### Author Topic: Leaking AA and AAA batteries  (Read 18460 times)

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#### Robaroni

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #100 on: December 15, 2018, 12:05:06 pm »
No Ian, I've tested the uC's down to 1.2 volts before they cut out. So an Alk at 1.45 volts will run my circuit. Again, the lower the operating frequency the lower operating voltage of the circuit AND the lower the current.

But, hey, don't do it, I couldn't care less.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 12:07:06 pm by Robaroni »

#### Gary350z

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #101 on: December 15, 2018, 12:07:41 pm »
Nominal voltage alkalines: ~1.5V
Nominal voltage NiMH: ~1.2V

The "nominal" voltage of a battery is exactly what the word says,  the "named voltage" printed on the side. Dictionary definition: "nominal" = "in name only". A nominal value is not the same as the actual value.

Words have many meanings. The definition I used here is Merriam Webster 3B (see attachment); relating to theoretical size, or approximate, which is what is typically used in engineering. In my example above I used the symbol for approximate (~), which seems to fit this definition and situation. The actual alkaline voltage can range from ~1.6V down to 0.8V (or 0.0V ).

In this case, "nominal" meaning "named voltage", or "theoretical voltage" seem to be both right, even though the battery voltage can vary greatly. Not a big deal.

What surprised me recently is that the Energizer Ultimate Lithium L91 battery spec says it has a nominal voltage of 1.5 Volts, but the application manual says the voltage can range from 1.74V to 1.83V.  (I learned this from this thread. )

This caused a problem for me recently. I have several wireless thermometers and weather stations. The manuals warns against using lithium batteries because they have "to much power" (bad description from the manual writer). This didn't make any sense to me because the thermometers have very low power consumption. The thermometers worked good with the lithium batteries, until recently when I got a new thermometer that would not work with lithium batteries, but worked with alkaline batteries. The higher voltage of the lithiums (1.8V) is too high for the circuitry in that thermometer.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 12:10:06 pm by Gary350z »

#### floobydust

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #102 on: December 15, 2018, 12:38:33 pm »
I have to use lithium batteries in wireless thermometer/weather station transmitters.
It gets too cold during a Canadian winter, alkaline batteries freeze up.

Some wireless transmitters I have killed using low internal resistance batteries or a bench power supply.
I find the fast rise time dV/dt causes the IC to latch up. I had to add a 47R series resistor to stop it.
This might be "too much power".
The voltage didn't matter, I think it's all 3.3V IC's anyhow.

#### MrMobodies

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #103 on: December 16, 2018, 08:38:36 am »
Isopropyl alcohol is not very good for cleaning alkaline battery corrosion. You have to neutralize the white potassium carbonate with an acid. I use a q-tip and vinegar to clean that up, then a rinse with water or alcohol.

Asphalt (bitumen) was originally used as the seal on AA and AAA batteries. It survived the chemicals.
I guess it was expensive or environmentally unfriendly. Kodak AA's used a hard epoxy glue seal and that worked too.
Whatever Duracell uses now is total garbage, they all leak.

Quote
I guess it was expensive or environmentally unfriendly. Kodak AA's used a hard epoxy glue seal and that worked too.
Whatever Duracell uses now is total garbage, they all leak.

So Duracells now are not very environmentally friendly for your electronics as the seals they put on them allow the chemicals to escape and they call it "Duralock" whatever it is. The "lock" in there gives it a new definition of what it does.

I took home, took it apart to spray with alcohol and scrape off any corrosion I can find.

I opened the light and the board and everything inside was corroded.

The alkaline was still in there despite spraying it with alcohol and scraping it many times

Maybe you have learned from experience, but this is not the right way to clean leaky battery damage. You need to use the best universal solvent--water--and lots of it. You need to rinse with copious amounts of distilled water. Submerge the board, scrub it with a soft brush, and rinse with more running water. After rinsing, leave it to dry in the open air in a warm place for several days. Where to avoid using water is in the light assembly and reflector. But assuming you can disassemble the light and remove the board, all the disassembled pieces should get the thorough wash treatment.

Cleaning anything is like cleaning clothes. You need to get the contamination into solution and then remove the contamination from the scene by rinsing it away.

I was given a TI-92 to keep due leaking batteries.

