Members' experience by brand with leaking alkaline cells.

DaveTheDude

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This is a bit of an oddball question, so bear with me for a moment.

My work environment is mad for AA and AAA alkaline cells; we have battery-powered devices galore that are used regularly and heavily, resulting in frequent battery swaps. The battery buyer is brand agnostic, and purchases whichever brand offers the best price that quarter. (Major brands only: Duracell, Energizer, and Rayovac primarily, with occasional purchases of Ikea's yellow cells.)

Here's the issue: All alkaline cells leak given enough time. In my anecdotal experience however, these brands leak at noticably different rates. My experience is that Rayovac leaks most frequently; Energizer alkaline cells leak less often; and Duracell's leak the least. I've also noticed that Duracell Pro leaks significantly less often than regular Duracells, we've had no known Duracell Pro leaks in the past three years.

So, what's your experience with this admittedly disfavored battery chemistry? More to the point, which alkaline brand has leaked least for you? This won't be a scientific or definitive tabulation by any means, but on this issue the collective tribal knowledge is good enough for me.

Your experience and comments are invited. 🤔
 

JimIslander

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Duracell leaks with monotonous regularity.

I personally never run alkalines except in emergency. I know that's not reasonable in all environments. For any critical application where I could not use Eneloops, I would run Lithium primaries.
 

aginthelaw

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I personally find my rayovacs leak the least, energizer lithiums never leak, and duracells will be replaced by the company with just a phone call to the warranty department, even though mine are 10 years old, minus a week
 

JimIslander

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I personally find my rayovacs leak the least, energizer lithiums never leak, and duracells will be replaced by the company with just a phone call to the warranty department, even though mine are 10 years old, minus a week

Replacement of a leaky battery doesn't replace expensive gear. I've lost flashlights and other expensive electronics to leaky alkalines. Never again. Lithium primaries or Eneloops for us.
 

louie

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I don't keep track like that, but anecdotally feel that all brands leak a lot these days and unexpectedly, and I include Costco-Kirkland, supposedly made in USA by one of the major brands. I used to buy random major brands on sale and they all seemed to leak in every device I have. After the unpteenth time cleaning out a device and trying to save it, I went to Eneloops in everything AA/AAA, although keeping some alkalines in storage for emergencies or giveaways.

I think if your company must run alkalines, you'll have to live with random leaks and equipment damage. You can weigh that against the effort of using some Eneloops and lithium primaries.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Interesting to see if others have seen certain alkaline batteries do better than other brands. Just recently at work I replaced 2 AAA Ray-O-Vac in a remote for a work site Promethean Board. An old battery had white crystallized exudate but did not disable the electronics.
 

desert.snake

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Duracell, which are sold here, flow often. Ikea leaks about the same. GP and Kodak have not flowed even once except for those that had an expired shelf life or were tried to be revived by hitting the hull, like old zinc-carbon batteries. There are a few more local ones that leak occasionally, but they are not sold in the US, so it makes no sense to name them.
 

ABTOMAT

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The vast, overwhelming majority of leaks I see are from Duracell. Especially batteries that're still well within their expiration dates. Now, my data isn't scientific, since Duracell is the brand I most often see in the wild, but even taking that into consideration the rate is way too high. I usually replace other batteries because they've died in clients' equipment. The Duracells usually are still working but leaking. This also definitely seems to be a thing with "newer" Duracell batteries--I didn't start noticing this until maybe 5+ years ago. I have Duracells that've been sitting at room temperature for 15+ years without leaking. But now if I find a year old package someone bought chances are it's already ruined.

