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Old 29-05-2024, 18:55   #1
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AC Plug in Battery Space. Safe?

I have a small battery space in my boat which houses my 6V house batteries and my 12V starter. I'm currently installing a battery charger (Victron iP22) which has a plug. I didn't want to cut the plug off and void the warranty. Is it safe to install a GFI in the battery space and plug it in or is there any risk when the batteries are off gassing?

If I have to, I'll cut the plug off but that's also proving difficult to find a step down butt connector to go from the AC plug wire (18 AWG) to the pre-installed 12AWG in the boat that runs back to the AC panel to power the charger.
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Old 29-05-2024, 20:47   #2
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Re: AC Plug in Battery Space. Safe?

Well..... I must advice you not to Install anything of the kind inside the battery room , even though the Victron's usually dont allow gassing for more than a couple of minutes. If cutting any wires, do it on the 12 Volt side, and have the charger outside the box. Also ,make a tube from the button of your battery box to the outside fresh air, making the explosive gas a way out of the boat if pressure builds up.

Ps. If you need a power fuse on one side of the battery, make it an encapsulated fuse ( explosion safe type...... )
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Old 29-05-2024, 21:15   #3
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Re: AC Plug in Battery Space. Safe?

In general, nothing should be installed in the same space as lead-acid batteries. Iíll bet you a case of beer that the instruction manual for you charger says that.

There are two risks.

First is the highly corrosive fumes of sulfuric acid. They rapidly destroy electronics.

Second, off gases from batteries are hydrogen, and are highly explosive when mixed with air. Any kind of sparks or potential sparks should be avoided. Sparks like would be caused by a gfi switching, or a plug being connected or disconnected.

These risks are much lower with valve regulated batteries like AGM or GEL, but still not zero.

And other advice given here is wrong. The vent from a battery box is at the TOP of the box not the bottom. Hydrogen is much lighter than air, unlike propane where the situation is reversed.
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Old 29-05-2024, 21:26   #4
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Re: AC Plug in Battery Space. Safe?

Put the charger in a dry well-ventilated spot, run cables from it to the batteries.
If the cord isn't long enough to reach an outlet, then install an outlet that's wired to the AC panel.
Use a GFCI outlet for further protection.
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Old 30-05-2024, 00:30   #5
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Re: AC Plug in Battery Space. Safe?

Ohhh..... as long as the gas dont leaks into the boat and dont get ignited it will probably find its way through the tube and out High or Low I am pretty sure........
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Old 30-05-2024, 05:36   #6
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Re: AC Plug in Battery Space. Safe?

Alright. You've convinced me to remove the plug and cut it off and use some heat shrink butt connectors to connect up the AC power. My new question from these comments is around the placement of the charger. There is a vent on the top side of the space which vents into the salon of the boat. I mounted the charger a couple inches next to the vent hole. Sounds like that may be a bad spot as well.
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Old 30-05-2024, 07:27   #7
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Re: AC Plug in Battery Space. Safe?

Read the manual. All Victron chargers etc. I've ever seen allow for hard-wired installation. There will be instructions.
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Old 30-05-2024, 07:46   #8
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Re: AC Plug in Battery Space. Safe?

what kind of batteries in the battery room?
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Old 30-05-2024, 11:46   #9
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Re: AC Plug in Battery Space. Safe?

Instead of cutting the plug off open the charger up and see how the AC power wires are connected inside I am assuming a terminal board. Replace the cable with proper size and run to AC source.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdn_bacon View Post
Alright. You've convinced me to remove the plug and cut it off and use some heat shrink butt connectors to connect up the AC power. My new question from these comments is around the placement of the charger. There is a vent on the top side of the space which vents into the salon of the boat. I mounted the charger a couple inches next to the vent hole. Sounds like that may be a bad spot as well.
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Old 02-06-2024, 13:38   #10
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Re: AC Plug in Battery Space. Safe?

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Originally Posted by Gudgeon View Post
Instead of cutting the plug off open the charger up and see how the AC power wires are connected inside I am assuming a terminal board. Replace the cable with proper size and run to AC source.
First thing I checked but unfortunately the leads are soldered on the board and snaked through some tight spots that I wouldn't be able to get a soldering gun into.
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Old 02-06-2024, 13:53   #11
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Re: AC Plug in Battery Space. Safe?

You're already going to have to run AC to the charger.
And you can't get at the soldered wires.
If you cut the plug off and do some kind of wire joint between the panel and the wires you cut the plug off, what have you saved when at some time you need to remove/replace the charger?
As I said before, wire an outlet box to the panel, plug the charger into it.
Now you have an installation that covers all the bases, and you can un-plug the charger and use the outlet for other things if/when needed.
It's a no-brainer.
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