It is still in out in an anti static bag somewhere and thanks to you I won't see it get worse and I might be able to get it working again.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 08:50:30 am by MrMobodies »

#### helius

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #104 on: December 16, 2018, 09:01:59 am »
The part most often affected by leaking electrolyte is the battery contacts. But apart from basically generic ones like the 9V snaps with attached wires, the replacements need to be the proper size and shape to fit the case moldings. Has anyone compiled a list of battery contact profiles and sources?

#### Robaroni

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #105 on: December 16, 2018, 09:52:08 am »
The part most often affected by leaking electrolyte is the battery contacts. But apart from basically generic ones like the 9V snaps with attached wires, the replacements need to be the proper size and shape to fit the case moldings. Has anyone compiled a list of battery contact profiles and sources?

It may be to difficult, things like flashlights use proprietary contacts - each manufacturer has his own idea. Sometimes I get away with replacing the whole battery holder or taking contacts out of holders and modding them to fit radios, etc.

#### Electro Detective

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #106 on: December 16, 2018, 10:33:00 am »

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

Not so here, the ALDI blue alkaline batteries leak and go weird consistently, whether used or not, regardless of batch or purchase dates.

AA are bad news and circuit track eaters,

the AAA and C size I have been lucky so far...

The 9 volt batteries will cause random trip havoc in smoke detectors and /or leak 6 months after purchase. They don't like summer weather inside air conditioned premises
Their shelf life is zero too, a total leaked corrosion mess sitting in a sealed packet after one year or so.

The green AA rechargeables are hit and miss too. 50% of them will just drop to zero voltage after a few cycles and won't charge back up no matter what the revival routine applied.

it's happened too many times over a 5 year period to be coincidence, I've had less to no drama with other cheap and pricey batteries.

the ALDI blue AA alkalines cost me an $80 cable checker, they ate the entire board whilst the unit worked fine To be fair, they are good for one day 'use and bin' for camera flashes and torches that are used till flat. Forget them inside the battery compartment at your peril #### MrMobodies • Frequent Contributor • Posts: 382 • Country: ##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries « Reply #107 on: December 16, 2018, 11:21:00 am » They have been selling 8 Panasonic batteries for £2 and not the crapp "special power" ones. I can't remember if I got them from from Lidl or Aldi. I am testing them out and keeping them out to see if they will leak after a year. #### IanB • Super Contributor • Posts: 9292 • Country: ##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries « Reply #108 on: December 16, 2018, 12:19:17 pm » They have been selling 8 Panasonic batteries for £2 and not the crapp "special power" ones. I can't remember if I got them from from Lidl or Aldi. I am testing them out and keeping them out to see if they will leak after a year. Dollar Tree here is selling the Panasonic alkalines at 2/1$ so 8/£1.67 (ex. VAT) is way better value.

You could also check out Poundland, they have Kodak alkalines at an even better price (6/83p ex. VAT).

My empirical experience is that the lower the cost, the least likely to leak.
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#### MrMobodies

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #109 on: December 16, 2018, 12:44:03 pm »
I'll buy a pack and do some tests and comparisons.

I wouldn't discharge them on my good battery chargers just incase they leak but I have got a cheap little portable ZKE battery discharger.

#### Muttley Snickers

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #110 on: December 16, 2018, 03:42:43 pm »
During a recent cleanup I discovered that the batteries were still installed in one of  my original and precious Maglites, I had left the torch in one of my old hunting backpacks and unfortunately the Digitor batteries had corroded to the extent where they could not be easily removed. I put some tape and then rubber sheet around the body so as not to completely wreck the anodised finish and then chucked it up in the lathe. I drilled a small hole for a removal screw for the first battery which worked out fine helped with a light spray of lubricant. The second and deeper battery was really stuck so I piloted with a small drill bit and then whilst drilling with a larger bit found that the centre pin which resembled a rivet stem had been forced by the drill bit through the front plastic lamp holder assembly of the torch wrecking it completely.

On another battery subject, I recently discovered that certain estate agents and property managers engage and promote the services of particular companies who then attend rented properties just to test and replace the batteries in smoke detectors, and they charge an absolute fortune for the service. Some of these companies use name brand and reputable batteries and properly label them with the replacement date whereas some other mobs use their own branded rubbish and don’t even bother to label them with a date. I won’t name names and have no clue what these blue batteries are yet the other previous company were using the orange Duracell Procells which aren’t a bad battery really, generic or no name brand batteries are a fucking curse in my opinion and if you don’t know what they are then don’t use them.

