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Author Topic: What type of chemistry is this battery use? (Kidde smoke detector batteries)  (Read 743 times)

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Offline Nick1296

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So I inherited 7 of these from a smoke detector installation because one dropped to 8.98V as soon as it was in service for a month. Ever since, these have been pulled and I have been able to take them and use them for my stuff. Hey, they're probably crap, but why not take them if they're free? ;D
Cell information:
* Cell 1 (6): GOLDEN POWER GF6F22M Zinc Carbon 9V
* Cell 2 (1): GOLDPEAK 1604P Zinc Carbon 9V
I can't gather much information from the Kidde website. All they say is they are "2 year smoke alarm" batteries, which is pretty obvious since these were inherited from smoke detectors. As to the chemistry, I have narrowed it down to 6r22, 6ar22 and 6CR22 being the most likely, but I may be missing a code. The only other real information I have is they are heavy duty and use a Zinc formulation. They claim to use Zinc Carbon.
Links for G6F22M (Discontinued):
* Kidde: Not included (The cell is discontinued and they switched approved batteries but kept the old number)
* Non Kidde branded: http://www.alliedelec.com/dantona-industries-inc-hdg-9v-g6f22m/70157715/
* Datasheet (It's more or less useless, but included for completeness anyway): http://www.alliedelec.com/m/d/228ba4a480fdd7da8969902a4af7ac12.pdf
Information for the Goldpeak 1604P:
* Kidde: Not included (Not really useful at this point)
* Non Kidde branded: MIA
* Datasheet: MIA
« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 07:44:28 AM by Nick1296 »
 

Online jpanhalt

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Confused.  Doesn't "carbon zinc" (aka zinc carbon) define the battery chemistry within the context of your question?

John
 

Offline MagicSmoker

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NEDA 1604 is the code for a regular old 9V battery. You can use carbon-zinc (aka "heavy duty"), alkaline or even lithium. Carbon zinc might be preferred only because the current drain in a smoke detector is really low and this chemistry isn't as prone to leaking as alkaline.

 

Offline Nick1296

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Confused.  Doesn't "carbon zinc" (aka zinc carbon) define the battery chemistry within the context of your question?

John

I have always seen Carbon zinc referred to as carbon zinc. I have never seen it listed by the specific chemistry used, so I was not sure if that was a derivative or actual carbon zinc.
 

Offline Nick1296

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NEDA 1604 is the code for a regular old 9V battery. You can use carbon-zinc (aka "heavy duty"), alkaline or even lithium. Carbon zinc might be preferred only because the current drain in a smoke detector is really low and this chemistry isn't as prone to leaking as alkaline.

I was interested in them for DMM use, since the majority of meters worth using run on 9V. I did get 7 free, so I'm set for a while in terms of 9V batteries in my battery stock. On that note, I got 1Alkaline cells that died within 1 day of installation, but it only has 7.39V available. I will probably end up scrapping it.
Would I buy a Carbon Zinc cell? Probably not, unless the price is really good. They aren't worth buying but if you get a freebie you may want to take them and have them available in your battery stock.

Now, onto the smoke detectors using carbon zinc from the factory. If they used them for cost or leak resistance, the reasoning makes perfect sense. They don't drain a lot of current so carbon zinc cells work well in that application. I had to yank 1 from my 9V stock that had a leak (probably developed in storage), reject one out of the gate and have one that's older with 8.45V, but is expired as of 3/15. The battery is 2 years past expiration, so I will probably toss it as well. The amount of failed used 9V's isn't surprising since they all probably expired or sat so long they leaked.
On that note, I may get a 8th battery if the one from the other Kidde detector that didn't die in 1 day gets changed to edge on the side of caution. The problem is I don't know which one it is.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 11:31:33 AM by Nick1296 »
 

Online DBecker

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Carbon-zinc / Zn Chloride  batteries are considered to have the highest self-discharge rate of primary batteries, along with a good chance of leaking, so I'm surprised that they would be the factory battery in a name-brand smoke detector.

I thought that perhaps there was a break-through that I wasn't aware of, so I did a few searches.  Longevity has been improved by the use of purer zinc cases, but the improvement is modest.  The only advantage seems to be low cost and a good chance of a repeat sale when the battery leaks The Nasty just after the warranty period.

