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Old 04-10-2019, 09:30 AM   #1
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Battery question concerning dribbling water from cells...

I have a Deka 12V deep cycle battery that came in my 5'ver when new...it will be four years old in about two weeks.

I moved to Yuma, Arizona last summer (one of the hottests cities in the US of A) and found the battery box all wet inside during the several-day 120+ degree heat wave we had last summer.

I pulled the battery out and stored it on my shed instead as I tracked the inside temperature of my 5'ver at over 160 degrees, so I thought that my battery was boiling from the heat.

I took it to the local O'Reilly's Auto Parts store last fall and had it tested and they said it was OK, and since we didn't use the 5'ver all winter I kept in on a trickle/maintainer charge in the shed for a few weeks, then put it back in the battery box and left it unhooked out there in the storage lot, so that I could hook it up and open the slides or use the lights if I needed to.

Anyway, even though the water level inside is right where it should be (just below the indicator inside the filler holes), the battery is always wet on top and it is dribbling down the sides.

I brought it up to the house the other day to put it back on the charger and it was again all wet on the top.

I've also somehow gotten little burn holes in my clothes, which I'm guessing is somehow related to this issue.

Bubbling splatter maybe (kinda like grease splattering from frying bacon)?

I'm guessing it is time for a new battery...

But wondering why the battery is doing this...any ideas?
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:36 AM   #2
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I’ll be watching what others have to say, however......

On occasion I’ve found small holes in my clothes in the days following working on/with batteries. Clearly I believe somehow the off gassing/acid is getting on or near my clothing to do this. Maybe even because the clothes went through the laundry and that’s when I noticed the holes, but I can’t be sure. Ask yourself, we’re you carrying the batteries close to your body while moving them?
I think that’s when it happens most but can’t be sure.

Not sure I would have posted this under “boondocking”
Just sayin’
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:46 AM   #3
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Battery acid will eat holes in your clothes lickety-split. Due to their weight, we tend to carry them close to clothing.
It sounds like your battery is overcharging, which causes the bubbling, sizzling and out-gassing you are seeing.
Was your RV plugged in to shore power while this was occurring?
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:48 AM   #4
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Have you checked your converter to see what voltage it is putting out?



It sounds almost like the converter may be overcharging the battery... Can you hear it "cooking"?


The holes in your clothes are from the sulfuric acid inside the battery, which has now migrated outside... chemistry at work


Another possibility is that the battery is just overfilled, and it's trying to "find it's happy level". Hopefully this is the case, and not the converter
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:57 AM   #5
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No power to the trailer in the storage lot and I have a small 4-amp trickle charger in my shed.

The water in the battery is slightly below the bottom of the filler tubes that hang down inside the battery.

And is still dribbling down the side of the battery even though I don't have it hooked up to the charger right now.

As for the holes in the clothes...they did show up after going through the laundry.

And, when I carry the battery, it is pretty heavy so I hold it with both hands out in front and away from me for the short trip from the battery compartment to the back of my truck, and the same from the truck to the shed.

As for posting this in the boondocking section...this is where all of the battery talk seems to happen...thus why I put it here.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnD10 View Post
No power to the trailer in the storage lot and I have a small 4-amp trickle charger in my shed.

The water in the battery is slightly below the bottom of the filler tubes that hang down inside the battery.

And is still dribbling down the side of the battery even though I don't have it hooked up to the charger right now.

As for the holes in the clothes...they did show up after going through the laundry.

And, when I carry the battery, it is pretty heavy so I hold it with both hands out in front and away from me for the short trip from the battery compartment to the back of my truck, and the same from the truck to the shed.

As for posting this in the boondocking section...this is where all of the battery talk seems to happen...thus why I put it here.

If it's a true trickle charger, and there's no load on the battery, then you're overcharging it. A battery maintainer is just that, it maintains the voltage and shuts off when charged. trickle chargers, and older converter/chargers, were notorious for boiling batteries. Don't know why it would do it when sitting alone disconnected, unless the process had already begun and just continued.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by nayther View Post
If it's a true trickle charger, and there's no load on the battery, then you're overcharging it. A battery maintainer is just that, it maintains the voltage and shuts off when charged. trickle chargers, and older converter/chargers, were notorious for boiling batteries. Don't know why it would do it when sitting alone disconnected, unless the process had already begun and just continued.
It is a maintainer...

It has a 'Snowflake' mode (maintainer mode, according to the paperwork for the charger).

However, it was doing the water dribble before I purchased this battery charger a few months ago.

I just went out and took a photo of it and it does look like it might have a slight bulge on the side of the battery.

When I ran my fingers over the bulge to investigate...they got wet.

It hasn't been plugged in for at least three days.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:31 AM   #8
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Out of curiosity, what is the voltage that the maintainer is having the battery at when it is fully charged and in float mode? You battery is likely "done". When those places test the battery, they do not test for capacity. You have to do that on your own by putting a constant current for a set time and reading the voltage.

Next time, buy a true deep cycle battery unless all you do is full hookups.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:34 AM   #9
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Might want to check your maintainer and see what it's actually putting out... and to ensure that it is actually going into "maintain" mode and shutting off.



Could just be a defective maintainer/charger.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:39 AM   #10
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Heat is the greatest enemy of a lead acid battery. If the case of the battery is bulged or leaking then the battery is toast and must be replaced.
In that type of heat all of your batteries will last much shorter lives, 2 years or so is about max for a battery working in that type of heat. Also the quality of the battery (cost) seems to make very little difference in that type of heat.
You may be better off if you do not use a battery maintainer unless you can find one that has a temperature probe that attaches to the battery. Just charge the battery just prior to use.
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