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"Duracell" D cells trashed my Maglite; what now?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by glossywhite, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. glossywhite

    glossywhite Member

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    Thanks, Duracell. Your supposedly "world's best" batteries swelled up, leaked inside my D cell Maglite and TRASHED it:

    12577669515_5e72c66f3b_b.jpg

    Where next? Does anyone have a similar experience? Would I claim from Duracell, since Mag apparently no longer replace the torch if Duracells leak.

    PS: I am in England, thanks :)
     
  2. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    It is too common for batteries to leak if they are discharged too far.
    Some LED torches take the batteries down to 0.5 volts/cell and you get this to happen.
    Some LED torches stop working much sooner and do this much less.

    Or maybe this only happens in England.
     
  3. glossywhite

    glossywhite Member

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    Unacceptable. These are supposed to be the best batteries in the world, and should be leak-proof after all their advertising hype and "research", according to them. I couldn't care less about voltages, with respect, this has trashed my Maglite.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. DerStrom8

    DerStrom8 Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    If there's one thing you should know about batteries, it's that there's no such thing as "the best". Any battery company claiming to be "the best" is using smoke and mirrors, and sometimes twisted QA test results to promote their product. You can't ever believe what they say. Any other company of battery could have done the exact same thing.

    You may be able to clean it with a stiff wire brush. Some retail stores may sell car battery terminal cleaners which have a two-part kit--one is a round brush with a hole in the middle used to clean off the battery terminals, and the other is a round cylindrical brush used to clean the inside of the cable connectors. Pick up one of these and you may still have a chance to resurrect your MagLite.

    Just a thought. Make sure when you're cleaning that you don't breath in any of the powder created from brushing, and wash your hands immediately afterward.

    Good luck,
    Matt
     
  6. glossywhite

    glossywhite Member

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    Nope, not gonna happen. This is a job for Duracell's customer service; this is simply appalling. As for your advice regarding marketing me and their ever-increasing amounts of distorted truths to sell their junk... you don't need to tell me that, I'm very well aware of how deceptive and deceitful corporations and marketing depts are, I was always the one (and still am) who people call and ask me to write letters for people when they experience poor product support, or when they want advice on which company to choose, so as not to be put through the stress and annoyance of abysmal "support". Thanks for the guidance, it's appreciated all the same.
     
  7. DerStrom8

    DerStrom8 Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    I mean if they won't help, which is a very strong possibility. Like I said earlier, any other brand of battery could have done this, you can't blame Duracell alone. They probably won't do anything for you, in which case you have two choices: Clean it yourself or chuck it.

    By the way, something I don't think you specified, how long did you leave the batteries in the flashlight?
     
  8. ronsimpson

    ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I get a large amount of old electronic devices. They all have battery leakage. If you leave a battery in a device it will leak sooner or later. A fully charged battery will last a long time. A dead battery will leak soon.
     
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  9. ronv

    ronv Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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  10. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Contact Duracell or Maglite especially if you still have the batteries. There should not be a problem.
     
  11. audioguru

    audioguru Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I stopped buying Duracell batteries when they closed their Canadian research and development lab in my city and fired all the engineers. I mostly used Energizer batteries ever since.

    I made many blinking LED projects and they use about 50 AA alkaline cells each year. When the LEDs get very dim the cells measure as low as 0.7V each and the Energizer cells have NEVER leaked.
    Occasionally I buy Duracell AA alkaline batteries when they are on sale and almost EVERY ONE leaked when it became discharged but I catch it quickly before much damage is caused.

    Discharged? The cheap Chinese batteries at The Dollar Store are leaking before they are even sold! They were never discharged but they might be as old as 2 years.
     
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  12. vtech

    vtech Member

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    Rayovac=leaks
    Duracell= leaks
    Energizer=leaks
    Panasonic=leaks ...etc
    Point being that regardless of the brand, they all leak and will eventually make a mess. I see it often in my line of work. The best way to attempt to clean it is to soak it in an acidic fluid such as vinegar. Not perfect but you may be able to recover.

    On a different note, I just came across some old simpson Analog meters from the 60's with batteries left in them. Dead Yellow colored Zinc Carbon Eveready with 9 live cat logos and no leak whatsoever....go figure.
     
  13. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Your batteries leaked because you left them in and let them go flat - Duracell (and alkaline in general) are FAR, FAR better than normal batteries in this respect, but will still leak eventually if you leave then in when flat. You could certainly contact Duracell and see what they say?.

    I'm sure the maglite will have instructed you to remove batteries when in use - but we've all had similar problems :D
     
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  14. audioguru

    audioguru Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I have an Eveready Super Heavy Duty D cell (in a red jacket) that is at least 16 years old and was never used. It does not leak. It was made in Mexico.
    It measured 1.53V and produced a steady 35mA for 20 seconds into a dead short (my DVM set for 10A) then it measured 1.48V.

    I have two Duracell alkaline C cells that say "best before Jan 98" so they must be at least 21 years old. They do not leak. They were made in USA.
    They measured about 1.35V and one produced 300mA and the other produced 30mA into a dead short and the voltage stayed the same after being shorted.

    But all the Duracell AA alkaline used cells I have are leaking and the Energizer used ones are not. They are heading for the hazardous waste dump with some swollen Li-Po batteries.
     
  15. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Unfortunately bad stuff happens all the time.
    I seems to be part of the popular psyche in the UK/USA to find someone else to take the blame and cough up for a replacement when this sort of thing happens.

    Can the torch be made servicable?
    Can you clean up the corrosion?
    Try cleaning with a slightly acidic solution (vinegar or lime juice) and washing with lots of water.

    If that does not do any good, I guess that you just have to drop the torch in the scrap bin.

    Just suck it up, draw a line under it, and move on.
    Buy a new torch and keep an eye on the batteries!

    JimB
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
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  16. picbits

    picbits Well-Known Member

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    I had two sets of Duracell leak from the same batch. Both were years in date and both were not drained.

    One was in a set of three series cells in an energy monitor and had not been in for that long. The other was a single cell in a carriage clock.

    I contacted Duracell and told them I'd fixed the damage in the energy monitor but my wifes cheap £10 carriage clock was ruined. They sent me the money for a new clock and a few quids worth of vouchers for the replacement batteries.

    Worth contacting them but they do deal with the issues on a case to case basis and if your cells had been dead for a while or stored in extreme conditions then this can happen.
     
  17. glossywhite

    glossywhite Member

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    Sorted. Duracell manager is sending a prepaid UPS container (and Duracell vouchers, just in case I wanted to risk another episode... hehe) and is issuing ample compensation upon receipt.

    All this advice about checking batteries periodically is correct, yes, but unless one has OCD, come on - who actually has "must check torch batteries this month" in their calendar? I have a life, and expect all their "research" to have amounted to a product able to contain itself upon failure, after all these years on sale.

    The horse has bolted; thankfully the cowboys are about to round it back up ;)
     
  18. Randy956

    Randy956 New Member

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    If the damage isn't too bad, you can try to clean it in some water with baking soda dissolved in it. That will neutralize the acid. Then try to clean it in an ultrasonic cleaner.
    Your light, however, looks too far gone for cleaning and repair. Sorry, but I think it's time for a new one.
     
  19. 1-3-2-4

    1-3-2-4 Member

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    I had a Magliite that did the same to my batteries.
     
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  20. glossywhite

    glossywhite Member

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    As I said a few weeks ago...


     
  21. 1-3-2-4

    1-3-2-4 Member

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    I'm just pointing out that it happened to me before.
     

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