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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 9th Sep 2023, 5:10 pm   #121
factory
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

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Originally Posted by The Philpott View Post
-May or may not be significant that the Panasonics in customer's eqpt. that David features are badged 'Xtreme Power' which is a name i would probably actively avoid, on the basis that it's asking for trouble. (Fitting a quart into a pint pot)

The ones i have in use are 'alkaline power' and 'pro-power', the latter have a similar colour scheme to those mentioned above, but without the shouty font.

They certainly do come out of a variety of territories.

Dave
They were in a clamp meter at work, I've looked up the datasheet and the batteries are AAA size, not sure we can complain too much, as they were 8 years past the use-by date when found (has been out of use for years in the storeroom), more puzzled as to why they weren't replaced between 2014 & 2017 (last calibration date).
All the batteries used at work at the time, were Panasonic branded supplied by Cromwell tools.

There is a temperature meter that takes 6 AAA cells, that had leakage problems (I didn't see which brand were fitted at the time), it now works intermittently and has been sent for calibration several times without a problem being found, I don't trust using it anymore.

For my own meters I'm considering using lithium for anything that takes AA or AAA cells, since the removal of the trace levels of Hg, all brands seem to have leakage problems, some more often than others.

David

Last edited by factory; 9th Sep 2023 at 5:17 pm.
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Old 10th Sep 2023, 8:17 pm   #122
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

According to Granada batteries (a webshop selling batteries), the Panasonic Pro Power range of batteries used to be called Xtreme Power. https://www.granadabatteries.co.uk/b...k-lr03ppg.html

Almost forgot this thread, Panasonic Everyday AA leaking in packaging; https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/p...71/#msg4966771

David

Last edited by factory; 10th Sep 2023 at 8:27 pm.
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Old 14th Sep 2023, 11:39 am   #123
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

I had some Halfords AAA cells that were leaking in the packaging despite being well in date.

Not nearly as irritating as the box of Duracell MN1604 that were all as flat as a pancake despite being brand new.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 8:20 am   #124
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Thankyou for the info about Panasonic Everyday. Disappointing that the general ban/restriction on Mercury seems to be the cause of some of these failures.

Dave
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Old 17th Sep 2023, 7:27 pm   #125
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Mercury reduces or prevents hydrogen buildup, which I think mostly happens under heavy loading of the cell. So at the very least it would have nothing to do with batteries that already leak while in storage. I'd say it's very likely that bad seals are to blame for that.
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 8:15 am   #126
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

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Mercury reduces or prevents hydrogen buildup, which I think mostly happens under heavy loading of the cell. So at the very least it would have nothing to do with batteries that already leak while in storage. I'd say it's very likely that bad seals are to blame for that.
But surely when a chemical reaction causes ingredients to swell, a seal can only hold back a certain amount of pressure? In other words is there no such thing as a perfect battery seal?
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 5:56 pm   #127
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

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Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maarten View Post
Mercury reduces or prevents hydrogen buildup, which I think mostly happens under heavy loading of the cell. So at the very least it would have nothing to do with batteries that already leak while in storage. I'd say it's very likely that bad seals are to blame for that.
But surely when a chemical reaction causes ingredients to swell, a seal can only hold back a certain amount of pressure? In other words is there no such thing as a perfect battery seal?
From an engineering point of view, there are no perfect seals - whatever the purpose it is serving, it will fail . The only hope is that it will seal whatever it is sealing during its expected lifetime - but that's also not a guarantee
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 9:20 am   #128
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

I’d like to understand why Duracell seem to be so much more likely to leak than many others, and whether other brands are also likely to leak.

I’ve only examined four brands in any significant numbers, but the percentage of leaky cells in my experience is 10 to 20 times higher for the Duracell’s than the other three, i.e. more than an order of magnitude (17 in 100, rather than 1 or 2 in 100).

I don’t believe the Duracell’s I looked at were fakes, they would have been bought from major retailers including Tesco and B&Q, if the fakers have infiltrated those supply chains, then both Duracell and the retailers have a real problem.

It’s not because Duracell have more aggressive ingredients than others which give them more power: on the available evidence Duracell run times are similar to the majority of other makes.

