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"I'm gobsmacked", Mi' Duracell's leaked.

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Sparks15/04/2020 18:56:06
34 forum posts
3 photos

I got a Thander battery frequency counter, worked OK in the past, I put it on yesterday, worked fine then 'zilch' the six C size Duracell batteries had leaked - looked like a snow drift, it'd been on about ten minutes! One of them the bottom was completely gone!!!! Thank goodness they are enclosed in a battery case, protected by a aluminium screen underneath there was no damage done.

The very first time I've seen a Duracell leak, I also have a matching scope that runs on 4 C cells, these and other equipment was given to me by a pal many moons ago..... funny thing is this scope hadn't been used for about four years AND the batteries was still good and lasted another couple of months after usage.

Why leak now I ask? Mind you I fitted them about two years ago and the last time I checked they was OK and no signs of leak.

I thought Duracells never leaked.... and now my trust is fading.


Samsaranda15/04/2020 19:04:14
1471 forum posts
7 photos

They used to guarantee no leaks from them but the guarantee is no longer given, I presume cheaper manufacturing has compromised the integrity that the batteries used to have.
Dave W

Mike Poole15/04/2020 19:04:21
3376 forum posts
77 photos

They do seem to leak these days but I am sure one of the selling points was their leak resistance as well as longer life.


Grindstone Cowboy15/04/2020 19:05:59
893 forum posts
64 photos

I've had them leak before now, I don't trust any of them completely crook

Ian Parkin15/04/2020 19:13:48
1035 forum posts
243 photos

I’ve found lots of Duracell’s leak over the last few years..even ones that had only been in a year or so

they not like they used to be

Swarf, Mostly!15/04/2020 19:18:25
679 forum posts
78 photos

Hi there, Sparks,

The mess from the leakage can be cleaned up with either white vinegar or citric acid. You can obtain citric acid in fine crystalline form from eBay or (in virus-free times) from some food suppliers. Maybe also from other web suppliers. Dissolve in warm water and apply with a brush or a cotton bud. Wipe away with a piece of kitchen roll and rinse with plain water. Dry by brushing on methylated spirits, surgical spirit or vodka!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Howard Lewis15/04/2020 19:19:25
6301 forum posts
15 photos

They do, and not just Duracell..

I always smear the terminals with Vaseline before installation, and this seems to prevent the corrosion.


roy entwistle15/04/2020 19:38:48
1551 forum posts

There are a few counterfeit Duracell batteries about same as Gillette razor blades

Simon Williams 315/04/2020 20:02:18
662 forum posts
82 photos

I have a theory, and hopefully someone who understands the chemistry of what's going on will be along shortly.

My impression is that if the gismo with Duracells in it has a proper mechanical switch - a true off switch - then the batteries last well, and are "reasonably" trustworthy.

On the other hand a lot of modern electronics has a push button on/off switch, which just sets the gadget in a state of hibernation. If so, the continuous off state current - however small - will eventually discharge the cell.

It seems to be what happens next which matters - if the gadget continues to present a current drain on the flat cell then it's only a matter of time before the cell leaks, initially a clear fluid which rots everything it contacts, then turn in due course to a white crystalline deposit on the battery enclosure. Neutralising the sludge with acid is fine, now how do you get rid of ALL of the acid? Answer - laboriously.

On the other hand, if you take the flat battery out of its gadget and throw it in a box for re-cycling, it's still sealed a couple of years later. I've tried it - it takes me ages to "get roun'tuit" to take the battery collection to the tip I mean re-cycling centre.

I have a variety of Sennheiser body pack wireless microphone transmitters and receivers I use for a local fete for the PA. I have found from bitter experience its is essential to remove the batteries from each item before storing them over the winter. The batteries are perfectly safe (famous last words) so long as they are NOT in the bodypack - where there is a miniscule standing current of a few microamps, but I have lost at least two systems by being careless and failing to remove the batteries before storage.

