Author Topic: Duracell battery leak  (Read 12808 times)

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Online ipman

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Duracell battery leak
« on: July 09, 2011, 02:35:22 AM »
I have a weather station, uses 2 standard AA batteries. They were Duracell brand.
Today it switched off, removed the batteries and one of them leaked, the other is just fine.
I took some pictures with a macro lens for your viewing pleasure of the afthermath.

Still: I do not understand where it was manufactured. In English: USA, in French: in EU  :) (see the last picture).
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 02:57:51 AM by ipman »
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Offline saturation

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 04:31:10 AM »
Youch!  Pretty sad, but alkaline cells at times leak, some brands far far more than others. 

I recall Japanese and German branded batteries from the 1970s-1990s pretty much never leaked.  I found a few in long forgotten devices, and they are still intact but dead.  But one rare set made by Casio has been in my calculator since 1976, yes, over 30+ years, and still powers my calculator, today.  Materials and worksmanship are so fine, that it looks as good today as it did 30 years ago when new.  Something no one does for just AA batteries, when they do eventually die I'll keep them as example of AA cell perfection.









« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 04:32:48 AM by saturation »
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alm

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2011, 04:52:12 AM »
EU in French means États Unis, United States.

Don't the big brands offer some sort of warranty against damage due to leakage?
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 05:17:06 AM »
Definably I am out of warranty, but the battery died loaded with power,
in my attempt to remove the clip, and measure it up with my battery tester !!

Made in EC and not États Unis..  :)

The Energizer AA that came with my Fluke 28II, they are made in États Unis.
And I did commented to Fluke, that they should had made the battery cover, by clear plastic,
so to be able to tell about leakage with out removing six screws !!

With the new Fluke 28II/EUR , they had their chance to add something like that,
an updated battery cover, but I do not think that they did it.

Even if in the past, they had made an 87III ( If I remember correctly) totally from clear plastic.     

   
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 05:19:15 AM by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline bilko

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 07:06:38 AM »
I too have had Duracell batteries leak. It has now become a common problem with this brand. Google it and you will find many cases. I don't know what has happened to the quality or quality control but they are vastly inferior to batteries manufactured even two or three years ago. Regarding the warranty, they have a get out clause that allows them to repair or replace damaged items 'at their discretion'.
 

Online ipman

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2011, 05:10:40 PM »
Duracell is not represented in my country unfortunatelly. And it may not be cost effective to give them back batteries for replacement, it will cost me more than new ones.
As for the device powered by them, it does not seem to be much damage, apart from some blue leak at anode and black at catode.
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Offline orbiter

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2011, 10:52:07 PM »
I think Duracell's quality has dropped over the past few years as I've had quite a few that have not only failed, but failed and leaked pretty bad too. Plus as Kiri mentions, my batts we not dead either.

Years ago I remember I could open up almost anything with a Duracell batt in it, (in or out of date) and you'd hardly ever see a leaking one.

I remember reading a topic not so long ago regarding the best battery brands (in regards to price and longevity,) and one that came out pretty well we're the Chinese make 'GP Ultra'. Anybody have much experience with those? I've actually bought a few strips of them in the smaller variety's I use the most to try out.
 

Offline FreeThinker

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2011, 11:24:28 PM »
Are you sure the battery leaked? As it is a weather station I assume it is outside. If so could it not be due to moisture?
Machines were mice and Men were lions once upon a time, but now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time.
MOONDOG
 

Offline david77

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 12:19:21 AM »
I've used Varta High Energy Alkaline and Varta Professional exclusively for the past 12 years and have never had issues so far.
We sell Varta primary cells and button cells where I work and I do not recall any problems with leakage or DOA batteries.

We have to take back emtpy batteries for recycling, so there's a big cardboard box sitting in the store with all sorts of dead
batteries in it. I put it on a plastic tray thingy because the battery juice starts leaking from the bottom of the box and makes
horrible stains on the floor.
 

