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Thread: Just had an Alkaline Battery Leakage Experience

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* sween1911's Avatar
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    Default Just had an Alkaline Battery Leakage Experience

    Was watching my 2-year old son. Wife upstairs supervising daughter taking a shower. Make a fort on the couch for son. I grab a 2 D-cell flashlight we had on the counter. It's not the regular flashlight for the house, but it happened to be sitting there. I push the button and it feels weird. Stiff maybe. I look at the bulb and there doesn't seem to be a reflector in the light. WTH? I unscrew the head a little and there's a hiss and clear fluid drops out on my hand. The reflector is clear, the finish is gone. I suddenly realize that the fluid on my hand could be battery acid. The liquid was clear, and felt greasy. It could have been my imagination, but I swear I felt it tingling. I threw the whole thing in the trash and rinsed my hands with lots and lots of water in the sink. My wife has a spray bottle of vinegar solution, so I sprayed that on my hands and the counter. Then wrapped up the trash bag and put it in the garbage can in the garage.

    Cells: I think older RAYOVAC? with a light blue and dark blue wrapper. Not sure, and I'm not digging through the trash to look.

    I thought maybe the kids submerged the light playing with a bucket of water maybe. I have no idea what caused it, we use that particular light on and off occasionally. It really freaked me out, trying to wash my hands and throw the bag out in the garbage while keeping my son as bay as he followed me around trying to figure out what I was doing.

    Any ideas? Sound like a typical alkaline batt problem? I've never experienced that before.
    Last edited by sween1911; 07-09-2012 at 05:49 PM.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just had an Alkaline Battery Leakage Experience

    I had one leak the other day, a Duracell AAA, that wasn't even in a device.

    It happens.

    Chris
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  3. #3

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    We're the cells running low? Not all that uncommon with multicell lights, I'd bet it was a reverse charge situation.

    When you run the batts low on a 2 cell, one cell will always die out first. The voltage may go so low that it begins to charge in reverse from the slightly stronger cell. That will pop the batt (battery fart) causing the hiss (or rubber tail cap to ballon out) and leak battery acid. Yeah that stuff can tingle on skin... try a lip, that's really sensitive - don't ask how I know.

    Well, look at it this way, if your were running CR123s, or Li-ions, it could have exploded in your hands, or on the time in the charger.
    Last edited by reppans; 07-09-2012 at 10:47 PM.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* sween1911's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just had an Alkaline Battery Leakage Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by reppans View Post
    We're the cells running low? Not all that uncommon with multicell lights, I'd bet it was a reverse charge situation.

    When you run the batts low on a 2 cell, one cell will always die out first. The voltage may go so low that it begins to charge in reverse from the slightly stronger cell. That will pop the batt (battery fart) causing the hiss (or rubber tail cap to ballon out) and leak battery acid. Yeah that stuff can tingle on skin... try a lip, that's really sensitive - don't ask how I know.

    Well, look at it this way, if your were running CR123s, or Li-ions, it could have exploded in your hands, or on the time in the charger.
    Yeah, they were probably old and low. I've seen the crusty white, cells-jammed in the tube leak, had to throw out a few lights jammed up like that. But never had the liquid dripping out, that was weird. There seemed to be a lot of it.

    Thanks for the replies.
    Dean Venture: "I'll get the flashlights!"
    Hank Venture: "And I'll get the astronaut Ice Cream!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Just had an Alkaline Battery Leakage Experience

    Not acidic, but basic electrolyte.
    It is caustic, mildly.

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