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Old 11-20-2019, 09:18 AM   #1
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Battery Acid Damage?

Hoping for some help on this one. Have been traveling again for the past two months. This is our second long trip and we have just reached 10k on the odometer.

It appears the two house batteries under the hood are seeping. The other four under the floor are dry.

Each morning there is a drip of fluid running down the front bumper. I thought this may have been due to over filled batteries as it was serviced before this trip. I checked to see that in fact each cell was completely topped off. So I have removed some water and cleaned the batteries and made sure it was dry and tight. I have cleaned this multiple times on this trip. This drip comes back the first night of parking after a leg of the trip.

These two house batteries are right behind the grill. I cleaned both sides of the grill, hood, battery cables. This morning the drip on the concrete appears to be light blue in color, which may be due to it melting the DuraShield. The damage is clear. The DuraShield is ruined.

Looking further underneath, and there is a puddle of black goop. It appears to be melting the bottom of the radiator.

Looking at the undercarriage on the passenger side shows a lot of corrosive action everywhere.

Prior to this trip the under carriage had no corrosion.

So, my immediate conclusion is that theses new batteries are already leaking.

Any thoughts on the cause of this? I am going to get them replaced, but am wondering why this would happen and if any one has seen this before. Could this be another issue, unrelated to the batteries?

Thanks for your help and insight.

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Old 11-20-2019, 09:35 AM   #2
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When you say the batteries are "topped off", what exactly do you mean?

Are you filling them to the top of the opening? If so, that's over filled and will be a big problem. Most batteries are full when the water level is at the bottom of the inner ring of plastic in each cell. Some have a line just above the bottom which indicates full.

If it is battery acid, get some baking soda and mix it up with water. Pour that on the spill to neutralize the battery acid.

Also, if over filling wasn't done yet they still over flowed, the batteries can be over charging or charging at too high a voltage.
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:37 AM   #3
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If it didn't do it before servicing it may still be over filled. Recheck the levels per the picture and clean any spills with baking soda and water. Be very careful not to get any baking soda into the battery cells. You can also check the charging voltage, it could be caused by overcharging too.
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Old 11-20-2019, 09:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
When you say the batteries are "topped off", what exactly do you mean?

Are you filling them to the top of the opening? If so, that's over filled and will be a big problem. Most batteries are full when the water level is at the bottom of the inner ring of plastic in each cell. Some have a line just above the bottom which indicates full.

If it is battery acid, get some baking soda and mix it up with water. Pour that on the spill to neutralize the battery acid.

Also, if over filling wasn't done yet they still over flowed, the batteries can be over charging or charging at too high a voltage.
I was going to ask the same question. If he's filling it up to the top of the opening it is overfilled and it will leak. It should be filled up until you see a little cupping effect, which will be about a half inch or so below the top of the battery.

If he did remove some acid, there still may be acid under the batteries in the tray that keeps leaking out. As you said, I would remove the batteries and mix up a slurry of baking soda and water and coat the entire area, then rinse it down well. Also apply it to any areas that have had acid leaked on to them .Be very careful when handling those batteries though because they are covered in acid at this point. Wear some eye protection and gloves.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:02 AM   #5
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90% of the time battery overflow like you describe/show is from "boiling" the batteries. This is caused by the batteries receiving continuous charge over about 13.6V. If acid overflow mostly happens when travelling, I would guess the charge circuit regulator from the engine is the problem. Start your rig, and put a voltage meter across the offending batteries to verify.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:15 AM   #6
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Thanks. For these quick replies.

When I first noticed the wetness, I suspected that they overfilled them. When I checked they were filled to the top. So I immediately sucked some out to to lower it.

Thanks for the baking soda idea. I will remove the batteries to get under them. Is there a marketed battery acid spray cleaner/neutralizer that may make this clean up easier?

I will also check the charging. Can anyone confirm what I should see for charging voltage with the engine running?

Does anyone think this is indicative of failed batteries?

Thanks,

GW
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:22 AM   #7
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Possible causes

A bad cell could cause the alternator to over charge because the voltage would never come up to drop the charge voltage.

Filling a discharged cell to the "full" line and then fully charging can cause over flow.

A malfunctioning alternator can over charge and cause excessive boiling.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:35 AM   #8
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No. Seems the batteries may have been in need of charging, they were overfilled and then charged compounding the error.