Online ipman

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2011, 04:16:13 AM »
The weather station has the "sensor" outside and the display unit inside. This battery was powering the inside unit, moisture was not excessive because it it is our bedroom.
I can be sure to rule out the moisture, because the other battery (the unit is powered by 2AA) had not leaked. Both were brand-new and they were put in service at the same moment, as recomended.
Wife hates words like Fluke, Ersa ...
 

Offline AB9GO

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2011, 06:07:29 AM »
  I have had Duracell batteries leak in several devices.  Duracell = over advertised over priced crap brought to you by Proctor and Gamble.  Every product P&G sells is new and improved every 6 months!  Batteries are not soap!

  I use the Fuji, ?Panasonic and Eveready Gold brands and no more leakage!  The best way to clean Alkaline battery ??"juice" is with a cotton swab and vinegar.  The connectors will in most cases clean up like new unlike ?the old carbon zinc bats that consumed the battery holders beyond repair.  I'd rather clean 10 alkaline ?battery leaks than one carbon zinc.?

Randy AB9GO

 

Offline bilko

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2011, 09:00:46 PM »
Surprise today, I looked at my ships clock and it had just stopped half an hour ago. So I went to remove the old battery and replace it with a new one.
Another example of the poor quality construction that will destroy the Duracell brand name. If anybody has these batteries in their equipment, please check because they are not what they used to be. Bye Bye Duracell, you have lost another customer !!


Edit:
The battery was made in EC if anybody is interested
« Last Edit: September 24, 2011, 09:03:13 PM by yachtronics »
 

Offline nukie

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2011, 10:52:08 PM »
Yes Varta is awesome! One of my reliable cell.
 

Offline ErikTheNorwegian

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2011, 10:05:51 PM »
We do sell as a dealer, Duracell here in Norway, and we had some customer over the years (20 years..), that had leakage in batteries, and Duracell [email protected] has always, when conatected given very good response and helpt the customer i the best ways.
But, thats here, we got very strict cunsumer rights.

But on their websidte they clearly state:

If you're not completely satisfied with a Duracell product, contact us.

All of our batteries are guaranteed against defects in material and workmanship. Should any device be damaged by these batteries due to such defects, we will either repair or replace it if it is sent with the batteries. Send with postage prepaid to:

Duracell
Berkshire Corporate Park
Bethel, CT, 06801
Att: Consumer Dept.


On top of this site there is a selctor for country.
With lockal contacts.

http://www.pg.com/en_US/contact_us/index.shtml


If You live in Romania, is Duracell is sold tru the Moldovia office,
and You could try to conatct:

Unigrup
att. Andrei Hiora
Str. Uzinelor, 9
Kishinev 2039
Moldova

I recond they can help You with a refound of losses.


Or with [email protected] in Romaina

Procter & Gamble Marketing Romania S.R.L
Blvd. Dimitrie Pompeiu 9 - 9A, Building 2A,
Sector 2, Bucuresti, 020335, Romania
Direct Dial #: +40 21 301 1110, Direct Dial Fax: +40 21 319 8392
(de la statia de metrou Pipera, traversati strada si mergeti in partea dreapta)

S.C. Detergenti S.A.
5 Stan Vidrighin Street, 1900 Timisoara, Romania
Direct Dial #: +40 256 300300, Direct Dial Fax: +40 256 222002


Good luck
« Last Edit: September 26, 2011, 10:46:01 PM by ErikTheNorwegian »
 

Offline bilko

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2011, 10:41:50 PM »
Thanks for the contact details. I have managed to clean the mess off the battery contacts and washed down the battery housing.

I'd rather not go down the line of making a claim and will avoid that experience by using other brands such as Energizer or Eveready that I have had no problems with.

My fluke 77 meter came with a Eveready Classic battery in 1999. I removed the battery a few years ago and still have it in my possession. It is flat and has still not leaked 12 years after its expiry date. That battery was made in China by the way.

 

Offline saturation

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2011, 02:49:10 AM »
As an side, since the leak is rich in K-0H, a spritz of vinegar will neturalize it and help clean out the contaminants.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline bilko

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2011, 05:11:47 AM »
As an side, since the leak is rich in K-0H, a spritz of vinegar will neturalize it and help clean out the contaminants.
Thanks for the tip.

