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Boater Sam

Wet lead acid battery.

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Last morning we moved off for a pump out, not far, one bridgehole and 50 yards. Engine started on the button as usual, ignition light out, then oil light out as normal.

Oil pressure up to 80 psi, but voltmeter showing too many volts. Never mind, it will equalize the batteries, we won't be running long.

On the way back in reverse I had a look at the Sterling alternator controller. Sure enough, all lights flashing so we are in over volt fault mode.

 

So today had a think and realised that it was probably the battery voltage sensing wire was disconnected or the in line fuse had rotted. I did put our strap winch away a bit sharpish last week after we had winched a boat over the mud to moor and the battery with the sense lead on it is next to the space the winch occupies.

 

A break in the rain invited me to lift the deck trap over the batteries and weed hatch. Now all my batteries are in individual boxes made from plastic 20 litre oil containers, one side cut out,  with ply lids, so lifting the lid on the sensing battery revealed a battery totally immersed, the rain water had got in and filled the box. The rest were OK and dry.

 

Of course the sensor in line fuse on the top of the battery was no more, leads corroded off. Problem solved.

Baled the battery out, dried everything , removed the battery leads, the clamps needed new nuts as they had rusted badly. A quick taste of the mucky water did not taste acidic, thankfully the batteries are Probat sealed 135 Ah and the cell spy hole still shows green, white when the battery is tipped on its side so it has not taken in any water. Another advantage of sealed batteries.

Replaced the fuse holder and we are back to normal operation, high charge rate on without over voltage fault.

Just left the rubber seal around the hatch to sort out to prevent a recurrence.

 

Of course we have had a bit of rain this year and it must be 3 months since I was last down that trap to check the batteries and weed hatch. I will cover the batteries with a polythene sheet when we winterise the boat for our winter trip abroad, just in case.

 

I have been very pleased with these Probat batteries, a recommendation.

Sam.

 

Edited by Boater Sam
added more
  • Greenie 1

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12 minutes ago, Richard10002 said:

Perhaps some drain holes in your battery boxes?

Or, some proper battery boxes with proper overlapping lids rather than cut down 20 litre oil tubs.

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7 hours ago, Richard10002 said:

Perhaps some drain holes in your battery boxes?

I thought the idea was to stop any acid leaking out,  then making a nice hole in the base plate?

Edited by LadyG

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...............................    and I always thort that convenshunal lead acids were s'posed to be wet.    :rolleyes:

 

 

..............................     coat         :boat:

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3 hours ago, LadyG said:

I thought the idea was to stop any acid leaking out,  then making a nice hole in the base plate?

 

I don't think that's the principal idea of battery boxes. Lots of people have boxes made from ply. Containing leaking acid may have been the intention of the OP, but then again with sealed batteries leaks don't seem very likely unless there's a battery explosion, in which case I don't think a flimsy cut down oil container would help very much.

Edited by blackrose

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If I was using plastic containers as battery boxes I'd use something like these. They come in lots of different sizes with lids. You could have a 4 x battery bank in two big boxes or one battery/small box. They're not cheap but much better than oil containers!

 

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F391901309726

 

Edited by blackrose

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12 minutes ago, jenevers said:

Anybody ever had an acid leak? If so how much damage did it do to the bilge?

There was a battery exploding thread last year,I hope the OP got it cleared up before the acid had a chance to do much damage.

 

 

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Not all batteries go with a bigbang, some just blow the ends out and the pressure is then dissipated 

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16 minutes ago, rusty69 said:

There was a battery exploding thread last year

Biggles blew up a battery and destroyed a brand new drill in the process. He was most miffed as I recall. But this was only because he was charging at the time. 

... and grinding. 

  • Haha 1

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13 hours ago, blackrose said:

If I was using plastic containers as battery boxes I'd use something like these. They come in lots of different sizes with lids. You could have a 4 x battery bank in two big boxes or one battery/small box. They're not cheap but much better than oil containers!

 

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F391901309726

 

I have used exactly that type of box, luckily there was one that would fit exactly in the space I have available. You need to ensure the box is flat inside and out, else it will not stand the weight of the batteries.

 

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The bit I don't get is why all this focus on battery boxes?

 

Battery boxed are not needed in the first place. I've never had the batteries in boxes in any of my boats. All that is needed is to protect the terminals. 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

The bit I don't get is why all this focus on battery boxes?

 

Battery boxed are not needed in the first place. I've never had the batteries in boxes in any of my boats. All that is needed is to protect the terminals. 

 

 

 

Just to avoid misleading those reading this who are less knowledgeable, there is a bit more to the requirements :

 

AND - for them to be secured and supported to resist a 45° 'list', &, be a minimum of 300mm away from any LPG or Petrol components

 

 

3.1.2
Are batteries secure against excessive movement in any direction?

 

All battery boxes, cradles, frameworks etc, must be
free of signs of movement or possible movement.
All batteries must be incapable of movement in
excess of 10mm in any direction.

 

NOTE – restraint against vertical movement is generally required. However batteries may be secured by
means of a cradle or framework sufficient to ensure batteries remain secure under any condition up to 45° to
the horizontal. Recesses, cradles or frameworks extending to half the height of the battery meet this
allowance.

 

3.1.4
Are batteries installed away from metallic petrol and LPG system components?

 

All batteries must be at least 300mm
(12in) away from all metallic petrol and
LPG system components installed
directly above them, or the
components must be contained within
a conduit, shield or enclosure made of
insulating material.

 

NOTE – all metallic petrol and LPG system components are covered by this check including tanks,
cylinders, pipes, valves, filters, connectors etc.

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6 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Just to avoid misleading those reading this who are less knowledgeable, there is a bit more to the requirements :

 

AND - for them to be secured and supported to resist a 45° 'list', &, be a minimum of 300mm away from any LPG or Petrol components

 

 

That's curious, no mention in the spec you pasted of a requirement to insulate or protect bare battery terminals, which was my first and only BSS failure. (So far!)

 

 

 

 

 

Was the examiner making up his own rules?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

 

That's curious, no mention in the spec you pasted of a requirement to insulate or protect bare battery terminals, which was my first and only BSS failure. (So far!)

 

 

 

 

 

Was the examiner making up his own rules?

 

 

That is section 3:1:3 and as you had already 'mentioned' the requirement I thought it was pointless to repeat it, but :

 

3.1.3
Are battery terminals correctly insulated or protected?

 

All metal parts of battery terminals or connections must be
insulated or protected by battery covers or terminal covers.
All battery covers or terminal covers:
• must be made of insulating material; and,
• must not allow any metal part of the terminal or
connection to be exposed; and,
• must be free of signs of damage.

 

NOTE – deck boards, locker lids, etc, made from or lined with insulating material may only be considered as
battery covers where they will not be removed for any purpose other than gaining access to the batteries.

 

 

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