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Old 04-13-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
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Need battery expert

HI:

I have the usual arrangement of (4) 6 Volt house batteries, first two of them are connected in series to give 12 volts, the other two the same.

Then each pair of 12 volt bats are connected in parallel to give double the amp hours.

The problem is that one (and ONLY one) boils off liquid at a pretty good rate, while the other 3 lose almost no electrolyte at all.

I assume this indicates something wrong with the one battery like an internal short or something of that sort.

Am I wrong? Anything else I should look at??

Boowho??
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:24 PM   #2
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Check for a dead cell or poor connection. Other than that, change the position of that battery in the line up and see it is still the same battery that boils water. If not, there is a setup problem, it it is the same batt then get a replacement.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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How do you have the charger set up on them? You should have it set up so the positive is off the first battery and the beget ice should be off the last battery. This charges and draws voltage off all the batteries at the same amount.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:30 PM   #4
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Where in the battery order is that battery that boils off liquid the fastest?
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
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Do you loose fluid while charging or while using them?
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:44 PM   #6
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have the battery tested, first you can do a specific gravity test, if ok - which I doubt, then load test. I'll bet you have a bad cell. It won't matter what position it's in, it'll still boil off.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:59 PM   #7
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boowho,
Page 17 of this manual from Trojan describes some troubleshooting techniques, including how to measure specific gravity as mentioned above.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:27 PM   #8
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Beget ice = negative. Damn auto correct.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boowho View Post
HI:

I have the usual arrangement of (4) 6 Volt house batteries, first two of them are connected in series to give 12 volts, the other two the same.

Then each pair of 12 volt bats are connected in parallel to give double the amp hours.

The problem is that one (and ONLY one) boils off liquid at a pretty good rate, while the other 3 lose almost no electrolyte at all.

I assume this indicates something wrong with the one battery like an internal short or something of that sort.

Am I wrong? Anything else I should look at??

Boowho??
Sounds like the one battery is cooked, literally. You could remove it and have a battery distributor do a load test on it as suggested. My guess is you need to have the one renewed at least, many others will say they should be changed together as an equal set. Worst can happed the battery will fail and you'll be down to one bank. Maybe start with the test? A lot will depend on how old and heavily used.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:42 PM   #10
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Bad cell would use less water methinks, so sump ting else is happening, but testing is the only way to figure it out.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Stanleyg View Post
How do you have the charger set up on them? You should have it set up so the positive is off the first battery and the beget ice should be off the last battery. This charges and draws voltage off all the batteries at the same amount.
I will try swaping the positions as you suggest BigTJohn.....

Meanwhile here's a diagram of how it's wired. The Green lines are the leads going off into the coach. Why there are two positives and two negatives I have no idea.

Thanks

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Old 04-13-2013, 05:54 PM   #12
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Oops

Here's the file
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:02 AM   #13
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4 six volt batteries should be wired like this.

NOTE: ALL wires (except the ones going to the coach) should be EXACTLY the same length and Gauge.

Corrected your diagram for correct wiring sequence:

Also Ditto on the shorted cell...
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:06 PM   #14
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4 six volt batteries should be wired like this.

NOTE: ALL wires (except the ones going to the coach) should be EXACTLY the same length and Gauge.

Corrected your diagram for correct wiring sequence:

Also Ditto on the shorted cell...

Wait a sec, Herk..... The extra circuit into the house is how it came from the factory. I mean FR made two circuits out of it going into the house for a reason, right? I can't very well leave one off and dangling loose.

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Old 04-14-2013, 12:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by boowho View Post
Wait a sec, Herk..... The extra circuit into the house is how it came from the factory. I mean FR made two circuits out of it going into the house for a reason, right? I can't very well leave one off and dangling loose.

Boowho??
Before I answer that I need a photo if at all possible. If there are two different circuits, there should be no "ties" between the "battery sets." If there is ONE circuit, then there should be only one ground and one hot from the camper's converter.

Do you have an INVERTER? Perhaps one set of wires goes to an inverter and not the converter/charger.

Having two separate "plus" lines and two separate "ground" lines and then tying them together at different battery posts makes no sense to me.

Wait! I just looked up your camper. You have a Berkshire motorhome.

Maybe one set goes to the motor's alternator or generator so both are not charging at the same time...
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:32 PM   #16
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Before I answer that I need a photo if at all possible. If there are two different circuits, there should be no "ties" between the "battery sets." If there is ONE circuit, then there should be only one ground and one hot from the camper's converter.

Do you have an INVERTER? Perhaps one set of wires goes to an inverter and not the converter/charger.

Having two separate "plus" lines and two separate "ground" lines and then tying them together at different battery posts makes no sense to me.

Wait! I just looked up your camper. You have a Berkshire motorhome.

Maybe one set goes to the motor's alternator or generator so both are not charging at the same time...
I DO have an inverter and I'll bet that's what the second circuit is for.

OR it's as you say one for the alternator, one for charging from shore power.

Thanks

Boowho??
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:49 PM   #17
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I DO have an inverter and I'll bet that's what the second circuit is for.

OR it's as you say one for the alternator, one for charging from shore power.

Thanks

Boowho??
If it is indeed the Inverter, it would make more sense to have both grounds on one battery and both positive leads on the opposite farthest battery as indicated in my modified picture.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:12 PM   #18
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If it is indeed the Inverter, it would make more sense to have both grounds on one battery and both positive leads on the opposite farthest battery as indicated in my modified picture.
Electrically, what is the difference between these two drawings? My knowledge of electricity tells me there is no difference. But obviously I can always learn something new.

Along that same thought, why is it that the jumpers all be the same length? If they are copper, resistance would be negligible I should think. I can understand being the same gauge, but not the requirement they be exactly the same lenghth.

Boowho??
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:32 PM   #19
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The electrical resistance between the Positive and Negative end points is not "negligible" when you are charging or discharging the batteries when you consider that one battery (set in your case) will work harder than the other at all times. That will lead to early failure of one battery set (could be why you are having problems).

This is how 2 12 volt batteries should be connected to balance the current into and out of a bank.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:19 PM   #20
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Here's the file
Just wondering, can those output leads be doubled to allow for the high current? IE: if the AWG is small but doubled to carry all the ampacity the batteries can deliver vs single heavy cables each polarity?
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