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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    390

    Batteries problems in remotes

    This year I have seen more problems with batteries that leak in the receivers for fireplace remote controls and eat up the guts of the receiver. What causes batteries to do this and has anyone else come across recently?

    Inferior batteries????
    Common sense is NOT common !!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,052

    Cool

    Rob most batteries leak potassium hydroxide. This stuff oozes out primarily due to two factors: continual draw and heat. Check to see if you are getting a low drain on the batteries. If so, recommend removal between uses. The other is to use a heat shield and check the firing rate on the appliance. Also play with the location of the battery pack for a cooler place---usually the front corners.

    Hope you are well,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    390
    The receivers are positioned where they've been for several years without issues before.

    Don't the MV receivers consume a certain amount of energy while idle by always searching for a signal from the transmitter?

    I'll start having the customer turn off the receiver in the spring.
    Common sense is NOT common !!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,052

    Talking I love remotes.........well, not really

    There two basic parts to any remote:
    The sensing part and the switching part. The sensing part, whether RF, IR or ultrasonic all to my knowledge use some amt. of current as you say 'looking" for a signal. The energy pulse from the signal is received and boosted to cause an action ( switching relay).

    The switching relay part may be millivolt, 24vac or line voltage 120vac on any remote. This circuit should be separate from the sensing part, just as any solenoid, relay or contactor is. Now, if the switch leg is not opening fully, but placing a load on the receiver and that is causing the drain then this is essentially a "short".

    Then again, the whole problem could be the batteries.

    Meanwhile, never mix and match types or even brands-be consistent. I dump any AA or AAA that is less than ~1.485 vdc and 'twelve' volt batts less than ~11.25vdc. Also, remind the client to leave the transmitter face up. I've seen a lot placed upside down where the button gets inadvertently pushed. Kids love to use remotes as Phasers and play Star Wars but the parents don't notice because parents aren't responsible for kids anymore. That's why they leave their brats in the room with the fireplace I'm supposed to work on with the kid's TV blaring while I'm trying to work and Junior is sampling my tools or asking a thousand questions. The the dog stomps on the CF logs lying on my drop cloth. Sorry, thread drift.

    Other than that, I think the remotes from 20 years ago were a lot more reliable and had better range than the junk we have today. I get a lot that might switch it on but can't switch it off or get stuck. Not too happy with any brand of remote right now. Add to that they are constantly making them more complex so there's more to go wrong with no technican support.

    If you find a plastic receiver crudded up that is fresh you might be able to clean it up and reuse it. Just wear your PPE.

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