In Conclusion

I am letting go of this battery mess, and switching to other brands besides Duracell and Energizer.

I have favored Energizer over the years: I don’t know why. Sam’s stopped carrying Energizer, and began touting the Duracell, which I hate: I don’t know why.

But since that what Sam’s had, Duracell is what I bought.

I am now disillusioned with both brands, although comparatively, Energizer is probably better all around. The ratio of failed Duracell batteries in my possession far exceeds that of Energizer…probably three to four times as much.false

What did I expect? I expected them to last 10 years in the package as advertised.

Me? Read the fine print? Why? Why would huge corporations advertise in large print, then backpedal with fine print.

OH YES! OUR BATTERIES LAST 10 YEARS IN THE PACKAGE!!! GUARANTEED!!

and then have fine print that says

The above statement is a bullshit lie.

Go ahead, you dumb fuckin’ consumer and buy this shit at your own risk.

No warranty is implied.

We’re laughing all the way to the bank

That would be like OUR COFFEE IS THE BEST! BUY A TWIN PACK TODAY!

then, somewhere on the edge of the packaging using a magnifying glass it says

Our coffee is the best on the block.

Rats love it too.

May contain droppings and tiny rats besides employee fingers and spit…and other bodily fluids.

A lie, is a lie, is a lie, and so is false advertising.

I fully expected them to replace them, not force me to buy more with lame-assed coupons.

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14 thoughts on “In Conclusion

  1. Rechargeable batteries and a solar panel charging system. Any charged battery not in use also needs to be stored in a refrigerator – a battery kept between 35 and 40 degrees will last 5 times longer than batteries stored at 85 degrees.

  2. I just weeded out the leakers from my battery bucket (1 more of the 2023 Duracell AAAs had started to leak-while the other 10 in the package have yet to leak). All the oddball sizes (like the $7 12V clicker battery) seemed intact, though I question putting any older battery in anything other than a cheap, throwaway flashlight.

    I get the impression from what little informative guidance I found on-line that a battery prone to leak in storage will leak that much faster when put in service, especially if the device puts some kind of tiny parasitic current drain on the battery even when switched “Off”.

    Bottom line for me: added a note to every package to use or discard no later than 4 years into the claimed 10 year storage life. So, by that policy, my 2023’s (likely bought in 2013) should have been trashed in 2017. And, my 2026’s have only 1 more year left.

    Corollary: no more buying of large quantities of alkalines at a “good” price unless I can either use them in a year or two or give half of them away to family/friends.

  3. I’m sure most batteries will last ten years in storage – if the storage conditions are perfect. Such conditions don’t exist with most consumers, the manufacturer has a disclaimer stating it doesn’t cover such conditions, and reality says the advertising boast is nothing but a scam.

    • Exactly my point. The Energizers that had expired, were not leaking; just dead.
      I certainly have had much more trouble with Duracells recently. Many of the bulk packs (more than 16) leaked with six years left on their warranty.

      • “Warranty” is pretty strong language, isn’t it???

        Just took the leaking batteries out to the trash can in the garage-every one I saw was a Duracell, though I think there were about 4 Everreadys that went in the trash a couple days back when all this started-too long ago for a defective memory.

        Many years ago I was at a research university and one of the teams used a lot of Kodak film. For some reason (budget quirks??) they would buy a 6 month supply and then put what they were not going to use that month into a chest freezer with sub-zero temps. At the time it surprised me they would do that, but was told it extends the life of the film and is not at all harmful to the photo emulsion. Thinking about sealing up a couple of alkalines and popping them in the freezer with a tickler to check them next Christmas. If they are not visibly damaged I would let them come up to room temperature over a couple days, check their open circuit voltage, and see if they would work normally.

        A little off topic: I harvest muscari seeds after they have dried out on the plant and freeze them for 60 days and then plant them next year. A seed expert once explained that a few varieties of seed need to freeze-either by Mother Nature or in your freezer-in order to germinate, and muscari is included in that group.

        If you decide to store your batteries in the fridge just make sure the light goes off once you close the door!

  4. Just had to replace leaky batteries in my Petzl headlamp. I’ve had bad luck with both Ever-Leakys and Dura-Leaks both to the point it don’t matter what brand I use. I just tossed a damn good insulated flashlight and a 2D Maglite due to the batteries swelling to the point I couldn’t dig the damn things out.

