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Offline Gary350z

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Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« on: May 24, 2016, 03:27:55 am »
My experience with alkaline AA and AAA batteries is horrible.
Due to battery leakage I have lost a Nikon camera flash $350, a spelling checker $40, a wall thermostat $50, a bathroom scale $30, two wall clocks $20, and a analog multimeter $40. Total loss $530!!!!! :scared:  And that's just what I can remember right know.
The clocks, bathroom scale, and spelling checker were still running fine. :wtf:

I googled this subject and got a massive result. It turns out this is a common occurrence. There are lots of people with experiences very similar to mine.
It turns out all alkaline AA and AAA batteries leak. The brand does not seem to matter.
They even leak just sitting in the package before their expiration date. Their stated 10 year shelf life is a complete joke and a lie.
C and D alkalines don't seem to have a leakage problem, only the AA and AAAs.
Also my research shows this is a relatively recent problem, only showing up in the past 10 to 15 years. It seems like something changed 10 to 15 years ago and now the batteries are crap.

Many knowledgeable people recommended Energizer lithium batteries. They said Energizer lithium batteries never leak.

I now use only Energizer lithium batteries. They are expensive, but there is no other choice.
I guess you could use those eneloop rechargeables, but I don't know much about them. I have heard a lot of people are using them.

Back when I looked up this information, I was so mad I made a record of what I found. It's a bit long but here it is if anyone's interested:

#############################################################################

Leaking Duracell, Energizer,& Rayovac batteries

Duracell, Kaneohe, Hawaii Complaints & Reviews - Leaking batteries
Posted: 2009-12-19 by    gb o 

Kaneohe, Hawaii
United States
 
Hi all,

I want to warn everyone to stay away form Duracell batteries. I have been using Duracell batteries for years and in the past I have been very pleased with the batteries, but not anymore. We have been buying our batteries form Costco and recently I went to start my annual changing of the batteries in various devices and lo and behold I found leaking Duracell batteries not just one and not just in one appliance, but multiples in a variety of different devices. I found the following:

1. Two leaking double AA batteries in a Force FX collector’s edition Light Saber, not easily replaceable. It took me two hours to cleanup the mess it made

2. Two leaking AA batteries in a $ 300.00 R/C car, (for the servos). Fortunately, these were in a battery holder and did no damage to the car itself – time to clean up the mess 30 minutes

3. Two AA batteries in another car remote control, time to clean and repair 2 hours

4. Four leaking AAA batteries in a Minolta SLR camera – time to clean up and repair 2.5 hours.

5. Two leaking AA batteries in a TV remote control, I had to buy a new one of these, (thanks P&G)

6. Three leaking AAA batteries in an X10 remote light controller, it had to go to that great electronic round file in the sky, (again thanks P&G).

I’m still not done. I am going through the house checking everything that takes a battery wall clocks, alarm clock etc.

Cost in my time far 6 hours, (so far) plus the cost of having to replace two pieces of equipment that were total losses and that fact that the other things I was able to cleanup and repair are no longer in the pristine condition I’ve always tried to keep them in. Further, all these batteries were within their acceptable use dates and what’s more other brand batteries that were installed in similar devices at the same time are fine.

Proctor & Gamble huh? gamble is right, they have apparently tried to save money by going with a cheaper manufacturer and it shows.

Not only have they lost a long time customer, but I will be posting this to every complaint board I can find and warning all my friends to stay away from Duracell batteries and will be returning what batteries I have left to Costco if they will take them back.

P&G you are a classic case of penny wise and pound foolish.

Does anybody know of a class action lawsuit in respects to quality issues/leaking problems with Duracell batteries I can join?

BTW the photo shows only some of the bad batteries, I should have kept them all and took picture of them plus the damaged devices before I cleaned/repaired and/or threw them away.

OMG I’m ANGRY!!!

Sincerely,

A FORMER Duracell customer
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Duracell Complaints & Reviews - Leaked
Posted: 2011-08-11 by    P R Suresh Samuel 
 
