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Old 04-07-2010, 18:59   #1
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New Batteries, One Cell Bubbling

Hi all:

I fele I flood this forum with questions, but I double my knowledge with each set of replies, so here goes:

I just replaced my wet-cell battery bank -- 3 x 185 Ah -- and have noticed as I charge that one, and only one, cell of one battery is bubbling out of the cap ... the water level in all cells was about the same (to bottom edge of fill cap cylinder).

Cause for concern? It's only been a week or so, and I clean with rag soaked in water/baking soda ...

Give it time? Bad battery?

Thanks all ...

In debt,

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Old 06-08-2010, 14:22   #2
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So far in my learning about my new wet batteries, bubbling is ok. Are you having issues with keeping a charge?
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Old 06-08-2010, 14:37   #3
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The primary question is what is the voltage of your battery charger when the cell is bubbling? If it is over 15 volts DC then there is something seriously wrong with your battery charger.
- - If the voltage is less than 14.5 volts and only one cell is bubbling there is something wrong with the battery. All the cells in any one battery should react the same during charging. If one is bubbling and the others are not then you have a bad cell in that battery.
- - The majority of problems occur because of improper battery charging. You need to know the voltage during the charging and the amperes going into the batteries. Using a automotive battery charger on marine batteries is not good for battery life. Use a "smart charger" designer for marine batteries. Invest in a digital volt meter and digital ampere meter to monitor what is happening to your batteries.
- - Here is a good Q&A on batteries: Deep Cycle Battery FAQ
There are many other similar sites on-line to get you up to speed on battery care for your marine batteries.
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Old 06-08-2010, 15:03   #4
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You would be better served by buying a hydrometer to test all the cells and find out if/how bad that cell is. Anything you find out here is only a guess.
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Old 06-08-2010, 19:41   #5
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Check the level of the electrolyte. Maybe that cell is slightly overfilled.
One should try to "Die Young" as old as possible.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:21   #6
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Overfilling flooded batteries is a common ailment. If you check the Trojan site you will see that they recommend filling until the water level is about 1/8" below the bottom of the well.

The symptoms you gave indicate that you have one misbehaving cell.

Voltage and specific gravity readings along with the make of batteries would help with the advice.

Charlie Johnson
ABYC Master Technician
JTB Marine Corporation
"The Devil is in the details and so is salvation."
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