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Old 03-01-2018, 10:01   #16
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell87 View Post
So yesterday I had shore power hooked up for about 12 hours. I recently purchase the boat so this was the first time I had shore power connected for an extended period of time. Once the battery banks were charged I noticed the amps coming in had gone way down telling me that power to the batteries was being regulated, so I left the shore power connected. A little while later I notice amps in has spiked and I know that the batteries have been fully charged hours ago as the net amps has been showing zero.

As soon as I saw the spike in amps I knew something was wrong so I ran down to the stbd battery bank and could smell the h2s or whatever it is. Two of my odyssey pc 1800-ftís were extremely hot.

Ran outside naked no less and disconnected shore power. And turned on my water heater in an attempt to draw out some charge quickly. ( donít know if this was a good idea or not)

Anyway, after letting the batteries cool for an hour I examined the batteries which were still scary hot and noticed one of the batteries was bulging on the sides. I tried to disconnect the battery, but they are set up with bus bars and wing nuts. When I tried to undue the wing nuts I had a large amount of sparks. Luckily I had vented the area otherwise I fear I could have had an explosion.

Itís 8 hours later and the two batteries that were hot are now just warm. I have not seen any leakage. Will the bulging go down on its own as the gas dissipates out of the battery case? Does a battery thatís bulged and gotten this hot need to be replaced or is it possible that it will be fine as long as I donít let it get overcharged again? These are $700 batteryís so Iím hesitant to replace as Iíd need to replace all five so they have the same start date from what Iíve been told.
Battery(s) are most likely bad.

A couple things to note:

Not sure what kind of charger you have. If you have an inverter/charger make sure that it is set up properly. You can read the manual and probably make your way thru it. I paid a qualified electrician $100 to program mine initially and walk me thru all the commands and screens. Well worth the money.

My Xantrex charger has an optional plug in heat sensor that is bonded to the battery bank that shuts down the charging system in the event that it senses too much heat. Not sure if other brands do the same or not?

Do you have to switch from Inverter to Shorepower or Generator? If so, and you didn't switch over, it is very possible that your system was trying to invert while charging or something of that nature.

I hate hiring people to do work that I should be able to figure out. With such a huge investment in batteries, hiring a battery/charger expert to evaluate the "new to you" DC system IMHO is money well spent.

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:04   #17
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

It would also be a good idea to take this opportunity to look at how the batteries are connected. They should be connected together in such a way that all batteries bear the SAME load. That is known as balanced, I believe, & will significantly improve battery life. Look at:

SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank

How to correctly interconnect multiple batteries to form one larger bank.

You will see detailed information & diagrams there. Sounds like your boat might have the old style Method 1, which may have contributed to your problem. Method 2 is easy & a vast improvement but I changed the wiring on my boat to Method 4 which is best & IMHO well worth the effort - batteries are not cheap.
Hope that helps.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:20   #18
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

Six of these 2v AGM's from Rolls would make a really nice house bank.
With the possibility of getting 1,000 - 3,000 cycles from them.

http://www.rollsbattery.com/wp-conte...S2-1180AGM.pdf
WEIGHT: 73.50 kg 162 Lbs.
LENGTH: 474 mm 18 2/3 Inches
WIDTH: 175 mm 6 7/8 Inches
HEIGHT*: 366 mm 14 3/8 Inches
CAPACITY AH
@ 20 HOUR RATE 1100AH 55.00Amps

about $800 each.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:48   #19
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell87 View Post
So yesterday I had shore power hooked up for about 12 hours. I recently purchase the boat so this was the first time I had shore power connected for an extended period of time. Once the battery banks were charged I noticed the amps coming in had gone way down telling me that power to the batteries was being regulated, so I left the shore power connected. A little while later I notice amps in has spiked and I know that the batteries have been fully charged hours ago as the net amps has been showing zero.

;
;

Itís 8 hours later and the two batteries that were hot are now just warm. I have not seen any leakage. Will the bulging go down on its own as the gas dissipates out of the battery case? Does a battery thatís bulged and gotten this hot need to be replaced or is it possible that it will be fine as long as I donít let it get overcharged again? These are $700 batteryís so Iím hesitant to replace as Iíd need to replace all five so they have the same start date from what Iíve been told.
You were lucky that the battery did not rupture.

The attached picture shows a 60 AH 12 volt battery that was on an unsuitable dumb [not multi stage] charger for several months over winter.
In the spring when the isolator was closed to put a small load on, it exploded within minutes , not a pretty sight and an even bigger clean up job.

I can recommend that every boat should have a kilo of Bi-Carbonate of Soda [Baking Soda] to neutralise acid spillage

It had boiled off most of the electrolyte.

