Battery Problems 101

Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:45 pm

My neighbor's son has a truck stored in my barn. I noticed him down there yesterday - he took it out to work on it and brought it back later. He had to move a couple of tractors to get it out and I noticed that he left a Ford 4000 Diesel belonging to another neighbor up at the front of the barn and not back out of the way. Didn't think too much about it and while I was down in the shop today I thought I'd move it back where it belonged. Climbed on and stuck the key in and turned it. Click, click, click! Dang dead battery! :evil:
Stuck the little charger on it while I was tinkering in the shop. It was charging about 6 amps. Couple of hours later I walked back over and the charger was down to a trickle. Un-hooked the charger and walked around, climbed into the seat, hit the key and grunt, grunt, BANG! :shock: :shock:
Blew the top off of the battery! Smoke and acid went everywhere!
Got down, shook the stuff outta my britches and took a look after the smoke cleared.
Blew the top clean off'n the battery and split the case.
Talked to my neighbor and found out that he had been back there with his son yesterday and it was clear dead. He put his big booster - charger on it and couldn't get it to turn over. Said he figured it had a shorted cell - I told him - not any more. :roll:
Woulda been nice to have had some warning!

Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:38 pm

I'm just glad no one was hurt :!: :!: Glad Mikey wasn't over for a visit, that could have been terrible :!:

Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:40 pm

Bigdog, That's scary. I"ve been lucky, never have had any problems. My brother had one blow up on him and he had to go to the ER. I believe he received some slight eye damage. I'm going to have to be more careful. I very seldom pay attention to which cable I should connect first. That sufuric acid can really do a lot of damage. Your neighbors should have warned you about that. Any more, I'm hesitant to let people have free reign on my property. I carry plenty of liability insurance but don't want to fool with being made liable for anything. You had a close call.

Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:58 pm

Sure glad you're not hurt. Batterys have a way of commanding respect!

Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:14 pm

Sure glad you're OK!

Electricity and PSI - two things that scare the hell out of me.

Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:20 pm

The hydrogen battery bombs will scare the pants off anyone :!: All lead-acid batteries have some means of venting themselves. There is usually one or more vent outlet on newer maintenance free batteries, and many of the older ones had small vent holes right in the cell filler caps that liked to clog up with sulfide over time. Then when charging the gasses can't escape and the whole battery pressurizes. If cells had shorts, then turning the key probably made it internally spark when all the current was being released, and whammo it ignites the pressurized hydrogen gas at the top of the casing where it was trying to escape.

For those old batteries, always remove the cell caps when charging to prevent this. (Many have left them unattended and when they blew up they set their barns or garages on fire) For maintenance free find the vent hole(s) (usually about a 1/8" nipple-looking thing that faces down from the top cover) and make sure it is open. Also don't leave a charging battery unattended for long periods of time. End of safety-pup session LOL :D


Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:40 pm

A friend ad a Stearman and a Cessna burn up in a hangar fire related to battery charging.

Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:29 am

Hey BigDog...GLAD to hear you're O.K. after that battery explosion :shock: I'd not only be shaking the battery acid OFF my britches...I'd be THROWIN' EM' AWAY (after I SOILED them from the SHOCK :oops: :shock: )!

Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:08 am

I made a metal battery cover for my Super A yesterday for just such a reason - it's not extremely hardy, but it's strapped down and the rust holes in the rest of the box will hopefully provide some venting should something like that ever occur.

I'd rather have the battery under the seat like on the Cub instead of in my face like on the Super A...

Tue Mar 28, 2006 8:00 am

Glad to hear you are ok.Probable the first spark them britches have seen
in a bit. :lol:

Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:57 pm

Oh Bigdog, we can't do without you, those batteries are sure dangerous, glad to hear your OK