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Thread: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

  1. #1
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    Default what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    I have had one Maglight destroyed by alkaline battery leakage. Is there any warning or what to watch for? Is there any way to prevent it? Thanks!
    Last edited by ragweed; 01-08-2010 at 04:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Some will say that alkaline leakage is a matter of WHEN, not IF.

    So... I would only resort to using alkalines out of necessity.

    Otherwise, rechargeable nimh batteries or lithium primaries are the way to go.

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    Flashaholic* Niconical's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Quote Originally Posted by ragweed View Post
    Is there any way to prevent it?
    Alkaline battery leak avoidance and prevention kit
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    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Quote Originally Posted by ragweed View Post
    I have had one Maglight destroyed by alkaline battery leakage. Is there any warning or what to watch for? Is there any way to prevent it? Thanks!
    Always put freshly purchased batteries in the light. Replace the batteries as soon as the light becomes dim. Only keep the batteries in the light while you are using it. Always remove batteries from the light before you put it away.

  5. #5

    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Reports of leakage here on CPF seem abnormally high based on my experience. The only alkalines that have leaked on me are dead ones, so as long as you remove or replace them when they start to run down, the danger seems low IMHO. Of course they'll run down all by themselves eventually, so infrequently used devices are more at risk.

    Also... if you mix fresh batteries and low ones, the fresh ones will eventually drive the others in reverse which I imagine leads to rapid leakage, so be careful there too.

  6. #6

    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    I had a mag light ruined by charged Energizers recently. They were far from dead, but had been in the flashlight by my bed for over a year.

    I have an unopened 4 pack of Duracell aaa with one leaking.

    Seems to be more of this in the last couple of years.
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    Flashaholic* Robin24k's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    I wonder if professional grade alkalines would be any better?

    I don't know how much help this will be, but I put a rolled up piece of paper inside my D-cell Mags to prevent the batteries from rattling. It's probably better than nothing though.

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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Hello Ragweed,

    In addition to the above situations that may cause an Alkaline cell to leak, you also have to be aware of storage conditions.

    I was advised by Duracell that batteries in lights that are kept in vehicles should be changed out yearly. It seems the temperature changes between summer and winter can cause the cells to leak.

    Tom
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    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    There is no way to tell. They can leak Brand new in the package just as readily as when in service.... either case is with no warning.

    Best prevention is avoidance. Eneloops (or rebrand) would be my suggestion.

    I had a brand new Kirkland duracell rebrand leak just sitting idle on my keyboard. It was only a week old, it slowly leaked on my keyboard and dissolved the silver paint down to the plastic.

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    Flashaholic* Turbo DV8's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Quote Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
    I had a brand new Kirkland duracell rebrand leak just sitting idle on my keyboard. It was only a week old, it slowly leaked on my keyboard and dissolved the silver paint down to the plastic.
    Is that the culprit sitting there? If so, I believe Duracell rebrands for Kirkland, not the other way around?

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    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turbo DV8 View Post
    Is that the culprit sitting there? If so, I believe Duracell rebrands for Kirkland, not the other way around?
    No thats just a battery I placed there for the picture.
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    I just found an old Princeton Tec 2 AA light that I had tucked away. When I opened it up the Duracell batteries were bulging and just starting to leak. The light worked fine, but I thought I should take a look, just in case.

    Caught this one "just in time..."

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

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    Flashaholic* Black Rose's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    I have gone years without an alkaline cell leaking, but recently I've had several depleted AA cells in my plastic battery recycling container become crystaline entities (Kirkland & Duracell).

    I know depleted cells are more likely to leak, but I've never had depleted cells do this before.

    In the past I've kept depleted cells (including ones from the same package that have now leaked) in that container for over a year before accumulating enough to take in for disposal.

    All of my cells are stored in a cool location.

    Now that I use LSD NiMh cells for everything but clocks, my alkaline cell usage has dropped significantly.

    I just checked my remaining supply of alkaline cells for clocks and they are all still OK. Hopefully they will stay that way until I can use them all up.

    Oddly enough, a set of Duracell D cells that I found last month with a best used date of January 2002 are doing fine.
    I guess being stored near the cold basement floor helped them.

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    Flashaholic WDG's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    I've lost two Mags to leaking alkies, plus remotes, clocks and other items. One Maglight was so bad I couldn't get it open with pump pliers.

    The "state of the art" in alkalines is why I now run Eneloops in everything I can, including clocks.


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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Poor handling is an unseen cause of leakage in alkalines. If a case (or a pallet) of them is dropped they may leak at a later date. Some time back a CPFer who worked in retail reported a batch of new alkalines leaking in their original sealed packaging on a rack on the sales floor.

    While I haven't been stung more than a few times by leakers, I am very careful. I only buy cells from a company that really sells lots of them -- I figure there's a good chance that workers at a specialty supplier will handle them better than a part time kid at a drugstore or a seven-eleven... I buy Procells in AAA, AA, C and D from a specialty house and it has worked out very well for me.

    I use secondary cells for nearly everything but still have to slowly rotate through my alky emergency stash. They sit around for about 4-5 years before they are used in rotation. I've been doing this for a long time and I haven't lost any in storage so far.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 01-10-2010 at 01:37 AM.

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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDG View Post
    I've lost two Mags to leaking alkies, plus remotes, clocks and other items. One Maglight was so bad I couldn't get it open with pump pliers.

