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Thread: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

  1. #1

    Default Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    If batteries ... 123, AA, Lithium AA ... are exposed to water or submerged for a short time, are they ruined - or is there any danger in running them after drying?

    None of my batteries got wet, but I was just curious regarding emergency preparedness and that was all you got around.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    The 123s have a gas vent. Not sure how water tight that is. AAs seem to be fine, provided that they did not short dead.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    You don't want to mix lithium and water, but a 123 or AA should be sealed well enough to handle briefly getting wet with fresh water if they are completely dried off.

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    When I was younger I put some cell, though I don't recall if it was a 9V or a C battery into the tub, and left it for a few hours. The stuff inside (acid?) does leak out after some time, or at least it did with those.

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    I dropped a pair of Pila 300P's in the toilet by accident, with #1 in the water. After I washed it with soap and water and let it dry for a week, it works perfectly fine. I'm not sure if the insides are corroded/damaged, but everything seems to be in perfect working order.

    Pilas are mighty tough cells, I must say.

    I can't speak for CR123's, never tried it. I probably won't, unless it's on accident.

    Dudemar
    Last edited by dudemar; 12-17-2007 at 07:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Alright, I might be the one here, but isn't fresh water conductive unless it is deionized? In turn wouldn't this mean the battery would short right away? Or am I missing something and I can take my 18650's with me in the shower next time lol

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    I don't mean to hijack the thread, but it's interesting you mentioned that. After I let my 300P's dry for a week, they retained enough of a charge to light up a LF EO-9! Amazing!

    Dudemar

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    I know that someone tested some new Li cells underwater for cooling, however I am pretty sure it was deionized which would elimanate the chance of a short. Also interesting to note, the seal on a lithium battery is VERY watertight. It has to be, as otherwise the water vapor (even smaller than liquid water) would get into the cells over time and kill them (while also creating a time bomb...)

    So I can shower with Li-ion batteries? lol

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    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    123A cells have a vent seal, as stated above, but also that when crimped the top vent holes contain a pocket of air....unless the air was forced out by some sort of an angled concussion, I see no reason for that pocket of air to be flooded or the compromise of a plastic seal

    AA cells, if contacted by water, should be dried out as soon as possible....I don't know about these coppertops, but for early energizers generations, some Carbon zincs and 9V cells, rust has been observed on the contact areas

    if its salt water we're talking about, all bets are off...even if the cell survives, the contacts may cause intermittent contact.

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Thanks for clearing that up Illum

    So that is why the light in the ?G2? abuse thread still ran, even after the lens cracked and water got inside?

    So if you drop a 18650 in a toilet, take in the shower, etc... you should be fine as long as you make sure no water gets in the vent area?

    Srry if it's annoying answering potentially some of the same things... but I'm just making sure I have this right, as Li-ions are nothing to kid around with

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    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    what about Energizer Lithium AA's (L91) ?


    Can they stand to get wet ?


    Dunked & submerged ?

    _

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Early GAT lights had the CR123 exposed completley to the elements, and were proven ok underwater.

    Bill

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Thanks for mentioning that Bullzeyebill, I always wondered about that part of the GAT light!

    Dudemar

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Dog View Post
    Alright, I might be the one here, but isn't fresh water conductive unless it is deionized? In turn wouldn't this mean the battery would short right away? Or am I missing something and I can take my 18650's with me in the shower next time lol

    This is what a safety instructor told me. Fresh water is not conductive enough to cause any problem. An old trick of WD 40 salesman is to spray a corded drill with WD40 and dip it into a bucket of tap water, and shows it still working underwater. But what people don't know is the drill will work perfectly fine underwater even without WD40 contrary to popular belief.

    I don't knoow how valid is it. He claim he did the dip a running drill into water many times before, but I ain't gona try that no matter what he says.
    Last edited by jzmtl; 12-18-2007 at 09:54 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Quote Originally Posted by dudemar View Post
    I dropped a pair of Pila 300P's in the toilet by accident, with #1 in the water. After I washed it with soap and water and let it dry for a week, it works perfectly fine. I'm not sure if the insides are corroded/damaged, but everything seems to be in perfect working order.

    Pilas are mighty tough cells, I must say.

    I can't speak for CR123's, never tried it. I probably won't, unless it's on accident.

    Dudemar

    Ewww that is so nasty

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Considering the price of Pila's I would have rescued them from #2.

