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Stephen Jeavons

One battery out of 5 dies

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Installed all 5 at the same time just over 2 years ago. Spent 95% of their time being nursed by the Vectron Combi. Kept electrolyte levels correct. A happy bank. Then at the weekend that tell-tale rotten egg smell from the engine room. Lifted the battery box lid and battery No.1 was warm and with a bubbling cell. Uncoupled it from the bank and sure enough just 11 volts. Tis knackered.

No point replacing with a new one till I have to replace the lot. Oh well, will live with 4 x 110Ah.

 

I guess it must have had some inherent defect? The others are all fine.

C'est la vie

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7 minutes ago, Stephen Jeavons said:

Installed all 5 at the same time just over 2 years ago. Spent 95% of their time being nursed by the Vectron Combi. Kept electrolyte levels correct. A happy bank. Then at the weekend that tell-tale rotten egg smell from the engine room. Lifted the battery box lid and battery No.1 was warm and with a bubbling cell. Uncoupled it from the bank and sure enough just 11 volts. Tis knackered.

No point replacing with a new one till I have to replace the lot. Oh well, will live with 4 x 110Ah.

 

I guess it must have had some inherent defect? The others are all fine.

C'est la vie

There are thoughts that the location of a battery in the bank, and the location of the terminals used to take of power can cause failure of one battery that is 'doing all the work'.

 

I have 6x 230Ah and had one fail. ('blown' end panels, smell, hot and set off the Co Alarm)

I replaced it and a year later had another one fail.

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57 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

There are thoughts that the location of a battery in the bank, and the location of the terminals used to take of power can cause failure of one battery that is 'doing all the work'.

 

Not so in my case. Pos and Neg feeds are taken from diagonally opposite ends of the bank so no one battery can be loaded more than another. 

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4 minutes ago, Stephen Jeavons said:

Not so in my case. Pos and Neg feeds are taken from diagonally opposite ends of the bank so no one battery can be loaded more than another. 

Mine is the same.

But I still had a 'catastrophic failure' in the middle of the night when the Co alarm went off.

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I have found that when this happens it is invariably the battery where the Victron Inverter positive cable is connected. 

I seem to remember that Victron recommend that this connection, when connected to a bank of batteries should be periodically moved about to prevent this problem. Can't find the actual reference at the moment but am sure it's correct. 

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43 minutes ago, reg said:

I have found that when this happens it is invariably the battery where the Victron Inverter positive cable is connected. 

I seem to remember that Victron recommend that this connection, when connected to a bank of batteries should be periodically moved about to prevent this problem. Can't find the actual reference at the moment but am sure it's correct. 

Yes it was indeed the battery at that end. Don't understand the logic of that. However, must seek out my Victron documentation and investigate

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2 hours ago, Stephen Jeavons said:

Yes it was indeed the battery at that end. Don't understand the logic of that. However, must seek out my Victron documentation and investigate

I can't find it in my documentation but am sure I saw it somewhere amongst the Victron docs, whatever it does happen. 

Because of the difficulty in accessing my battery bank I don't bother changing the cable about but just let the end battery fail and then remove it and then shuffle the batteries along and add a new battery at the far end. Works for me. 

Would be interested to hear from the more experienced on why this happens. I have my own thoughts (gut feeling) but don't accutaley know the technical reason why it happens. 

 

Edited by reg

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Don't forget that even if you do everything right 'one' will go first. You would be even more put out if they all failed at the same time!

Thing to look out for (As noted above) is if always the same location or some other consistent aspect.

Always amused me when customers phoned up with problem saying "It worked fine last time I used it" 😀

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5 minutes ago, Floating Male said:

Always amused me when customers phoned up with problem saying "It worked fine last time I used it" 😀

That's the trouble with selling Viagra ...

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4 hours ago, WotEver said:

Thanks for that certainly answers the question in detail. 

I think, because I use cheapo batteries by choice , that I will just carry on with my current method but if I was using more expensive batteries I would certainly consider taking on Gibbo's points and solutions. 

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3 minutes ago, reg said:

Thanks for that certainly answers the question in detail. 

I think, because I use cheapo batteries by choice , that I will just carry on with my current method but if I was using more expensive batteries I would certainly consider taking on Gibbo's points and solutions. 

Even with cheap batteries, you will likely get more usage from them if you follow @Gibbo's advice ... He has killed more batteries in the course of research than Whilton Marina's customers do!

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9 hours ago, reg said:

Thanks for that certainly answers the question in detail. 

I think, because I use cheapo batteries by choice , that I will just carry on with my current method but if I was using more expensive batteries I would certainly consider taking on Gibbo's points and solutions. 

All making more sense now. I too use cheapo batteries. As they say "You get what you pay for". On a residential mooring, my batteries spend all their time on Float charge and do very little work. Occasionally the Victron cycles through a shake up but otherwise the inverter seldom kicks in (maybe if someone fires up the kettle whilst the iron is on. Yep! as a working man, must still iron shirts).

Thanks for the info guys. 

Stephen

 

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21 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

Even with cheap batteries, you will likely get more usage from them if you follow @Gibbo's advice ... He has killed more batteries in the course of research than Whilton Marina's customers do!

I have always used method 2, without knowing why, instinctively. It would appear that my method of shuffling the batteries along, although done for convenience, after one has failed has some technical credibility. 

Using Gibbo's data on a 4 battery bank

The 2nd battery which has had relatively light use e.g 23.2 amps is moved into the heavy duty position where it uses 26.7 amps. The 4th battery (26.7amps) moves into the more  comfortable position 3rd position (23.2amps) the new battery goes into the heavy duty 4th position and so the cycle continues. 

So this battery shuffle works for me as normally  get 4-5+ years out of my batteries and have minimal fuss with the cabling. 

Edited by reg

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I've only given this scant consideration, but I think I am correct in saying that all batteries die.

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11 hours ago, reg said:

 

So this battery shuffle works for me as normally  get 4-5+ years out of my batteries and have minimal fuss with the cabling. 

I'll likely follow suit and shuffle mine along now that I have a gap. I wasn't sure whether adding a new battery to a bank that is 2 years old is a good thing.

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2 hours ago, Stephen Jeavons said:

I'll likely follow suit and shuffle mine along now that I have a gap. I wasn't sure whether adding a new battery to a bank that is 2 years old is a good thing.

I'm sure that technically that there are good arguments against it but in the real world I find it works for me and requires minimal bother. 

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Could it be something to do with the Victron periodic equalise, that battery getting fractionally higher volts than the next, and the next even less and so on.

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8 hours ago, Stephen Jeavons said:

I'll likely follow suit and shuffle mine along now that I have a gap. I wasn't sure whether adding a new battery to a bank that is 2 years old is a good thing.

 

6 hours ago, reg said:

I'm sure that technically that there are good arguments against it but in the real world I find it works for me and requires minimal bother. 

 

Technically it isn't a good idea to put a new battery with older ones, because older o as are more likely to fail and in doing so will drag down your new battery.

 

In the real world it is a balance of risk, depending upon how old your batteries are. 

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