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Author Topic: Help with House Batteries  (Read 2601 times)
Dave Siegel
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« on: January 06, 2013, 07:59:45 AM »

Hi Everyone. Well we are back on line and have rescued our bus from a far away dirt storage yard and finally found a place very close to home with a concrete drive, water and electricity. HOORAYY for us! That's the good stuff, here's where the problem comes in:

I went up to the bus this morning and decided to bring the house batteries and the genset start battery home and charge them here at the house. When I took the house batteries loose I discovered that the cases had exploded and of course the liquid was all gone. The last time we used the house batteries was when we stayed at the Fairgrounds here in Raleigh for July and August. They worked fine then. In September we moved into an apartment and we stored the bus in a storage field across town. We brought the bus closer to the house yesterday to a much better storage facility. The gen set start battery seems to be OK and is on the porch charging as we speak.

I have never seen batteries expand and blow up like this, does anyone have any decent suggestions as to why this could have happened?

Also while I am at this battery situation, some time ago someone gave me a suggestion of a really good battery tender to use while the bus is in storage. I have misplaced that information and was hoping could remember what the tender was.

Thanks,

Dave Siegel
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Dave & Jan Siegel    1948 GMC  "Silversides"
               Naples, Florida
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TomC
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 09:28:14 AM »

Usually, batteries exploding is caused by outgassing-like a short circuit or drain-then a spark to ignite the hydrogen gas (think Graf Zepplin). If the bus is going to sit, either plug it in to keep the batteries up, or disconnect them completely. Wet batteries will self discharge in a few weeks. AGM batteries only loose about 5% charge per month.

Would suggest you look at AGM batteries. Yes they are expensive-but then you don't have to worry about watering them, cleaning the terminals (they don't normally outgas), and are just about maintenance free. I have 2 8D AGM's that are 7 years old that I need to replace. In that 7 years, I've done virtually nothing to the batteries except clean the terminals a couple of times. Once you experience the joys of AGM's, you'll never go back to a wet battery again. Good Luck, TomC
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hargreaves
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 09:35:21 AM »

Chances are the batteries discharged and then froze causing the case to crack. Hense loosing all the liquid.   Cheers Gerry
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 10:15:17 AM »

HI Dave,

We're using this to keep the house batteries maintained and charged - so far no issues and much happier than with previous solutions. 

Progressive Dynamics PD9245CV Inteli-Power 9200 Series 45 Amp Converter/Charger with Built-in Charge Wizard

It is on amazon.

And I'm going to start disconnecting engine batteries (2 x 8Ds) instead of just using disconnect switch to eliminate trickle discharge over time.  We've had ours about 6 yrs now, purchased from NAPA Truck.  We've had to do more maintenance than Tom w/ his AGM batteries.

Was the bus parked in Florida (warm climate) when the explosion happened or could have happened? 

Kind  Regards, Phil
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gus
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 01:20:43 PM »

If the cases only cracked and leaked the liquid it surely appears to be a case of freezing (in FL?).

However, if pieces flew off and the posts blew off then if probably was an explosion, pretty rare. I've seen batts explode when hooked up in reverse.
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PD4107-152
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Dave Siegel
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 06:12:28 AM »

Thanks PHil, I am using the same Progressive Dynamics PD9245CV Inteli-Power 9200 Series 45 Amp Converter/Charger with Built-in Charge Wizard and I was wondering if perhaps it went wild on me and over cooked the house batteries because we were hooked to a pole 24/7 for two months while we lived in the bus?

If it did fault how would I check it, so it doesn't happen again?

Dave
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Dave & Jan Siegel    1948 GMC  "Silversides"
               Naples, Florida
   Dave is Host to the "Help Assist Pages"
  (Free roadside help for Bus Conversions)
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2013, 10:03:42 AM »

I just inadvertently overcharged my Genset  battery. It looked like a swollen watermelon, just short of cracking open the case. So, it could be freezing or it could be a case of way overcharging, boiling all of the liquid out and then the batt will begin to swell from the heat.
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Dave Siegel
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 09:23:19 AM »

I am also thinking that the house batteries got overcharged, and I am thinking about getting new batteries to replace the ones that ruptured but I am leery of the charger, is there a way that I could check it to see if the charger wizard actually shuts the device down when the batteries are charged?

Dave
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Dave & Jan Siegel    1948 GMC  "Silversides"
               Naples, Florida
   Dave is Host to the "Help Assist Pages"
  (Free roadside help for Bus Conversions)
         www.help-assist-list.com
gus
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 01:52:59 PM »

Dave,

I have a disconnect switch between the house and bus batts. When I think the house batts are getting too much charge I just disconnect them.

Well, I do cheat a bit, I also have a separate VM for the house batts!
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Dave Siegel
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 02:24:50 PM »

Where is that volt meter and the switch? Up on your dash or down by the batteries?

Dave
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Dave & Jan Siegel    1948 GMC  "Silversides"
               Naples, Florida
   Dave is Host to the "Help Assist Pages"
  (Free roadside help for Bus Conversions)
         www.help-assist-list.com
gus
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 07:48:22 PM »

It is up high on the driver's wall. It is part of a panel that includes a push button check on battery condition and charging and a lighted dial.

It came on the bus but a separate VM can go anywhere you like. I would prefer it be down lower but it is part of a larger panel that includes the air bag leveling system.

It only shows conditions when the switch is pushed, kind of a nuisance. I can look for info on it if you like but a plain VM would work just as well and be lots cheaper. I see no need for the switch, no reason not to have it on all the time that I can see.
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Dave Siegel
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2013, 04:10:38 AM »

Thanks Gus, I actually have a second volt meter, but it is in an compartment that I can not see into all the time. I think I put it in there to see the starting condition of the genset battery. I may want to consider a new place for that meter.

I have no real room for another panel either, that's the problem with a small dash on an old bus.

Thanks again,

Dave
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Dave & Jan Siegel    1948 GMC  "Silversides"
               Naples, Florida
   Dave is Host to the "Help Assist Pages"
  (Free roadside help for Bus Conversions)
         www.help-assist-list.com
gus
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2013, 02:44:24 PM »

Dave,

You could probably easily install it on the driver's electrical panel cover with detachable connectors or extra long wires.

Love that Silverside!
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Dave Siegel
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2013, 04:30:34 AM »

Gus those are both an option, I also have a armrest (left arm) panel just under the driver's window, I suppose I could reconfigure that panel and add a volt meter. Do you use an analog style or digital? My volt meter for the start batteries is digital the one that I have used for the genset is an analog style.

Dave
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Dave & Jan Siegel    1948 GMC  "Silversides"
               Naples, Florida
   Dave is Host to the "Help Assist Pages"
  (Free roadside help for Bus Conversions)
         www.help-assist-list.com
Gordie Allen
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2013, 06:29:36 AM »

I just posted this on another thread:

I just bought a Victron Multiplus from Jamestown Distributors.  http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=61576&familyName=Victron+MultiPlus+Inverter%2FCharger  It does it all.  True sine inverter, multistage charger (you select wet cell, AGM or even Lithium ion).  It senses shoreline amp draw and supplements additional in phase ac from the inverter if you are exceeding amp draw from shoreline.  Automatically manages DC for charging.  Has two charging circuits.  One for house batteries and a second for the engine start batteries.  No manual switches, disconnects, etc.  Has a remote that is a monitor and a programing device.  2 kw 12v is $1626, and 3 kw 12v is $2295.  Very small foot print and easy hookup.  Also check out http://www.technomadia.com/ .  They've been using one for a year with a self built 1000 amp LI house battery pack.  They also make 24v units.
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Augusta, MI
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