Battery Corrosion / Leakage / Advice

Avoid Battery Corrosion - 

Damage caused by leaking batteries is typically irreversible, and is NOT covered under the Kestrel warranty.   

Kestrel 4000 series are shipped with two high-quality alkaline AAA batteries. All alkaline batteries are prone to leaking potassium hydroxide, particularly as they near full discharge. As batteries discharge, they release a small amount of hydrogen gas, which exerts pressure inside the battery and may eventually rupture its seals. Once a leak has occurred, the potassium hydroxide and carbon dioxide from the air form potassium carbonate crystals that grow and follow along the metal electrodes to the circuit board, causing oxidation of the circuit and components. 

Here are some tips to avoid corrosion:

  • Use US-made, name-brand batteries wherever possible. Do not mix brands of batteries.
  • Do not mix batteries of different ages or usage – replace both batteries at the same time with new batteries that have not reached their expiration date.
  • Remove batteries for long-term storage (more than one month of non-use). Even when powered down, the Kestrel continues to log data and slowly discharge the batteries.
  • To avoid fully discharging your batteries, try to change your batteries when below 20% capacity.
  • Inspect your batteries occasionally (at least every three months) and remove immediately if you notice ANY moisture or white crystalline material at either end.
  • Always store your Kestrel meter within the specified temperature limits:  -22.0 °F to 140.0 °F | -30.0 °C to 60.0 °C. Be particularly careful not to leave a Kestrel meter with batteries installed inside a hot car in the summer.
  • Consider using Lithium AAA cells which are virtually leak proof and provide up to 50% additional capacity in Bluetooth equipped models as well as improved cold weather performance.

Some symptoms:

  • Meter screen gets spotty.
  • Screen not functioning in all modes.
  • Meter will not turn on after replacing batteries.

It can see corrosion, there is almost nothing you can do.  If you can't see it and suspect it... it can sometimes be in the meter and you're not able to see it with the naked eye unless you open it up.  

 

If your battery leaks:

  • Be careful not to touch it with your bare skin or allow it to come in contact with your eyes as the leaking material is very caustic.
  • Remove and dispose of both batteries.
  • If possible, loosen and vacuum out any white powder. DO NOT BLOW INTO THE COMPARTMENT TO REMOVE THE POWDER – it can cause eye or skin damage and will be driven further inside the unit.
  • You may attempt to use a cotton swab moistened with white vinegar to clean the contacts and gently swab out the battery compartment. Do not exert any force against the contacts inside the battery compartment or you may bend or break them. Allow the battery compartment to dry completely and try installing fresh batteries.

If your unit powers up – great! If not, you may contract Kestrel AU to inquire about our Customer Loyalty Trade-In Program which provides a generous discount towards a replacement Kestrel meter in AU and NZ.

Next Post → ← Previous Post