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Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???

punkfolkrocker 28 Jul 20 - 01:24 AM
cnd 28 Jul 20 - 08:53 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jul 20 - 09:55 AM
punkfolkrocker 28 Jul 20 - 10:19 AM
Bill D 28 Jul 20 - 07:24 PM
robomatic 28 Jul 20 - 08:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jul 20 - 10:50 PM
GUEST,Jon 29 Jul 20 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,Jon 29 Jul 20 - 06:38 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jul 20 - 07:37 AM
Tangledwood 31 Jul 20 - 07:02 PM
punkfolkrocker 31 Jul 20 - 07:30 PM
robomatic 31 Jul 20 - 08:07 PM
EBarnacle 31 Jul 20 - 09:21 PM
GUEST,Ray 01 Aug 20 - 04:29 AM
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Subject: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Jul 20 - 01:24 AM

Is the quality control of batteries getting worse...???

Or do we just own far more battery operated gadgets,
thus increasing the number of devices we frequently notice ruined by leaking batteries...???

One thing really annoying me recently,
is old new stock equipment I've purchased in clearance sales,
where the included batteries have leaked inside the retail packaging..

Korg / Vox are primary offenders...

I seriously wish all products could be sold "Batteries NOT included...!!!"...


.. and forget about the expensive batteries boasting "No Leaks" guarantees.

Yes they effin well do...!!!!!

..and the terms of guarantee small print
are devised to make claims for damages so difficult,
purchasers give up bothering...

So, always keep pure white vinegar, contact cleaner, and ear buds
in your DIY kit...


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: cnd
Date: 28 Jul 20 - 08:53 AM

My brother who's an electrical engineer frequently tells me that if anything, the quality of batteries has been getting much better over the years. I think the cause is just having too many battery operated things to keep up with. Of course, cheaper ones are liable to be worse, but in general, they've been improving.

When I was younger every flashlight in my house somehow magically ate batteries. We'd put it in our closet for the next time we went camping/needed a light in the dark, and when we went to go use them a few weeks later (or less!) they'd inevitably be dead. Because of that, I always store my devices without batteries if it's going to be anything more than a day until I use them next, regardless of "no leak" claims.


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jul 20 - 09:55 AM

Add to that maintenance list an old toothbrush. It helps with the earliest stage of restoring a device to working condition, cleaning out the granular battery acid remains. Or maybe that's what your contact cleaner is?


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Jul 20 - 10:19 AM

I try to maintain battery free storage of devices..

But every time I attempt to clear out a box of hoarded items,
I usually find another forgotten gadget with leaky batteries..

Then there's all the antiquated electronic items,
back at my mum's house.

I get my hoarding DNA from her...

What annoyed me last night was a small metal high luminescence power torch
on a shelf in my computer room.
So badly corroded I couldn't budge the battery.
So I gave up and binned it..

The battery inside had a 2020 use by date...!!!???

Whereas, something else I found at the bottom of a box of audio cables,
contained dead batteries expired in 2014,
which were perfectly clean and intact...???

Stilly - yeah, I forgot old toothbrushes...

I kept a pile of them, until my wife started covid 19 working at home,
got bored, and decided to do some guerrilla spring cleaning
while I was out of the way asleep...


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 20 - 07:24 PM

I am moving away from alkaline batteries.... I have so many things that need AA/AAA batteries that I am 90% into rechargeable NiMH...

They cost more to begin, but you DO save it in the long run... and no green crap on the terminals to ruin devices..(I have managed to clean several things, but it ain't fun!)

Panasonic/ Eneloop are recommended.


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: robomatic
Date: 28 Jul 20 - 08:36 PM

PFR:
I think your OP and question quite topical. And I think cnd's answer quite good. I'll add in that many devices particularly newer digital ones with LEDs use much less power, hence onboard batteries are likely to linger far longer than ever before, hence though the quality be better, the leakage over time is more noticeable, because there's way more time. I've bought large numbers of batteries at Costco but have used them at such a low rate that many have gone bad right in the plastic container.
The batteries I'm talking about are alkaline and the form that 'leakage' takes is a kind of dirty off-white powder which accretes around the battery ends and can coat the contacts of whatever device they are installed in. I've had the most problems with flashlights and radios which I like to have on hand in case we have an emergency coupled with a power failure, which is entirely possible even in the cities in Alaska.

So I'm trying to use rechargeables where I can, or be quite ready to swap out old batteries even when they're not fully exhausted. And I don't buy such large numbers of cells at a time, or share them with others.