    But good news everyone! Most of the corrosion can be cleaned up with full strength white vinegar. The acid neutralizes the alkaline gooze quite well.

    • I wish I’d known that before I tossed out the 2 D cell Maglight a couple years ago.
      I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that any alkaline battery can leak; manufacturing defects, improper storage…regardless of age.

      • My experience with cleaning up the mess and re-using the device is often problematic, especially with lower voltage devices like flashlights. A lot depends on the plating the manufacturer uses for things like switches, or anything else that needs to be in fairly pristine condition in order to carry the device’s current reliably.

        If you damage or otherwise compromise the plating of those thin metal current-carrying parts it will likely result in a higher resistance circuit that prevents full power from getting to the load-just like a corroded starter cable used to prevent the Studebaker’s 6 volt battery from starting the beast. Say you have a 3 cell flashlight (~4.8 volts with batteries in new, unused condition-but once you start calling for light the voltage drops to maybe 4.6 or 4.5 volts, which is still okay). Once the voltage degrades to ~4.2 volts things may start going south on you. If the flashlight’s current path is degraded electrically (say by contacts that are now missing much of their very thin layer of protective plating, which soon allows a build up of fresh oxidation) then the flashlight often becomes erratic. The point is, if the flashlight loses a significant percentage of its available voltage due to a high resistance circuit then you usually get erratic and low light output. LED lights are a little more forgiving than incadescent lights because they usually draw less current. Higher voltage devices are less susceptible to resistive circuits, but they are still susceptible to leaky batteries. That is why the old beat cop had a flashlight with 4-6 D cells.

        I threw away my last Mini-mag years ago because there just was no way to win with those suckers.

        My advice if you try to clean a device that has suffered battery leakage: start with chemical cleaning (vinegar is usually convenient) and avoid mechanical scraping-even if it is just 0000 steel wool. Sometimes I finish up with a tiny dab of Colgate toothpaste and a drop of water (the old, original Colgate that is also the cheapest works great) and a couple of quick wipes. Better yet, go spend half an hour looking for that can of contact cleaner you know you have somewhere.

        For what it’s worth: most any type of battery operated equipment is designed to operate down to somewhere around 80-85% of nominal battery voltage, depending on the assumptions made by the designer. In my flashlight example above, I use 1.6 volts per cell for simplicity. In the real world, I probably would start with 1.52 volts per cell (x3 = 4.56 volts total) and want to make sure my design works down to the 85% level, or 3.88 volts (1.29 volts/battery) and make sure my customer knows that the batteries will need to be replaced after X hours of use.

      • I have since been watchful of installed batteries. I have seen a mini Maglight totally ruined by leaking batteries. The end cap was corroded so bad, I could not get if off with a vice.
        I checked my headlamp in the midst of all this, and tossed a leaking AAA Energizer; as well as the others.
        You a Studebaker fan too?

  5. A couple random battery thoughts (hopefully I will stop thinking about batteries):

    1) Anyone out there experience significant leakage problems with C or D size alkalines?

    Thinking back, most of what I remember having fail in storage is limited to AAA and AA sizes. Though I have had some long neglected flashlights with Cs and Ds go bad-usually left in an out of way location of a vehicle, summer and winter.

    I wonder if the seals in the smaller size batteries are less able to prevent leakage. Unless you are a big customer of “We Are Batteries” (meaning you use 10,000 per month) they will never even listen to questions like that, let alone answer them. Retail “customer service” drones only know what their screen tells them; they are coached to get rid of the caller as soon as they can and get even higher scores if they sound pleasant.

    2) My gut feel is that Japanese battery makers may have a better product, though I cannot say for sure. In general, the Japs used to have tighter process control and therefore usually had higher quality, more reliable products. I have a couple of nearly 20 year old Panasonic industrial D cells that live year round in a mostly unattended hunting shack-hot in the summer and freezing in the winter. When not in use the batteries are pulled out of the flashlights so they don’t leak and cause damage. Over the years some of the Panasonics lost voltage and got tossed, but a couple keep trudging on. Never a leak from any of the them, nor from the less favored Everreadys. Again, all are in the D size.

    3) I don’t roam the Survivalist websites, but wonder if someone out there has done some good work with identifying the best alkalines and how to keep them fresh for future use?

    4) I am reasonably certain that America, Incorporated could build a leak proof alkaline; if NASA need some for the next Moon Walk they could likely buy them for $6,000 a pop after a huge up-front payment for the development and a 3 year wait.

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