It may be a historic problem, I haven’t bought Duracell’s for quite a while, but I recently came across a couple dated 2021 where one had leaked. (Relatively recent, but past it’s date, so not included in my leaky cell data).

If they’re using “good” ingredients to give acceptable run times, and just saving money on the seals, that does seem like a false economy, especially for those us us who clean out the resulting corrosion. Maybe all the money goes on marketing and PR.


Does anyone have data, good or bad, on significant numbers of alkaline cells of any particular brand?

Most reports on here are about leaky cells, eg where someone finds pack of 4 where 2 have leaked. This is not a reliable guide to a brand of cells, that pack could be fakes, or could have been subjected to extreme temperature or been left in direct sunshine, or that pack could be the only one out of hundreds with any leaky cells.

Can anyone say, for example, “I must have used 50 or so brand ABC cells over the last few years, and only one leaked”, or “I put a couple of dozen brand DEF cells into recycling recently, and a quarter of them were leaking”?

It might help us see which brands to put in our equipment and sleep soundly at night.

Stuart
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 11:55 am   #129
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Hi Stuart, Post No.113 relates directly to your query. I haven't used a large enough quantity of Panasonic Pro Power yet to be able to be confident, but i must have used >60 of Panasonic Alkaline Power in PP3 AAA and AA sizes over the last 4yrs (sizes which seem the most vulnerable) and not had a single one leak. The head torch that i keep in the loft (extreme temperature fluctuations) uses AAA- i changed them the other day and they were down to 1.2v without leaking...for example.

It's unusual that i allow anything to drop below 1.3v and this may slightly improve my batting average overall.

I'm considering emailing them in a bored moment and asking them to keep up the good work (it won't get read, but you have to try)

Dave
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 1:13 pm   #130
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuarth View Post
I’d like to understand why Duracell seem to be so much more likely to leak than many others, and whether other brands are also likely to leak.

I’ve only examined four brands in any significant numbers, but the percentage of leaky cells in my experience is 10 to 20 times higher for the Duracell’s than the other three, i.e. more than an order of magnitude (17 in 100, rather than 1 or 2 in 100).

I don’t believe the Duracell’s I looked at were fakes, they would have been bought from major retailers including Tesco and B&Q, if the fakers have infiltrated those supply chains, then both Duracell and the retailers have a real problem.

It’s not because Duracell have more aggressive ingredients than others which give them more power: on the available evidence Duracell run times are similar to the majority of other makes.

It may be a historic problem, I haven’t bought Duracell’s for quite a while, but I recently came across a couple dated 2021 where one had leaked. (Relatively recent, but past it’s date, so not included in my leaky cell data).

If they’re using “good” ingredients to give acceptable run times, and just saving money on the seals, that does seem like a false economy, especially for those us us who clean out the resulting corrosion. Maybe all the money goes on marketing and PR.


Does anyone have data, good or bad, on significant numbers of alkaline cells of any particular brand?

Most reports on here are about leaky cells, eg where someone finds pack of 4 where 2 have leaked. This is not a reliable guide to a brand of cells, that pack could be fakes, or could have been subjected to extreme temperature or been left in direct sunshine, or that pack could be the only one out of hundreds with any leaky cells.

Can anyone say, for example, “I must have used 50 or so brand ABC cells over the last few years, and only one leaked”, or “I put a couple of dozen brand DEF cells into recycling recently, and a quarter of them were leaking”?

It might help us see which brands to put in our equipment and sleep soundly at night.

Stuart
See my post 109. Battery 'brands' often buy in batteries from many different manufacturers worldwide, and they seem to change their suppliers every so often for whatever reason, so the brand 'X' that you'd always relied on is simply coming from a different factory and may be not half as good. In short you need access to regular updates on tested batteries.
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 1:20 pm   #131
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

I stopped using Duracell AA and AAA types some years ago after finding them more prone to leakage than some other makes.

However, I have two old Duracell size D cells here. Both bought in the UK a long time ago and never used. They were left over from buying in pairs when singles weren't available, my Beolit 600 requiring 5 cells.

One is labelled "Plus Power", dated March 2019 and made in the USA. It reads 1.5V OC and 3.3A SC, and has no sign of leakage.

The other is labelled "Alkaline", dated September 1996 and made in Belgium. It reads 1.52V OC and 0.33A SC, and has no sign of leakage.