TRAVEL HINT When I've been traveling with camping gear or cameras which are going to go in luggage, I try to have devices with an even number of batteries. Then I can load fresh batteries in opposition to each other. In other words, if I have a headlamp with two batteries which would of course be loaded -+ -+ in series, I load the batteries -++-. When you do that, the batteries are for want of a better word electrically inert. Even if the on button is activated, the device will do nothing and the batteries will not be discharged. If I have a camera with 4 batteries in series, I reverse two of them with the same result. When you want to use the device, of course, you have to reverse the process and put the batteries in as indicated by the device. CAUTION DO NOT do this if you have a device where the batteries function in parallel. If you do this you will know it right away because the batteries will discharge each other and grow quite hot. I can't think of any standard consumer devices where this will happen because people would do this all the time and there would already be a lot of lawsuits. So I think this hint will do more good than harm.


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jul 20 - 10:50 PM

I was using rechargeable batteries, and still have some around here, but they seem to cycle faster and faster - need changing more often - needing changing at inconvenient times. The rechargeable batteries I get a lot of use from are the camera batteries, but they're more robust than the AA or AAA cells.


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 29 Jul 20 - 05:08 AM

I think all the alkaline AA/AAA batteries I use are for applications where I'd hope they will last for a year or more. Examples are wall clocks, radiator valves and room thermostats. I've not noticed a corrosion problem. I try to keep a small stock of GP Ultra which I get from Amazon in my room.

Rechargeable nimh can have a fairly high self discharge rate (but see Bill D's Enloops) but may do a lot better than alkalines in applications where there is a higher current drain. Examples might include torches and cameras.


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 29 Jul 20 - 06:38 AM

I think another thing to think about is the nominal voltage of the cell. An alkaline is about 1.5V and a nimh around 1.2V. This difference becomes even more apparent with cells in series so say 4x1.5 gives 6V and 4x1.2 only 4.8V. I guess how this affects matters depends on the design of the item and I'm not sure pre rechargeable era devices would take the lower voltages into account???

That said we have a digital camera (Pentax K200D DSLR) which, these days, will only work and give a reasonable run with a different non rechargeable AA. I've only seen these Lithium ones in Energizer brand


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jul 20 - 07:37 AM

If I ever buy anything that sez "batteries included" I throw them away and replace with Duracell Ultra. Not all alkaline batteries are the same.


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: Tangledwood
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 07:02 PM

A cautionary tale: I have an Ovation mandolin with built in preamp. I never play plugged in but left the 9v battery in place, forgotten. Eventually I removed the battery, now leaking, and found that it had caused corrosion to run up the leads to the preamp. While I was investigating they snapped off at the amp end. There's no obvious way to remove the preamp to solder new leads on, if indeed the amp itself hasn't been damaged. It's not an instrument I usually play so haven't taken any further action.
So, don't forget what's in your instruments!


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 07:30 PM

Tangledwood - that's a dreaded outcome..

I know I still have at least 2 active pickup guitars with 9v Batteries in them,
that I've not been able get out of storage for several years...

But so far I've been lucky with 9v's..
Last year I set a day aside, to take out all the 9v Batteries of any devices I owned.
Or at least most of 'em..

Some of these batteries had been installed for many years, forgotten about.

Fortunately I only found one that had started bulging at one end,
but not yet leaking..

Mudcat Techies might explain to us why 9v batteries seem to be less likely to leak...???


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: robomatic
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 08:07 PM

Really appreciate Tanglewood's cautionary tale.
I took apart a 9V battery once. I was so curious as to how they got the 9 volts. Turned out to be 6 AAAA batteries crammed in there in series. Made sense.


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: EBarnacle
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 09:21 PM

We keep batteries in all of our devices and do not get leaks. We have found that if you put a bit of insulation [like paper or a bit of plastic bag] on the end of the battery that is exposed when you open things up they stay fresh. We do not do this with 9V batteries but it has worked for us for several years.
I suspect there is some sort of microvoltage leak which discharges batteries and makes them more vulnerable to corrosion if they are not insulated.


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Subject: RE: Tech: AA / AAA Battery Leakage...???
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 04:29 AM

Surprisingly, the only batteries I’ve had problems with leakage in recent years have been rechargeables. I took a set of those out of a little used Zoom Recorder yesterday and threw them away.

The other problem with rechargeables is that the single cell type (most of them should be called cells as a “battery” comprises multiple cells as the name implies) produces only 1.2 volts as opposed to the 1.5 volts which a disposable one gives out.

It’s not much but y’er average digital device will switch itself off when the voltage drops below a certain level whereas an anologue device, say a radio, will simply loose volume and become increasingly distorted.

By way of example, we used to have a digital radio in the bathroom and I had to re-charge the batteries every couple of weeks. I swapped it for an anologue one several years ago and use the same set of rechargeable in it. It gets exactly the same level of use and I re-charged the “cells” about a fortnight ago. I well remember the time before - it was last Xmas.


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