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Out of sight, out of mind


uncledj
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Went to winterize the mothorhome today.   Drain the water, blow out the lines, put it up on it's jacks and cover it.    Put 4 cans of Seafoam in it and figured I'd run the engine as well as the generator for a bit to let the Seafoam get through the system(s),   Turned the key and it just clicked.   First time I've had an issue with the battery.   Oh well....battery was put in in 2012 so I can't complain.

Figured I'd put it on the charger to get enough power to start and run the leveling jacks.    Went to put the charger on and wtf?.....Top of the battery had blown out.

For some reason  I thought it was an AGM battery and never checked the water/acid level like I do for the house batteries.   Engine battery is kind of hard to get to:   Hence the "out of sight out of mind" title.

Got a new battery and went ahead with everything but putting the cover on...getting late...

  Thought y'all might enjoy the pic.

 

Battery pic.jpg

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18 hours ago, PastorCurt said:

Wow! Who would have thought that could happen? Glad you still have a motor home and not a pile of ashes!

Seen that happen on many occasions. Once even to me when I was a new apprentice hooking up to a set of 4 batteries on a transport truck. Main cause is either the charger cable are put on back wards or the battery is boiling for one reason or another such as getting over heated while trying to start a vehicle or over charging it both of which can cause boiling and the formation of hydrogen gas. The formed  hydrogen gas explodes if for some reason there is a spark, either from a lose arcing connection or during the connecting of live booster cables or live charger cables.

I once got showered in sulfuric acid when a battery blew on a lift truck. Me and another mechanic walked by a lift truck that was over charging so without thinking he just grabbed and yanked off the cable. The resulting spark caused an explosion and we both got showered.  The battery may have gassed when you tried cranking the truck and then the spark from hooking up the charger caused the explosion.

This is why you always connect you + cable to the battery 1st  and then your - cable to a good ground point on the vehicle someplace away from the battery.

I have seen garages burn down because a battery on a work bench hooked up to a charger boiled over filling the garage with hydrogen gas which was set off by a spark.

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UncleDJ, I just bought a 2006 5th wheel camper.  The battery was dead.  Checked it out and found it was boiled dry.  The converter (120VAC to 12VDC)  was bad putting out nearly 18 volts.  I guess the PO was pretty lucky he didn't burn it down.  You might want to check your d/c output if you plug into an a/c electric box.

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3 hours ago, dfitzbiz said:

UncleDJ, I just bought a 2006 5th wheel camper.  The battery was dead.  Checked it out and found it was boiled dry.  The converter (120VAC to 12VDC)  was bad putting out nearly 18 volts.  I guess the PO was pretty lucky he didn't burn it down.  You might want to check your d/c output if you plug into an a/c electric box.

With this motorhome, and I think with most basic motorhomes, when I'm plugged in, the house batteries get charged but the engine battery does not.   In my particular case, I have a 2 amp maintenance charger wired through a relay so that when I'm plugged in the engine charger is energized as well as the house inverter, which charges the house batteries.   

I set that up 9 years ago and it's worked pretty good up till now, and like I said in the original post, I can't complain about a battery that worked well for that long without ever putting water / acid in it.  I'll just make a point of it to check the acid level every year, like I do with the house batteries.    Engine battery is in a bad spot.....no easy access....but I'll git-er-dun.

Having said all that....I'll check the house inverter output to the house batteries.....Thanks for the info.

                                          thanks thank you gif GIF

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To be honest, I wouldn't bother putting an AGM on a Tender. Not needed. Just put it on the Tender about once every couple of months for a few hours. My Tender does a great job on the boat battery in about 4 hours every 2 months. Works just fine. BUT, you do have to remember to disconnect the Tender! I set a kitchen timer. For me, it's an easy choice since the AGM's are such good batteries.

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I have no issue using the battery tender on my AGM Battery as it only chargers when needed because it monitors battery voltage. Before I got the battery tender I used one of those timers you just plug into the wall outlet and plugged a cheap 2 amp trickle charger to it, which I left hooked to the bike all winter. I then set the timer to turn the trickle charger on for an hour each day. It work great.

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19 hours ago, uncledj said:

Didn't see any evidence of any nastiness.   I don't think there was enough juice left in the battery to get blown out.

Its not a matter of how much juice, its how much vapor that juice no matter how little juice remains, creates. That vapor is explosive and can be set off by the smallest spark or arc. The lower the fluid level in the battery the more likely it is to boil and give of gas.

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7 hours ago, saddlebum said:

Its not a matter of how much juice, its how much vapor that juice no matter how little juice remains, creates. That vapor is explosive and can be set off by the smallest spark or arc. The lower the fluid level in the battery the more likely it is to boil and give of gas.

    Yup,  I get that.   I think what Mcarl was referring to was the potential for battery acid to be blasted around the engine compartment when the gas ignited.   That's what I meant when I said there wasn't enough acid left to get blasted out.

                                     Nuclear Bomb Explosion GIF

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59 minutes ago, uncledj said:

    Yup,  I get that.   I think what Mcarl was referring to was the potential for battery acid to be blasted around the engine compartment when the gas ignited.   That's what I meant when I said there wasn't enough acid left to get blasted out.

                                     Nuclear Bomb Explosion GIF

Doesn't take a lot to cause lots of corrosion. Takes very little soda to correct and make sure.

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16 hours ago, Marcarl said:

Doesn't take a lot to cause lots of corrosion. Takes very little soda to correct and make sure.


Usually a heaping table spoon to a cup of water is the proportion. using this as a guide line mix up a couple quarts or a gallon and soak down everything. Let it sit a while to neutralize the acid but rinse before it fully dries.

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