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Corroded batteries

Discussion specific to the intelligent brick, sensors, motors, and more.

Corroded batteries

Postby clinton10 » 05 Feb 2013, 06:11


I have an NXT that had AA batteries (alkaline, I think) in it for a long time and they leaked battery acid. :(

I took the batteries out when I became aware of the problem, and have cleaned off the terminals, and popped the cover off the NXT to have a look at it. I'm hoping the unit is fine -- I can't readily tell without further disassembly -- but was wondering what recommendations you might have for how to proceed. I have not attempted to power up that NXT since removing the batteries.

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Re: Corroded batteries

Postby mattallen37 » 05 Feb 2013, 06:24

I don't know how far apart you are comfortable taking it, but I would take it apart almost entirely (de-solder the PCB from the battery terminals). I usually use rubbing alcohol and a tooth-brush [Edit: an old tooth-brush, to be thrown away afterwards] to clean things up. If the acid didn't get to the PCB, then after cleaning the contacts, you should be good to go.

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Re: Corroded batteries

Postby circuitmage » 05 Feb 2013, 16:08

I had a couple (bought 2nd hand) that had that problem.

There are lots of tips on the internet.

I used baking soda (also good on car batteries) and water. I then use a 50% vinager solution to scrub. +1 on used toothbrushes.

Make sure to let dry. You should be good to go.
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Re: Corroded batteries

Postby doc-helmut » 05 Feb 2013, 16:20

yes, rubbing with vinegar is a good choice because alkaline batteries don't have acid like lead-acid batteries in cars but.... alkali !
This is just the opposite.
Vinegar is an acid (5% acetic acid) and neutralizes the battery's alkali.
Alternatively, you may use highly diluted tartaric acid or ascorbic acid, both are also complexing metal ions, and moreover, ascorbic acid ("vitamine C") is also a redox agent against oxidative or reductive matters, like, e.g., Mangan oxide in alkaline batteries.
Cleaning with 50-70% alcohol afterwards will probably remove the rest of the corrosion (and excess of acid ions).

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Re: Corroded batteries

Postby jwiger » 06 Feb 2013, 03:11

+1 to vinegar -can be applied with Q-tips.
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Re: Corroded batteries

Postby clinton10 » 12 Feb 2013, 05:57

Thank you for all of the tips!

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