 
 

Online edpalmer42

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Sometimes they manage to do carbon / zinc chloride right.  I've got a Fluke thermometer attachment for a DMM.  It's got two Radio Shack Enercell 'Extra Life' batteries with date codes of 08-98 and 05-98.  Still test good.  No trace of leakage.  Of course, they have a 'Miracle Seal'. 

Ed
 

Offline Nick1296

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Sometimes they manage to do carbon / zinc chloride right.  I've got a Fluke thermometer attachment for a DMM.  It's got two Radio Shack Enercell 'Extra Life' batteries with date codes of 08-98 and 05-98.  Still test good.  No trace of leakage.  Of course, they have a 'Miracle Seal'. 

Ed

According to the G6F22M page that isn't from Kidde, that's the case. I never heard of that formulation before, so I wasn't sure if that's a wank name to sell the Kidde batteries and make money from battery replacements or if it actually exists. The Goldpeak may be standard Carbon Zinc, but I can't confirm that because of the MIA datasheet.
The most I have is a MSDS: http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdfImages/48/487d7c25-bcbb-4a9c-99ce-4e490892f9f7.pdf
« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 10:58:19 AM by Nick1296 »
 

Offline vk6zgo

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I sometimes forget the  quite young demographic of this forum, & am surprised by threads like this one.

The term "zinc-carbon" is widely used for "plain old primary cells" of the type which were used in their billions prior to the commercial availability of the plethora of cell chemistries we see today.
I can't really remember them being called "carbon zinc".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc-carbon_battery

As  Wikipedia point out "Zinc-Carbon" is a misnomer, as the the active electrodes are the zinc case, & a quantity of crushed/granulated magnesium dioxide, which, classically was contained in a cloth bag attached to the zinc rod.

The normal,"D","C","AA" etc cells, (as well as the various batteries using this chemistry) do have a somewhat shorter life than alkaline cells, but long life "zinc carbon" cells have existed, (& maybe still exist), such as the "No 6" cell, used for many years in manual phone systems, & for many years after that wherever long life cells were required for relatively light duty.

When I say "for many years", I mean it in both senses.
It was not uncommon to find No 6 cells which had been in use for decades.

They are huge---about the same size as a 750ml wine bottle,minus the neck.
It was this, & some variations in chemistry that allowed such longevity.
 

Online edpalmer42

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As far as terminology, if a battery is described as 'Heavy Duty' or even 'Super Heavy Duty', but doesn't say alkaline, then it's almost certainly carbon / zinc chloride.  Lots of big brands still make them such as Eveready, Rayovac, Panasonic, and a thousand smaller brands.  You can usually find them in dollar stores.

I've always called them 'carbon zinc' for the older style or just 'zinc chloride' for the heavy duty ones.  I've got a Radio Shack Enercell Battery Guidebook from 1985 that also uses those terms.

As for the #6 cell, also called #6 Ignition cell (no idea why!), it turns out that it's harder to duplicate those than you might think.  There are a few web pages that talk about it.  Turns out that those guys can really put out current.  Modern batteries have a hard time competing with the oldtimers.

Ed
 

Offline HKJ

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Zinc Carbon or Carbon Zinc is about the worst battery you can get: Low capacity, low lifetime and high leak risk.
The construction of 9V batteries will sometimes reduce the leak risk significantly, because the leaks from the cells stays inside the 9V battery.
You can compare capacity and voltage of many different types of 9V batteries here: http://lygte-info.dk/review/batteries9V/Common9Vcomparator.php
 

Offline wraper

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Carbon-zinc / Zn Chloride  batteries are considered to have the highest self-discharge rate of primary batteries, along with a good chance of leaking, so I'm surprised that they would be the factory battery in a name-brand smoke detector.
Smoke detectors are so cheap that I would be surprised if anything other would be supplied with them.
 

Offline Nick1296

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Zinc Carbon or Carbon Zinc is about the worst battery you can get: Low capacity, low lifetime and high leak risk.
The construction of 9V batteries will sometimes reduce the leak risk significantly, because the leaks from the cells stays inside the 9V battery.
You can compare capacity and voltage of many different types of 9V batteries here: http://lygte-info.dk/review/batteries9V/Common9Vcomparator.php

I have had 2 alkaline batteries leak and spread it to the terminals. Maybe that isn't a problem with carbon zinc, but I never seen one last long enough to leak. Their lifespan is low enough I doubt they leak unless you make them leak by abusing them or letting them sit dead for years.
 