#### IanB

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #111 on: December 16, 2018, 04:02:30 pm »
whilst drilling with a larger bit found that the centre pin which resembled a rivet stem had been forced by the drill bit through the front plastic lamp holder assembly of the torch wrecking it completely.

Hmm. Why didn't you remove the lamp assembly and switch assembly from the front of the torch before trying to remove the batteries? Then you could push the batteries out with a dowel or other kind of rod.

Quote
I won’t name names and have no clue what these blue batteries are yet the other previous company were using the orange Duracell Procells which aren’t a bad battery really, generic or no name brand batteries are a fucking curse in my opinion and if you don’t know what they are then don’t use them.

It's usual to put 9 V lithium batteries in smoke detectors. Those blue ones are zinc chloride batteries, not even alkalines. Whoever is installing those is really cheaping out on the contract. In the UK I think the fire brigade will replace smoke alarm batteries for free if you ask them to do a safety inspection.
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#### Muttley Snickers

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #112 on: December 16, 2018, 04:18:37 pm »
Hmm. Why didn't you remove the lamp assembly and switch assembly from the front of the torch before trying to remove the batteries? Then you could push the batteries out with a dowel or other kind of rod.

It's usual to put 9 V lithium batteries in smoke detectors. Those blue ones are zinc chloride batteries, not even alkalines. Whoever is installing those is really cheaping out on the contract. In the UK I think the fire brigade will replace smoke alarm batteries for free if you ask them to do a safety inspection.

The plastic lamp holder on these early Maglites are first installed from the battery entrance end and it wouldn't budge at all when pushed with a dowel from the front, believe me I really wanted to save this torch as it was my first ever one, all the bits are still in the bin but I think it's pretty well buggered.

Changing out the smoke detector batteries and testing them with smoke in a can is a bit of a scam in my view and no doubt the agent gets a commission or charges extra for providing that service, they will be getting an earful for this and probably didn't expect that I would bother inspecting the work.

#### james_s

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #113 on: December 16, 2018, 05:46:07 pm »
My little brother used to be the maintenance guy at a retirement home and they were required to replace all of the smoke alarm batteries annually despite the fact that these were mains powered alarms with a battery backup. On two occasions he gave me a box of ~400 nearly new 9V batteries they would have had to pay to dispose of. I used them in everything I could, gave a bunch of them away, eventually they started going bad from sitting around so I started connecting dozens of them in series and drawing arcs, that was slightly scary. I also lit some lamps, it was weird to see ordinary 120 and 240V incandescent lamps running off 9V alkaline batteries.

Anyway if you need 9V batteries one of those smoke alarm maintenance companies mentioned above or a retirement home may be worth asking.

#### SeanB

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #114 on: December 16, 2018, 09:55:28 pm »
The blue batteries peel off the metal shell and you will see the original brand there. The manufacturer simply takes the sheets of metal printed plate and turns them around and prints again for the special orders, saves having to keep the sheets in stock for the odd order, just make a plate, run through the press with already done metal sheet and run through the line till you have the right number of sheets to fill the order, then back to the normal line of work batteries.

I have found known name brand metalwork in those cheap specials, run on the same line and with the same cells inside. Generally it will be Energiser or Ever Ready as the actual cell inside

#### 3roomlab

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #115 on: December 16, 2018, 10:45:22 pm »
do NiMh leak?

I have  not seen 1, but maybe someone out there has used more seen some NiMh (or even NiCd?) mishaps?
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#### Ian.M

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #116 on: December 16, 2018, 11:19:11 pm »
NiMH and NiCd leakage is extremely common, and destroyed many motherboards from the 486 and early Pentium era that had a rechargeable battery for the CMOS/clock backup directly soldered to the motherboard.

#### IanB

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #117 on: December 17, 2018, 03:24:09 am »
NiMH and NiCd leakage is extremely common, and destroyed many motherboards from the 486 and early Pentium era that had a rechargeable battery for the CMOS/clock backup directly soldered to the motherboard.

However, typical AA and AAA cells are not likely to leak. They are hermetically sealed inside their case and designed to withstand high internal pressures without venting. The steel case is also inert to the electrolyte so it does not corrode away. Modern NiMH cells have a service life of hundreds of recharge cycles and many years of use.
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#### NiHaoMike

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #118 on: December 17, 2018, 03:46:37 am »
NiCd and NiMH batteries can leak, especially the cheap ones, but far less often than even name brand alkalines.
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#### Ian.M

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #119 on: December 17, 2018, 04:20:06 am »
I've also seen many AA NiCd cells that have developed bad seals with age and use (in fact most of the ones I owned failed by leakage, and most NiCd tagged AA cells or packs of the same I replaced in repair jobs showed signs of leakage).  Normally you only get a small leak and they out-gas, dry up and fail Hi-Z without significant electrolyte leakage (i.e. enough to damage nearby PCBs), although there will typically be some signs of leakage e.g. crystalline 'fur'  at the edge of the shrink-wrap jacket.  I didn't go for NIMH batteries to the same extent, so haven't seen enough leaky one to come to any conclusions on the reliability of their seals.

#### james_s

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #120 on: December 17, 2018, 04:29:10 am »
I've seen NiCd cells leak numerous times, the GE DataSentry batteries are notorious for leaking on certain classic arcade boards. They were at least 20 years old when they started leaking in large numbers though, I can forgive that. When new batteries are leaking while still in their package before the expiration date as I have had a number of Duracells do that is a different story.

#### Electro Detective

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #121 on: December 17, 2018, 12:54:04 pm »
All I can add after losing some gear to bad 'good batteries' is to keep a date checklist on all equipment with batteries.
6 months or 12 months has passed, used or not, and they look and perform like new? 2 years?!!  get them out of there NOW!!!

Or, jerry rig an external plastic battery supply with internal connections that can be reversed anytime

or just take the batteries out of equipment that you don't use that often, it's less of a hassle than blowing cash on a battery trashed item,
or the mega hassle of a bad news battery cleanup and repair

I don't trust rechargeable batteries either, just one of them with continence issues will do the vile deed on your gear just as well as alkalines

oh yeah, and beware of audiophool grade batteries like lithiums and the like, and the marketing BS and price tag that goes with them.

I just tossed out 4 sealed unused twin packs supplied with a DSLR camera, a top brand name battery brand btw that were sitting in a dry box for almost 4 - 5 years.
What a sight, so much for saving them for a rainy day or use as demos if selling the camera.

FWIW: Multimeters that take a 9 volt battery in a separate compartment at the bottom and or away from the main board to me are keepers, regardless of their specs, be it Fluke, Jaycar, whatever...
Worst case battery jizz is a straightforward mop up and a generic 9 volt plug lead = \$1 ? soldered in,
if the corroded connectors are welded to the battery or just too crusty beyond saving.

A skeptical observer might suspect some equipment and battery companies with mutual shareholdings, may have a good thing going to turn over easy guaranteed dollars...

Nah, can't happen

#### eugenenine

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #122 on: December 18, 2018, 01:27:32 am »
NiMH and NiCd leakage is extremely common, and destroyed many motherboards from the 486 and early Pentium era that had a rechargeable battery for the CMOS/clock backup directly soldered to the motherboard.

However, typical AA and AAA cells are not likely to leak. They are hermetically sealed inside their case and designed to withstand high internal pressures without venting. The steel case is also inert to the electrolyte so it does not corrode away. Modern NiMH cells have a service life of hundreds of recharge cycles and many years of use.

I have had a couple NiMH leak, one was an off brand and one was a radioshack.

#### Robaroni

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #123 on: December 18, 2018, 01:54:14 am »
I have had about 25 Duracell NiMH for years and also Sanyo Eneloops. None of them have ever leaked. Again, my only issue is the lower voltage which doesn't run many things that Alks run.

#### Robaroni

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##### Re: Leaking AA and AAA batteries
« Reply #124 on: December 18, 2018, 03:56:17 am »
NiMH and NiCd leakage is extremely common, and destroyed many motherboards from the 486 and early Pentium era that had a rechargeable battery for the CMOS/clock backup directly soldered to the motherboard.

However, typical AA and AAA cells are not likely to leak. They are hermetically sealed inside their case and designed to withstand high internal pressures without venting. The steel case is also inert to the electrolyte so it does not corrode away. Modern NiMH cells have a service life of hundreds of recharge cycles and many years of use.

That's the problem, they do leak and a lot. Maybe NiMH don't leak much but Alks do.

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