Malkoff
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* LED-holic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Terminal 4
    Posts
    1,682

    Default Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    My wife's E01 has had an alkaline AAA battery leak inside of it, and the leak left a streak of white residue that is preventing new AAA battery from fitting properly and working.

    How can I remove the leak residue? It's a tough place to reach because the residue is near the end of the tube and the tube is so small. Plus I don't know what type of cleaner can dissolve / remove the residue. It's dried/stuck on and not easily scraped off.
    Mini split rings for attaching lanyard trick. D10 DIY diffuser trick.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* R@ndom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Melbourne AU
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    Give duracell/enegizer a buzz. They'll give you a cheque for a new e01!

  3. #3
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    When the same thing happened to me (@#Q$%@!#$ alkies!) I used the point of a metal fingernail file to scrape enough residue loose just to get it usable again, cleaning it with alcohol and a Q-tip to make sure there was no acid or metal shavings left.

    I still haven't gotten all the damage cleaned up, though, so I eagerly await other responses... I've considered borrowing my dad's dremel tool and polishing the aluminum smooth again there. I've considered using CLR (with a Q-tip)... but haven't tried that yet either. I'd urge caution with the CLR, though I can tell you it works very well on old corroded copper springs. In the absence of a dremel, some very fine sandpaper designed for use on metal, wrapped around the end of a small Phillips head screwdriver, might help a little.

    I also took it as a lesson... get some aaa NIMHs! And a decent charger. Some very reasonable prices now... Amazon, Target (where I got my Duracell AA/AAA charger), and the most intriguing deal I've seen lately is the Tenergy NiMH aaa 4 pack at 4Sevens.

    R@ndom, in my case, it was a cheap Rayovac aaa... do you think they would do the same replacement deal as Duracell/Energizer? It was a year ago, though...

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Crenshaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4,298

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    i was using my E01 to drain alks, i guess i should have learnt my lesson from the CMG infinity, which, thankfully, survivived completely intact....

    ive tried filling it up with Septanol (70% menthylated spirit) and leaving it over night, didnt make a difference. Ive more or less given up, and thinking of just soldering to contacts on the head to a "D" battery holder....

    Crenshaw

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* half-watt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Southern Connecticut
    Posts
    1,095

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    as an attempted corrective action of *LAST* resort, try a little chemistry experiment.

    dilute some clear vinegar (~4% acetic acid) in water and moisten cotton swab (aka a Q-Tip) and try to remove the residue. DON'T DROWN the light with liquid at any stage of this procedure.

    repeat with some Arm and Hammer baking soda (sodium bicarbonate - a buffer) and water on another cotton swab to react with the diluted vinegar.

    finish with some distilled, de-ionized water (you can find it in the pharmacy - some people use it in their hand irons for ironing clothes). repeat until you feel that no acid remains in the light.

    i've cleaned up electrical contacts in this fashion in years gone by. if the residue is acidic in nature, then only the Sodium-BiCarb is needed, followed by one or more distilled, de-ionized water "rinse"/cleanup, so to speak. i'm sure many have cleaned up automotive battery terminal corrosion with some bicarb+water and then rinsed it off with clear water.

    finally, dry with with a Q-Tip and let the light air dry for a couple of days, or use a hair dryer to dry up every last vestige of water in the light.

    in the old days, i've "washed"/"rinsed", so to speak, with distilled, de-ionized water electronic devices which had carbonated soda accidentally spilled on and into them. then afterwards dried them in the oven at about 108 deg F, or let them air dry for anywhere from a few days to two weeks before powering them back up. the electronic device would work fine.
    Last edited by half-watt; 06-12-2009 at 06:11 AM.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mostly View Post
    When the same thing happened to me (@#Q$%@!#$ alkies!) I used the point of a metal fingernail file to scrape enough residue loose just to get it usable again, cleaning it with alcohol and a Q-tip to make sure there was no acid or metal shavings left.
    It's not acid, it's a basic. Alkaline batteries contain potassium hydroxide, which is a strong base. Potassium hydroxide reacts with the aluminum in the light, so some of the residue you scraped off wasn't just cell leakage, it was part of the aluminum battery tube that had reacted with the hydroxide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mostly View Post
    R@ndom, in my case, it was a cheap Rayovac aaa... do you think they would do the same replacement deal as Duracell/Energizer? It was a year ago, though...
    Rayovac has the same repair/replacement policy as Duracell and Energizer. All three companies require you to return the leaking cells with the device to be repaired/replaced, however, so you're probably out of luck in this case.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic The Shadow's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Standing right beside you...
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    Quote Originally Posted by LED-holic View Post
    My wife's E01 has had an alkaline AAA battery leak inside of it, and the leak left a streak of white residue that is preventing new AAA battery from fitting properly and working.
    Same thing happened here. I ended up scraping it off using some of the methods described already. It would be great to have some kind of chemical cleaner for when this happens!
    Who knows...

