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Darn those batteries
Posted by: MacJeepster
Date: March 02, 2018 07:43AM
My wife is into flashlights. One of her favorites (and most expensive) is a big Mag-Lite with 4 or 5 D-cell batteries in it, the kind police carry that's rugged enough to double as a billy club.
Problem with it was, I was always buying batteries for it.
About 3 years ago, I thought I was being smart and replaced the bulb with an LED one so it would always be ready to use.
Fast-forward three years and it's getting pretty dim. I figured the batteries needed replacing.
No, I wish...
Turns out the alkaline batteries had begun to leak. The worst part is I could only get one out, even by banging it pretty hard on the table.
I started worrying that I might destroy the flashlight before I fixed it.
So I'm turning to one of the top groups of concentrated brainpower on the planet for some help.
Do I stick with brute force or try pouring water into it? Vinegar? Baking soda?
Are there any other approaches that are worth a try?
FYI Mag Lites are not made with magnesium, it's actually anodized aluminum.
Thanks in advance for any guidance.



-mj
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: March 02, 2018 08:35AM
Quote
MacJeepster
..Turns out the alkaline batteries had begun to leak. The worst part is I could only get one out, even by banging it pretty hard on the table...

[flashlightsales.com]

Maglite USED to offer a warranty repair if a Duracell or Energizer leaked, but now they don't. I've repaired leaked in batteries using the method in the link. I then painted the inside with a clear varnish to seal the raw aluminum.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2018 08:40AM by cbelt3.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: tortoise
Date: March 02, 2018 08:36AM
Will be following this topic with interest as I have a Apple keyboard with the exact same problem: the small aluminum one with batteries in the round end that serves as a back support. Have been trying WD-40 so far with no success.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: March 02, 2018 08:36AM
Duracells? Every Duracell I've used in the last five to ten years has leaked.



It is what it is.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: March 02, 2018 08:42AM
Oh.. I forgot... to remove a totally stuck in battery I drilled a pair of holes in the end battery and pulled it out forcibly with a pair of needle nose pliers. Yes, it was a gloppy mess of caustic chemicals.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: MacJeepster
Date: March 02, 2018 09:21AM
Are you sure they won't repair it?
That link you posted seems to indicate they will as long as they're name-brand batteries (they are Ray-O-Vac) and I pay the shipping to them.
I may try the needle-nose gambit. I managed to get out the first battery; I hope it's the second battery that leaked.



-mj
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: Pat
Date: March 02, 2018 09:42AM
Since both ends come completely off on a Mag, can you drive a wooden dowel, broomstick, etc directly on the batteries to force them out?
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: billb
Date: March 02, 2018 10:04AM
I would pour vinegar in to try to neutralize or soften the corrosion.
Or haet the tube up with a heat gun.

All alkalines can leak. Maybe not energizer max, I'm too cheap to try one, I've switched to eneloops where I could.

+1 with Duracell and Kirkland brand batteries seeming to be the worst, but when you buy big packs for the bulk price it's not like you're trying lots of varying brands.

* a maglite full of eneloopes loses its weapon panache



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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 02, 2018 10:20AM
Quote
Pat
Since both ends come completely off on a Mag, can you drive a wooden dowel, broomstick, etc directly on the batteries to force them out?

This... Just take it apart.

[www.youtube.com]



Paul F.
-----
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----
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Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

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Eureka, CA
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: lost in space
Date: March 02, 2018 10:46AM
If you have Energizer batteries in it, I think they're supposed to replace damaged devices. No personal experience though.

I'd soak it in plain water first. What have you got to lose? If that doesn't do it, then yeah, vinegar.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2018 10:48AM by lost in space.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: freeradical
Date: March 02, 2018 11:07AM
I have recently switched to lithium batteries for my remotes.

I shudder to think what 5 lithium D-Cells would cost.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: March 02, 2018 11:14AM
Do Duracell or Energizer (which just bought Rayovac) still offer to replace the device?

