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Thread: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    Before I start, I know, I know, alkaline batteries. Anyway, I have 2 mini maglite aluminum lights that have 2 AA alkaline batteries corroded inside them. Can I get the batteries out and still use the light? Is the light toast? How should I go about getting the batteries out of the tube? I tried everything I know to get them out, to no avail. Any help appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    If they are name brand batteries like Energizer, Duracell etc...send them in & they will fix or replace your lights.

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    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't know where you live, but if you're in the USA, minimags are cheap enough I'd throw them out and buy new ones. It's barely worth your time.
    McGizmo Haiku Review Mac's Tri EDC Review MY LIGHTS!! McGizmo: Get It, Use It, Love It. Why buy a cheap bright light when a dim expensive one will do?

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    Flashaholic bnemmie's Avatar
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    Default Re: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    I used a drill and drilled out the old batt last time that happened. Then took the whole light apart, used a wooden dowel as a punch and beat the old battery out. Then I wrapped the drill bit in a rag and polished out all of the battery acid.
    "I don't fail, I succeed at finding what doesn't work." -Chris Titus

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    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    Unscrew the head and remove it. With the tailcap also removed, repeatedly drop the light (while still holding it loosely in your hand) tail first onto a 2x4 or some other piece of hard (not soft, like particle board) wood that you don't mind if it gets chewed up. This should eventually loosen the cells up so you can get them out. It may take a while and you may have to really fling it down, but It's always worked for me, although it's been a long time since I had cells corroded/stuck in a light.

    Dave

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    Flashaholic* hopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    If possible remove the head and tail and submerge the tube with stuck leaky AA's into a plastic bowl
    of vinegar (acid) to help melt the alkaline chemicals , then use a wooden dowel and hammer to pound them out.

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    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    Quote Originally Posted by ragweed View Post
    If they are name brand batteries like Energizer, Duracell etc...send them in & they will fix or replace your lights.
    I have Duracell batteries in there. I did not know that. Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post
    I don't know where you live, but if you're in the USA, minimags are cheap enough I'd throw them out and buy new ones. It's barely worth your time.
    I am in the USA. They are cheap, but I just thought I'd try and see if I could save them.

    Quote Originally Posted by bnemmie View Post
    I used a drill and drilled out the old batt last time that happened. Then took the whole light apart, used a wooden dowel as a punch and beat the old battery out. Then I wrapped the drill bit in a rag and polished out all of the battery acid.
    I tried to drill a hole in the battery, but I did not know if it was dangerous. I did not want it to blow up or something. If I can get the batteries out, I'll try this Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by 45/70 View Post
    Unscrew the head and remove it. With the tailcap also removed, repeatedly drop the light (while still holding it loosely in your hand) tail first onto a 2x4 or some other piece of hard (not soft, like particle board) wood that you don't mind if it gets chewed up. This should eventually loosen the cells up so you can get them out. It may take a while and you may have to really fling it down, but It's always worked for me, although it's been a long time since I had cells corroded/stuck in a light.Dave
    Thank you. I will attempt this next.

    Quote Originally Posted by hopkins View Post
    If possible remove the head and tail and submerge the tube with stuck leaky AA's into a plastic bowl
    of vinegar (acid) to help melt the alkaline chemicals , then use a wooden dowel and hammer to pound them out.
    Thank you for the help!

  8. #8
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    hello, yeah i just fixed a friend of mines mini mag with a stuck battery and stuck tail cap.
    Please note that i did this after reading forum posts on CPF and finding out what worked for others. I ended up cutting the tailcap with a hacksaw. i carefully and with great patience drilled out what was left of the cap and then drilled the battery with 3/8in drill bit. lots of vinegar, be it apple cider or white vinegar works good, but don't leave vinegar in flashlight for more than 5 minutes soaking. CLR works also but can be harsh on the aluminum if left too long in flashlight. i used the bang flashlight on somehing hard method once i thought the vinegar had done it's job. rinse with water. i scrubbed the inside of the tube with an old toothbrush soaked in vinegar. A replacement tailcap found on ebay for 5-6 dollars and some hoppes no. 9 oil on the threads and good as new.

    Good luck to others with the same problem
    Do the research then fix it

  9. #9
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    I tried the suggestion solution of soaking the tube in vinegar for a few days. I don't recommend it. The vinegar ended up corroding the metal in the "switch assembly", so even after I eventually removed the batteries the flashlight would not work. Here's how it went:

    I soaked the thing for several days, checking it each day and working with a small screwdriver to try to scrape away the "gunk" so the batteries would come out. Eventually, the end of the battery came off, then the interior of the battery begin to disintegrate (the vinegar turning brown). Still, i could not get the battery out. Finally, after putting a lot of pressure on the top of the tube (after having removed the "upper insulator" (see here for schematic and part names)) the batteries slid out. When I put everything back together the flashlight wouldn't work. I noticed the tiny pieces of metal in the switch assembly looked corroded, and while messing with the pieces the bottom part simply broke.

    If I had it to do over again, I think I'd try the suggestion to use a drill. There's a YouTube video (not mine) on how to do it.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    Welcome to the Forum!

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* uk_caver's Avatar
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    Default Re: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    I successfully removed burst/stuck AAs from a maglite using a woodscrew first gently hammered and then screwed into the base of a cell and pulled out using pliers.
    The second cell was tricky to get moving, but dribbling a little oil into the body after the first cell was removed and giving it a few impacts helped - I fixed a block of wood into a vice, and then pulled the pliers along the wood, causing the end of the maglite to impact the end of the piece of wood.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* uk_caver's Avatar
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    Default Re: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    The above was some years ago, and was (I think) with Duracells.

    Coincidentally, yesterday I got given an AA maglite with a stuck corroded cell which was a little harder to remove - couldn't hammer a screw into it, so drilled a pilot hole for the screw but even drilling was tough - with a Dremel and a 2mm bit, I got through the bottom but I think I pushed the dimple from the center of the base into the cell, which then sat on the end of the drill and spun on the cell contents.
    With a bigger drill and a 3mm bit, I had to push pretty hard (hard enough to push the drill back into the chuck twice) before breaking the resistance (or pushing the dimple out of the way) but once I screwed the screw into the hole the cell came out reasonably easily, leaving its wrapper inside.
    Luckily it was only the bottom cell stuck.

    The cell was an Energiser. Apparently the torch 'was working a few months ago' when tested by turning it on.
    I don't know the precise date, but judging from the Energizer 'history of the battery' ( http://www.energizer.com/learning-ce...y-history.aspx) it seems like the kind they were making from 1995 to 1997 with the test strip, so I can't really blame Energizer for this one if it was likely ~15 years out of date.

    The end cap/spring is somewhat corroded, but I'm planning on modding the light to LED anyway, so I have to replace that with a switch cap.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: AA Batteries corroded in Mini Maglite tube

    Thanks for the updates. I still have 2 mini mag lites that have batteries stuck in them. I was a little afraid to drill into the batteries, but after hearing this, I will try again this week.

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