I had bought 8 DURACELL AA batteries expiring in 2013. I had fixed 4 batteries on my SLR a few weeks back. When I tried to use the camera it was not working. When I opened the battery compartment, I find that the DURACELL batteries have leaked & the camera is damaged beyond repair. I have the other 4 batteries in their original packing & I find that these DURACELL batteries have also leaked. I had made a customer complaint & since P&G wanted to collect the proof & evidences without a commitment, I refused to send the leaked batteries in the original packing & the damaged camera. It is interesting to note from Customer Service that it is the policy of P&G not to share the email ID's of their senior officers for escalating a complaint. Man, if this is the case let us all join & put in some sense that no company can exist without "CUSTOMER SATISFACTION.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Post subject: Posted: Jul Fri 23, 2010 2:57 pm 
Use the PROCELL line and not the "copper-top" line.
At work in the shop, and on our high-def tv remote trucks, we exclusively use the Procells for all our battery operated broadcast equipment; wireless IFB, mixers, wireless mics, etc., and never have had leak issues.
Chuck Schwark,
The Philco Repair Bench
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Post subject: Eveready Energizer Batteries Leaking
Posted: Jul Fri 23, 2010 2:25 pm 
Location: Baltimore, MD, USA 
Recently, I have had two flashlights destroyed by Energizer AAA batteries. The expiration date was 2012. I have had the battery pack of my David Clark headphones damaged by Energizer AA batteries 2013 and just recently, my Nikon Speedlight strobe, very expensive, damaged by Energizer AA batteries 2012. To say the least, I am not happy. Also, I replaced the batteries in my Son-in-law's weather station. They were C batteries and the one had swelled up and was hard to get out. Mind you, all of these devices still worked!!!
Don
-------------------------------------------------------------
 Posted: Jul Fri 23, 2010 3:30 pm 
I prefer not to use Eveready batteries. They can leak long before batteries are bad. If you have Eveready batteries wrap them in plastic. This reduces damage from leakage.
------------------------------------------------------------
Tendency to leak?, January 10, 2009
By A. Wiersch (Lantana, TX USA
Rayovac Alkaline Batteries AA Size
My experience has been that these batteries leak more than other brands like Duracell, Energizer, and Kirkland. And the battery was even dated DEC 2012 (it was Dec 2008 when this happened). I am not buying these anymore.
--------------------------------------------------------
Rayovac leaks!, January 1, 2011
By Mr Tweedy (Cornfield County, USA)
Rayovac Alkaline Batteries AA Size
I've used all the major brands of alkaline batteries and they all leak, but Rayovac batteries leak sooner than others. Why are Rayovac batteries so much cheaper than the other brands? I'm guessing that it is not because of their superiority in manufacturing productivity. More likely, they use a thinner metal casing that corrodes faster. No more Rayovac for me!

#############################################################################

Here's the  info I found on lithium batteries.

Thread: Lithium vs. Alkaline AA batteries...leaking potential
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02-02-2012, 08:38 AM #2 ragweed
I have had several Alkalines leak over the years. Switched to Lithiums & never had a problem with them. Eneloops are worry free also.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
02-02-2012, 08:39 AM #3 Helmut.G
I've never heard of a Lithium AA leaking.
btw, never buy zinc-carbon batteries. They are often called "heavy duty" or "super heavy duty" and are a few cents cheaper than alkaline, but they suck.
They leak much more than alkaline, they have less capacity, way way less power, they just suck.
The only reason they're still being manufactured is people trying to save a few cents.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
02-02-2012, 10:03 AM #4 varmint
Question: Is a lithium battery safe in any device that uses alkaline? (same size batteries) (aaa)

02-02-2012, 10:11 AM #5 Helmut.G
No. Lithiums have a higher resting voltage as well as voltage under load and are capable of giving an electrical consumer much, much more power.
Some devices are designed to work with batteries in a way that relies on the battery's weakness and can't handle the power.
But most properly designed devices shouldn't have problems.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
02-02-2012, 01:00 PM #6 NeonLights
I've had countless flashlights (mostly Maglites) and other electronic devices ruined over the years from leaking alkalines. I still use alkalines in some devices, like remote controls, calculators and other devices that get used frequently, and are likely to have the batteries replaced within 6-8 months anyways. For most of my AAA and AA flashlights, especially those that stay in our cars for emergency use and are subject to temperature extremes, and my sit for 2-3 years with minimal use, I always use Energizer lithium cells. I've never had a lithium AA or AAA leak in the 8-10 years I've been using them. I did have one vent in a single AA Infinity Ultra a few years back, but no harm was done to the light,
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
02-02-2012, 09:48 PM #7 angelofwar
Lithiums, as a rule, do not leak. If you buy a light, chekc the packaging etc. to see if it takes them. Sometimes they will list it on te package. If not, you may or may not fry the electronics. I think I fried two of my Inova X1's this way. But, as stated, a properly built item should be able to handle the initial higher voltage. The lithiums are great for leaving them in your items for extended periods, and knowing they will work. I left lithiums in my Insight M4 for 5-6 years, and it always worked like a champ.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
02-03-2012, 12:21 AM #9 angelofwar
Stick with the lithiums N/A and you should be good...yes, alkalines still leak...alot!
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02-03-2012, 12:41 AM #10 ZMZ67
I have never had lithium batteries leak and use them in almost all my AA and AAA lights.Alkalines have leaked repeatedly for me,especially in flashlights.Alkalines seem to be better in low draw devices like remote controls but the leak potential is still there.Some lights/devices may not be able to stand the extra power of lithium AA/AAA so as A.O.W. stated check the packaging /specs.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
02-03-2012, 01:42 PM #11 vali
For me is just simple:
- Lithium AA for those lights that will probably not be used in a lot of time (more than 1 year): Emergency lights, car keychain...
- Eneloops (or any other NiMH LSD) for those lights you use more.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
02-05-2012, 03:10 PM #12 fnj
I have NEVER seen a report of an Energizer L91/L92 or Eneloop leaking under ANY conditions, nor a confirmed and believable report of an L91/L92 (or Eneloop, obviously) causing damage to any apparatus rated for alkalines.