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Southern Calif.
    Posts
    492

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    acetone? MEK?

  9. #9
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    houston, tx
    Posts
    2,024

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    Same thing happened to me, I used multi purpose scrubber, the green thing that you wash the dish, cut a small piece put it one a stick and use use a makita cordless drill and, the EO1 clean as almost new.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    Pick up some CRC battery cleaner at you local auto parts store. I've used it for years on cars and for cleaning leaked batteries in my lights/kids toys/tools. Its a spray foam and does work better if you can wash it off but can be done neatly inside a flashlight. One thing watch it on chrome it will tarnish it & battery contacts if left on too long

  11. #11

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    The main thing is to neutralize the chemical in the tube first. Then, if there is room you may be able to use a gun cleaner wire brush. Give the brush a few spins until the inside of the tube looks good. You may have to cut off the extra twisted wire at the tip of the wire brush in order to get all the way into the tube. Then, once again clean out out all the dust, and make sure the corrosion is neutralized. Heck, hook the wire brush to a cordless drill. I've cleaned the inside of many bushings like this.

    DN

  12. #12
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    Quote Originally Posted by MorePower View Post
    It's not acid, it's a basic. Alkaline batteries contain potassium hydroxide, which is a strong base. Potassium hydroxide reacts with the aluminum in the light, so some of the residue you scraped off wasn't just cell leakage, it was part of the aluminum battery tube that had reacted with the hydroxide.
    I knew that. That's what "alkali" means, after all... but I'm in the improper habit of calling anything corrosive an "acid" because if you tell someone to clean up the "base," it could easily be misunderstood. Blasted homonyms! My bad... I should have used the more generic word "corrosive."

    Quote Originally Posted by MorePower View Post
    Rayovac has the same repair/replacement policy as Duracell and Energizer. All three companies require you to return the leaking cells with the device to be repaired/replaced, however, so you're probably out of luck in this case.
    Good to know Rayovac has the same repair policy... but yeah, out of luck at this point. And the light still works.

    I like half-watt's suggestion. Sounds like it would work well.

    This morning I tried the CLR on my E01, which I'd already cleaned up well enough to use when the damage first occurred, but which still had a rough place. CLR didn't do anything for the rough aluminum, but it did eat a little of the blue anodizing! (I hadn't paid much attention before the damage occurred, but E01s are anodized on the inside of the tube.) I don't recommend the CLR for this use.

    After the CLR didn't work, I found some very fine aluminum oxide sandpaper (maybe a 400 grit, could even be 600) and used it on the rough place. Much more effective! This "sandpaper" is something like a tough fabric instead of the usual paper, very durable and bendable. It comes in a roll about the width of duct tape, and I have no idea how expensive it is--this was a small strip my Dad, a retired machinist, had given me years ago. I rolled a little section of it up into a small stiff tube and the rough place cleaned up well with vigorous rubbing. This was just a small place near the opening of the tube--a larger place further back might require the cordless drill (if you don't have a Dremel) methods glockboy and electrothump mention.

    The very fine aluminum oxide sandpaper worked so well that I used it on a Romisen RC-I3 that had also had an alkaline leak (yes, I'm a slow learner). It was slightly easier to reach into the Romisen, but there was more corrosion so it took a while to get it clean. Seems odd to use corroded (oxidized) aluminum to clean up corroded aluminum... but it worked!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    Before going through the trouble make sure the battery spring is still good. If it disintegrated, you might as well buy a new flashlight.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic Brlux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Help - Fenix E01 alkaline battery leak, how to remove residue?

    I had an old PT Matrix head lamp (plastic body) that I pulled out last night only to find a corroded AA in it. I tried using some CLR on a Q-tip and it worked great. As soon as the damp Q-tip touched the corosion it started bubbling and a few seconds later I was ble to wipe off all the corosion and then I rinsed it all out with water and let it dry.

    It souinds like the CLR may cause damage to anodize so be careful in its aplication on aluminum lights but I would still use it (with extreem caution) on one of my aluminum lights if I had a bettery leak.
    It takes a really inteligent person to know how to spell a word more than one way.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •