How can I repair/prevent damage from leaking 5-in-1 sensor batteries?

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I can't afford to keep replacing my sensors after only 1 year of use due to a corroded battery compartment!  I use new quality (Duracell Coppertop) AA batteries and replace them every 6 months regardless of what the display's signal strength indicator says.  Can the terminals be cleaned with something or is the sensor toast when the green crap is found on the battery box terminals?  (Note: The sensor is installed on top of a 42ft tower so it's not feasible to check the battery box weekly.  Plus, I shouldn't have to!)

Thanks,

Harvey

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Rabbit

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Posted 5 months ago

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Jim Myers

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Corrosion on the battery terminals can be easily cleaned off. An eraser made for ink (the white ones) will normally clean it off.
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Ledrak

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Rabbit you should not need to replace batteries every 6 months you should be getting more than a year out of them. You can scrape the contacts clean with a knife or screwdriver and then finish up with some fine sandpaper as long as the metal contacts have not been eaten away. To make things easier for you Acurite sells a remote battery box (https://www.acurite.com/remote-battery-pack-for-5-in-1-weather-sensors.html )for the 5 in 1 that you can mount closer to the ground.  Getting back to changing the batteries every 6 months make sure that you putting then in in the proper direction.
(Edited)
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Rabbit

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Yes, I'm installing the batteries oriented correctly.

It hasn't been asked yet but I AM using standard (not heavy) duty fresh Coppertops and I'm using regular alkaline (non-lithium) batteries because the coldest it gets here in the Houston area is 25f.  I also test my new batteries with a digital voltmeter before use and they almost always read 1.58 to 1.61V.  (I don't use them if they read less than 1.55V.)

I HAVE purchased AcuRite's remote battery box but I need to clean the terminals in my 5-in-1 of some light corrosion before the remote adapter will make good contact.

I DO like the suggestion that I read elsewhere that AcuRite should offer a solarcell-charged battery supply.

However, my battery life and corrosion problems are just a few of several complaints that I have with AcuRite.  After reading through many customer posts going back for 4 or so years, it appears that AcuRite isn't moved to solve the problems that many customers have brought to its attention.  As a result, I recently requested a catalog from Davis so it might be too late to convince me to remain loyal to AcuRite. 

Harvey


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Jim Myers

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The battery life and corrosion that you are experiencing is not typical. My guess is that there is something unique to your particular setup rather than a problem with the hardware.
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Rabbit

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Thanks, Jim, for your reply but if you'll take a look through the forums, you'll find that poor battery life and battery box corrosion is not only typical, it's rampant!
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Rabbit

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Hmmm, a question for thought...

Since most of the battery life complaints seem to agree that the sensor batteries worked fine for the first year or so and then new ones start deteriorating quickly, is it possible that the aspirator's solar panels are weakening during that first year leaving the batteries to take up the slack after that first year? 

Harvey

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Jim Myers

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I've had my system 5 years and NEVER had a battery life issue or the slightest bit of corrosion, which leads logically to local environmental issues and/or the use of cheap/defective batteries as the actual culprit. I use high quality Lithium batteries, keep the range reasonable, and I meticulously keep all other forms of moisture other than what enters the rain gauge away from my system. Sadly, Duracell has a reputation in the electronics industry as being a very leaky battery that just loves to cause corrosion.
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Jack Canavera

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I buy from a local Costco and Ive been buying Duracell or Kirkland brands in quantity for many years now, which ever brand happens to be on sale.  I can concur that I have occasionally found some corrosion on the Duracell batteries on a few devices although I did my first swap out of the 5-in-1 after about 14 months of use and found no corrosion.  I replaced with Kirklands so we will see how that goes.  Never have seen any corrosion on the Kirklands.
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George D. Nincehelser

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The solar panels only power the aspiration fan. 

They have no connection to the batteries or other electronics in the unit.
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Rabbit

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"The solar panels only power the aspiration fan.  They have no connection to the batteries or other electronics in the unit."

Okay, I stand corrected.  I was under the impression that the fan was primarily powered by the solar cell but the batteries would pitch in when the solar cell couldn't provide enough current (such as on really hot summer days with extensive cloud cover).

Harvey

(Edited)
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Rabbit

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Okay, I was under the impression that the fan was primarily powered by the solar cell but the batteries would pitch in when the solar cell didn't provide enough current (such as on really hot summer days with extensive cloud cover).

Harvey

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Rabbit

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"I've had my system 5 years and NEVER had a battery life issue or the slightest bit of corrosion, which leads logically to local environmental issues..."

You DO know that the sensor works best when it's mounted outside, don't you? 

Harvey

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Jim Myers

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I'm not sure if you are experiencing a failed attempt at humor or are just obtuse...
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AcuRite Rachell, Employee

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Hello Rabbit,
We are very sorry for any inconvenience experienced with your weather station. The life expectancy of the battery is anywhere from 12-24 months depending on your location. If you see corrosion inside the battery compartment we do recommend cleaning the inside with rubbing alcohol and a small swab. You want to be careful not to damage the springs on the inside of the sensor.  Please let us know if you have any other questions. Thank you.

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