Question about exploded CR123a batteries

rwolfenstein

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Here is the story to build up to my question. I picked up a new on the outside Surefire M3 on the bay. Problem was the previous owner had a set of CR123a batteries where the last one closest to the switch had exploded. There was this chalky cooked on white residue on the inside of the tube and switch. I ended up gutting the tailcap switch and used the momentary switch from an old G2 to rebuild the tailcap. I then scrubbed out as much as the chalky white stuff from the tube that I could and once I installed 3 new batteries it fired right up. The switch even worked properly.

I ended up letting the light sit for a couple of months with batteries in it. The batteries did not explode or anything. However the momentary on the switch doesn't work anymore. When you tighten down the z41 tailcap all the way the light comes on. So here is my question, did the cooked on contents of the battery prevent the light from functioning properly? Should I even bother still trying it make it work? I will take any advice.
 

aznsx

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I ended up letting the light sit for a couple of months with batteries in it.
I'm totally unfamiliar with the light, switch assy, etc., but:

When I think of something that degrades progressively over time, one of the first things I think of is oxidation / corrosion. Can't tell you how many times I've seen that to be involved in such cases. It's a very high %. Often with flashlights, someone cleaned some electrical contact point(s) with something inferior for the task, or perhaps necessary as an initial step when something's particularly nasty, especially but not limited to anything involving aluminum or other material which otherwise has compromised plating, without realizing that without the use of something to inhibit the immediate resumption of the process, it becomes a recurring failure point. In the case of a light that's been 'cleaned up' for some reason, they're often a prime candidate for such misery. This is why I use DeOxit D100 (specifically) either to do the job, or to follow up some other agressive cleaning (which often leaves exposed raw/unfinished metal), which then requires treating as a final step. It is not because I have an interest in the company, only because I know how well it works. Just because something's been cleaned up by some other necessary means, and is working, that does not mean that one can skip the step of finishing the job with the optimal final step if one wants it to keep working.
 

aznsx

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I'm totally unfamiliar with the light, switch assy, etc., but:
I've never seen a SF switch in my life, but...

I have a question. If the area of such oxidation was internal to the switch module itself (where the contacts live), is that a sealed module, or open to the degree that it could be 'flushed' w/ cleaner via spray nozzle or needle tip that would get in there to the failure point? I doubt they're 'open-frame', but don't know how enclosed they are. I'm completely ignorant, having never seen one - or some might say in general...
 

rwolfenstein

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Mar 29, 2017
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I've never seen a SF switch in my life, but...

I have a question. If the area of such oxidation was internal to the switch module itself (where the contacts live), is that a sealed module, or open to the degree that it could be 'flushed' w/ cleaner via spray nozzle or needle tip that would get in there to the failure point? I doubt they're 'open-frame', but don't know how enclosed they are. I'm completely ignorant, having never seen one - or some might say in general...
So when the light came in the mail, the end of the flashlight where the switch is was heavily corroded. Including the inside of the switch. Even after scraping off the corrosion and using some light vinegar with water, it took sand paper to get off the corrosion. The contacts for the switch on the tail cap were toast, wouldn't even light up the lamp. So I took the guts out of a G2 tail cap that was similar and replaced the guts. Which allowed it to work properly. I have noticed now that the light from sitting there are little flecks of stuff in the tail cap and the body. The batteries had little white flecks but none of the batteries burst. I did give the light a bit more of a cleaning with water and let it dry. The light is working properly for the most part. I am just wondering if the reason is that the corrosion is not all the way gone and causing a reaction with the batteries.
 

yellow

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I would guess, that there still is something around.
The lighter "press" of temporary does not fully go trough, while the firm press of constant on does.
Therefore another good cleaning should make the problem go
hopefully :)
 

bykfixer

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Apparently when a lithium battery goo coats the alluminum it changes the alluminum making it no longer conductive where it coated said alluminum.

It sounds like it was a leaked battery. Exploded batteries usually involve heat and fire.
 
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