Years ago I got a check from one of the above after a battery leaked in my Maglight.

BTW, I wouldn't buy Duracell alkalines.

While all alkalines can leak Duracell clearly has the majority of complaints online.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: steve...
Date: March 02, 2018 11:25AM
This thread has been a good reminder to check your old flashlights.

I had one that I haven't used in a few years that still had batteries in it (was just barely working).




Northern California Coast
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: March 02, 2018 11:37AM
....that.....Darn Cat.................



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: JoeH
Date: March 02, 2018 11:40AM
Quote
Pat
Since both ends come completely off on a Mag, can you drive a wooden dowel, broomstick, etc directly on the batteries to force them out?

Depends on the year it was made. On older D-cell models there is a retaining ring at the top of the switch assembly that has to be removed, then it can come out of the top. They sell a removal tool for getting that retaining ring out. Then you press the batteries out one end or the other.

On newer ones the video in Paul F's post shows everything coming out the battery cap end. There still is a retaining ring at the bulb end holding that switch from going out that end, but they changed to a different type that is harder to remove. This applies to most D-cell flashlights as the change was in 2001.

I haven't looked into what is involved in disassembling C-cell and smaller MagLites, never had a battery leak in one of those yet.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 02, 2018 11:41AM
I had a small (2 AA) maglite damaged by some batteries, I can't recall what brand, perhaps ray-o-vac, and I mailed the flashlight to them with batteries in it, and I go a $20 check for the flashlight and a coupon for 4 free AA batteries.

I don't think this is maglite's problem.I would rather try the battery manufacturer.

On the other hand, once in a while you should check items that use alkaline cells to make sure they don't leak. maybe once a month or so.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: JoeH
Date: March 02, 2018 11:53AM
Quote
cbelt3
Quote
MacJeepster
..Turns out the alkaline batteries had begun to leak. The worst part is I could only get one out, even by banging it pretty hard on the table...

[flashlightsales.com]

Maglite USED to offer a warranty repair if a Duracell or Energizer leaked, but now they don't. I've repaired leaked in batteries using the method in the link. I then painted the inside with a clear varnish to seal the raw aluminum.

Flashlightsales still has the old language copied from the FAQ from Maglite's site, the current one no longer directs you to send in the flashlight and have them remove and determine brand of battery. So they no longer will handle the warranty claim with the battery manufacturer for you.

Speaking of batteries leaking, which brand and/or type is less likely to leak these days? The quality from all of the major brands has gone down in the last 15-20 years, I used to almost never see leaks. Now I have seen all brands leak, and on a regular basis and not even be related to how long they have been in use. Some have leaked just sitting in a box unused. Duracell, Rayovac, Eveready, It has all been the same.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: Buck
Date: March 02, 2018 12:18PM
Maybe upgrade to this:
[www.amazon.com]
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: JoeH
Date: March 02, 2018 12:33PM
Quote
Buck
Maybe upgrade to this:
[www.amazon.com]

A dozen of those in a bunch might replace a multi-D-cell Maglite for its other usages.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2018 12:34PM by JoeH.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: Pat
Date: March 02, 2018 12:49PM
JoeH,

I've only taken out the threaded type, without their tool.
Looked at another one lying around and it has the eyeless circlip. I'll have to mess around with that one and see how hard it is to get out.


Useless trivia, Mag Instrument is located here in Ontario, CA. For now.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: Buzz
Date: March 02, 2018 12:58PM
I use AA eneloops in D size plastic spacers for our mega D Mag Lites w/ LED's. Been working OK, and they're much lighter to carry. As far as leaking battery removal, this is a good thread to bookmark. FWIW, when empty, the new Mags are noticeably lighter than their older brethren.
==
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: JoeH
Date: March 02, 2018 02:02PM
Quote
Pat
JoeH,

I've only taken out the threaded type, without their tool.
Looked at another one lying around and it has the eyeless circlip. I'll have to mess around with that one and see how hard it is to get out.