I have bought equipment with GP batteries pre-installed, never had a problem with these either. So anybody know why expensive Duracell batteries leak and most cheap Chinese ones don't ?
 

Offline ErikTheNorwegian

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2011, 05:31:36 AM »
What could, be the case, is that there are a LOT of fake duracell batteries around. I bought some batteries for my dive light in Egyptsome years ago, looked like Panasonic batteries, but was indeed Panasoanic !!
It became a night dive in tru words..


From. http://www.southwark.gov.uk/info/200098/trading_standards/1777/anti-counterfeiting/4

Fake Duracell battery alert

Consumers are advised to beware bargain Duracell batteries as inferior counterfeits are still being found on sale in the borough.

The nationwide problem has been ongoing for some years now and we have seized over 2,500 batteries from small independent shops and market stalls. The problem is often caused by retailers buying their stock from casual street hawkers with no paperwork.

Only four packs of AA and AAA size batteries are affected. The fakes perform very poorly and often leak, possibly ruining the products they are supposed to be powering and potentially causing acid burns to the skin.

The easiest way of checking what you have is to examine the cardboard outer packaging. On fakes the front and back are poorly stuck together and comes apart easily. Genuine products will have a grey/brown recyclable card construction whereas the fakes use white card.

Anyone who believes they may have bought counterfeit batteries should return them to the place where they bought them for a refund and to contact Trading Standards.

Retailers are advised to remove and re-cycle any counterfeits immediately as dealing in them is a serious offence under the Trade Marks Act. Battery re-cycling facilities are available at Manor Place depot. They are also advised to only buy stock from reputable established wholesalers as buying from other sources increases the chance that the goods sold will be fakes.

and from the  Washington Post

"Counterfeits often have blurred or ripped labels; product names misspelled; contents, color, smell or packaging wrong. Trainer says he saw counterfeit Duracell batteries for sale at local supermarkets and drugstores recently. He turned the package over, he said, "and the word 'China' was misspelled.""
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 05:35:42 AM by ErikTheNorwegian »
 

Online IanB

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2011, 06:03:52 AM »
I have bought equipment with GP batteries pre-installed, never had a problem with these either. So anybody know why expensive Duracell batteries leak and most cheap Chinese ones don't ?
Well, first you need to understand why alkaline batteries leak. Leaking most commonly occurs when gas bubbles are generated inside the battery, raising the internal pressure and forcing the electrolyte out through the seals. Alkaline battery designers are aware of this, and from the beginning they included components to absorb the gas and prevent it building up.

Next you need to understand what the marketing folks think drives sales, which is power. The design of a battery is a balance between various factors like shelf life, capacity, resistance to gas formation, manufacturing cost and power output. It happens that there is only so much room inside the casing of the battery and if you want to get more power to satisfy the marketing folks you have to sacrifice other things. One of the things to get sacrificed is protection against gas bubbles. So a side effect of high power formulations is a greater tendency to gas formation and therefore a greater tendency to leakage.

Ironically, therefore, you have the situation that the cheaper, ordinary alkaline battery formulations based on traditional technology are often less likely to leak than the expensive, proprietary, high power formulations.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 02:14:17 PM by IanB »
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Offline Conrad Hoffman

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2011, 01:56:24 PM »
To add to what IanB says, the nature and construction of an alkaline battery makes it more likely to leak, especially if you let it go dead. Doesn't matter who makes it, dead alkalines will destroy whatever you put them in. Unless you need the peak current capability, there is no good reason to use alkalines. If the device doesn't have a motor and doesn't run the battery down in a day or two, or is used intermittently, use plain heavy duty batteries. The chance of leakage is far less and you'll save money. At low current draw there isn't that much difference in total available energy, at least not enough to offset the cost. If you pay a lot of money for a brand name, you'll get a brand name, but the battery won't be much better. It could be worse. I think the alkalines do perform better in the cold for weather stations and such, but you might also check into lithiums.
 