Obviously not a statistical sample and only relevant to reports of leakage during shelf life, but the 27-year-old has done quite well.
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 1:52 pm   #132
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

D and C cells of whatever brand are generally less likely to wet the bed than their little brothers, at least in the short to medium term...Duracell seem to be no exception.

Dave
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Old 20th Sep 2023, 4:24 pm   #133
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Inspired by this thread I've investigated and found the following:

A flammable gas detector had three C cells in it, of which I was completely unaware: make: Golden Power, date: 2011: all 3 in good condition & look like new.

A Lidl(tm) borescope type viewer thingie with 4 Mitsubishi AA cells (fortunately not in the thingie): all 4 leaking badly: date code: unknown but I bought it in 2010 or so.

A selection of GP super alkaline (the gold coloured ones) with assorted dates from 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016: still good & not leaking. There's a pair from 2002 in a meter & they still seem ok.

From what little I recall the pack of 100 Varta AAs were ok.

The pack of 100 Chinese something or others were dire, they'd leak if you looked at them wrong.
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 7:00 pm   #134
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Truth is, as noted upthread the battery-manufacturers have multiple sources of batteries that will come in the same packaging; so a particular version that you once found reliable can come in the same guise from a different production-plant as the vagaries of contract-bids and currency-fluctuations dictate, and a once-good battery you were satisfied with can in subsequent versions turn out to be a disaster.

My approach is to treat batteries as cheap-and-disposable, far less valuable than the things they are fitted to - when I fit batteries to something I set up an 'appointment' on Outlook to schedule a replacement so I am reminded to check them after a suitable period [which varies].

My nephews like using old batteries [AAA and AAAA types] as missiles for their catapult-practice.
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 8:47 am   #135
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Great idea G6. As the starter of this now mammoth thread, I must admit that I still have units with batteries in them that haven't been checked for years. I need to follow my own advice don't I?!
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 6:58 pm   #136
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Anyone else noticed that both Lidl and Aldi stopped selling PP3 batteries of all brands a few months ago? I've no idea if "the shortage" is more extensive than that or simply one of the German supermarkets stopped so the other copied them... they tend to do things that way. They stock only AA and AAA now AFAIK.
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Old 23rd Sep 2023, 12:17 am   #137
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

PP3 certainly 'lesser spotted' than the 1.5v. Smoke detectors seem to have moved away from PP3 somewhat, but a lot of multimeter designs use them of course.

Now the PRICES of PP3 is another matter....some are rather expensive. I note that you can sometimes get 3 cell Lithium metal PP3...disconcertingly the last ones i acquired (with a smoke alarm) had no date on them. Made in USA. One of them did eventually get rust growing on one of the terminals.

Dave
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 8:37 pm   #138
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Just had a Duracell AA dated 2024 go horribly leaky. It suddenly went from working fine with no obvious signs of leaking to dead and furry almost overnight. All very weird.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 1:34 pm   #139
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

Smoke detectors these days seem to be 'sealed for life' and intended to last 10 years, with a Lithium battery instead of the old replaceable PP3.

I gather that the 'replace after 10 years' thing is because the amount of Americium-241 in the detectors has been reduced and so they become rather more marginal in operation if there is a few years of accumulated dust/thunder-flies and suchlike in the detection chamber.

Only things I have here that still use PP3 are a multimeter and a clock-radio [where the PP3 provides backup in case the power is lost]
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 2:43 pm   #140
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Default Re: Leaking batteries. A reminder, a warning.

I guess batteries for DMM's etc are about to be something you have to order from RS etc then... and become unobtainable in another few years. I noticed the issue a few months back when I decided to get another twin pack of cheap alkaline PP3's from Aldi and couldn't find them anywhere. I waited for new stock to come in, presuming that's all the problem was, and when there were non a few weeks later I asked a staff member who basically said "erm yeah now you mention it I haven't seen any here for months..". I tried my local Lidl a few days later and same absence of PP3's there. I haven't yet tried Tesco's, Morrison's etc.

You jogged my memory that there is in fact a receptacle for a PP3 in my own alarm clock radio (philips), so that's another one I need as I'm sick of having to reset the time after every 1 second glitch in the mains.
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