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Old 06-26-2015, 10:47 AM   #1
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Clean up battery post

I check the water level on the 4 batteries on my 2005 Dutchstar on a monthly basis. Last time one terminal with a lot of connections, I assume the negative pole, was built up with gunk. So I cleaned off with baking soda solution. The next month it was gunned over again. So I decided to pull off the connections and clean each one up with same solution, coat with die-electric grease, clean up terminal and coat with same. My question is, "Do I need to shut off battery disconnect switch and shut power off from pedestal in order to perform the clean up procedure?" Is there anything more I should do before attempting? Thanks for any help.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:56 AM   #2
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Total disconnect, from 120v , and power shut down, of the 12v, is safest, the off gassing; from the batteries charging; that produces the gunk , can explode if your connections spark, while disconnecting or connecting.


Baking soda and warm water, is best for dissolving the gunk , it's acidic wear old clothes. There will be a mess , if you're on a concrete pad use a catch pan for the water.


EDIT: I see you knew about the baking soda. Note to self re-read before typing.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:01 AM   #3
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Thanks skip just wanted to be sure before I attempt the clean up.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:02 AM   #4
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If your converter is hooked on the house side of your disconect switch, that all you need to turn off.

If you have a combo, inverter/charger, that needs a battery for regulation, switch off the breaker, to that.

Pulling the plug, anytime your working around electric, is still good practice.

As far as cleaning terminals, they should always be removed to clean them. The corrosion creeps down between the contact surfaces.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:20 AM   #5
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I removed all of my connections one at a time and cleaned corrosion from the cables and posts and applied a thick coat of Vaseline to exposed metal parts. I did this a year ago and no corrosion has come back at this point. I read somewhere about using the Vaseline and so far it seems to be helping.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myshaggydog View Post
I check the water level on the 4 batteries on my 2005 Dutchstar on a monthly basis. Last time one terminal with a lot of connections, I assume the negative pole, was built up with gunk. So I cleaned off with baking soda solution. The next month it was gunned over again. So I decided to pull off the connections and clean each one up with same solution, coat with die-electric grease, clean up terminal and coat with same. My question is, "Do I need to shut off battery disconnect switch and shut power off from pedestal in order to perform the clean up procedure?" Is there anything more I should do before attempting? Thanks for any help.
myshaggydog
Me thinks either the charge settings of your inverter/charger are wrong or you are overfilling your batteries.
If I fill mine when they are not fully charged the out gassing when they are being charged always results in unusual terminal/cable corrosion.
I check the electrolyte level every 3 months but only need to add distilled water every 6-9 months.

BTW, my coach is always connected to shore power, (except when we are overnighting, or boondocking, or traveling), and both of the 2 previous sets of house batteries lasted over 9 years each.

Mel
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:31 PM   #7
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I solved my corrosion problem on the coach batteries and two electric golf carts by using 4oz. of mineral oil in each cell. All my posts now stay clean.

There has been much discussion here on the forum re: mineral oil in batteries, if you are skeptical.
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:55 PM   #8
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I will add when ever your working on your batteries disconnect the 12v plug feeding your slide controllers or pull the fuse on your fuse panel.
When you disconnect batteries remove the ground, negative, cables first than remove the battery, positive, cables.
When you reconnect the battery cables positive cables first than your ground, negative cables.
The reason I am telling you this my coach had its chassis battery replaced en-route to its new home in MI.
When the chassis battery was changed how ever the Tech replaced it the spikes from charged battery burnt out control boards for the wiper controls, mirror control, rear camera and did operate the LR slide that was locked forcing the bottom of slide out while locked.
The higher current draw of motor must have signaled the control, to shut down current to motor, before any further damage was done.
I have heard of slides moving out when people work on house batteries but this to me was a first when working on a chassis battery.
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Old 06-27-2015, 11:40 AM   #9
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Update

Thanks everyone for your helpful comments. Just finished and the only things that happened so far were when I turned everything back on the auto steps retracted and the radio and DVD player turned on. The only other step added was to turn off the inverter before disconnecting the connections on the negative terminal. Not sure at this point adding mineral oil. Will have to do some more reading on the subject. Again thanks and happy RV'ing to you all.
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Old 06-27-2015, 11:53 AM   #10
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After cleaning them I always spray the battery terminals with a protective coating which practically eliminates corrosive buildup. Now when corrosion does occur it is usually limited to, at most, one or two terminals where the coating has broken down a bit.
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Old 06-27-2015, 11:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by myshaggydog View Post
Update

Thanks everyone for your helpful comments. Just finished and the only things that happened so far were when I turned everything back on the auto steps retracted and the radio and DVD player turned on. The only other step added was to turn off the inverter before disconnecting the connections on the negative terminal. Not sure at this point adding mineral oil. Will have to do some more reading on the subject. Again thanks and happy RV'ing to you all.
I added mineral oil about four years ago. I rebuilt or replaced all the cable connections and installed them using dielectric grease. I am always plugged in to shore power unless traveling. My battery voltage is constant at 13.7 - 13.8V.
I check water levels every 3-4 months and add water maybe every 3rd or 4th time. Notice No Green Stuff.
If you add mineral oil or not, the most important point is to check the battery voltage on shore power and make sure it is controlled to a Maximum of 13.8 VDC to minimize off gassing which causes the corrosion in the first place. Use Dielectric Grease on the connections and life is good.
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:07 PM   #12
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George.....do yourself a favor. It's expensive, but buy the automatic battery watering system. They seal the cells and recirculate the water/acid. They also make checking and filling your batteries about a three minute job. Just place the fill tube into a jug of distilled water and squeeze the fill bulb a few times......you're done. After installation, you'll wonder why you didn't do it years ago.
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:08 PM   #13
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Trojan Battery recommends cleaning the connection, shinny, and putting them back on and tightening them.


Only then, should you coat them with spray, silicone, or grease.


I haven't found a battery manufacturer that recommend oil in the cells.


I recall 1, cautioning against it, due to the chance of the oil mixing with the acid, during heavy charging.


I prefer to leave them uncoated and rinse them, with fresh water, once in a while, between seasonally cleanings.
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:24 PM   #14
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I haven't found a battery manufacturer that recommend oil in the cells.
I recall 1, cautioning against it, due to the chance of the oil mixing with the acid, during heavy charging.
And if the electrolyte level ever drops below the tops of the internal plates the battery may be ruined by the mineral oil.
That is not chance I am willing to take regardless of how well mineal oil has worked for others.
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