Useless trivia, Mag Instrument is located here in Ontario, CA. For now.

Post on how it works if you manage to get it out. I have a couple Maglite flashlight with stuck batteries to replace myself. Had one of the older type, but that got stolen years ago.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: March 02, 2018 05:10PM
I don't know what's happened to Duracell's but they tend to leak more over the last several years than any brand I've used.



Grateful11
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 02, 2018 05:49PM
I just looked at duracell.com and I cannot see any kind of assurance that those batteries do not leak. Energizer on the other hand still stands behind their products

Energizer® No Leak Guarantee

[www.energizer.com]
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: JoeH
Date: March 02, 2018 06:11PM
Duracell buries their warranty information under their Use, Care and Disposal topic:

Quote

If not completely satisfied with your Duracell battery product, call 1-800-551-2355 (9:00AM – 5:00PM EST). Duracell guarantees its batteries against defects in materials and workmanship. Should any device be damaged due to a battery defect, we will repair or replace it at our option. Leaking battery and damaged device must be provided as proof of claim. Duracell may deny claims of damage caused by misuse or modification of the batteries or device.

As stated they have a lot of leeway on interpreting whether the damage is caused by a "defect".
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: Racer X
Date: March 02, 2018 10:59PM
Quote
Buzz
I use AA eneloops in D size plastic spacers for our mega D Mag Lites w/ LED's. Been working OK, and they're much lighter to carry. As far as leaking battery removal, this is a good thread to bookmark. FWIW, when empty, the new Mags are noticeably lighter than their older brethren.
==

Yup, me too.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: March 03, 2018 12:16PM
Quote
JoeH
Quote
cbelt3
Quote
MacJeepster
..Turns out the alkaline batteries had begun to leak. The worst part is I could only get one out, even by banging it pretty hard on the table...

[flashlightsales.com]

Maglite USED to offer a warranty repair if a Duracell or Energizer leaked, but now they don't. I've repaired leaked in batteries using the method in the link. I then painted the inside with a clear varnish to seal the raw aluminum.

Flashlightsales still has the old language copied from the FAQ from Maglite's site, the current one no longer directs you to send in the flashlight and have them remove and determine brand of battery. So they no longer will handle the warranty claim with the battery manufacturer for you.

Speaking of batteries leaking, which brand and/or type is less likely to leak these days? The quality from all of the major brands has gone down in the last 15-20 years, I used to almost never see leaks. Now I have seen all brands leak, and on a regular basis and not even be related to how long they have been in use. Some have leaked just sitting in a box unused. Duracell, Rayovac, Eveready, It has all been the same.

Duracell has by far the most complaints online.

And Energizer has just bought Rayovac, so IDK how long the latter brand will be around.
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: MacJeepster
Date: March 04, 2018 05:27AM
Wow! I seem to have hit on a problem shared by an amazing number of people.
Lots of good info, especially the YouTube vid.
I'm going to try again to disassemble the flashlight and if that fails, send it to Mag.
This baby was expensive, so I won't give up on it.
I haven't replied until now because the power was out for 12 hours (all our other flashlights got a workout) and then spent the nex 12 hours digging out from two feet of snow here in Upstate New York.
btw, my wife has a few of those "tactical" flashlights. They are bright, but they won't stop a bad guy in his tracks like some of the ads claim.
Most of these flashlights use an untraditional battery (18650 li-ion) rechargeable. Called "the battery of the 21st century," they are used in everything from vapes to electric cars and hoverboards. Apparently, their quality and safety varys greatly
The batteries are expensive and I don't believe there is an alkaline equivalent.
So if you use them, you may not have to worry much about leakage, but if it does leak, it might burn down your house.



-mj
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Re: Darn those batteries
Posted by: Racer X
Date: March 06, 2018 12:14AM
THe deal with the 18650s is that you buy the rechargeable ones, and get a charger. They are low self discharge, so just top off every 6 months or so, if you remember.
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