Online BravoV

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2011, 02:27:58 PM »
When at the field, especially quite remote one, sometimes shit happened, and you don't have the luxury on choosing what kind of battery you like, and you just had to live with the option that was available there, such as crappy replacement battery.

Just curious at the leaked fluid, since its corrosive, I'm thinking if the battery's compartment is designed and made totally shielded/leak proof at least into the internal circuit, while the terminal is made from say gold plated or other metal that won't get corroded by that particular alkaline leaked fluid/acid, will this solve this kind of problem ?

I'm no expert on this chemistry thing, say we ignore the discussion on cost for that kind of terminal and compartment, just wondering if it is possible solution for leaked alkaline ? Cause all we need is just clean up the compartment and maybe few wetted wipes on the left over residue at the terminal, then its good to go again like new.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 02:30:55 PM by BravoV »
 

Online IanB

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2011, 02:38:10 PM »
Just curious at the leaked fluid, since its corrosive, I'm thinking if the battery's compartment is designed and made totally shielded/leak proof at least into the internal circuit, while the terminal is made from say gold plated or other metal that won't get corroded by that particular alkaline leaked fluid/acid, will this solve this kind of problem ?

I'm no expert on this chemistry thing, say we ignore the discussion on cost for that kind of terminal and compartment, just wondering if it is possible solution for leaked alkaline ? Cause all we need is just clean up the compartment and maybe few wetted wipes on the left over residue at the terminal, then its good to go again like new.
The leaked fluid is mainly potassium hydroxide, which is fairly corrosive to many metals and also human skin. In particular it will eat aluminium voraciously, which is bad for metal flashlight tubes. I think stainless steel might be one of the better choices for resisting corrosion, but expensive of course. The leaked stuff will eventually react with carbon dioxide in the air to make a dry white powder that sticks hard. Simple wet wipes won't work all that well, but vinegar as mentioned above will help.
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Online BravoV

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2011, 03:00:30 PM »
The leaked fluid is mainly potassium hydroxide, which is fairly corrosive to many metals and also human skin. In particular it will eat aluminium voraciously, which is bad for metal flashlight tubes. I think stainless steel might be one of the better choices for resisting corrosion, but expensive of course. The leaked stuff will eventually react with carbon dioxide in the air to make a dry white powder that sticks hard. Simple wet wipes won't work all that well, but vinegar as mentioned above will help.

From experience, its obvious that the fluid will never eat the plastic surface like the compartment, a few bumps or scrap over the residue at the plastic surface usually is adequate to clean it up, while at terminals, as long they never get corroded chemically, I think using screw driver or sharp cutter to scrap and scratch out those stuck residue at the contact point should be enough. Of course better or complete clean up can be done later in the right environment. Btw, I'm talking about tough and harsh environment for portable instrument here.

I would say it possible to design such thing especially for expensive hand held instrument where the batteries usually installed in parallel that is easier to clean up than the tube style like in the flashlight.

« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 03:07:31 PM by BravoV »
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2011, 08:15:48 PM »
I got a pack of 24 AAA Duracell Ultra batteries from RS components in NZ a few months back and some of those leaked.
I doubt RS were selling fake batteries, at least not intentionally.

The 24 pack was cheap for Duracell brand, so maybe Duracell have lowered their quality.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 08:19:48 PM by Psi »
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Offline bilko

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Re: Duracell battery leak
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2011, 08:29:34 PM »
I got a pack of 24 AAA Duracell Ultra batteries from RS components in NZ a few months back and some of those leaked.
I doubt RS were selling fake batteries, at least not intentionally.

The 24 pack was cheap for Duracell brand, so maybe Duracell have lowered their quality.
I buy my batteries from recognised high street stores. They never leaked before, I agree, Duracell must have implemented some cost cutting exercise and sacrificed quality. I remember batteries used to leak in the '70s but that was cheap Chinese brands, however they have all improved, except Duracell who have gone back to the '70s. It's not the first time that this has happened with Duracell batteries recently. I had a maglite LED torch that took 3AAA cells, they leaked too.
 


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