lord
March 15th, 2014, 09:27 AM
So,

I went to use my flashlight and it wouldn't turn on. Okay battery must be dead. Tried opening the lid so I can chance the batteries and it is stuck shut tight! WTF? Finally after a bit of work with pliers and clamps I get it open (this is a high quality flashlight with an all metal handle). Battery leakage all over the place! I tried cleaning it out but it is nigh impossible. The batteries in there were only a couple of years old and I was using Duracell Pro line batteries. I check my other devices and just about everyone of the "Pro" batteries has had leakage and damage to equipment.

I know we see this on computer equipment all the time so a few questions:

1. Anyone have a good way for cleaning the mess? My search of the forums seems to indicate no...
2. Anyone have experience with Lithium AA/AAA batteries? Since they have a 15 year shelf life are they less likely to leak?

TIA!

Caluser2000
March 15th, 2014, 09:50 AM
I've been using a set of 4 Everready AA NiMH rechargable batteries in rotation for quite a few years now without a hint of trouble.

If it's not too bad a scrub with a small nylon bottle bush and a milded cleaning compound such as Ataway or similar.

Shadow Lord
March 15th, 2014, 09:57 AM
I've been using a set of 4 Everready AA NiMH rechargable batteries in rotation for quite a few years now without a hint of trouble.

I've used Eneloop rechargeable as well without issue. The problem is in certain devices (e.g. remote control) you really can't wait to find recharged batteries. I use the rechargeable for toys and high frequency discharge items. But things like a flash light which I may need once a year (and in an emergency) I want to have ready to go batteries for. I just hate the idea that my vintage and not so vintage equipment is being damaged by this crap.

Caluser2000
March 15th, 2014, 10:00 AM
I've used Eneloop rechargeable as well without issue. The problem is in certain devices (e.g. remote control) you really can't wait to find recharged batteries. Thats why I have a set in rotation and know exactly where they are.

SomeGuy
March 15th, 2014, 10:19 AM
The batteries in there were only a couple of years old and I was using Duracell Pro line batteries. I check my other devices and just about everyone of the "Pro" batteries has had leakage and damage to equipment.
I think the quality is decreasing. A couple of years ago I got small emergency radio and put some new AA Duracell batteries in it. Went to check it recently, and leakage everywhere!

Compgeke
March 15th, 2014, 11:52 AM
Vinegar works well to clean the battery base (not really acid anymore), it's what I've used to save a couple camera flash units since people never think to remove the batteries before throwing them in storage for 20 years. I also quit using duracell batteries as I had a couple packages of plain Duracel AAs that leaked within 6 months in everything from a small camera to my computer mouse.

While I haven't worked with lithium batteries I have worked with rechargables and they don't tend to leak as much. I do, however, just use the dollar store "Sunbeam" badged batteries in my flash light after putting an LED bulb in it. The batteries tend to be lasting forever without leaks and have a fairly slow self discharge rate.

lutiana
March 15th, 2014, 03:26 PM
I've lost many a flash light to this phenomena. It's annoying. Maglites are especially bad, since when the batteries swell in this, you simply cannot get them out.

Chuck(G)
March 15th, 2014, 05:33 PM
I've not had many out-and-out leaks in my alkalines, but I have had the occasion to have some swell so they can't be removed easily. The last time, I had to disassemble the radio case to get them out.

I store flashlights in the refrigerator. Supposedly extends the life.

wesleyfurr
March 15th, 2014, 06:06 PM
I wonder...are the "heavy duty" non-alkaline type batteries less susceptible to leaking? Seems like alkaline's are usually at fault when there is a leak...but can't say as I've paid enough attention...and normally buy alkalines

Definitely hateful to have batteries leak in anything. Might also be worth investigating manufacturer warranties with regards to battery leakages. Seems to me I read somewhere that one or more of the big names warranties against that sort of thing. Maybe even Radio Shack's batteries have such a guarantee? Of course still largely worthless if they destroy a unique vintage item you can't just go to the store and replace...

Wesley

Shadow Lord
March 15th, 2014, 10:50 PM
I've lost many a flash light to this phenomena. It's annoying. Maglites are especially bad, since when the batteries swell in this, you simply cannot get them out.

DING DING! Exactly my issue.


Vinegar works well to clean the battery base (not really acid anymore)

Thanks, I will try it out. Although in my case some of the damage is permanent as the leakage has already ate through contacts, cases, etc...


I wonder...are the "heavy duty" non-alkaline type batteries less susceptible to leaking?

Well most of my leakage has been in the damned Duracell Pro Line. I am ordering some Energizer Lithiums - not as expensive as I was expecting.... So we will see...

Dwight Elvey
March 16th, 2014, 08:42 PM
Batteries will all eventually leak. It seems the air tight
units like meglites are the worst.
Vinegar will at least neutralize the KOH used as an electrolyte.
It will not remove the various metal salts formed. These
usually require scraping. About a year ago, I had to
repair my pocket meglite for just such a problem.
Dwight

KC9UDX
March 17th, 2014, 07:08 AM
I've lost many a flash light to this phenomena. It's annoying. Maglites are especially bad, since when the batteries swell in this, you simply cannot get them out.

I recently revived a Maglite with this issue. I successfully drilled out the battery cells. I'm not sure I recommend doing that though.

Dwight Elvey
March 17th, 2014, 07:17 AM
If I'm not wrong, lithium cells are 3 volt. It may make
your light a little too bright.
Dwight

Big_GEEKJOHN
March 18th, 2014, 11:27 AM
Have you ever tried Energizer? Just recently I had a couple explode in my maglight. Bye Bye maglight. Went to the store and found out that Energizer is promoting that their batteries are 'leak-proof'. Leak proof my ass.

I am concerned about the other Energizers I have...thinking about switching to another brand. Why would they add this claim unless they are prone to leaking?