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Old Feb 20, 2007, 8:15 AM   #1
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A friend of mine reverses a battery in battery driven equipment when he's not going to be using it for a while, as opposed to removing the batteries altogether (to prevent power drainage from the battery, and also to stop the batteries from leaking their chemicals). Is this safe?

For example, in my camera (A430 Canon), if I'm likely not to use it for a few weeks, instead of removing the batteries (and then probably losing them), can I keep the batteries in the camera, but reverse one of them (the A430 uses two AA batteries) so that the + and - poles are reversed, which will stop the power flow (I would have thought). Would this stop all power drainage?

And would it prevent the batteries from leaking their chemicals and damaging the camera? Does this leakage even occur with modern batteries (I've heard not)?

Thanks for any answers.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 8:27 AM   #2
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I'd rather put a piece of thin plastic (like plastic wrap or tape) across the exposed ends of the batteries.

Not camera-related, but along the same line... my wife had a little knick-knack that was shaped like a cat, and it had electronics built in that would make it "meow" three times if it was tilted (picked up, bumped, etc.). It got on my nerves after a while, so I put a small piece of paper between one of the button cells and the contact, and that stopped it from meowing.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 9:43 AM   #3
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Is it safe: NO
and advisable: NO
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 10:25 AM   #4
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Yes. modern batteries/cells still can and WILL leak under certain circumstances ...ruined a MagLite just this past summer when the cells leaked.

My daughter lucked out with her digital camera when the AAs leaked ... caught it in time and I was able to clean the compartment out (and the camera still works over a year later).

While I know many hikers/campers and others traditionally reverse one cell in flashlights to keep them from being inadvertently turned on in their packs, I will not do it ... the old electronics tech in me, I guess.

Safety should not be an issue, though, unless you try to recharge them with one reversed.
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 1:21 PM   #5
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Most modern electronics that use AA or AAA type batteries are diode protected against reverse current but it's not a good idea. NiMH and lithium batteries can generate a lot of current and can even start fires if shorted out. :flame:
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 8:47 AM   #6
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OK, thanks for the answers. I'll avoid doing it, and pass your info onto my mate. Don't know if he'll stop, though.
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