#############################################################################

Well that was pretty long. :phew:
Does anybody have similar experiences?

Bye for now,
Gary
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 03:52:16 am »
I've only seen batteries leak when they were abused by drawing excessive current and overheating. I've never seen a battery leak under normal use conditions in properly designed hardware.
Alex
 

Offline Gary350z

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 03:56:07 am »
I've only seen batteries leak when they were abused by drawing excessive current and overheating. I've never seen a battery leak under normal use conditions in properly designed hardware.

It happens to alkaline AA and AAAs all the time. Even when still in package and before expiration date. :--
 

Online coppice

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2016, 03:57:29 am »
When alkaline cells were introduced one of the big selling points was no leakage. Now every make seems to leak, and they often don't take very long to do it.
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2016, 04:19:29 am »
Maybe some of its handling - if a box of retail packs of cells has been dropped, its possible that some of the cell seals may have slightly cracked. 

I've got 26 discharged Kodak Extralife cells waiting to go to recycling here at the moment, (a mix of AA and AAA) and two are showing the first signs of leakage - a slightly discoloured sleeve with in one case 'fuzzyness' at the edge of the sleeve.  Both failed cells were a few months short of their expiry date.   Neither had leaked enough to damage any equipment and I haven't lost anything to leaking Kodak cells as far back as I can remember, but then I don't put short date cells in anything valuable that sits on the shelf for long.

YMMV as there are some absolutely horrible reviews out there.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 04:26:43 am by Ian.M »
 

Offline MrSlack

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2016, 04:20:42 am »
I've had Duracell's and energizers leaking galore. Total crap. On the other hand, GP Ultra not once. Purely anecdotal but a data point.
 

Offline Cubdriver

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2016, 07:01:54 am »
Duracells certainly no longer live up to their name.  I've had plenty leak and damage things over the past few years; far more than ever caused problems 15 or more years ago.  Waaay back in the day I can barely recall ANY ever leaking - now they crap out and puke on things well before their 'expiration' dates, and do this in things that are completely OFF when they're off, so it's not that the batteries are being depleted by dark current drawn by a device that's not truly off.

I've since switched to Energizers and thus far had better luck, though at this point my sample size on them is still very limited so it's too early to draw conclusions.

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

Online splin

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2016, 07:26:17 am »
Did the change to mercury free formulations 20 years or so ago make a difference? FWIW the worst leakage I've had lately have been Duracell AA's in a Brother label printer after not much use. I've not had much leakage at all from lots of AA and AAA batteries but I hardly ever use the big brands - mostly cheap IKEA and READYCELLs which cost 10 to 15p each.

I have some unused Panasonic D cells (kept in a wardrobe so no temperature extremes) of which over half have leaked - not good. They have an expiry date of april 2003 however so perhaps not so bad. I tested one of the good cells a couple of years ago and it still had a capacity of over 12Ah with a load of 100mA. Pretty good for a 15+ year old battery. Especially as that one had seen some use in a bicyle lamp many years ago!
 

Online CatalinaWOW

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2016, 08:36:15 am »
I have only observed one example of a AA or AAA cell leaking in the package.  That battery had been stored in an automobile in southern Arizona for several years.  No other cases.  Not any brand, from the el cheapos provided with Harbor Freight Tools up through the premium brands.

