Alkaline batteries - do they need to breathe? Can they be sealed?

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andygold
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Alkaline batteries - do they need to breathe? Can they be sealed?

Was just curious as to whether primary batteries need to breathe, or not.  I know this sounds kind of strange, but bear with me...

I have had a slew of primary batts leak in my devices over the years, sometimes ruining them.  I've used a paste of baking soda and water to clean everything up and usually I can get these devices to work again.

With that said, I was looking at an old floor fan that my sister took to college with her back in the 1970's.  To ensure that it stayed hers and didn't wander off, some white-out correction fluid was used to write her initials in large letters on the body of the fan.  Then, a coating of clear nail polish was used to protect the white-out (clear nail polish supposedly being stronger than colored nail polishes).  It is still protected to this day almost 40 years later, and looks like it was recently applied.  On other items, initials were scratched through the paint, and then nail-polished over with clear.  With the nail polish over the bare metal, it did not rust.

While looking at the fan the other day (while putting it in the trash, as the motor caught fire), I got the idea of using some nail polish on both ends of my AA batteries, effectively sealing the end caps to the tube.  I think this might work to prevent leakage, or at least slow it down, but I wonder about issues that might arise from "sealing" the batteries.

Do they need to breathe?  Do they build up pressure that needs to be released in typical use?  Does air need to infiltrate and get inside?

Any thoughts as to why sealing them might be a bad idea? 

 

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power911
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most of the time my alkalines leak through places far away from the valve.
they leak because they eat the body away in my cases… so I’m not entirely sure how to prevent this

but they do release gases when they are close to complete drain

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Streamer
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There is no fix to stop alkaline leakage other than to stop using them altogether. “Friends do’nt let friends use alka Sick lines”.

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Rechargable and lithium are the way to go. Amazon subscribe and save for $13 a month will send 8 energizer ultimate lithium’s. Just forget about it and when it comes stock pile somewhere. They last 20+ years in storage to 90% capacity

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I join the chorus in thinking your idea won’t work, not because of the breathing problem but because the leakage will eat the nail polish. Unfortunately alkalines have a nasty habit of leaking, the leakage rate is about 25% in my experience.
Best plan is to either not use them (use NiMH, lithium primary instead) or remove them from anything not in current use.
I try to go with NiMH, eneloops are great batteries for most applications.

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andygold
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I agree that there are better alternatives to primary AA batteries.  Its just that I have access to a huge supply of partially drained (almost new) AA & AAA primaries, and I like to make use of, and drain, them.  I just cannot bring myself to toss them when i know that they are almost new.  I'll just have to use them in my cheapest lights.

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Bort
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andygold wrote:

I agree that there are better alternatives to primary AA batteries.  Its just that I have access to a huge supply of partially drained (almost new) AA & AAA primaries, and I like to make use of, and drain, them.  I just cannot bring myself to toss them when i know that they are almost new.  I’ll just have to use them in my cheapest lights.


Give them away Wink
I have a couple things that won’t work on NiMH, annoying but i manage, i have kept some alkaleaks that came with from other devices but i do end up giving away most of them, and use NiMH in the energy monitor even though it doesn’t like NiMH, i just recharge every 6 weeks.

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"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"