    Bill

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    I've had the privilege of making the mistake of leaving my plastic lined EDC cells in a shirt pocket, machine wash cold, rinse, final spin...oops forgot to add softener, no worries, 2nd rinse, second final spin.. tumble dry in this mess it transferred itself into a sock....and escaped detection by mom and returned into my room.

    the plastic bags torn up pretty good, and the cells were wet, left it out to dry, last I remember I exhausted that set of cells in my A2 sometime ago, no change in performance

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    Flashaholic* MikeLip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Dog View Post
    Alright, I might be the one here, but isn't fresh water conductive unless it is deionized? In turn wouldn't this mean the battery would short right away? Or am I missing something and I can take my 18650's with me in the shower next time lol
    DI water is not necessarily less conductive than normal tap water, which is to say not very. Your light will not short out even if submerged. Try dropping a running flashlight into a tub of water. It will continue to run. This has been experimentally proven by my daughter and our toilet. At the voltages encountered in a normal LED or incan light current through the water is very small. Distilled water IS less conductive than tap.

    The envelope of a hot incan may shatter due to the sudden temperature change, but nothing will go up in a fireball.

    NRA Life Member since 1979

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeLip View Post
    Try dropping a running flashlight into a tub of water. It will continue to run. This has been experimentally proven by my daughter and our toilet.
    Note to self, don't by lights from mikelip.

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Quote Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post
    Note to self, don't by lights from mikelip.
    She is 17 now, and although I wonder sometimes (often) if she's really any more sensible than she was when she was 4, she hasn't dropped anything in the toilet for a LONG time!

    NRA Life Member since 1979

  21. #21

    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Just to get some information together on this water conductivity issue:

    Distilled water is completely purified- no ions from dissolved salts/minerals. Because there are no impurities and water has an extremely small ionization constant, there is not a high enough concentration of dissociated ions to conduct electricity.
    Tap water is more conductive than distilled water. It has some impurities, which dissociate in water to form ions. These ions assist in carrying charge and therefore increase the conductivity of water.
    Salt water is extremely conductive (until a certain concentration of salt). This is due to the large number of dissociated impurities, causing a large concentration of ions in the water.

    Batteries probably have the highest chance of surviving a dip in distilled water, and the lowest chance of surviving a dip in salt water.
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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Burgess View Post
    what about Energizer Lithium AA's (L91) ?


    Can they stand to get wet ?


    Dunked & submerged ?

    _
    I brought 8 brand new still in the bubble pack Energizer Lithium L91s with me to a cave with dripping and pooled water. The battery pack was not water proof and water got in. I opened the pack with condensation around the plastic bubble pack. I let the 8 L91s stand on the kitchen counter for a few days. I used those L91s later with no problems.
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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Thank you.


    _

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    I love how the title of the thread is "Stupid Question", yet this is the thread I have learned the most from for a long time. Thanks again for starting it and maybe this comming week I will test some batteries in the sink for yall

  25. #25
    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Quote Originally Posted by dudemar View Post
    Thanks for mentioning that Bullzeyebill, I always wondered about that part of the GAT light!

    Dudemar
    by what I've read in the past on gatlights, supposedly the ends of the cells are pretty snug with the contact ends and is actually submersible

  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Gee ,


    May i suggest that you perform yer' testing outdoors,
    just for safety sake ?


    Yes, i realize that you're located in New Jersey,
    and it's rather cold right now.


    Just a suggestion.

    _

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Yea, we have break next week so if I have time then... Don't worry, I won't do anything crazy, probably dunk a battery or two in a bucket, wait a few minuites, let the cell dry out and do a comparative voltage test. This is IF I can get this all together

    Would love to give back to the CPF community any way I can

    So far I have:

    nicad AA, 9volt, c, d, sub c, probs more...

    nimh AA, AAA,

    Lithium CR2, 18650, 5 different types of button cells

    Alkaline AA, AAA, c, d, 9volt

    Remember... still a big IF

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Alan B's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    The conductivity of water, even ionized with salt, is far poorer than metal. So it would take a long time to drain the battery when "shorted" by water.

    I helped my daughter do a science experiment years ago with water, two AA cells in series and a red LED. If I remember correctly, with a lot of salt in the water, and the probes not too far apart in the water, we could light the LED. This required only a few milliamps.

    -- Alan

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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    I've heard that saltwater is so bad that your only hope for a torch etc dropped into saltwater might be to take the battery out then rinse it (edit: the device, that is) in fresh water before drying. But that's because of the salt and corrosion. No water is a superconductor, even with salt in it. Cars drive off wharfs into harbours and their windscreen wipers still work underwater. (What you can see on TV, eh?)
    Last edited by TorchBoy; 12-18-2007 at 10:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Stupid Question: Are 123 or AA batteries ruined or compromised after submersion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullzeyebill View Post
    Considering the price of Pila's I would have rescued them from #2.

    Bill
    LOL that is so funny! I was wondering what I would've done if there was #2 in there... I would've kept the light, but the batteries... well let's just say it would depend on how much #2 is caked on inside and out!

    You are right though, at $22-$27 a pop they're not cheap - but they're very much worth it.

    Dudemar
    Last edited by dudemar; 12-19-2007 at 12:52 AM.

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