Nearly all of them, in all sizes and all brands, will leak if allowed to discharge well below 1 volt.  Unfortunately I have quite a few examples of this.  I don't know what exactly what the voltage threshold is, but do know that if you leave a cell in a low power device for a few months after the device will no longer power up on the cells the odds of leaking are high.  I suspect that this is essentially what happened in the single case of cells leaking in the package.  The high self discharge resulting from the high temperatures in the car brought the voltage down below the threshold.

I am not discounting your experience, just pointing out that mine has been different.
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2016, 09:20:09 am »
I've had Duracell's and energizers leaking galore. Total crap. On the other hand, GP Ultra not once. Purely anecdotal but a data point.

Given that counterfeiting is the new normal it's possible that the ones you're had problems with were. GP, on the other hand, are a decent brand but without the brand recognition that leads to counterfeiting. I personally use GP and Duracell Procell/Industrial bought in bulk from reliable suppliers, I've had no problems with either.
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Offline nogood

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2016, 10:14:30 am »
Leaking batteries suck. Sometimes the corrosive electrolyte works it's way through the hardware after some years...
I had to repair a carbon contact on a Sony ICF-7600D with silverbearing laquer, but I never had leaking batteries in there.
(On opening it some old damage was visible)

That said, I had maybe 1 leaking pair of batteries in the last 2-3 Years.
Even the totally dead ones in my TI calculators (Voyage 200 and 84 plus, which draw ~5mA standby!) had not leaked, after over a year of not using it.
And even if they had, that would have been my fault, because I did not remove them.

Your mileage may vary (which it does apparently).
I also do not buy expensive batteries, mainly cheap ones from supermarkets for around ~1,90€ per 8 AA cells

Edit: If part of the problem are fakes going around, then you should presumably be safe by buying vendor branded stuff, which is proven to be good.
All the cheap supermarket and ikea batteries (which I still have to test) are probably bought in bulk directly at the factory branded with whatever the buyer wants.
So I dont't think that anyone wants to counterfeit german supermarket chain batteries (which are already cheap) for profit.
Maybe Ikea is a different story, as are Energizer and Duracell obviously (the latter ones with good profit margin on counterfeiting too).
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 11:02:10 am by nogood »
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2016, 10:16:51 am »
Yes, alkaline batteries leak.

I think the reason leaking batteries are seen more often recently is that the newer "high power" formulations are more leak prone than the simple, ordinary formulations that preceded them.

Ironically, if you buy the big name brands with big marketing claims on them like "high power", "high performance", etc. you are more likely to experience leaking.

On the other hand, if you buy lower cost alkaline batteries from the dollar store with brand names like Sunbeam, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, Sanyo they are much less likely to leak.

The usual cause of leakage is gas bubbles forming inside the battery that raise the internal pressure and squeeze electrolyte out through the seals. This seams much more common with the "high performance" formulations.

I use Sunbeam brand batteries in clocks and remotes. I use Eneloops in everything else. I haven't seen a Sunbeam battery leak yet (but there could always be a first time).
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Offline Cubdriver

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2016, 11:17:02 am »
Yes, alkaline batteries leak.

I think the reason leaking batteries are seen more often recently is that the newer "high power" formulations are more leak prone than the simple, ordinary formulations that preceded them.

Ironically, if you buy the big name brands with big marketing claims on them like "high power", "high performance", etc. you are more likely to experience leaking.

On the other hand, if you buy lower cost alkaline batteries from the dollar store with brand names like Sunbeam, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, Sanyo they are much less likely to leak.

The usual cause of leakage is gas bubbles forming inside the battery that raise the internal pressure and squeeze electrolyte out through the seals. This seams much more common with the "high performance" formulations.

I use Sunbeam brand batteries in clocks and remotes. I use Eneloops in everything else. I haven't seen a Sunbeam battery leak yet (but there could always be a first time).

Hopefully you haven't inspired Mr. Murphy to action with that comment!   :o 

I'll have to look into some of the less mainstream brands next time I need batteries.

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

Offline BravoV

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2016, 11:30:50 am »
I've only seen batteries leak when they were abused by drawing excessive current and overheating. I've never seen a battery leak under normal use conditions in properly designed hardware.

Really ? I let these photos speak for it self.

Btw, does Fluke 287 considered as a "non" proper designed hardware ?

These photos were taken at Oct 2013, watch the battery's expiry date and the damaged at the fluke's terminal.  :--

Fyi, the Fluke 287 battery indicator was displaying "full battery" when these cells were inserted, so go figure.  :palm:






Offline Cerebus

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2016, 11:54:31 am »

I'll have to look into some of the less mainstream brands next time I need batteries.


