Not if but when!

Designs for inboard or outboard power

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bob smith
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Location: Chester, SC

Not if but when!

Post by bob smith » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:25 am

I've been messing around with boats/cars for 50+ years and have often heard of batteries exploding but never witnessed this until a few days ago.
The battery was old, but always held a charge ok. I was going to use it to turn over my BB to run a compresion test before removing the engine but it was dead as a hammer. I charged it up overnight and then hooked it up. When I hit the starter it exploded with the force of a 12 gauge shotgun, blowing the caps off and splitting the case. Fortunately, I was not close and no real damage was done. I shudder to think of what could have happened.
It was apparently an internal fault that sparked when a big load was placed on it.
What if........................
From now on, any battery that acts the least bit out of the ordinary gets replaced and not put in the bilge of my boat.
Thought you-all might be interested in this.
Bob Smith
Bob Smith
Chester, SC

thinwater
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Re: Not if but when!

Post by thinwater » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:32 am

Thanks for sharing.

fergal butler
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Re: Not if but when!

Post by fergal butler » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:43 am

That happened to me before there was some bang alright I was lucky as I had just got up and turned away from it. :shock:

Now I always make sure all connections are good and tight :lol:

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Caber-Feidh
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Location: Battle Point, Leech Lake... tundrasota

Re: Not if but when!

Post by Caber-Feidh » Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:17 pm

I've had 2 go, both left results that were pretty spectacular. One went when charging, the other just as the starter engaged. (and the battery was under the seat. Let's just leave it at saying both sides of the seat were in need of a good cleaning - if you know what I mean.) No point in even risking a hydrogen detonation in your boat. will surely make for a rather memorable moment :( .
Some plan to stroll through Saint Peter's Gates, I plan to go through them at 150mph... backwards... in a screaming ball of flame, with a glimmer belt wrapped around my head, and a NOx button in my hand.

bob smith
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Location: Chester, SC

Re: Not if but when!

Post by bob smith » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:23 am

TomK
This thread speaks to your concern.
I would have some physical protection (battery box or bulkhead) to shield against a battery "event".
Bob (it happened to me) Smith
Chester, SC
Bob Smith
Chester, SC

TOM K
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Re: Not if but when!

Post by TOM K » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:27 am

Bob
If I put a bulkhead in it might cut down on air circulation, Do you think one of those plastic battery boxes would contain a explosion ?

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rocker
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Re: Not if but when!

Post by rocker » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:55 am

TOM K wrote:Bob
If I put a bulkhead in it might cut down on air circulation, Do you think one of those plastic battery boxes would contain a explosion ?
Maybe cover the box with cloth and epoxy? :idea: :?: :?:

mud
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Location: ROBE ,SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Re: Not if but when!

Post by mud » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:30 pm

12 v Lead acid batteries have cells of plates and separators joined together with a bridging plate to make 12 volts . this bridge plate over a period of time will develope cracks internally which when a load comes on will arc across causing the gases inside a recently charged battery to explode . The life of a lead acid battery is usually governed by three things , the thickness of the lead plates and separators , because every time a battery is charged and discharged it sheds some of it's mass, so after a while a plate that was say an eighth of an inch thick when new , slowly withers away to nothing, [internal short or open circuit ] , but usually before the plate is completely gone the shed material falls to the bottom of the battery where it accumulates and builds up in the sump of battery until it shorts out the bottom of the plates . [ internal short ] . The third common reason for battery failure is as the battery sheds the bridge plate becomes weaker and with vibration and jarring it eventually fails , [open circuit ] . All good reasons to go to solid state batteries .

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thudpucker
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Re: Not if but when!

Post by thudpucker » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:46 pm

I'll add one as well.
When connecting a battery where the load is already on, "Never look em' in the eye" the old guy said.
I always held that advice sacred.
One day I was connecting a Battery and when I turned on the switch the battery exploded.
The Cap or Caps hit my hand with such force it didn't heal for weeks.
What if I'd been looking at those Connections? :?

Yup be careful.
In one of my boats two Batteries were right down in the Bilges and go wet occasionally. It just caused corrosion.

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