After Duracell, I'm not really sure. I've personally had a specific batch of Rayovacs leak out before they were old, but other Rayovacs I've gotten don't seem worse than other brands.
 

ledbetter

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From total crap to least bad- Duracell, Energizer, Rayovac, Sony, Panasonic. But just personal experience with my old stuff and currently other people’s because I no longer use them, only store some for emergency or give aways. Maybe op has best experience with Duracells because devices are used constantly at his job, where in my former use, they were in radios, remotes, mouses, etc that weren’t used all the time, and some sat for a while. But now, Eneloops everyday and energizer lithiums for back up.
 

bykfixer

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US made Rayovac have been very reliable in my experience. Duracells and Energizers made elsewhere give me the hee-bee-jee-bees since they are hit or miss in my experience. I'd say about 20% were leakers. Can't speak for non US made Rayovacs since my local Sprawl Mart only sells US made Rayovacs.
 

alpg88

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energizer industrial leak the most in my experience, however their electrolyte is least corrosive, it pops off easy, does not cause springs to rust, Pretty much any electrolyte dissolves and cleans right off with a q tip soaked in hydrogen peroxide.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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I’ve had a lot of Rayovacs leak several years before the expiration date without even getting a chance to put them in a device. Energizers have been the next worst. Energizer owns Rayovac now so both are the same cell. I’ve had fewer leaks with Duracells, but they still leak. Kirklands (Costco rebranded Duracell Ultra) have done better than most. I’d go with those if you have to have alkalines. They’re the best bang for the buck. Just know all alkalines leak, no exception. Best to use Energizer lithium primaries or Eneloops if you don’t want to replace a bunch of devices.
 

Monocrom

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Duracells leak least??
Definitely not my experience.
First, No-name or Off-brand name cells leak the worst.
Two, Duracells beyond shadow of a doubt leak horribly!
Panasonic, not too bad in terms of leaks. Same for Rayovac.
Energizer, literally can't remember the last time I had those leak.
(Yeah, I specifically look for Energizers.)
 

DaveTheDude

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OK, here's the tabulated scientific consensus so far concerning the frequency of leaks in alkaline cells, summarized by brand:
1. They all leak, although some members have been luckier than others.
2. Members' experiences are diverse enough to indicate that quality control in AA cell manufacture is a crap shoot.
3. Some members have been luckier than others (the point bears repeating).
4. Use NiMH or lithium primaries in your personal lights that require 1.5v power; avoid company-provided alkaline cells if at all possible.

I think that about covers it. Any questions?
 

bridgman

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I usually replace other batteries because they've died in clients' equipment. The Duracells usually are still working but leaking.
That's an interesting point - I used to monitor equipment with alkaline batteries by turning it on with high load - if it didn't work then the batteries came out instantly. That hasn't always worked with Duracells, although I can't comment re: whether it is a problem with current batteries from other vendors as well.
 

turbodog

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Southern USA
This is a bit of an oddball question, so bear with me for a moment.

My work environment is mad for AA and AAA alkaline cells; we have battery-powered devices galore that are used regularly and heavily, resulting in frequent battery swaps. The battery buyer is brand agnostic, and purchases whichever brand offers the best price that quarter. (Major brands only: Duracell, Energizer, and Rayovac primarily, with occasional purchases of Ikea's yellow cells.)

Here's the issue: All alkaline cells leak given enough time. In my anecdotal experience however, these brands leak at noticably different rates. My experience is that Rayovac leaks most frequently; Energizer alkaline cells leak less often; and Duracell's leak the least. I've also noticed that Duracell Pro leaks significantly less often than regular Duracells, we've had no known Duracell Pro leaks in the past three years.

So, what's your experience with this admittedly disfavored battery chemistry? More to the point, which alkaline brand has leaked least for you? This won't be a scientific or definitive tabulation by any means, but on this issue the collective tribal knowledge is good enough for me.

Your experience and comments are invited. 🤔

I've had your same results.

It's moot point if cells are used often/heavily. They will be replaced. I can't recall a new, quickly run down cell leaking.

I'd do a time study on how long to buy new cells, swap batteries in equipment, how long cells last, cost of cells, time to stock into stockroom, time to pay invoices for cells. But you a dollar, nimh will win out, hands down, unless device is really sensitive to lower cell voltages.
 

