Is it my imagination or are common batteries actually becoming more unstable? In the past couple of decades it "seems" that batteries are getting worse. They have ruined a handful of my devices. They seem to puke all over the devices you put them in. Radios, flashlights, headlights, or any other device that takes a AAA through D can be wasted if left in.
Now days you need to remove the batteries after every use but what good is a flashlight if when you need it you have to find the batteries to use it. I don't remember this years ago...they just went dead, now they vomit and then die.
Either battery manufacturing has changed or the devices are the cause. My wife found an almost new all metal Rayovac flashlight from the 60s @ a garage sale that she uses and it's had batteries in it for the past four years or more with no ill affect. You can't seem do that with a modern $50 unit.
And batteries are not exactly cheep these days.
Maybe I just pay more attention these days?
Maybe. I rarely have any problems. Occasionally I'll see a corroded battery, but it's not in anything.
One thing is that I rarely buy batteries, but rather use rechargeables. They don't keep their charge as long as I'd like, but it seems wasteful to keep buying AA's when I could reuse them.
Rechargeables are quite nice. The only fly in the ointment is that everybody in the household needs to be clued in that they go on the charger when dead, not in the trash can. Sez the guy who gave up after all the rechargeable AAs vanished for the third time.
...and, incidentally, even the disposables shouldn't go in the can. At least in our city, we do hazardous waste recycling. Batteries and old computers.
Same thing down here, Will.
Only headache is small children who are old enough to change batteries, but not old enough to segregate trash on their own. Or Sort the dead batteries (Gold [CostCo] in the recycling bin, Silver or Green [Rechargeables] on the charger).
'Twas always thus. The only flashlights I've owned that didn't have a brace of batteries puke in them are the ones with sealed switches and o ring gaskets on the barrel ends. IMHO, it's more a combination of infrequent device use and humidity (within the device) that causes dry cell batteries to discharge and leak.
I was going to mention humidity and use as well. Down here in humid land, the devices that don't get used get corroded. Those that get used are fine.
Most of my experience with batteries is with video game controllers, and I haven't had a single one corrode at all in my twelve years of playing. Not to mention that Xbox is known for parts breaking and you having to buy new stuff, so I don't know. I live in the Midwest, don't know what the humidity is like compared to where you're at.
Bet that game controller gets lots of action :-)...seems that heavy use is the answer. I had a real sweet expensive Petz head light I got for Turkey hunting. Didn't last a year. The batteries split open while in my cabinet and corroded the control board into a solid mess. I was able to save the headband. So far I have had three dead two-way radios, three flash lights and a couple of boombox radios. Now I remove batteries after each use.