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Author Topic: REALLLLY need advice on MY particular battery issues/have read recent posts  (Read 3552 times)
Sean
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2007, 11:16:20 AM »

I'd add at least one more safety tip to the list:

ALWAYS wear eye protection when working around batteries.

-Sean
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kbunnystarr
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2007, 11:18:16 AM »

where is the master disconnect for batteries usually mounted?  and should every battery have a separate disconnect switch along with a master switch?  as far as i can tell i dont have ANY disconnect switches..........this soooo worries me after all i have read on here.........where, in the wiring, between what and what does the switch go?  how does it work?  i have looked at some of the links, but without really understanding it it all is overwhelming

where can i get insulated wrenches?
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2007, 11:24:46 AM »

i should ask this as well, before i jump off here for a few, what do i do if there is an issue in the battery compartment, say a smell, or spark or smoke or .i dont know even what all they could do, but  what would i do so the whole bus didnt jsut burn up........i mean,  would i attempt to disconnect something in particular FIRST, besides calling  911 for help..........im just very concerned.
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Sean
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« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2007, 11:58:20 AM »

OK, I'll try to answer your most recent questions, last first:

If you ever have any major problem, or, for that matter, just need to do work on the coach that requires the batteries be disconnected, the very first thing you should do is disconnect the battery negative terminal.

Once the battery negative is disconnected, no current can flow in the system.  One of the reasons for disconnecting the negative first is that, if your wrench is on the negative terminal and accidentally contacts the coach frame, no harm will come.  Whereas, if the negative is still connected, and you put a wrench on the positive terminal, and it contacts the frame, many bad things can happen (sparks, burns, or welding the wrench into the circuit).

With regard to "insulated" wrenches, there are such things made and sold in specialty stores, but they are rare.  What most of us do is to simply take normal wrenches and wrap the entire handle in electrician's tape, or else dip the handles in tool-grip (a can of plastic material that you dip tool handles into and which hardens to the consistency of those plastic grips you find on pliers and wire cutters, available at hardware stores).

A "master disconnect" switch for your battery bank should be located as close to the battery positive terminal as possible, and generally goes in-line between the battery positive and the first load terminal.

If you have multiple strings of batteries in the same bank, you can elect to also install individual switches on each string;  many people claim this helps in troubleshooting, or allows you to isolate a bad string.  I personally do not subscribe to this philosophy.

Lastly, whatever you do or don't do with respect to disconnects, your house battery system should definitely have a main fuse.  Usually, "catastrophe" fuses go in between the battery negative terminal and the coach frame (to which all load returns are connected).  This fuse will protect your system from major short-circuit conditions, which could otherwise cause major damage up to and including a total loss due to fire.

(Unlike house battery systems, starting battery systems are not required to have a main fuse, and usually don't.  That's because the current required to start the engine is quite high.  That being said, if you have a switch or other system to connect your house and starting battery systems together, you should ensure that the interconnection also benefits from your house-side main fuse, which usually means putting the fuse in the positive side, downstream of the interconnection means.)

-Sean
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kbunnystarr
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« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2007, 02:26:25 PM »

i have tried for over an hour to get the diagram posted for the batteries, and it wont post, i jsut cant get it to .........
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Dallas
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« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2007, 04:38:51 PM »

i have tried for over an hour to get the diagram posted for the batteries, and it wont post, i jsut cant get it to .........

If you'll try sending it to me or one of the other moderators via email, we'll be happy to see what we can do for you.

Dallas
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larryh
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« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2007, 06:24:46 AM »

Kbunnystarr.

This is larryh and i'm in Quartzsite and I get to Havusu several times a month and can help you out I have all the tools to make up new cables as required.
email me direct look in profile for email and lets get this safe for you.

LarryH
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Quartzsite,
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« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2007, 06:41:32 AM »

you ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!
thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!!!!
  Grin Grin
« Last Edit: February 10, 2007, 05:16:38 AM by DrivingMissLazy » Logged

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TomC
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« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2007, 11:17:34 PM »

Kbunnystarr- read through all the posts and came to some conclusions.  Most fears are from not knowing the reason something happens.  Points to be taken here- number one is to educate yourself on batteries-several good posts had sites to go to.  The reading is long winded but worth the education.

