Beware Alkaline Cells

Lark Hunter

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I've had too many bad experiences with alkaline batteries to trust them in anything but electronics that I have no problem disposing of if I can't clean up the mess that one or more will inevitably leave.

No additional charge for that run-on sentence, either.
 

LiteTheWay

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I sometimes use a Streamlight Stylus which takes AAAA batteries. Can you get lithium AAAA - I thought only alkaleaks in that size?
 

xxo

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I sometimes use a Streamlight Stylus which takes AAAA batteries. Can you get lithium AAAA - I thought only alkaleaks in that size?
Most alkaline 9V batteries have 6 unwrapped AAAA size cells inside (though the polarity is usually reversed) - not sure if the energizer 9V lithium L522 is constructed the same way, but if it is, it may have AAAA size lithium cells inside. Since lithium cells have much more energy than alkalines, it's probably not a good idea to try take one of the L522's apart to find out.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Most alkaline 9V batteries have 6 unwrapped AAAA size cells inside (though the polarity is usually reversed) - not sure if the energizer 9V lithium L522 is constructed the same way, but if it is, it may have AAAA size lithium cells inside. Since lithium cells have much more energy than alkalines, it's probably not a good idea to try take one of the L522's apart to find out.
Only a few 9V alkaline batteries have 6AAAAs in them and you do need to have a voltmeter to make sure of polarity. There is info on the internet that will tell you which ones (brands) have them. The lithium 9v likely have 3 prismatic cells in them stacked like a lot of 9V alkaleaks have I don't think anyone makes a AAAA lithium cell at all as a 9V using 6 of them would make for 10.8V or so using that chemistry. I've taken apart a 9V to fuel my streamlight and since I rarely use it I forgot about it and now the alkaleaks have cemented themselves in it ruining it totally. I often wonder why they don't put plastic sleeves in metal tube lights so when alkaleaks spew they don't cement themselves in there maybe you can then pull the battery out or pound it out without it glued by alkaleakage.
 

snakebite

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cleaned up a fluke 87III today from duracell(duraleakers).
owner was rather mad that 2 month old cells puked in the meter.
he ordered a bunch of eneloops on my advice.
 

GarageBoy

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I got a pair of those burstos when I got a IR forehead thermometer - irony
I had a box of like 12 smoke detectors (commerical installation pack) where they included a 9v battery inside. All 12 leaked in the box...

Where did you get an eneloop in 9v form? I had to settle for the tenergy lsd 9v
 

Lynx_Arc

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I got a pair of those burstos when I got a IR forehead thermometer - irony
I had a box of like 12 smoke detectors (commerical installation pack) where they included a 9v battery inside. All 12 leaked in the box...

Where did you get an eneloop in 9v form? I had to settle for the tenergy lsd 9v
Nope..... no 9V eneloops out there only AA and AAA and I once saw a picture of a C cell Eneloop but it was basically a packed with several AAA eneloops
 

ZMZ67

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I have Tenergy low self discharge Nimh 9V and I believe there are some other brands out there as well. The problem I have run into is the the + and - connections are slightly recessed compared to lithium/alkaline 9V and will not work with some items like my Pak-lites.
I do use alkaline 9V and 6V batteries for Pak-lites and some lanterns but the leakage problem seems to be mitigated since both are made of sub cells contained in the battery case.YMMV The Pak-lites are easy to monitor anyway since they just snap on the battery. Otherwise I won't use AAA-D in lights as a general rule as I have seen way to many get ruined by leaking batteries
 

3_gun

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Since my last post .. my wireless key board, no low battery warnings, just died well before it should've. Duracell AA dated more than 2 years from the date of failure. Cleaned up OK so happy endings
 

troutpool

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I have been very careful to use lithium primaries in my lights, but today I happened to open up a little AAA light I have not touched in a couple of years, and, to my horror, there was an alkaline battery in it. And, yes, it had leaked. And, no, the light will not work now. I think I bought this light from a previous owner and it came with the alkaline in it. I guess I just never checked it, and I am kicking myself now.
 

Jeff H

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Not new, but haven't been here in some time...

Alkalines are forbidden in my house. Maybe a bit rash or irrational to some, but I have developed a pure hatred of them for the fact that I have lost devices to them over the years, and rarely to the credit of my own thoughtless forgetfulness. I've had new Alkalines leak and kill lights after a month.

I use eneloop rechargeable AAs and AAAs for daily use, and lithium AAs and AAAs in kits or glove-boxes, in which case the lights go long periods without being used.

I did read somewhere not too long ago that 1.2V NiMHs drained too quickly for some applications and it puzzled me, because they seem to last a long time in the lights I use on a regular basis. Recently, I had to purchase a blood-pressure reading kit and got the one that pumps up the cuff and gives you an LCD reading. NOW, I get it. A set of four NiMHs last TWO readings in that monster, but they are perfectly adequate for all my other uses.

