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Old 10-13-2008, 09:23 PM   #1
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Danger will robinson

What smells like rotten eggs?

go's BOOM when ignited ?






this morning i decided since i needed to run the genny for a few, that i would start her up and gather up all my stuff for the days running to town business

just as i touched the genny starter switch inside the coach i heard a BOOOOOOM and what sounded like a shotgun blast going off in the under belly basement. I threw open the door, expecting to see genny parts all over the drive and maybe a fire.

My wife was walking by the left hand aux battery door and about lept into next week as it went BOOM .

i imediatly noticed the stench of rotten eggs ( hydrogen sulfide ) and started looking around for a fire to accompany all the dense smoke and smell.
thankfully no fire , just tons of stinky air
so i opened up the genny battery box and tested it, all ok.
then i went around and opend up the left door and WOW, my battery cover was ajar and it had wet sticky burn your skin stuff all over it, so i cut the lid restrants off and opened it up
PEEEEE uuuuuu
the battery had split at the top and and the vents were blown off.

i had been meaning to open them and check the fluids but i forgot anf had better things to do,
i guess htis battery was low on fluid and had sulfated and filled with gas as it was trying to get recharged.

315 buckaroos later and i replaced both with new gel cell sealed batteries, no water to boil out and lots more CCAs

moral of the story: dont let your procrastination blow up a battery
i am so thankful the doors were closed and my wife didnt get hit by hot acidy goo
i still have to finsh cleaning up the compartments and will post pics of the new batteries, its dark now and i just got em hooked up
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:01 AM   #2
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Hey Robert,
I'm glad you had minimal damage and no injuries!!
Are you saying that your battery boxes are INSIDE a storage compartment???
I thought all batteries were outside or kept in sealed/vented outside battery boxes.

I've seen a battery blow up like you said. It's not all that uncommon.
Thousands of people are hurt EACH year by exploding lead acid batteries.
It's usually when someone is trying to give/get a boost from another car.
For that reason you should NEVER lean over the top of a battery you are
fooling with. You should always wear glasses at least and goggles are much
preferred when connecting/disconnecting lead acid batteries.
(OK, I'll get off my soap box now.....)

The case I saw involved a golf cart. A fellow maintenance man where I worked
had brought in an old tractor starter to work on. After he thought he had it fixed
he decided to test it on a golf cart battery.
He laid the starter in the back of the cart On Top of the batteries!
When he touched a wire from the starter to one of the battery posts the old starter
spun and rolled over onto another battery post causing a dead short on that
battery.
It immediately blew up like a huge fire cracker.
All the battery caps flew up and hit the ceiling in this high bay maintenance shop.
I don't know how he wasn't burned with acid but I just remember him going to
wash his hands and probably wipe his butt!!

Still I am puzzled that your batteries are in an enclosed area........
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
Are you saying that your battery boxes are INSIDE a storage compartment???
I thought all batteries were outside or kept in sealed/vented outside battery boxes.

Still I am puzzled that your batteries are in an enclosed area........
5th wheel trailer.

Everyone I've ever seen has the batteries in a compartment of some sort. The last one I had the batteries were in a side compartment that was open underneath for ventalation. My current 5'er has the battery in the front storage compartment under the overhang. It's in its own sub-compartment that is vented to the outside so should it blow it would be contained.
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:10 PM   #4
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guys
my batteries are in thier own boxes with vent tubes going to a sidewall vent as well as a vent in the bttom of each box that vents to the ground,
the main battery in just inside a compartment door thats in the huge frnt genny area tha tis open to the fresh air through a series of big vent openings
the second is next to the genny fire shielding
this whole are is not/or does not share air space with the main coach
its like a garge for the fiver, all the dirty wet junk can go in there.

i will get some pics in the daylight
i am a bit unerved and just happy my wife was not hurt and no fire

the boxes did their jobs of containing the burst and fumes, thankfully
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:46 AM   #5
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I'm real glad you had minimal/contained damage and no injuries!!
Thanks for the reminder about the fact that batteries are hazardous and we can
never take them for granted.

My first trailer had a sealed/lid screwed on battery box in the bottom rear of a closet!!
It was a 45 minute job to check the @%&*@! fluid level.
I HATED it.
We and many others complained to the maker and they moved the battery box(s) to
the tongue on future models.
I realize a motor home or 5th wheel does not have a tongue to put the batteries on!
And they can more easily be stolen from the tongue.
Everything is a trade off.

Be safe, be careful and happy camping!!
KyDan
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:13 AM   #6
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one of mine is a pain to get to and check the levels, i had a compressor mounted in front of it, until this happened

but these new gel sealed up batteries are bascially a check of the ends for corrosion and security and no more water checks,
hindsight is 20/20 i had noticed my 12v lights had been flickering and some slow down of fans when lights were turned on.
no excuse for being lazy,

here they are all secured and cleaned up
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:03 AM   #7
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Mine is located in the same area as yours Robert I just don't have the genset.

And I am very glad you and your lady weren't hurt.
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