I'll repeat some of the cautions-When having to reach over the terminals to feed water to the batteries, it is best to disconnect the negative cable from the battery.  If you brush a connected battery with a sweaty arm, it can make electrical contact that would most likely burn you (it would be very difficult to get electrocuted from a 12v battery-serious burn is more likely with the high amperage most batteries have).  Use eye protection; chemical proof gloves are good, although you can just wash your hands if you feel the sting of acid (the sulfuric acid in batteries isn't very strong.  It can burn holes in your clothes if it splashes on you, but not strong enough to do terrible damage to your skin if you just wash it off right away).  One of the simplest ways to check hard to get to batteries is with a flash light and a small mirror on an adjustable rod (the type mechanics use).  Then you can look down into the cells with the mirror.  I rigged up a water pump with a switch that I could just attach with alligator clips to the batteries when I wanted to water them.  Then put the pickup into the distilled water bottle and went to town.  I soon got tired of this and my most recent set of batteries (2-8D's about equal in power to 4 golf cart batteries) are Lifeline AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat).  These batteries are sealed, never need water, can mount them in any position (they rather you didn't mount it upside down), and since they don't gas, don't really need too much ventilation, they do need accurate battery charging-best through a 3 stage charger and are about twice as much as a watered battery.

Being an old truck driver, I always believe in using the simplest equipment that is general main stream and easily obtainable at auto/truck parts stores on the road.  Here's my system that I've been using for 12 years.  My starting batteries are 2-regular size-31 950cca Interstate truck batteries.  My house batteries are 2 8D Lifeline AGM batteries with 255 amp hours each.  The house batteries are grounded through the chassis and the positives are bridged together (to make them work as one big battery). One positive has a 500 amp delay blow fuse attached to the 0000 cable going to the inverter/charger (Trace 2500 watt with up to 130 amp 3 stage battery charger).  The other battery positive is attached to the cross over solenoids (2-150amp continuous rated solenoids strapped together to handle the 300 amp alternator) that feed that starting batteries.  On the dash is a on-off-on switch so I can power the solenoid with either the starting or house batteries.  I have a jumper cable off the 12v positive of the inverter to power the 12v service inside with a simple knife switch to kill the power if need be. Very simple system that works.

One of the switches you might consider is a marine battery switch for two batteries.  You can select battery 1 or 2 or both and has off also.  You could use one of these switches on the two sets of house batteries, and have another to separate and charge the house and starting batteries together.

I hope you get to the point where you'll feel confident dealing with the batteries.  With common sense precautions, they should be your friend, not your fears.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2007, 05:22:54 AM »

HOw to fill batteries?

Go to NAPA and purchase a plastic container specifically designed for adding water to batteries. Remove the battery covers, stick the spout down in each hole, push and water comes out until the battery is at the correct water level. No need to disconnect or anything else as long as you have the 6-8 inches of space available above the battery to use the filling device.
Richard
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« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2007, 01:23:09 PM »

thank you guys , all of you, who took the time to write all that you did on this, i will try to send the diagram when i can get to the house computer again, my sister almost collapsed in vegas, so their trip will be an extra day, so i cant post diagram till then......i am trying to write some more specific questions on this before i post, i dont wantg to be frustrating to anyone, and really want to grasp this.....
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larryh
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« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2007, 04:15:08 PM »

Kbunnystarr

I have tryed replying to your email to no avail your spam filter kicks it back sorry I tryed

larryH
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Savvy ponderable:
A cowboy's only afraid of two things:
havin' ta walk,
and the love of a good woman.
"This posting was generated using an environmentally friendly, self contained flatulence generator, therefore no fossils or neutrons were harmed in the creation of this posting.


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« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2007, 05:00:52 PM »

oh im so sorry, i checked spam block what a pain, i will email tommorrow with info,
sister is coming home tonight instead of tommorrow, jsut called, and have to do
stuff for her

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« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2007, 02:13:13 PM »

Larry:::::you are super cool!  so nice to meet you so nice of you to offer your time and knowledge!!!!!  you are kind.  and funny.  so glad we met in person.  hope to again.  I feel so much better after you looking at my bus!!!  THANK YOU!!! Grin Grin Grin Grin Smiley Smiley Wink Wink Cheesy Cheesy
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