Jbirk

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Jan 1, 2003
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32
Alkaline batteries used to not leak in the 90’s and Duracell was great. Then I had RayOVac leak in the early 2000’s and 2010’s but gave them a pass being made in USA and being rebranded to high energy and Fusion gave them another try and they leaked again as late as the start of COVID… Then in the 2010’s I saw DuraLock 10 year ones leak early and had a ton of Duracel Ultra also 10 year and they all leaked after about 5 to 7 years of storage! They did send coupons to replace them but I lost some coupons and bought Duracel Optimum with others. Those leaked in the package! I will NEVER buy another Duracell unless it’s free. I mean technically I should have them replace 2 packages then give away the replacements at work. Duracell Procell (Orange USA 7-year has been good, but manufacturering moved to China now).

At any rate, I have had better luck with Energizer but don’t trust them. Not buying 140+ batteries at a time anymore.

Currently I bought Energizer Indusfrial and they are for average things around the house. And things I don’t really care about, but they are probably as good as any alkaline. I also ordered AC Delco alkaline … any good?

I have a $150 radio atomic analog clock loving room (1 AA), a couple of thermostats (2xAAA) each, a projection clock in bedroom (probably 4xAAA) wirh an outdoor sender (2 xAA probably). Those are things I don’t want to leak, but I don’t want to hurry up and service proactively either because I probably have to set brightness, ensure they work again and get proper time, etc. (if it isn’t broke…)

I am going to look at them all and if they have Duracell or RayOVac I am going to swap to Energizer Lithium primaries.

How are Amazon alkalines?

How are heavy duty batteries like the ones in remotes? Never seen those leak.

I am fine risking alkalines in devices that the batteries get changed often like kids toys and the SimpliSafe keypad in the garage not to mention they are easy to clean.
 

bykfixer

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One year Sams club had 24 packs of AA ultimate lithiums for $11.99 (limit 2). I bought 2. The triple a were normal price, around $1 each. That was right when covid first hit and we were all being told touching a door knob then touching your face could kill you. So I only went the one time because they had a new shipment of toilet paper.

The other evening I discovered a leaked battery had lodged itself in a 1xaaa that had a still in date alkaline Energizer in it. I thought it was a conspiracy that alkaline batteries were designed to pop all at the same time because some batteries I keep next to some classic shelf queen lights had leaked around the same time. I keep a regular check on them as a rule. All triple A, but differing brands. A Panasonic, Radio Shack, Energizer, Duracell and a gray wrapper Rayovac. About 6 or 7 total out of several dozen I keep next to lights. All leaks were at the bottom of the battery. Yet out of the probably close to thousand batteries around my home over the last few years I think that's a good track record. Way better than 20 or 30 years ago when perhaps as many as 50% leaked.
 

snakebite

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Mar 17, 2001
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dayton oh
An observation.
I bought a huge box o stuff at hamvention from an sk estate.
The guy behind me whom i know bought the other box.
Anything that contained batteries was inspected as we dont know how long this stuff had been idle.
I found that regardless of age all duracells had leaked to some degree.
This was across a variety of equipment.
Found one leaking energizer.
And one no name red rechargable d cell like you see all over ebay.
Several ht's had aa holders where all 6 or 8 duracells were leaking.
And the real lucky one was the fluke true rms multimeter.
All 4 leaked but the crud brushed right out leaving no damage.
Several cheap flashlights were totaled and no effort was made to save them.
Several items contained rechargeables.
The ones with eneloop,duraloop cells powered up.
The generic green cells with ridiculous ratings were 0v.
The sanyo 2700 in a cb talkie were .9v and came up with the units 100ma wallwart.
40+ duracell leakers most well in date.
1 energizer leaker.
1 generic crap nimh leaker.
50+ rechargeable still fine.
And 8 aa generic china cells at 0v
 
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