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Old 13-01-2006, 21:53   #1
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Cooked Batteries

I just came back from the boat. We had left her in a hurry a couple of weeks ago, to go somewhere else in a hurry and just went back to clean up. I walked into the boat to be greeted by this awefull smell. Oooowwweee what the heck died. While searching for possibilities, I lifted the hatch to the House battery locker and saw steam blowing out the caps of the banks. WHAT THE?!?! It seems that one battery may have a fault and the charger has been happily thumping 25A's into the three 200Ahr batteries (600Ahr bank) for a couple of weeks. One battery was so hot and steaming, I couldn't touch it. I poured water into the cells which were dry as a chip. They took gallons, so must have been compleately dry. Unfortunately, I didn't have that much distilled water, so had to use tank water. I figured the batteries were probably stuffed anyway's and I was so worried about gas build up and if the plates ever internaly arced, it could have been rather dangerouse. I don't know if it's possible or not, but that's what I considered.
I have disconnected the charger and am going to leave them for 24hrs before I go back and measure them to see what state they are in. But I suspect they are legs up.
Rick, would I be presuming correctly???
Ouch, this is going to be expensive.
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Old 13-01-2006, 22:12   #2
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Aye Mate, they are legs up...Or as we say here in theUS: Tango Uniform...As in Tits Up.

Them cooked batteries will never hold a charge again.

Go the easy way, plenty Golf Cart Batteries, Long life, no problems. (And half price)
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Old 13-01-2006, 22:46   #3
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Stuffed

Or as they say on Red Dwarf " Their all dead Dave, all of them, dead " I had a battery boiling on me, so I quietly backed away. Some batteries are better than others. On my boat the battery that has not been charged since late October has about 12 1/4 volts, the other battery that has been charged twice since then has 11 1/2 volts. A neighbour down the road gave me the better battery, I paid big bucks for the other one. Some of them last, some do not. I have heard that Korea makes some good batteries. There are not many battery manufacturers in total.
Sorry to here you will be spending $$ on batteries instead of Lion Brown.
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Old 13-01-2006, 23:25   #4
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Wheeler.

You're a lucky man. If it probably been some other stupid twit. They'd be visiting the hospital right now for acid burns to the face and upper body.

I work as a mechanic part-time. And believe me. Lot s of people actually get disfigured (scarred). Or worse get killed.

Wheeler. Or anyone reading this post. Try not to be a hero. Just disconnect the freakin charger and let the damn thing cool down first. Then inspect it with a faceshield or wear a pair of safty glasses before going on up to the battery.

Like BC Mike C said. The scene on Red Dwarf " Their all dead Dave, all of them, dead. "
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Old 13-01-2006, 23:36   #5
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Oooo yeah, I was wearing safety glasses. Yeap they are like bombs waiting for a place to happen.
But not in my boat, if I can help it. Ain't no stinkin battery goin to scarr my boat I tell ya.
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Old 14-01-2006, 06:07   #6
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Hey wheels, try this guy for some good prices on quality batteries. He is a trademe business but I have been dealing with him independently. Tell him the guy from the ice who is in the process of spending squillions with him for a sloar install sent you.
Kevin [k.m.hunter@xtra.co.nz]
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Old 14-01-2006, 08:54   #7
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Boom

A while ago one of my red neck tractor buddies asked if anyone had experienced a battery cracking or blowing up. It was a surprisingly high number that new of it happening, had seen it happen, happened to them. The hoods ( bonnets ) of vehicles were blown off and other nasty stuff. Could be a bunch of cheap batteries or faulty other things. I have been thinking of building a wooden box around the batteries. They are in plastic battery boxes.
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Old 14-01-2006, 10:26   #8
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Re: Boom

Quote:
BC Mike C once whispered in the wind:
I have been thinking of building a wooden box around the batteries. They are in plastic battery boxes.
Michael
Just a word of caution, Mike. Sulferic Acid eats wood.

And just to add a note: The plastic boxes with the mushroom lids, sold at marine supplies, are designed to keep the majority of the sea water away from the battery in the event of a blowdown/rollover.

Batteries are one of the most important safety features of modern boats. They keep your pumps running, the Nav. lights glowing and the radio squaking.................._/)
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Old 14-01-2006, 11:58   #9
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Hey BC Mike C

If you do fully decide to build that battery box out of wood. I suggest you coat the inside and outside with fiberglass. And on the inside of the box paint a rubber based paint coating. So that you'll protect the wood.

