Battery Corrosion Removal

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  #1  
Old 08-16-14, 07:04 AM
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Battery Corrosion Removal

I have a 4 cell flashlight with badly corroded/leaking batteries. It's a Maglite. The flashlight was so badly corroded inside that I had to use two pipe wrenches to unscrew the battery compartment - one to hold, the other to turn. I then had to drill a hole in the bottom battery and screw in a bolt to remove it. The others came out by banging the open end on a piece of soft wood relying on the inertia of the batteries to get them out.

Anyway, there is a mess of corrosion on the inside of the flashlight. What is the best way to get it out? Is there a liquid that will dissolve it? I have scraped much of it off with a long bladed knife but I would like to clean it thoroughly. Thanks in advance for any advice given.
 
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Old 08-16-14, 07:10 AM
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I'd probably use an old toothbrush along with a baking soda and water solution. You will obviously want to dry the inside out as best as you can, then maybe blow the inside out with compressed air or a hair dryer so that the water doesn't sit inside and rust any components.
 
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Old 08-16-14, 07:55 AM
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Thanks for info. Will give it a try.
 
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Old 08-16-14, 12:16 PM
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I have a 4 cell flashlight with badly corroded/leaking batteries. It's a Maglite. The flashlight was so badly corroded inside that I had to use two pipe wrenches to unscrew the battery compartment - one to hold, the other to turn. I then had to drill a hole in the bottom battery and screw in a bolt to remove it. The others came out by banging the open end on a piece of soft wood relying on the inertia of the batteries to get them out.
You screwed up big time, you now have not only a corroded Mag-Lite, but a mangled one too. I had a similar case with my 3-cell Mag-Lite, but I stopped before mangling the case. I shipped it to the nearest Mag-Lite repair center, one state away, and offered to pay for the repair. Several months later I got it back free of charge with new Duracell batteries in it. There is no sign of ever having had any corrosion in it so I suspect they just gave me a new one. Free, nada, no charge! I'll not let that happen again and from now on, only Duracell batteries for mine.
 
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Old 08-16-14, 12:34 PM
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Sorry to disappoint but there is very little damage to the shell or screw on butt end. A tiny bit of black paint will make it all disappear. So I did not screw up big time. And this fix will not cost postage nor a month without it. Some people are rather ham fisted. I am not.
 
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Old 08-16-14, 12:40 PM
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Sorry to disappoint but there is very little damage to the shell or screw on butt end. A tiny bit of black paint will make it all disappear.
I am not disappointed in the least, I am actually happy for you that all you need to do is touch up the paint and call it a day.
 
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Old 08-17-14, 06:00 AM
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If the baking soda doesn't work try Coca Cola. Not a cheap knock-off, but real Coke.
 
  #8  
Old 08-17-14, 06:39 AM
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I'm on vacation right now but will try it when I get home. I'll report the results.
 
  #9  
Old 04-11-15, 10:26 AM
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CasualJoe,
Where were you when I needed you? Same situation as LawrenceC, except after I had spent er . . . considerable time on my 2 cell maglite boring, chiseling, wrapping steel wool around my extension driver on my pneumatic driver and boring out the corrosion as best I could, I then turned to my 3 cell maglite to borrow the batteries and see if my work had paid off. Guess what. Oh, you're all too smart for me. OK. so, I then conduct identical restorative surgery on my 3 cell Mag. I am delighted to discover (after the fact) that there are some perceptive manufacturers out there who know how to keep a customer base. For the present, I am still enjoying my "recons," satisfied with one of life's little successful repairs. GO LawrenceC!
 

Last edited by michael2718; 04-11-15 at 10:28 AM. Reason: punctuation, spacing
  #10  
Old 04-11-15, 10:57 AM
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The maglites have a lot going for them. US made, aluminum, easy to find parts, and more. I've converted about a dozen for deep underwater use with a bit of machining, putting in a 42 watt reflector lamp and external battery pack.
Anyway, over the years worked thru a lot of plastic flashlights. Underwater kinetics, pelican, tekna, lots more. I always come back to metal lights. If I had the $, I'd spread around a big assortment of Shurfire, but alas, I have only two, one was found in the mud in a hundred feet of water, not a drop inside. The other an aviation model I bought used.

Saying all that, the light below may blow you away, at $60 or so. I use intova's now for all diving backup use. There is a version with CR123, the below is AA. One overlooked advantage to lithium primary cells is the lack of battery leaks, even a dozen years later.

Cave Adventurers - Intova Ultra Nova - Marianna, Florida USA - Never Undersold!
 
  #11  
Old 04-11-15, 02:55 PM
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I had forgotten about this thread. I got it out by chucking up a 12 gauge cleaning brush and one section of the cleaning rod in an electric drill. That got enough of it out to get new batteries into place. Some of the heavier corrosion was removed with a wood rasp. The curved side worked reasonably well.
 
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Old 04-12-15, 05:49 AM
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I have found over the years simple boiling water works wonders. Be it lead acid, zinc chloride, or any other battery it does not seem to matter boiling water works. Only when you can't use boiling water would I look for something else.

As to stopping it petroleum jelly I find best. Again does not matter if battery is zinc or lead acid it still works.
 
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