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Old 15-11-2007, 10:09   #16
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Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
Trust me, you will never contain a battery when it goes bang. In fact, I suspect the more you try to contain it, the worse the pop! Hydrogen is the biggest bang for buck gas you can get. I do agree with containing the acid however and certainly a plastic battery box is still worth the effort. The acid will soak everywhere and wreck everything it comes in contact with. But do expect the battery box may also go the same way as the battery casing if the bang is big enough.
Actually, the battery that exploded onboard the boat I run was contained pretty well by the battery box. Something was better than nothing. Get the real heavy battery boxes, not one of those cheap minimal thin walled plastic boxes. The box I have is a custom 3/4 inch marine ply that is glassed over on the inside and contains two 8-D's. No damage was done to the box when one of the 8-D's exploded. It was one hell of a mess on the inside, but the mess was contained.


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Old 25-11-2007, 10:35   #17
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well the deed is done. The battery came out in pieces, so all the acid was dumped in to the bilge, no choice as the battery was in the crash compartment). Then a lot of fresh water to rinse it through the system.
Should I do anything else to insure no damage from the acid?

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Old 25-11-2007, 11:44   #18

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If it was thoroughly rinsed that's all there is to be done. You can scatter baking soda over/around the compartment and then let it sit for a few minutes, if there's any acid that combines and neutralizes it and then washes away clean. But if you've done a thorough washdown and there's nothing that would absorb/hold/hide the've already done enough.
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Old 26-11-2007, 02:41   #19
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If you spill battery acid, a fresh*[1] water flush probably is NOT enough to completely get rid of the acid.
Most authorities recommend a slurry (paste) of baking soda*[2] and water, and suggest applying it liberally wherever the acid splashed.

I prefer using Dry Baking (or Washing) soda*[2] .
Don't use a slurry, or a rag, or add water to it, before it's neutralized. Just pour on baking soda and keep pouring until the fizzing stops*[3] and you're left with solid mud. The baking soda will soak up and neutralize the acid. Then put on some gloves, scoop it out with a putty knife, and rinse well with fresh*[1] water.

You'd be wise to wear goggles and gloves the whole time.

* [1] Make certain the water you use IS NOT salt water. Salt water and battery acid combine to make Chlorine Gas which will KILL you.

*[2] Common Baking Soda (NaHCO3, Bicarbonate of Soda, sodium bicarbonate, or sodium hydrogen carbonate), or Washing Soda (Na2CO3 , sodium carbonate, or soda ash) can be used to neutralize battery acid.
Baking Soda is only slightly alkaline with a pH around 8.1, whereas Washing Soda is more caustic/alkaline with a pH of 11 (with pure water being neutral at 7.0 ).
Accordingly, washing soda will consume two equivalents of acid, while baking soda will only consume one equivalent.

* [3] If you see any fizzing, then there is still acid left. If you do not neutralize all the acid, you may have very serious corrosion problems later.
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Old 27-11-2007, 09:57   #20
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I would say go with a Rolls battery, it's one of them there fancy ones. It has pressure caps and reforms the hydrogen and oxygen back into H2o with gentle compression. Some other batteries have the caps too. Plus they are very easy to maintain and check the levels, they last about 3 times as long a other marine batteries. AGMs last about half the life but there absorbtion rate is sometimes 75 to 100 percent! So you can spank it and bring it back quickly, also you can lay them on their sides if it will save you space. Sulfating is the biggest prob. with lead acid and they need to be equalized every six months or so. Having the battery in with gererator is probably your biggest problem. It get's too hot and a hot battery won't accept a charge. So along with constantly not being charged back to 100 percent, a hot area in which it's in and you probably don't have a smart regulator, i'd say it just sulfated to the point of no return and was in the bulk charge with the generator running, I think we see the math.

So depending on your lifestyle, think about what changes you may need to make. If the battery lasted a long time,(over 2 years) just deep six it and get a new one but next time check the levels more often and equalize it from time to time. If you have any other questions please feel free to message me.

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Old 27-11-2007, 09:59   #21
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Ah yes good tip gord, only use distilled water as tap water will kill your battery, too much minerals in the other stuff.

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Old 31-12-2007, 16:25   #22
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I have had a battery explode on me. I was tightening the cable with a wrench and the terminal moved inside the case. This created an open which caused a spark in the hydrogen inside the battery. The top of the case hit me in the face, I was deaf for a little while, it sounded like a gun shot, and I had acid in my hair and elsewhere. Most batteries fail from internal shorts or opens due to vibration.
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Old 31-12-2007, 17:57   #23
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A well vented area the more you contain the gas the bigger the bang. If fast charging loosen caps so they will contain acid boiling spray but not hold pressure if some how the gas is ignited. After charging remove caps and allow battery to fully vent for at least 30 minutes. Replace caps and reconnect if required making sure face is not over battery as a small spark can be had when reconnecting. This is general advice and applies to cars boats etc. Once had apprentice who managed to blow up two within a week one directly in his face, very lucky boy, would not listen!
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Old 31-12-2007, 19:12   #24
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It has to be remembered that hydrogen itself is not dangerous. Only if mixed with oxygen at a certain ratio and in the presence of spark can ignite violently, in other words it makes a big bang.

In normal process the battery does not produce any gasses as all release hydrogen is used at the cathode "recombination". However, when the charging voltage is increased above recommended level it cases electrolysis of water and producing hydrogen and oxygen = the bang mixture.

Hydrogen is much lighter than air so it always collects at the top of a container if a container doesn't vent outside. Very unlikely that a small battery could produce so much hydrogen to blow up a whole boat. If a battery is constantly overheated and overcharged the electrolyte evaporates and creates empty space that is filled with gasses ... until they reach a critical level. Then we have to collect bits and pieces and clean a mess done by acid.

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