Battery Surprise

Have a safety tip you want to share? Did you or a friend learn it the hard way? Help someone else by posting your tips on tractor, farm, shop, lawn, garden, kitchen, etc., safety.

Moderator: Team Cub

Forum rules
Safety is an important and often overlooked topic. Make safety a part of your everyday life and let others know how much you care by making their lives safer too. Let the next generation of tractor enthusiasts benefit from your experience, and maybe save a life or appendages.
outdoors4evr
10+ Years
10+ Years
Posts: 2236
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:44 pm
Zip Code: 48370
Tractors Owned: 184
Location: Oxford, MI

Battery Surprise

Postby outdoors4evr » Mon May 11, 2020 9:45 am

I had a very surprising experience when starting a Ferguson 35 on Friday. The tractor hadn't been started for a few months (I used it last in Feb to push snow), so I turned on the gas, pulled out the choke, turned on the key, shook hands with the shifter, stepped on the clutch with my left foot (right still on the ground) and bumped the starter button.
KABOOM! Sounded like a shotgun and the hood access door jumped about 1/4". Plastic Shrapnel and Battery acid started running down to the floor. Ears ringing.
ORII3989.JPG
IMG_1258.JPG

The battery was about 10 years old, sealed unit and kept on a battery tender.
I've read the warning labels lead-acid on batteries that state "Explosions May Occur" but never experienced it before. Thankfully, the battery was under a secured hood and I didn't get any acid on me or hit by plastic shards. Pictures taken prior to cleanup. Also very glad the battery was secured.

Dragged tractor outside, battery removed (used pipe wrenches on battery posts to lift out) and rinsed with many gallons of water and baking soda solution. Wore safety glasses, gloves, and covered exposed skin during the cleanup.

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1999-aug-26-hw-3902-story.html
From the linked article: "Indeed, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that battery explosions in 1993 alone injured 2,280 people severely enough to have required hospital treatment."

Replace old batteries and keep them full of clean water!
184 w/ Creeper & 3-Point
IH 3160a Mower
IH Model 15 Tiller
IH-54 Blade

outdoors4evr
10+ Years
10+ Years
Posts: 2236
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:44 pm
Zip Code: 48370
Tractors Owned: 184
Location: Oxford, MI

Re: Battery Surprise

Postby outdoors4evr » Mon May 11, 2020 10:20 am

Note: This battery is was 12v. The Fergie was converted to 12v negative ground in 2010. (notice the red cable goes to the chassis ground)
Last edited by outdoors4evr on Mon May 11, 2020 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
184 w/ Creeper & 3-Point
IH 3160a Mower
IH Model 15 Tiller
IH-54 Blade

Bob McCarty
Team Cub
Team Cub
Posts: 10132
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 8:02 pm
Zip Code: 80501
Tractors Owned: Cubs, MH Pony, Shaw, Allis G, 1934 Silver King, JD LA and LI, Gibson D, David Bradley Tri-Trac
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: CO, Longmont

Re: Battery Surprise

Postby Bob McCarty » Mon May 11, 2020 10:21 am

Glad you're okay, and hopefully the tractor is too.
"We don't need to think more,
we need to think differently."
-Albert Einstein

outdoors4evr
10+ Years
10+ Years
Posts: 2236
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:44 pm
Zip Code: 48370
Tractors Owned: 184
Location: Oxford, MI

Re: Battery Surprise

Postby outdoors4evr » Mon May 11, 2020 10:25 am

I haven't put a new battery in it yet, but I am pretty sure I got the acid cleaned up quickly enough to save the wiring.

Now I am not so sure about the design of the 184 - having the battery under the seat. Maybe it is time I find one of those battery covers.
184 w/ Creeper & 3-Point
IH 3160a Mower
IH Model 15 Tiller
IH-54 Blade

tst
10+ Years
10+ Years
Posts: 3780
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:08 pm
Zip Code: 12514
Circle of Safety: Y

Re: Battery Surprise

Postby tst » Mon May 11, 2020 10:43 am

this is more apt to happen with old batteries that are very weak

Jim Becker
Team Cub
Team Cub
Posts: 15094
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2003 2:59 pm
Zip Code: 55319
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: MN

Re: Battery Surprise

Postby Jim Becker » Mon May 11, 2020 11:54 am

Here is my battery explosion story, almost exactly 5 years ago. I have since gotten more enthusiastic about pulling old misbehaving batteries out of service.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=87751

coppersmythe
10+ Years
10+ Years
Posts: 1559
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:19 am
Zip Code: 00000
Tractors Owned: '48 trimmed dash high crop cub , '78 3/4 cub , lo-boy/59 mower , '64 "galvanized" cub , cub-6 toolbar , sicklebar mowers , 54 blade , plow , mott mower , early belly mower . '57 higgins v-drive wooden boat/original graymarine 4 banger . international 1010 pickup with 345ci v-8 .
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: louisiana

Re: Battery Surprise

Postby coppersmythe » Wed May 13, 2020 9:34 am

A guy I new pretty well had a battery blow up on him ( well , he blew the battery up ) . it did not take any detective work to find out why . he was charging the battery and decided to look into the holes for some reason , while a lit cigarette dangled from his mouth . Yes , I'm sure there was some alcohol involved . coppersmythe...................

User avatar
radioguy41
501 Club
501 Club
Posts: 801
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:46 am
Zip Code: 18235
Tractors Owned: -
1948 Farmall Cub (Cyrus)
1993 Craftsman LT4000
1993 Craftsman LT4000 #2
Cub-54A Grader Blade
Cub-22 Sickle Mower
Planet Jr/Cole 300A Seeder
IH 59P Shredder
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Lehighton, PA

Re: Battery Surprise

Postby radioguy41 » Sun May 17, 2020 6:41 pm

The type of battery cable ends used are designed for temporary use only and not as a permanant repair/replacement. If you go to the Brillman website they actually correctly list them as "temporary", a fact many others fail to point out. What likely/possibly happened was the battery tender caused accumulated gases and the positive (judging by which end of the battery sustained the damage) cable connection sparked igniting the gases resulting in the explosion. My suggestion would be to replace those cables while replacing the battery or at the very least replace the ends with a better design such as linked below.

https://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/car-maintenance/how-to-replace-battery-terminals/

Image
Circle of Safety Image ImageImage
KB3WBB


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Safety Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests