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Amazon "Basic", and Duracell alkaline batteries
Old 08-19-2015, 10:53 AM   #1
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Amazon "Basic", and Duracell alkaline batteries

After many many years of buying them, I have given up on "Duracell, the Copper Top" batteries. No more.

Everything was fine with them, until the date Mar 2017 batteries. I continue to find things around here that have Duracell AA and AAA code Mar 2017 in them, and leaking. Been finding them for the last couple of years. They don't die then leak, they leak when they are OK, and the resulting corrosion kills the device they are in, and that's how I usually find out. So many batteries in so many things, I can't keep track of them. Some I have remembered and went to check, the device was working fine, but they were leaking, and they would still test OK with my loaded battery tester.

Sometimes I have been able to do a cleanup and salvage the device. Have also seen much newer date code Duracells doing the same thing. Seems Duracell must have made a design change that made them leakers. I haven't seen so many leaky batteries since the old carbon-zinc batteries of the 1960s! At least the old carbon-zinc batteries would get weak before they leaked, so if a flashlight was dim, it was time to get those batteries out of there pronto.
But these Duracells are devious. They act like they're fine and dandy, doing their job, while they quietly leak their corrosive guts out!

So I am trying out Amazon Basic batteries, a package of AA to start.

Have you used Amazon Basic batteries? What do you think? Have you seen Duracells leak?
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:04 AM   #2
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My BIL is a retired engineer who spent 25+years in battery manufacturing. Virtually all consumer batteries are now made in China and he says you may be buying what you think is a Duracell or other brand name but is really a cheap (leaky) knockoff. No way to really know.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
My BIL is a retired engineer who spent 25+years in battery manufacturing. Virtually all consumer batteries are now made in China and he says you may be buying what you think is a Duracell or other brand name but is really a cheap (leaky) knockoff. No way to really know.
Maybe there's hope! The Amazon Basic AAs I have say "made in Indonesia"
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:29 AM   #4
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I have also banned copper top duracell alkaline from the homestead for the exact same reason. The duracell copper tops are made in usa. Switched to eveready alkaline, also us made no more problems.

I may try the costco store brand alkaline , marketed right next to the duracells , for a little less $

Better not tell Warren Buffett . BH owns duracell
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Old 08-19-2015, 03:36 PM   #5
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I've had good luck with alkalines from Harbor Freight. They're Chinese branded like "Wong Fat" or "Master Thunder Kat", but they have provided good non-leak service in the few non-lithum powered devices we have.

And, they're cheap with the coupon! Plus, I can get another free Tape Measure or DVM while I'm there.
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:45 PM   #6
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Within the past year I've found Energizer brand batteries leaking prematurely. It's not just Duracell, perhaps all the manufacturers have cut too many corners. I also had one develop a negative charge, first time I observed that.
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
Within the past year I've found Energizer brand batteries leaking prematurely. It's not just Duracell, perhaps all the manufacturers have cut too many corners. I also had one develop a negative charge, first time I observed that.
I wonder if the strive to make everything " Green " has degraded the product. Most big name brands claim no mercury content now , for waste disposal purposes.......Throw in a little lead, arsenic, cad., and mercury and asbestos too.
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:42 PM   #8
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I gave up on alkalines long ago. If it is an alkaline battery, sooner or later it will leak and ruin whatever it was in.

The initial cost of rechargable batteries is more. But with a different internal chemical makeup these batteries do not leak. The best rechargable batteries are Eneloops. That's what I am using. AA batteries in about everything except AAA, (get some of those too). Rechargeable up to 2100 times.
70% capacity after 5 years of storage.
Amazon.com: Panasonic BK-3MCCA12SA eneloop AA New 2100 Cycle Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries, 12 Pack: Electronics

Below...D spacers...to start...the AA fits in the body of the spacer and it becomes a D cell.
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-BQ-B...ords=d+spacers
Look at the chart on the page...select D, C, spacers. Get a number of them. This will allow you to use AA batteries in about everything. Get spares, keep them charged.
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:39 PM   #9
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The low discharge rechargables are the way to go. I have been going with Eneloops but the next time I'd like to try Amazon Basics rechargables.
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:47 AM   #10
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I tried many brands of rechargeable and gave up on them.

I'm back to "plain" batteries.

We usually use Costco brand AAs. I'm wondering how they compare with the Amazon basics?

The Amazon basics are $13.49 or 28¢ per battery.

Costco doesn't list their Kirkland brand batteries on their website. Does anyone remember how much they cost?

Too bad there isn't an easy way to know the life of the battery too. I know it depends on the use, but it would be nice to have some wort of canonical measurement (like lumens on light bulbs). KWhrs of stored energy?
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
...........
Costco doesn't list their Kirkland brand batteries on their website. Does anyone remember how much they cost?

Too bad there isn't an easy way to know the life of the battery too. I know it depends on the use, but it would be nice to have some wort of canonical measurement (like lumens on light bulbs). KWhrs of stored energy?
Consumer Reports rated batteries recently. As I recall the Kirkland batteries are about 20 cents each and were the best buy.
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
I tried many brands of rechargeable and gave up on them.

I'm back to "plain" batteries.

We usually use Costco brand AAs. I'm wondering how they compare with the Amazon basics?

The Amazon basics are $13.49 or 28¢ per battery.

Costco doesn't list their Kirkland brand batteries on their website. Does anyone remember how much they cost?

Too bad there isn't an easy way to know the life of the battery too. I know it depends on the use, but it would be nice to have some wort of canonical measurement (like lumens on light bulbs). KWhrs of stored energy?
They all seem to be pretty much the same. I wonder if the relatively small differences that some sites show are repeatable batch to batch?

