A battery leak in a flashlight is not too bad. You simply clean the contacts and all is well, but a battery leak in an electronic device typically spells doom for the device. The fluid that comes out of the battery is corrosive and will normally cause damage to the sensitive circuitry in an electronic device.
There is hope! Did you know that most battery company's actually Guarantee that their battery will not leak and damage your electronic device? The next time you buy a set of batteries, look on the package for a guarantee. If it does not have a guarantee, I would stay away from those batteries.
NOTE: I have only seen this type of guarantee on standard size Alkaline batteries: AA, C, D, and a few watch batteries. I'm not sure if re-chargeable batteries leak and I'm not sure if they offer this type of guarantee.
When batteries leak, if the item is not that expensive, most people will simply throw the item away and buy a new item, but what about bigger ticket items like a digital camera? Battery leaks are not covered by the camera warranty, and having someone clean the battery leak could void your camera warranty. This is the where battery guarantees come into play.
For example, I had an $ 80 dive light in which the batteries leaked. I thought this was really strange because I changed the batteries weekly. TIP: Never go night diving with old batteries. I sent the dive light to the battery company and I received a new light (newer model) and new batteries.
Example two, my friend had an old camera winder which was damaged by leaking batteries. We sent the winder to the company and in a few weeks the battery company sent a check to buy a new winder and of course new batteries.
The obvious drawback to the guarantee is you have to pay to ship your item to the company, and you will be without the item for a while (4-6 weeks). Also, it is the company's discretion to repair or replace the item. For me, it's a hassle to send the item to the battery company if a replacement can be purchased for less than $ 20.
Do's and Don'ts:
1. Do make sure the battery company offers a guarantee on their batteries and read the terms of the guarantee.
1. Do not mix and match batteries? This will increase your chances of experiencing a leak and this will void the guarantee.
2. Do not leave batteries in electronic devices for extended periods of time.
3. Do not expose electronic devices to excessive heat, as heat will cause a leak and possibly worse, an explosion.
Whenever possible, buy rechargeable batteries. They can be used over and over again, but they need to be used, and over time they will begin to lose their ability to hold a charge. Do not expect a rechargeable battery to hold a charge after sitting in your desk drawer for two months. You will be able to recharge the battery, but the charge will not last as long.
Do not throw that thing away just because the batteries leaked in it! Check if the battery company has a guarantee!