    The "state of the art" in alkalines is why I now run Eneloops in everything I can, including clocks.
    They shouldnt even sell alkalines in Texas.


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    Flashaholic WDG's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Quote Originally Posted by carbine15 View Post
    They shouldnt even sell alkalines in Texas.
    The curious part was that this particular light wasn't in a vehicle. It was inside next to the bed, so it was in a fairly cell friendly environment, from a temperature/vibration standpoint. Guess I should have checked it more often.

    I didn't think about contacting the manufacturer for replacement, at the time. Maybe if more folks did that, the manufacturers would devote more R&D to the leakage problem. They probably sell enough now that they don't have to, though. Oh, well. It's Eneloops all around for me, thank you Sanyo!


  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Quote Originally Posted by WDG View Post
    The curious part was that this particular light wasn't in a vehicle. It was inside next to the bed, so it was in a fairly cell friendly environment, from a temperature/vibration standpoint. Guess I should have checked it more often. ...
    Even though I've had few leakers they have ALL occurred under conditions that would be considered "cell friendly." This is what causes me to suspect improper handling on the part of the shippers, warehousers and retailers in some of these cases. Unseen damage.

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    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    Unseen damage.
    Or a reduction in manufacturing standards? Consider that 40 years ago heavy duty cells were manufactured with a thick zinc shell and a simple cardboard wrapper. The zinc was so thick it would maintain cell integrity without any reinforcement. If you take a cell apart today, the zinc shell inside the steel case is thinner than paper...

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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Happy View Post
    Or a reduction in manufacturing standards? Consider that 40 years ago heavy duty cells were manufactured with a thick zinc shell and a simple cardboard wrapper. The zinc was so thick it would maintain cell integrity without any reinforcement. If you take a cell apart today, the zinc shell inside the steel case is thinner than paper...
    I agree fully. As I see it, one problem exacerbates the other. The endless competition between brands to see who may cram the most capacity into their cells has resulted in cells with universally thinner shells and separators rendering them more and more prone to damage from drops and shocks in transit, storage and handling before they even get to the purchaser. I think we're probably pretty much on the same page on this.

    This ever increasing fragility is why I'm only buying alkys from specialty houses that have chosen make batteries the major part of their overall sales. My hope is that they are more fussy about how their people hump them around. It's worked for me so far.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 01-10-2010 at 03:05 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Thanks everyone! Going to check on the Eneloop.

  22. #22

    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Quote Originally Posted by ragweed View Post
    Is there any way to prevent it?
    Yes, don't use alkaline batteries. I avoid them like the plague.

  23. #23

    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    I've lost at least 3 Mini-mags to leaking AA alkaline cells.

    For primary AA, I now buy Energizer lithiums from ebay in bulk (about $1.25 each)

    I use LSD NiMH AA where I can.

    I've had plenty of consumer grade alkalines leak in package, so I now only buy industrial branded alkaline (Duracell Procell, Energizer Industrial)

    By using battery size adapters I no longer need to buy C cells (AA+adapter) or 6V lantern (4D+ adapter) batteries.

    For D cell batteries I buy Duracell Procells off ebay in bulk (about $1 each)

    Because of their limited capacity compared to AA, I do my best to avoid using AAA cells and don't have any critical devices that use them (just a few direct-drive LED flashlights)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    I've had to toss a few lights at work due to people leaving the batteries in them. One of my tasks at work is to maintain response carts with flashlights on them (14 carts with 4 lights on each). It's frustrating to have to throw out expensive lights over a stupid oversight on someones part. Most of the batteries I've found that were leaking were at the end of their stated shelf life (Energizer Industrials).

    Someone mentioned in passing to me that I should keep the batteries in a baggy. Thoughts ? I keep the batteries seperated from the lights now.

    Thanks.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Robin24k's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    If the batteries are seperate from the lights, a plastic bag would be good to have. I always leave batteries in the original box or the plastic box holder that comes with rechargeable Energizers, as it prevents uncontained leaks and shorts.

    I would even venture to say maybe you can consider putting the batteries (in the lights) in plastic and having the user rip it out before use. Though that would probably not be of much use if the batteries swell...

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* JohnR66's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Anyone have RayoVac Alkies leak? I find all Alkaline batteries last about the same and the Rayovacs work fine. I can't recall them ever leaking.

    I use several LSD rechargeables, but Alkaline batteries are great for some applications.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Black Rose's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    I've had some Rayovac alkalines start to leak after I put them in my battery recycling bin.

    The Rayovac cells were Made In China OEM cells that came with the last 2xAA Sportsman Xtreme light I bought.

  28. #28

    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    This is probably a stupid question but where exactly do alkalines leak from? Does the acid just weep through the metal?

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    Flashaholic* berry580's Avatar
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    no alkaline D cells has ever leaked in my Mag 4D.
    I check the batteries once every few months and make sure the voltage is still over 1.5V, and its been a couple of years already without incident. It stays in the car which is never garaged, meaning it suffers from extreme cold to extreme heat, i must be a luck dude. *not sure for how much longer though * haha
    Last edited by berry580; 01-15-2010 at 10:32 PM.
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: what is the deal with Akaline leakage?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3000k View Post
    This is probably a stupid question but where exactly do alkalines leak from? Does the acid just weep through the metal?
    +1

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