Do Duracell Batteries Leak? Explained

Duracell batteries

When you check the online reviews of Duracell batteries, you will come across several posts from users about Duracell batteries leaking and ruining your appliances.

How much truth do these claims hold? Let’s have a look.

Are Duracell batteries good?

Duracell is indeed one of the most popular manufacturers of alkaline batteries and rechargeable cells. Their batteries are known to last long and offer high performance.

But do Duracell batteries leak?
The short answer is yes. But here is the thing – all alkaline batteries are prone to leaking after the expiry date. The crystalline substance you see ooze out of the battery is potassium hydroxide. It’s an alkaline chemical that is mildly corrosive.

But it can sometimes happen that the batteries leak even before their expiration date. This can be harmful to the device you use the batteries for.

What are Duracell batteries made up of?

Duracell alkaline batteries are primary cells containing different parts such as cathode, anode, separator, electrodes, and electrolyte.

The electrolyte is a mix of certain chemicals like potassium hydroxide mixed with water. As mentioned earlier, this is generally the stuff that leaks out of batteries.

The outer casing of a battery is generally steel. The electrolyte mix in the battery contains zinc, manganese dioxide, potassium, or graphite.

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Why do Duracell batteries leak?

It’s not uncommon for batteries to leak. Like all batteries, Duracell too is made with several chemicals like potassium hydroxide, zinc, manganese dioxide, and potassium. 

These chemicals react to generate electrical energy that is used to power your devices. 

During this chemical process, hydrogen is released which creates pressure and causes the cell to expand and an alkaline substance, potassium hydroxide, to leak out of it.

Typically, there is enough space within the batteries to contain these gases. However, over time, there can be enough buildup within the casing to cause a leak (or even an explosion in the case of lead-acid batteries). 

This is why you should always dispose of batteries that are past their expiration date. But if a battery leaks before that, the manufacturer is to be blamed.

The leaking substance from the battery is caustic. The longer it takes for a battery to leak, the better quality it is. If you want to prevent leakage of battery use, check the expiry date and remove them from your devices beforehand. 

Does Duracell make a leakproof battery?

There is no such thing as a leak-proof battery. Batteries are prone to leaking once passing the expiry dates.

There are however Vented Lead-Acid (VLA) batteries that contain ‘vents’ that release hydrogen escape – and this prevents the buildup that contributes to battery leakage.

However, these are lead-acid batteries and not alkaline. 

Compared to alkaline batteries, lead-acid batteries are relatively more expensive and do not leak as often. VLA batteries (also known as flooded or wet batteries) are even less likely to leak.

Does Duracell offer a leak warranty?

Duracell batteries contain a limited warranty. A battery that malfunctions due to defects shall be replaced or repaired during the warranty period.

As the buyer, you must retain the receipt of purchase to confirm the purchase date and warranty limit.

You may check the user manual guide to see the warranty guidelines and claim process. Accidents and mishandling of appliances or batteries are not covered under warranty.

Does Duracell offer a leak guarantee?

Duracell does not offer a guarantee against leaks. As we pointed out earlier in this article, there is no such thing as a leak-proof battery.

In lieu of this, Duracell offers a limited-time warranty for defects. Buyers are entitled to replacements during this period.

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Is a leaking Duracell battery dangerous?

Duracell batteries leak potassium hydroxide. This is an alkaline substance that is mildly corrosive and can cause slight irritation if exposed to the skin. It can also damage devices if left leaking for long in them.

In addition to potassium hydroxide, Duracell batteries may also leak zinc and magnesium hydroxide that is again mild corrosives and may cause harm upon ingestion or if they come in contact with your eyes.

If you happen to be exposed to a leaking battery, make sure to rinse off the exposed part of your skin with water thoroughly. If the irritation persists, consult a doctor.

What happens when Duracell batteries leak on your skin?

Duracell battery leaks contain potassium hydroxide to a large extent, and other chemicals like zinc, and magnesium dioxide to a smaller extent. They are not very corrosive but can cause redness, and itching on the exposed surface.

In most instances, these chemicals wash away once you rinse your skin with adequate water.

How to file a Duracell battery leak claim?

To file a claim with Duracell, you must first gather evidence of the leak. Duracell refuses any claims due to misuse or mishandling by the user. They do refund or replace your product if it qualifies the leak claim.

To do this, mail the damaged product with batteries still intact to Duracell. The company investigates the damage to identify the root cause.  If they can establish that the product is not damaged due to a short circuit, a dead battery left inside for too long, or past its expiry date, they will process your claim.



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Anand Srinivasan
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