I'm sure the extra .3V in Alkalines are of extra benefit in some applications, but I just won't take the chance. The aggravating part is that many new devices come with complementary alkaline cells, which I remove immediately or just don't install, and chuck into the "dead cell repository" (plastic coffee can) to save for the annual recycling event. Trouble with that is that as of this spring, they no longer accept alkaline cells for recycling and recommend you "toss them into the trash, because a few won't ruin the world."

I've been using the same eneloop NiMHs since 2011 and 2012, over and over and have not thrown one out yet or purchased any new ones, so they are also cheaper in the long run and more convenient. I never run out of cells.
 

idleprocess

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I'm sure the extra .3V in Alkalines are of extra benefit in some applications
In badly-designed electronics, maybe, but that just means the cells are 'dead' relative to the device long before they've actually run out of useful juice. Comparing the general shape of alkaline vs NiMH discharge curves:
2ntJrcfm4DWjg4Z11-B0_04PuaK-WrIKL_51WUDX5s_KM8WHIA.gif
Alkaline drops fast from its 'nominal' 1.5V while NiMH remains relatively flat long after alkaline has dropped below ~1.2V. The greater the load, the faster alkaline plummets to <NiMH voltage.
 

Lynx_Arc

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Not new, but haven't been here in some time...

Alkalines are forbidden in my house. Maybe a bit rash or irrational to some, but I have developed a pure hatred of them for the fact that I have lost devices to them over the years, and rarely to the credit of my own thoughtless forgetfulness. I've had new Alkalines leak and kill lights after a month.

I use eneloop rechargeable AAs and AAAs for daily use, and lithium AAs and AAAs in kits or glove-boxes, in which case the lights go long periods without being used.

I did read somewhere not too long ago that 1.2V NiMHs drained too quickly for some applications and it puzzled me, because they seem to last a long time in the lights I use on a regular basis. Recently, I had to purchase a blood-pressure reading kit and got the one that pumps up the cuff and gives you an LCD reading. NOW, I get it. A set of four NiMHs last TWO readings in that monster, but they are perfectly adequate for all my other uses.

I'm sure the extra .3V in Alkalines are of extra benefit in some applications, but I just won't take the chance. The aggravating part is that many new devices come with complementary alkaline cells, which I remove immediately or just don't install, and chuck into the "dead cell repository" (plastic coffee can) to save for the annual recycling event. Trouble with that is that as of this spring, they no longer accept alkaline cells for recycling and recommend you "toss them into the trash, because a few won't ruin the world."

I've been using the same eneloop NiMHs since 2011 and 2012, over and over and have not thrown one out yet or purchased any new ones, so they are also cheaper in the long run and more convenient. I never run out of cells.
Yes there are many devices out there that stop working when voltage drops much below 1.3v and nimh cells tend to operate at 1.2-1.3v under a decent load. The one thing to do if possible is on a 4 cell device add a 5th nimh cell in series to your set which will give you 7v at the start and about 6v under a load and may run longer than alkaleaks.
I've used several devices that last 6 months on nimh and 13 months on alkaleaks and it is about the voltage. I use LSD nimh in one device and have to recharge them twice a year but at least I don't have any leakage.
 

Jeff H

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Thank you both. The graph is great.

When I get my two uses out of a set of four NiMH cells in the BP checker, I put them back into their container and use them in lights instead of recharging them. Plenty of capacity left for that.

My wife is a convert as well, and ordered an old-fashioned BP cuff and stethoscope in lieu of buying alkalines for the poorly designed device.
 

Lynx_Arc

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In badly-designed electronics, maybe, but that just means the cells are 'dead' relative to the device long before they've actually run out of useful juice. Comparing the general shape of alkaline vs NiMH discharge curves:
View attachment 17066
Alkaline drops fast from its 'nominal' 1.5V while NiMH remains relatively flat long after alkaline has dropped below ~1.2V. The greater the load, the faster alkaline plummets to <NiMH voltage.
Another big issue is that if you add in the not low enough power off to the fact that some nimh at low power current levels have about 1/3 less capacity (2000 tv 2800mah or so adding to the fact that the device shuts off before nimh is half way through discharging you can end up with maybe 1/3 the runtime or less. I had to go back to alkalines when I couldn't afford lithium primaries as I couldn't get even a month of use out of an old caller ID box without recharging the batteries while alkaleaks got close to a year.
 

GarageBoy

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I did read somewhere not too long ago that 1.2V NiMHs drained too quickly for some applications and it puzzled me, because they seem to last a long time in the lights I use on a regular basis. Recently, I had to purchase a blood-pressure reading kit and got the one that pumps up the cuff and gives you an LCD reading. NOW, I get it. A set of four NiMHs last TWO readings in that monster, but they are perfectly adequate for all my other uses
I was very annoyed when I discovered that too. Swapped the batteries in my mother's blood pressure machine and she had to swap them a week later
 
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