I used to get the Costco AA/AAA, but lately started getting 4-packs at Dollar Tree. Costco might be a little cheaper than my $0.25 per, but I can get one or two packs at a time instead of 48, so they stay fresher.

-ERD50
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Redbugdave View Post
I gave up on alkalines long ago. If it is an alkaline battery, sooner or later it will leak and ruin whatever it was in.

The initial cost of rechargable batteries is more. But with a different internal chemical makeup these batteries do not leak. The best rechargable batteries are Eneloops. That's what I am using. AA batteries in about everything except AAA, (get some of those too). Rechargeable up to 2100 times.
70% capacity after 5 years of storage.
Amazon.com: Panasonic BK-3MCCA12SA eneloop AA New 2100 Cycle Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries, 12 Pack: Electronics
I have AA Eneloops only as camera batteries. Have you had any issues with devices made for alkalines when using Eneloops instead? Alkalines are nominal 1.5v, where NiMH is 1.2 volt.

I just measured some Eneloop AAs I recharged last week, vs. new Amazon Basic AAs. Open circuit, the Eneloops were 1.38v, the Amazon alkys were 1.6n. I then put them on my battery tester (applies a 10 ohm resistor as a parallel load in that switch position, so about 150ma. load) with DVM probes in parallel. Under the 150ma load, the Eneloops were 1.3n volts, the alkys were 1.6v.

I should note that my Eneloop charger is the Sanyo 4-wide one, that can charge 2 groups of 2 cells at a time, must have 2 cells minimum in the correct slots. From what I read on Amazon, it charges to a higher voltage than the newer 4-wide individual charge state charger that is on the market now. So the Eneloop voltages I listed above are relevant when charged with the charger I have, the 4-wide individual is noticeably lower as discussed there. That would seem to mean more problems/less useable NiMH capability used in a alkaline-designed device.
Comments?

I also doubt that I could remember to keep a supply of recharged batteries up to charge and on-hand over time! In contrast, it's so easy to go pull out our battery basket in a cupboard, and grab some alkaline batteries.
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Old 08-21-2015, 03:07 PM   #14
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Telly...As you noticed, there is a difference in voltage between alkalines and rechargables. I have not had any problems in the devices that they are in. That ranges from my wireless computer mice, to radios, flashlights, and gps units. The upper end electronics, (like my gps), actually have a menu asking for the type of battery used to compensate.

It's good to have a number of rechargables since you will be replacing the alkalines as they go bad. I have a plastic bin labelled, "needs recharging", and another that says, "Charged".

In a disaster, AA batteries are the first to go on the store shelves. If you have rechargables, you are not at the whim of what is available at the store. You can even recharge them from a 12v battery or your car or using a solar panel. I have one of these solar panels:
http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/79/Gu...Fa5r7Aod8nwAOg
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:29 AM   #15
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Interesting thread. I've used Duracells and Energizers almost exclusively for the past 15 or 20 years and haven't had any problems with them. However I do change things like clocks and smoke detectors batteries twice a year (with daylight savings time changes) but with many other devices, I just leave them in until the batteries are weak. No problems with anything, so far, but now I'll start checking the devices that I rarely change the batteries.
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Old 08-23-2015, 10:54 AM   #16
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I'm so sorry to hear this. Back in the day when we were big producers of battery operated industrial gear we did a lot of battery tests and Duracell copper top were always the best performing and most reliable. We recommended them (for free, no relationship) in all our manuals. It's disheartening to think that they have been swept up in the commodity manufacturing of batteries and are no longer superior. Now, I feel old.
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Old 08-23-2015, 03:09 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Beldar View Post
I've had good luck with alkalines from Harbor Freight. They're Chinese branded like "Wong Fat" or "Master Thunder Kat", but they have provided good non-leak service in the few non-lithum powered devices we have.

And, they're cheap with the coupon! Plus, I can get another free Tape Measure or DVM while I'm there.
Yeah, thanks to the "free with any purchase" coupons, we now have a DVM and screwdriver set for every room in the house!
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:12 PM   #18
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The low discharge rechargables are the way to go.
It depends on the application. The Eneloops are (I think) 2000 mAh but that trades longevity for lower power. In the off-camera flash units for my camera I want lots of power so I don't have to swap batteries in the middle of a shoot so I use 2700 mAh Powerex cells. But I do this knowing they have a shorter life, i.e., fewer charge/discharge cycles.

Always, there are trade offs.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:33 PM   #19
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I switched to Costco Kirkland batteries for the last 5 years but recently I have found several leakers that were brand new. I was recently switching to enloops and will switch over completely as they go on sale.
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:09 AM   #20
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It depends on the application. The Eneloops are (I think) 2000 mAh but that trades longevity for lower power. In the off-camera flash units for my camera I want lots of power so I don't have to swap batteries in the middle of a shoot so I use 2700 mAh Powerex cells. But I do this knowing they have a shorter life, i.e., fewer charge/discharge cycles.
Always, there are trade offs.
Walt, have you considered Eneloop Pro?
Less of a trade-off capacity and power wise vs. Powerex.
And it is still a low discharge battery vs. regular discharge Powerex.

Below CP threads with tests:
Test/Review of Eneloop AA HR-3UWXB 2450mAh (Black))
Powerex 2700mAH AA / 1000mAH AAA testing results

And consumer advice:
The Best Rechargeable Batteries and Chargers Of 2015 - MetaEfficient
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