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I know that 'sealed' is a different term but most know SLAs as that. I've had a PowerSonic 12V 7ah in my bedroom for maybe a year, not really doing much (anything actually). I realized that it had a small hairline crack while actually messing with it to see if it was still good, and had some small white 'crust' built onto the edge. Crumbles just as corrosion on a household battery does. What am I looking at here? Sorry if not clear enough. Pics included. Thanks so much y'all. Pic1 Pic2

Edit: I feel like it's worth saying, I am locating my closest battery recycling location now.

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    \$\begingroup\$ No one here is going to say: "Oh sure, that's fine!" because if something disastrous did happen, who's to blame? But think about it, this is a lead-acid battery. It contains sulfuric acid which is (diluted with water but still) a nasty substance. This battery really needs to go to the recycling facility. \$\endgroup\$ – Bimpelrekkie Feb 14 at 21:17
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Yes. It is a safety issue. Buy a new battery. Put that one in a plastic garbage bag to contain the powder. You can drop it off at the place where you buy the new one. They will make sure it gets recycled. Lead acid batteries are very recyclable (people will even pay you for old non-functional lead acid batteries). If you just want to get rid of it, you can probably drop it off anywhere that sells lead acid batteries (call first to make sure).

What has happened is that the plastic housing has cracked, electrolyte has leaked out and evaporated, leaving white crystalline solid material behind. That is the crust.

The battery will now not deliver full capacity, and charging and discharging the battery could potentially be dangerous. Discharging could lead to overheating. Charging could lead to overheating, liberation of hydrogen and even in a worst case some type of explosion.

There is also a chemical hazard because the elecrolyte is corrosive and contains lead. You should try to keep that crust off of anything you care about because it may absorb a little moisture from the air and dissolve or damage whatever it comes into contact with.

Lead acid batteries use an acidic electrolyte (sulfuric acid). Alkaline batteries use a basic (as in pH > 7) electrolyte. So they are different even if they look similar when they dry up.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, your answer was super helpful! I really appreciate the info you gave! I am currently looking for the closest place that sells to ask if I can drop one off. I'm glad I asked! \$\endgroup\$ – jefffreaky Feb 14 at 21:28
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Would a cracked sealed lead acid battery be a safety issue?

YES! It is a safety issue.

The corrosive gel inside has started to leak (hence that white crust, similar to what can form on car batteries, especially the older non-sealed types).

I recently had the misfortune to drip some of the corrosive gel from an old, small SLA battery similar to yours (I didn't see that the battery had started to leak until afterwards). Just a couple of drips severely damaged what they dropped onto. Thankfully it didn't drip onto my hand.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for letting me know what I'm, looking at! I'm working to get this out of here, definitely glad I asked. If you don't mind me asking, where did you go to recycle it? I am seeing that most auto shops will probably take them, though I'm curious if there's anywhere else that should take them \$\endgroup\$ – jefffreaky Feb 14 at 21:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the UK, your local authority can steer you to a recycling centre that will accept all sorts of stuff, including batteries. \$\endgroup\$ – user_1818839 Feb 14 at 21:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jefffreaky - Hi, "where did you go to recycle it?" I'm in the UK, so things might be different wherever you are. In my situation (like yours) the battery could be rotated so that the split part of the case was at the top, minimising problems while disposal of the battery is being organised. My local council recycling centre were happy to take the battery in that state. If the leaking had been severe, I was prepared to investigate neutralising chemicals (i.e. alkalines like baking soda) but things didn't get that far. (I see Brian Drummond has just commented similarly while I was typing!) \$\endgroup\$ – SamGibson Feb 14 at 21:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SamGibson Thank you for your advice! I called around to the few open auto centers and found one that could take it. I dropped off and feel much better. Thank you again! \$\endgroup\$ – jefffreaky Feb 14 at 23:16

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