Just remove the excess electrolyte (be careful use rubber gloves and eye protection) with a hydrometer. Next spray any acidified areas with a mixture of baking soda and water. About 1 tbs to a standard 1 pt household sprayer (careful not to get any into the batteries). Let that work for a few minutes and then flush the batteries, and any area( including any concrete) it dripped on with a garden hose. Then pour the rest of the bs and water mixture into the same container you collected the excess electrolyte into and dispose.


Then check this out:
https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Flow-...bg-u24v-4g.htm


To make monthly battery maintenance quick and easy.


And a friendly reminder. If batteries need water don't top them off before charging. Only add enough distilled water to cover the top of the plates. Charge and then top off.
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:00 AM   #9
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Thanks. Very helpful replies.

I just checked the voltage with the engine running and then with the engine off.

The charge voltage across these two front house batteries is 14.3V

The charge across the four house batteries below the floor is also 14.3V

The chassis battery is charging at 14.4V

With the engine off, the current charge on the house batties is 13.5V
The current current charge on the chassis batter is 13.5V

Thanks

GW
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:20 PM   #10
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What type of converter do you have? My Progressive Dynamics PD 92xx is a multi-stage converter. When you first turn shore power or the generator on it's high like yours. Then it drops the voltage in steps to avoid battery problems. After thirty hours of not using the house batteries, as if you're plugged into shore power continuously, the converter drops the voltage to 13.2 VDC.

So that high voltage may not be unusual depending on the conditions when you measured it.

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Old 11-20-2019, 02:24 PM   #11
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This is an almost brand new rv. There shouldn't be anything wrong with your batteries. How did they get overfilled.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:32 PM   #12
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You need to have a competent tech check your system. The info you are getting is good but if you don't know what to look for that's a problem.

Most of us who post do our own battery filling to avoid what happened to you. Never fill a battery completely full.

Somebody needs to check your charging rates and as noted if a battery is low the initial charging voltage will be in the 13.8 or 14.2 range until the battery gets a charge on it then your charger should back off and allow the rest of the charge to be a slow process. If it does not slow down it over charges the battery.

Several years ago a friend of mine gave me two small digital volt gauges. I installed them on my steps. One monitors the chassis battery and the other monitors the house/coach battery's. One knows an a glance exactly how the battery's are doing be they be plugged into shore power, engine or generator running.

I was amazed and really couldn't believe how many posters criticized me for such a useless install. Why waste time and a few bucks doing something so useless as a voltage gauge to monitor the incoming charge rate for all battery's? They all said you can't check the condition of a battery based on just a voltage reading. Your situation is exactly why this is good to know at a glance.

When things begin to go wrong that voltage will tell you there's an issue. In your case maybe your charging system is not working correctly and overcharging your battery's. That causes the boiling and leaking of battery acid. If you had voltage monitors you'd know immediately.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:51 PM   #13
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Hi Reacher..... When I had my first service at 6500 mile they said they topped off the batteries. I did not pay much attention to it until I noticed the drip down the front of the bumper.... at about the 8000 mile mark. It was then that I could see the water seeping out around each of the cell caps. I pulled off the caps, and the water was full to the top. I pulled the excess water out, dried it up and thought that would be the end of it, yet I continued to see the wetness on top and around the batteries. And I still get the drip running down the front of the bumper. It seems to be blowing up on the grill and all over he undercarriage, creating the corrosion on everything underneath.


Hi NXR... You make a very good point. I took those readings while I was plugged into shore power. Had been plugged in for about 12 hours then. So those voltage values are all representing the inverter's impact.

I just unplugged from shore power and took these new readings.
Engine Off: Front House: 12.95V, Lower House: 12.78, Chassis: 12.95V

Engine On: Front House: 14.15V, Lower House: 14.09V, Chassis: 14.30

The inverter is a Magnum MS2012: 2000 VA, DC input Range 9.0 to 16.8 VDC.

Thanks again for your insight.

GW
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:11 PM   #14
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In addition to all these good suggestions, it is my suspicion that sometimes the condition of the roads and the stiffness of the suspension leads to electrolyte spillage simply due to the battery having the %#@!$ shaken out of it.

I have observed small amounts of electrolyte escaping my chassis battery also, and it isn't overfilled. I am considering an AGM (no-spill) replacement simply because I am tired of cleaning up corrosion.
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