If you’ve just dropped a battery in water, then you may be wondering what is going to happen to it. Is it still safe to use, or will you need to dispose of it? Keep reading to have all your questions answered!
What Happens If You Drop A Battery In Water?
If you drop a battery in water, then there’s a possibility that water will enter into the battery’s safety vent (however, this is a one-way entry system, liquid can get in, but can’t get back out). Which can cause irreparable damage to the battery and cause it to malfunction.
In worst-case scenarios, the battery will begin to leak battery acid, as the sealing and metal become damaged and corroded. However, more likely, the battery will begin to discharge, especially if the water isn’t pure. And the longer it’s left, the more energy will be discharged.
What Happens To Different Batteries
As we said earlier, what happens to a battery when you drop it in water, is also going to be affected by the kind of battery.
If you’ve dropped a small battery into water (such as AAA, A, C, D) then water may end up getting into the tiny vent, where it will then work its way into the battery and mix with the chemicals inside. However, smaller batteries tend to be about 98% solid, so there’s small chance water won’t get in, especially, if you got it out quickly enough. (I’d still recommend disposing of the battery though.)
When the battery is immersed long enough, it will also begin to rust and corrode, at which point the chemicals will begin to leak out. When this happens there’s a risk of chemical burns if any acid ends up on your skin.
If lithium batteries are dropped in water, the reactions that are likely to happen depend entirely on the state of the battery.
Lithium itself reacts intensely with water and forms lithium hydroxide. This is highly flammable and can result in chemical fires and even small explosions. This reaction only occurs when the shell of the battery is breached and water enters through. If you remove the battery within a short period of time, then the chances of it happening are small. (Although you’ll still want to throw it away.)
It’s much more likely though, that the battery will simply discharge some energy when it’s dropped in water. Especially in saltwater, where electricity is conducted better.
How about, what if for whatever reason, you dropped a car battery in water, what would the submerging do then?
Well, the vents on these batteries are a lot bigger, so it’s a lot more probable that water is going to get in. And once the water gets in, it will mix with the chemicals before everything leaks back out again. This will cause harm to the battery as the chemicals will be diluted and unbalanced. And also, anything the chemicals come into contact with can be harmed too.
It’s important to remember, that all batteries will begin to discharge when they’re submerged in water. Different types of water will also discharge batteries at different rates. The purer the water, the less energy can be carried, but the more dissolved salts in the water, the faster the battery will discharge.
What Happens If You Drop A Battery In Salt Water?
When you drop batteries in saltwater, then pretty much the same thing will happen as regular water. The battery will most likely get flooded and begin to malfunction. Batteries do discharge faster in saltwater than freshwater though. However, smaller batteries still won’t be able to push out a strong current, even in saltwater.
What Happens If A Battery Gets Wet?
If a battery doesn’t get submerged, but wet, then there’s a chance that water won’t enter the vents. If water hasn’t entered the vent, then the battery will begin to discharge until it’s completely dry. At this point, it’s up to you whether you want to risk using the battery (as it could damage your appliances), or if you just want to dispose of it instead.
As you can see, nothing great comes from dropping a battery in water, even in the best-case scenarios, the outcome for the battery looks bleak. The best course of action if you do submerge a battery in water is to simply dispose of it and purchase new ones.
If you don’t, then you risk the battery damaging any appliances you put it in if it’s malfunctioned. Also if the water rusts the metal, it can result in corrosion and battery acid leaking out, which could harm you or anything it comes into contact with!
I hope you enjoyed this article, if you did make sure to check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day!