Online DBecker

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Zinc Carbon or Carbon Zinc is about the worst battery you can get: Low capacity, low lifetime and high leak risk.
The construction of 9V batteries will sometimes reduce the leak risk significantly, because the leaks from the cells stays inside the 9V battery.
You can compare capacity and voltage of many different types of 9V batteries here: http://lygte-info.dk/review/batteries9V/Common9Vcomparator.php

I have had 2 alkaline batteries leak and spread it to the terminals. Maybe that isn't a problem with carbon zinc, but I never seen one last long enough to leak. Their lifespan is low enough I doubt they leak unless you make them leak by abusing them or letting them sit dead for years.

Almost all battery chemistries expand when discharging.  That adds to the internal pressure. The problem is compounded when you are consuming the zinc case during discharge, possibly creating thin spots if the material isn't consistent.  Zinc batteries leak acid, which tends to be more corrosive than the leaks from alkaline batteries.   That was part of the marketing when alkaline batteries were relatively new.
 

Online helius

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Almost all battery chemistries expand when discharging.  That adds to the internal pressure. The problem is compounded when you are consuming the zinc case during discharge, possibly creating thin spots if the material isn't consistent.  Zinc batteries leak acid, which tends to be more corrosive than the leaks from alkaline batteries.   That was part of the marketing when alkaline batteries were relatively new.
Another instance where it's best not to believe the marketing. Alkaline cells (including NiMH and lithium primary types) do one thing that acidic dry cells do not: they generate hydrogen gas. Holding in a corrosive liquid is not really that difficult: strong acids are usually stored in cheap types of plastic. The cells are built with polyethylene barriers and seals impervious to acid. What is considerably harder is holding it in under pressure: the seals must not hold back more pressure than the cell walls can withstand, so leaks are inevitable and by design.
 

Online Conrad Hoffman

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"Carbon-zinc" was a common description. The common round cells consist of a zinc case, carbon rod and a packing of manganese dioxide paste. They're cheap, life is short, current is limited and in most cases an alkaline is a better choice. That said, they both can leak, and the leakage from an alkaline is highly corrosive, destroying most devices the batteries live in. The carbon-zinc ones don't seem quite so destructive and take longer to leak. Drain an alkaline to near zero and leakage is certain and rapid. They can't use mercury in batteries anymore, but it was the mercury that helped keep the hydrogen under control, preventing leakage. AFAIK, nothing else works as well. If you don't let it get excessively drained, alkalines last fine and don't usually leak. Still, inspect them often and remove if not in use.

A DVM might be an OK application for carbon-zinc, but some other things you'd think would be, aren't. Clocks and weather stations need a short high current pulse to work. Though the average current draw is very low, the carbon zinc cells don't seem to give the life of an alkaline for those. Flashlights and toys are usually non-starters for carbon zinc. I use an alkaline in my ancient Fluke 73 and change it every 5-10 years!
 

Online blueskull

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I've seen used smoke detector batteries measure >8.5V but with huge amount of internal resistance so that it won't work at all. It's an alkaline battery, specifically an Energizer 9V battery.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know.
 

Offline james_s

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I've heard of carbon zinc batteries being leak prone, but these days alkaline batteries seem to have taken the lead in that area. Just the other day I went to replace the batteries in the thermostat at my mother's place and the Duracell AA cells clearly marked best by 2023 were already leaking all over the place. I have some much older carbon zinc cells in very low drain applications that have not leaked yet. I've had so many alkaline cells leak that I've stopped using them almost entirely and gone to NiMH.
 

Offline calexanian

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Zinc Carbon batteries are the modern equivalent of using whale blubber oil lamps. Loose Loose. They are high impedance, leaky, and have mostly self discharged just sitting in the pack. There are reasons why the major battery brands have not used them ever since Alkaline batteries became cost effective. Only the super cheap manufacturers even bother.
Charles Alexanian
Alex-Tronix Control Systems
 

Offline james_s

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I don't use many of them, but there's a carbon zinc 9V dated 2006 in my thermocouple adapter and it's still working and not leaking. I just tossed out a bunch of 2013-2014 alkaline 9V batteries that were leaking. Modern alkaline batteries are crap, I've gone to LSD NiMH in almost everything, haven't had one of those leak yet.
 


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