Look out for GP (Gold Peak). Not only do they make decent batteries but they do good datasheets for them too - very helpful if you're designing something with an unfamiliar size battery.
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Online coppice

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2016, 12:41:31 pm »
I've had Duracell's and energizers leaking galore. Total crap. On the other hand, GP Ultra not once. Purely anecdotal but a data point.
Duracells leak. Energizers leak. GPs leak. Panasonics leak. Fakes leak. Originals leak. There are plenty of fakes of all four of those brands, and I'm not sure they are any worse than the originals. I no longer know of any alkaline cells which can be trusted not to leak.

Its 32C-35C for more than half the year where I live. I wonder if people in cooler climates have less trouble?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 01:09:38 pm by coppice »
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2016, 01:02:38 pm »
AA and AAA alkalines leak all over the place. I've had them destroy all kinds of equipment, even those that spend their entire life indoors and away from any heat sources. It doesn't matter. It's only a matter of time before they destroy another electronic device.

I finally got so sick and tired of it that I switched to using only NiMH batteries in devices that require AA or AAA cells. No more problems. It's probably better practice to use rechargeable batteries, anyway, instead of disposable ones.
Life is better under the TEA. ♪♩♫ Under the TEA. ♩♫
 

Offline Mastrofski

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2016, 01:50:14 pm »
I'm surprised to see that people are having issues with Duracells. All Alkaline batteries leak, but it was my understanding that Duracell built their alkalines on the larger side of the IEC tolerance in order for the battery to leak on the inside of the can as opposed to on the battery holder contacts.
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2016, 03:12:07 pm »
Duracells leak as much as the others. I once sent a device that was killed by Duracell batteries to Duracell to see what they'd do and they had it replaced. In addition, they gave me some coupons for...you guessed it, more Duracell batteries. *sigh*
Life is better under the TEA. ♪♩♫ Under the TEA. ♩♫
 

Online coppice

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2016, 03:37:37 pm »
There is a comment on the Panasonic site http://www.panasonic.com/global/consumer/battery/primary_batteries/technologies.html that says
Quote
GUARANTEED TO LAST 10 YEARS* IN STORAGE

Panasonic Alkaline cells feature advanced Anti-Leak Protection that suppresses gas buildup when a battery is over-discharged or stored for a long period. Less pressure means less chance rupture, even in toys that are lost or forgotten for long periods.

* When unused and properly stored. 9 V batteries excepted.

As long as alkaline cells are all based around the same basic chemistry is there any reason to think none of them can leak. If the manufacturer claims 10 years and no leakage (when stored properly) and still always says to not leave batteries in devices that are left idle for long periods, then surely that is just a way of saying they will eventually leak in normal use.
The Panasonic alkaline cells that came with our Daikin air cons (and so presumably genuine) leaked in every remote control, and corroded the terminals.
 

Offline Augustus

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2016, 06:04:06 pm »
Its 32C-35C for more than half the year where I live. I wonder if people in cooler climates have less trouble?

I'm to stingy to buy the big name brands so I can't say anything about them but the cheap ALDI alkalines (20 cent per cell) hold up quite well. I've never had one leak on me. Does anyone know who's the manufacturer of them? Though it's quite cold here compared to your place, maybe that's the reason for it  ;D

Greetings from the Black Forest, Germany
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2016, 07:20:59 pm »
I think those are units from the big names that didn't meet the spec. Ikea does this too, I've noticed slight change in details around the sealing and size of the terminals.

I use a lot of duracell industrial, never has one leaked. Not when I was looking, but they are good up to 2022.
 

Offline alank2

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2016, 11:54:31 pm »
Like many things, the quality has gone DOWN and price has stayed the same or gone UP.  Duracells used to have a very good track record of not leaking, because, it was very rare for them to leak.  Now that they are made in China, guess what, they leak just as badly as all the others.  Doesn't Duracell still sell BOTH a chinese version and a US version?  Not that i would be surprised for the US version to also leak now too.  It is best to use Eneloops in things you care about if possible.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2016, 12:05:13 am »
I have had pretty much every brand of alkaline leak.  Fewer with energizer and duracell but have had some.   I have had rayovac and radio shack leak still in the packaging and quit buying either a long time ago.

I have had radio shack, rayovac, and one other brand of NiMH leak as well.

One of the original letters where they had duracell leak in their SLR, they should have never put alkalines in there, cameras and any other high tech gear should always have eneloops.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2016, 12:07:38 am »
The Duracell industrial say "made in Thailand". Which is different from China.
Some silicon vendors abandoned Chinese fabs because of poor quality and lack of mindset for improvement.
 


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