That's the only solution I could come up with, pertaining to weight issues and protection & such? If anyone lese could top that besides making a battery box out of plastic or metals. Then feel free to help out BC Mike C.
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Old 14-01-2006, 13:22   #10
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OK, here's my early introduction to batteries and loud bangs. I was about 13 and my Dad had just installed a brand new battery into the Tractor. I had understood enough to know that hydrogen was produced and thought it would be interesting to see what happens if you hold a lite match over the open tops. I was enthralled to hear each cell give off a pop. Waaay cool. The battery was placed on charge for the night and the next day I came back and decided to do the same thing. All I can remember was a deafening loud bang, the bonnent of the tractor being err...aerodynamicaly redesigned ad absolutely nothing left of the battery except for a bit of lead frame work sitting there in the holder. Mate, someone above was looking after me, cause not one drop of acid touched me and my hand must have been blown into the bonnet, but I didn't feel a thing. I told my Dad that the batery just blew up when I disconected it. I learn't a whole new respect for batteries that day.
That's just one of many stories of me and things that go bang and the fact my Guardian Angle must being working overtime and his/her clothes must be looking very tatterd.
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Old 14-01-2006, 23:44   #11
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When I was an apprentice mechanic, the guy who was training me used to light the oxy acetylene plant by flashing a wrench across the battery terminals
Used to scare the crap out of me.
Darwinism didn't come to the party in this instance, the guy is still going strong.
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Old 15-01-2006, 00:24   #12
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I once watched a guy lye both arms along the rows of spark plugs on a flathead Ford V8, and bring the engine to a stop. Yeeeks.

Well I spent all day out at the boat today. I was trying to work out what had happend. This is the setup. I have three 200Ahr batteries in parrellel. It looks like I have two failed cells on one battery and I guess that this has caused the charger to not get all the batteries upto full charge, thus continuing to pump in 25A. I am assuming the two failed cells, due to that they both had boiled compleately dry and were damn near smoking. Apart from all other cells being very low, none of the others were in the same state as these two. Does that sound like a likely scenario??
I also found one other situation. I originaly only had 400Ahrs of house bank. The charger handled it no problem. But not long ago, I decided to add another 200Ahr batterie I had lying around. (trickled charged all the time by the way). But one thing I never thought about was the wiring. In testing, I was shocked (no not electricaly) to discover a significant voltage drop from measurements taken at the charger outputs and at the batteries. I think with the addition of the extra Battery and the fact that I may have a battery faulty, I don't think the wiring was allowing enough charge current to get to the bank. This would meant that the voltage was not getting high enough to drop the charger from bulk charge to absorbtion and eventually float, thus allowing 25A's to be pumped in all the time. Sound like a theory???
One other battery was actually still OK for water, although very low, it was still just above the plates. I disconnected all batteries yesterday and voltage tested them today. The suspected faulty one was down low, but the other two read 12.5V. I am hoping they maybe OK. I charged one and it came up into absorbtion stage charging which was a good sign. I won't connect the other till I am around to monitor it.
I have a two bank, three stage "smart charger" and I have no way of monitoring what is being supplied to the banks. I had some spare load cells and digital reader, so I spent all day rewiring the supply system so as I can now see at a glance, just what is going in to both the engine start and house banks from Charger and Solar panels.

If it was just a case of a cell or two not allowing all the batteries to come up into a high enough charge voltage, is there anything I can do in the future to stop a possible fault like this occuring again. ????
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Old 15-01-2006, 00:29   #13
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My first experience

was with a girlfriend in hi-school. She was charging a battery in her car and wanted to to see the water level in the battery. She had some matches and lit one to see inside. I was in the car looking for a flashlight when I heard this POP, the damn thing blew up in her face.

I grabbed her and took her in the house and put her head under the shower to rinse out her eyes. Fortunatly, she only had surface damage to her eyes that cleared up in a couple days. Plus the singed eyebrows and hair.

My $.02
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Old 15-01-2006, 00:40   #14
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Alan,

It sounds like you need one of these

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...01/12106/544/9

Or a couple of these

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...01/12106/544/9
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Old 15-01-2006, 01:13   #15
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delmarrey

Sounds like you and me are thinking the same thing.
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