Junk the bulged batteries and check that a multi-stage charger is in use.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:53   #20
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

Best bang for the buck are golf cart batteries. They don't break your back or your wallet, and are available all over the world. Get yourself a de-sulfater for $150. it trickles an electrical pulse into the bank which dissolves the sulfate crystals back into the solution so you can get a full charge again after abusing them by deficit charging etc.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:07   #21
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

Quote:
Originally Posted by guyrj33 View Post
Six of these 2v AGM's from Rolls would make a really nice house bank.
With the possibility of getting 1,000 - 3,000 cycles from them.

http://www.rollsbattery.com/wp-conte...S2-1180AGM.pdf
WEIGHT: 73.50 kg 162 Lbs.
LENGTH: 474 mm 18 2/3 Inches
WIDTH: 175 mm 6 7/8 Inches
HEIGHT*: 366 mm 14 3/8 Inches
CAPACITY AH
@ 20 HOUR RATE 1100AH 55.00Amps

about $800 each.
Are these suitable for use on a catamaran? they seem to weigh quite a bit. would you really want 1/2 tonne of lead on board? how about 4 golf carts instead would that be a better match?

Pete
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:59   #22
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

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Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
Most commonly caused by overcharging. Shorted terminals might also be a factor, however I assume the issue is due to overcharging.



Battery failure



Yes, absolutely. I've left boats plugged for weeks at a time with no issues.

I would dispose of any battery which swelled. IMHO that battery is now toast. My next step would be to look hard at the battery charger. I would not expect this behavior from a good, properly functioning battery charger that can detect and regulate properly.

This is also brand I'm not familiar with, in a form factor I am not familiar with. The batteries are marketed as 'Dual-Purpose', then go on and on about superior CCA. This sounds like it is more geared toward the Starting side rather than the deep cycle side. If this you your house bank, I would look at Deep Cycle specific batteries, not 'dual-purpose'.
The batteries are 8 years old so they did have a good life and do what was expected of them. I bought the boat a month ago FYI.
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:02   #23
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
The problem you have is that the bulged battery had a shorted cell. This is a fairly common failure mode. The failure should be covered under warranty.

I doubt very much if there is anything wrong with your charging system.

These are 12v batteries. Do you have a 24v electrical system? If you do, there is the possibility of damage to the other battery that was in series with the one with the shorted cell as it may have been badly overcharged. Perhaps this is the other battery that got hot. A battery dealer should be able to test it. If damaged, it may also be covered under warranty.

There is no reason to replace all five batteries. While it is a good idea to have batteries of the same vintage, it isn't strictly necessary.
The boat is strictly 12 volt.
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:10   #24
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

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Originally Posted by Privilege View Post
One thing that hasn't been mentioned but might be important...I assume that you have a battery charger on board and hooked up to the 110v AC. Is it a smart charger capable of multi-stage charging at different voltages. Is it a 12v charger?
My boat is European 230 volt. I have a victron ve bus multi control. I have another inverter for my 110 volt outlets that were added later.
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:12   #25
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Hot batteries have a short. It's an easy way to find out which one in a bank is the bad one. Charge them for a while, turn off the charger and go feel the batteries. A shorted one will be hot the rest not. I have had two batteries of less than a year old go bad from shorts over the years. It's a manufacturing defect I think.

BTW: Water heaters are usually AC powered, turning on your heater didnt effect the batteries at all.

You need to find out what type charger you have and make sure it is functioning correctly, not overcharging.
I turned the water heater on using the inverter.
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:15   #26
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

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Originally Posted by fatherchronica View Post
I had a friend once who was a tinkerer of all things and frugal to a fault. Not because he needed to, but because he could, he would get old used batteries from service stations, before the days of deposits on the cores, and hacksaw the bottoms off of them, gently remove the sediment from the between the bottoms of the lead plates, silicone the bottom of the batteries back on, fill them and charge them and use them for another year or so. Not something I would recommend on a boat, unless you were aground on a deserted island with nothing else to occupy your days. His batteries were mostly swollen looking. He had a little collection of 6 volt batteries he was repairing? and storing with his huge collection of solar panels of all sizes and brands he was going to go off the grid with one day.
Thatís a funny story. So youíre saying thereís hope for my batteries lol.
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:35   #27
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

Yes, they are bad.
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:43   #28
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

My guess would be a shorted cell from crap settling. Someone hadn't been using distilled water. Save a nickel spend a dime.
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Old 03-01-2018, 12:52   #29
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

I read these batteries are not new to you, but came with the boat. How were they treated in the past? Replace the bank. Have a electrician check the charger settings and cable connections.
In the early days of lead acid batteries there were businesses that rebuilt batteries. Tops were sealed with tar and each cell could be removed from the top.
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Old 03-01-2018, 13:13   #30
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Re: Bulging battery-is it ruined?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clivevon View Post
It would also be a good idea to take this opportunity to look at how the batteries are connected. They should be connected together in such a way that all batteries bear the SAME load. That is known as balanced, I believe, & will significantly improve battery life. Look at:

SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank

How to correctly interconnect multiple batteries to form one larger bank.

You will see detailed information & diagrams there. Sounds like your boat might have the old style Method 1, which may have contributed to your problem. Method 2 is easy & a vast improvement but I changed the wiring on my boat to Method 4 which is best & IMHO well worth the effort - batteries are not cheap.
Hope that helps.
That is such a good article, Clivevon. I really like the way they presented it too. One question (sorry to put it here but don't know how to quote and start a new thread) - if I decided to use Method #3, as is stated, could a suitable fuse be used to combine the 4 batteries on one side and then take the main line "on" to the rest of the system? How big would that fuse need to be? Thanks for the help.
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