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Old 26-12-2008, 14:20   #1
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Battery health question?

I had a battery start gasing due to too low water in 4 of the cells. I added distilled water after about 45 minutes. It really had a putrid smell.

My question is this:

Is this battery fried now?

Did I wait too long to fill the cells up?

Thanks for any insight.
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Old 26-12-2008, 15:17   #2
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We can't answer that. You need to fully charge the batteries and either test them yourself if you have the equipment or take them in for testing to a reputable battery shop.
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Old 26-12-2008, 15:43   #3
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Southern Comfort, Did the plates get exposed due to lack of water? If so, that portion of them may be toast. Don't let it happen again, on these or succeeding batteries. If it's too difficult to easily check and fill your current batteries, you might consider zero maintenance ones such as AGM or gel batteries. See other forums (fori?) for details. You can buy an inexpensive battery capacity tester at Harbor Freight to check them under load (cool tool to have, anyway). It will give you an idea, at least, if there is sufficient life remaining in your current bank. Everyone needs to screw up before truly learning something new, at least the mortals among us. BTW, the putrid stench is largely the sulfides on the plates or in the electrolyte. It's just part of the joy of lead-acid batteries. At least, they don't burst into flames like some computer batteries.
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Old 26-12-2008, 16:17   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernComfort View Post
I had a battery start gasing due to too low water in 4 of the cells. I added distilled water after about 45 minutes. It really had a putrid smell.



My question is this:

Is this battery fried now?

Did I wait too long to fill the cells up?

Thanks for any insight.
I'd suggest you reconsider the chronology you described in that the battery didn't gas as a result of low water but rather the battery (charging system) more likely boiled off some of the water resulting in gassing.
At a minimum, the life of the battery (and any other in the bank) has been shortened but more important, you need to determine why it happened before you destroy their replacement batteries.
Without knowing the charging scenario and voltage observations, anything else is hypothetical.
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Old 26-12-2008, 17:28   #5
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Thanks for the help. I decided to be on the safe side and just replace with a new one. I am going to check these on a more regular occasion.
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Old 26-12-2008, 18:01   #6
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Thanks for the help. I decided to be on the safe side and just replace with a new one. I am going to check these on a more regular occasion.
If you are still following, it is quite possible your charging system created the problem. Although batteries can boil if left with insufficient water, it is equally possible (if you properly monitor them) that the charger voltage cooked the water out. I'm assuming you do periodically look at the water level which is why I reiterate that you not simply replace the bad battery until you first confirm the charger is operating properly unless you like buying batteries frequently.
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Old 26-12-2008, 18:56   #7
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I think this occurred due to my negligence. This is my first boat and I was treating the batteries as an afterthought and have not been checking them at all since I got it. I will try and check to see if my charger is working properly. Thanks.
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Old 26-12-2008, 19:00   #8
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Part of our routine is to set the first of every for certain maintenance items and checking battery water levels is part of that routine.
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