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Old 01-15-2016, 09:55 AM   #1
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Sulfur Smell House Battery

Yesterday had my dealer install a battery disconnect for the coach battery.

Brought the coach home and plugged it into my home's power supply. This morning I discovered a strong sulfur smell and discovered my house batteries were very warm and moist. I unplugged the RV immediately. Cells were virtually all dry.

Dealer seems to think installing the battery disconnect has nothing to do with my problem today. I have now added water to all the cells (all were dry) and I am plugging the RV back to my house power.

Any suggestions? One other point, last night by accident I hit the inverter power-on button. Turned it right back off a second later when I realized I hit the wrong button.

Seems hard to believe this battery problem isn't related to one or the other issue. Any ideas?
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:11 AM   #2
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We're the batteries water level checked before the work ?

Charger could have been in float mode until you unplugged.

When you plugged back in, it will automatically start in bulk mode. If the cells were low on water it couldn't get back to float.

Coach, House same thing. Do you mean Chassis battery.

If you didn't disconnect the chassis battery, it may have been enough to set the charger in float, even with low water in house batteries.

In any case get the house batteries checked. A bad one will cause this to happen again.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:14 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! I don't know enough about batteries to understand your message.

I very seriously doubt that any levels were checked. The coach batter is a gel battery. The house batteries are what I am having problems with and they are not gel batteries.

After topping off the fluids, and plugging back in, the problem started back within 30 minutes.

So I am back to square one now.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjtrafl View Post
Yesterday had my dealer install a battery disconnect for the coach battery.

Brought the coach home and plugged it into my home's power supply. This morning I discovered a strong sulfur smell and discovered my house batteries were very warm and moist. I unplugged the RV immediately. Cells were virtually all dry.

Dealer seems to think installing the battery disconnect has nothing to do with my problem today. I have now added water to all the cells (all were dry) and I am plugging the RV back to my house power.

Any suggestions? One other point, last night by accident I hit the inverter power-on button. Turned it right back off a second later when I realized I hit the wrong button.

Seems hard to believe this battery problem isn't related to one or the other issue. Any ideas?
gjtrafl
I very much doubt that your battery disconnect switch, or accidentally hitting the inverter power-on button, then turning it right back off a second later, has anything to do with the boiling out of the battery electrolyte.
Methinks you either failed to maintain the battery electrolyte at the proper level OR the charge settings of your inverter/charger are not correct.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:20 AM   #5
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For the 4 days, the RV stayed hooked up at the dealership.... they were doing other minor things. The last day they hooked up the battery disconnect. So the whole time it was plugged up everything worked fine.

Still scratching my head on what to do next.
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Old 01-15-2016, 01:06 PM   #6
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The diagnosis is simple, the cause may not be simple. Diagnosis....a fully good battery with liquid levels normal, that boils the liquid out of it in a short while is simply being grossly OVER-CHARGED! Using a VOM or DVM, a necessity for an RV owner, measure the voltage across the Battery + and - terminals....should not be more than roughly 14 VDC when charging. If 15 or 16 volts or more, then your Converter or Inverter is defective. A SHORTED cell or two in the Battery can produce the same results. Rook
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:18 PM   #7
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Many thanks Rook!

I did get back to the dealer. The dealer put the meter on it and seems to think the converter is charging properly.

One of the cells in the GEL Coach Battery was VERY HOT. So they seem to think that one bad cell started the problem.

The other two liquid house batteries had also swollen out some. But then they resumed their old shape. The dealer seems to think those 2 MIGHT be ok. But I expect they will need to be replaced as well.

Monday I will start by checking the charge level again, then replacing the Coach battery, then evaluating the other two.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:44 PM   #8
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You have both wet and gel cell batteries off the same charger?

They are different types and unless I'm totally wrong they need different charger settings. I know that's true for wet vs AGM's.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:39 PM   #9
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This RV is "new to me" and I thought I had a GEL battery for the chassis. Turns out it is a Red Top Optima that is a AGM battery and not a GEL. The house batteries are wet batteries. Not sure if this plays a part in my mystery.

I am starting to read up on these batteries and learning that they may not perform well after experiencing a deeper discharge. All my challenges started due to the RV being in storage and after about 3 weeks finding out I needed a boost to start. That lead me to getting a battery disconnect installed and then shortly after finding out I had a bad cell.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:47 AM   #10
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The batteries are very new.... all three with date codes of 5/14.

The two house batteries are liquid and the starting battery is an AGM Optima Red top (a good battery). I will take it back to see if I can get any support from the retailer. BUT, I wasn't the owner at the time of purchase so they may shoot me down without providing a receipt.

The house batteries were VERY low on water... if not totally dry when I discovered the problem. RV dealer thinks the Optima started the problem by way of a bad cell.

I plan to replace that first and then go from there. I also keep the RV in a storage lot with no access to be able to do a trickle charge. So that is why I went the route of a cutoff switch to begin with.

Many thanks for the continued support and advice.
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