HTH Simon

Ady115/04/2020 20:30:04
5161 forum posts
738 photos

There are a lot of counterfeits about via t'internet

If it's a critical application battery I tend to buy the outrageously priced ones from morrisons

Clive Hartland15/04/2020 20:41:41
2837 forum posts
40 photos

Some years back at work I had an expensive Multimeters Duracell battery leak, so, asked for the garantee and they sent me a new Multimeter.

Meanwhile I asked management for a new meter and lo and behold I received another one. One of them now resides with me, very usefull.

Robert Atkinson 215/04/2020 21:44:20
1238 forum posts
20 photos

This is a RoHS problem.

Several years ago the addition of mercury to batteries was banned. The old Duracell and Energizer alkalines had a small amount of mercury which aided recombination of hydrogen which is produced in the cell. Thse cells had a leakproof warranty. When the mercury was removed so was the warranty. The mercury free cells tended to leak even when not left flat. In the last few of years they seem to have solved the problem. Certainly in the USA Energizer have brought the warrty back. I have 20 year old cells that are fine but 5 or six year ones that have leaked. Recent ones seem to be OK for both brands.

Robert G8RPI.

David George 115/04/2020 22:58:17
1871 forum posts
505 photos

A few years ago I had a clock with the spinney balls on a spring piece under a glass dome but one day I found that the batteries had leaked and as they were Duracell I rang them up. The batteries were well in date and still had a charge but the clock was damaged and they said to send the clock to them which I did and I received a week later a new clock and a supply of batteries.


Hopper15/04/2020 23:35:57
6623 forum posts
347 photos
Posted by David George 1 on 15/04/2020 22:58:17:

A few years ago I had a clock with the spinney balls on a spring piece under a glass dome but one day I found that the batteries had leaked and as they were Duracell I rang them up. The batteries were well in date and still had a charge but the clock was damaged and they said to send the clock to them which I did and I received a week later a new clock and a supply of batteries.


Sounds like standard modern business procedure: get rubbish manufactured in China for lowest quote then replace the duds for the tiny minority who get around to complaining within warranty period. Must work out as cost effective because nearly all are doing it. Well done one taking them to task and getting a new clock though.

not done it yet15/04/2020 23:40:00
6880 forum posts
20 photos

Leakage aside, powering a clock with Duracell cells was an expensive pastime. Zinc carbon cells were far better performers at low power applications than the ‘copper tops’. Duracell were always advertised as better for high power applications, for that very reason. They make (or used to make) cells designed specifically for clocks - presumably with thicker cases than normal Zn/C cells, to reduce the chance of leakage.

David George 116/04/2020 09:04:09
1871 forum posts
505 photos

When servicing CNC machines with Heidenhien controllers they had memory backup cells and it was specified that they must be Duracell. I wonder if that still is continued. If they leaked it could wreck the board and prevent the backup working and lose stored memory in the case of mains being turned off or failure.


Hollowpoint16/04/2020 11:31:26
476 forum posts
59 photos

Sorry to say duracells haven't been any good for a few years now and they have always been overpriced. If you do your research you can get good battery's for much less. I stumbled across GP batteries some years ago and they are fantastic! Best of all inexpensive.

David Colwill16/04/2020 11:34:52
779 forum posts
40 photos

I believe "Big Clive" on youtube did a test on AA batteries including Duracell. They did not perform well.

The best ones came from the pound shop!



Sparks16/04/2020 11:56:26
34 forum posts
3 photos

Well, like I said I was gobsmacked 4 had been in the 'Oscilloscope' for over 4 years and they worked for a while after that.... but these in the counter are the one's I put in.... the thing worked awhile then 'zilch', opened it up looked like a snow drift with white crystals I took one cell out and it had no bottom, I could see inside as it had dissipeared.

The whole lot cleaned out easily with isopropanol and was well protected... wouldn't like that happen to my Canon A640 camera, just going to have a rethink here.. If I can think on I'll look Big Clive up see if I can find the review.

Thanks for all the reply's, if I come across anything interesting I'll post back.... stay safe.


wheeltapper16/04/2020 11:57:37
424 forum posts
98 photos

Dave at EEBLOG is doing an in depth test of battery leakage as well.

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