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Battery Query

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Battery Query

My missus has bought a "christmas ornament" that lights up, and has a motor or something, that disturbs the liquid inside to give the effect of a snow globe in perpetual motion  ..  ( it`s actually a "church" with a window at the bottom, with a couple of figures standing "in the snow"...

On the box, the instructions say.... Do not use Rechargeable batteries.... yet she has other similar things, doing the same thing, with no warning, and they work ok with rechargebal batteries..

Can anyone enlighten me, regarding the "do not use" ... as to why ? ? ? ?

21 REPLIES 21
Seasoned Champion
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Registered: ‎21-11-2018

Re: Battery Query

Three things spring to mind

Rechargeable batteriescontain more energy and can release that energy more quickly than an alkaline battery,  so any short circuit may cause a fire in flimsy wiring..

 

Some cheaper / older rechargeable batteries lose power quckly through self-discharge even when not being used and can go flat in months,  unlike an alkaline which drop really slowly when standing.  To counter this you need hybrio or eneloop type 'that keep 80% of their charge for 12 months' - these are normally sold as 'ready to use fully charged' rechargeable because they have a long shelf life.

 

Rechargeable batteries generaly have about 1.25 volts per cell where alkaline is 1.5 volts - so in voltage sensitive devices that have  a low battery warning like smoke alarms and digital thermostats even a fully charged battery can trigger the 'low battery' warning.

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Battery Query

@wotsup Thanks for the reply.... however, I don`t see the real answer, in what you are saying, although I do understand the finer points that you make...

 

Remember we are talking about a Christmas ornament.... that  "Lights up" ... and has some kind of motor mechanism, for "swiirling the liquid"...

This same technology/tecnique,  is used in other "ornaments" that the missus has bought, with no reference to either using or not using Rechargeble Batteries.

 

 

Seasoned Champion
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Re: Battery Query

The answer you need was probably my first point -  risk of fire....especially with Li-ion 

 

He other points were just general points about rechargeable vs alkaline..

Aspiring Legend
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Re: Battery Query

@shutter 

I'd be more worried about my Mrs if she bought something like that! 😉

As for @wotsup I think he has answered your question. 🙂


Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not who somebody else is today
Community Veteran
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Re: Battery Query

I've always taken the suck it and see view. If it works it works. I'm sure most manufacturers have a general cover all thingy that they stick on everything that may or may not apply.

I had an opposite one. An old Sony camera that would only work with rechargeables, nothing else. Alkalines etc and it just wouldn't turn on. But I did happen to come across a pair of AA lithiums and they did work. Who knows why.

Community Veteran
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Re: Battery Query

They want you to buy batteries of course, the battery industry relies on junk like this to keep them in business... 😂

 

Of course if the item saying not to use rechargeables is voltage dependent, then the easy solution is to get the 1.5v Li-Ion rechargeable batteries that replace regular batteries, because they're a thing now, but given this is just a battery-depleting toy, just use whatever you have, it's not like it's going to cause a nuclear meltdown... 😁

Hero
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Registered: ‎05-09-2016

Re: Battery Query

Perhaps they put the wrong warning sticker on it, it should read "May contain nuts".

Community Veteran
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Re: Battery Query

@shutter 

 

The main reason rechargeable batteries should not be used in some devices is because they may not supply the proper voltage needed to run the item. They will not ruin the device, but it may not work properly.

 

Say the item runs on AA size alkaline batteries, which have an output of 1.5 Volts each (when new out of the package, the output will be closer to 1.6 Volts if they are a good name-brand battery). New and fully charged rechargeable batteries of the same size will only put out 1.2 Volts. For many products, especially motors, this may not enough voltage for the device to work. In addition, the rechargeable battery’s voltage can drop very quickly during use compared to a non-rechargeable battery of the same size. Also if the device with rechargeable batteries is stored for a length of time, you will have to recharge the batteries again before use because rechargeable batteries have a much higher rate of self-discharge (about 20-30% per month) than alkaline ones. Unless you use the Duracell Duralock type which retains 80% charge for a year at least.

Seasoned Champion
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Re: Battery Query

Nothing except the fire risk through high discharge that rechargeables are capable of but alkaline are not ( due to higher internal resistnce of alkaline limiting the discharge current available )  is a reason for not using rechargeable is everday toys and stuff that are not voltage dependent.  Special precautions need to be taken when designing stuff for rechargeables like heavier wiring and fusing to remove fire risk from wires overheating - especially in plastic toys.  Lithium batteries are particularly nasty as the electrolyte is flammable and under heavy discharge the battery overheats and ignites or explodes ( ask any fireman who has attended a fire in a battery electric vehicle ).

 

I was disappointed with early versions of rechargeable NiMh batteries in my camera because if i left it for a month or so the batteries would be flat when I tried to use it,  but then eneloop and hybrio etc.low self-discharge chemistry became available and batteries were then sold as 'use straight away' because they kept over 80% of their charge for 12  months,  so my camera was then always 'ready for action' ....

 

For electric motors a lower voltage just means they run slightly slower,  hardly a problem when all they are doing is blowing fake snow around... and LED lights work over a wide range of voltages as they are constant current devices..

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Battery Query

Thanks for the detailed information guys.... certainly helps to understand a bit better...

 

Just for information.... the item described, uses 3 X `C` cell... and... yes it worked with the rechargable batteries in it...  but I read the box and it said not to use them... so that was the reason why I posted the query on here.

the thing probably uses a led to light it up.. and a very small motor of some sort to stir the liquid ( water? ) with the glittery bits in, that makes it look like a snow storm... so... it is hardly a "High Voltage" or High Current situation, methinks...

as mentioned... others of similar design/type, do not specify NOT to use Rechargables.... and they have worked quite well from the get go ... so will continue with them ! ! ..

I generally buy "branded" rechargables,  ( but also have some from Morrisions own brand) and put a lable on them the date they are first charged, I have some dated 2007 and still working well. !  so definitely a good thing to have around .!...

Hero
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Re: Battery Query


@shutter wrote:

 

I generally buy "branded" rechargables,  ( but also have some from Morrisions own brand)...

@shutter 

They'll be fakes for sure!

Community Veteran
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Re: Battery Query

Didn`t know that the Morrisons`  were fakes, ... thanks for letting me know,.... have you told them about it Huh

 

 

 

Fakes or not... they seem to have served me well for the past 10 years or so...

Seasoned Champion
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Re: Battery Query

@shutter  @RobPN  was being picky as usual. according to mr perfect you spelt Morrisons wronglyHuhRoll_eyes

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Battery Query

@TTman  Cheesy

@RobPN ShockedEmbarrassed

That`s the trouble when you type at 50wpm. and not proof read the results ! .... Grin