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Old 09-25-2015, 06:42 PM   #29
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Find a " Auto Electric " shop to check things out. They specialise in your problem.

IMO, the volts are high, when the engine is running.

You could try testing the volts at the alternator terminal. There, you may see 16 or more volts, engine running.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:55 PM   #30
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Probably way off base. Before you started having the hot battery problem was anything done to the batteries? If there was is it possible that they were connected in parallel instead of series? Not trying to insult your intelligence.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:07 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by chboone View Post
Probably way off base. Before you started having the hot battery problem was anything done to the batteries? If there was is it possible that they were connected in parallel instead of series? Not trying to insult your intelligence.
Your picture is how the batteries are connected. All was fine before my trip to the Dakota's. Just prior the only thing done was to add distilled water to each cell of the batteries. Then went on trip and everything good over 1'000 miles. The last 85 miles is when the batteries over heated and boiled.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:08 PM   #32
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The Brix Refractometer is a great way to quickly check specific gravity of a solution but you need a "master" solution to calibrate the refractometer.
I know this is off topic but I'm trying to correct what may be an error regarding refractometers used for checking battery charge and coolant freezing point.

Small point but the instructions for my refractometer (Leica) says to use distilled water to check its calibration. This makes sense as we are measuring the sp. gr. and the freezing point of water. If the distilled water has a freezing point of 32f then it's calibrated -cheap and easy.

Knowing this it seemed odd that a "master" solution would be needed. A Google search turns up this information which may account for "master" solution use.

"A Brix degree is a measure of the density or concentration of sugar solutions. It is advisable to select a Cargille oil ( standard ) close to the Brix value of your samples..."
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:12 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Find a " Auto Electric " shop to check things out. They specialise in your problem.

IMO, the volts are high, when the engine is running.

You could try testing the volts at the alternator terminal. There, you may see 16 or more volts, engine running.
I did this and the volts were almost the same as what the scan gauge was showing 14.4 - 14.8. Tried at different rpm's and got about the same readings. What I don't get is if it is the alternator, the chassis battery would also be hot and boiling.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:51 PM   #34
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Try disconnecting the house batteries and starting engine.

Let it run a while and check the chassis battery voltage and temp.
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:39 AM   #35
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Suspect list for your batteries boiling over
1 Correce fill level is not the bottom of the filler tube/Split ring. but 1/8 to 1/4 inch BELOW said tube

2: Shorted cell,, B+ read surface charge

3: Converter failure

4: If you smelled hot battery when DRIVING.. Alternator voltage regulator failure

5: If you have solar controller failure

NOTE that 3 4 and 5 are basically the same fault (Overcahrge)

From the fact that the battery was very hot I tend to not suspect overfill as the B+ person did, that would not cause overheat.. It would cause loss of fluid though.


Slap a digital voltmeter on the batteries while charging and post results. 14.8 is very slightly high
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:27 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Slap a digital voltmeter on the batteries while charging and post results. 14.8 is very slightly high
See post 22 of this thread. Post 22 shows lots of my test readings.

Thanks
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:46 AM   #37
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Took batteries in again today for analysis. Did all the tests again, load test, hydrometer test, etc. Everyone says batteries are good, good, good. They have a full charge and are like new. I put them back in the MH and started the engine and after a few minutes (5 at most) the left one starts to get hot and bubble real good. The right is not as hot but it too is bubbling. So after some consultation maybe a ground is the problem. I go clean all the grounds and try again, NO LUCK. I call the workhorse repair shop nearby and they also have no answer. Everyone seems to think batteries are good, alternator is operating within specs. No one can answer why coach batteries are getting hot and boiling but chassis battery is cool and normal.

Anyone in RV land care to make any more guesses??

Are the batteries old enough so that it replacing them won't be a complete waste? Either that or switch them out with a friend's coach or golf cart for testing.
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:54 AM   #38
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Tom-

This is probably a dumb question, but how are the alternator and house batteries interconnected?

Dumb question #2: If you break that connection, does the problem still occur?

Mark
The house batteries are connected together as shown in the picture in post 30.

They are connected to alternator system via the BIRD system since the chassis and house batteries charge together.

If I were to disconnect the system the house batteries don't receive a charge.
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:40 AM   #39
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Tom-

Thanks for answering my questions.

Here's the thinking behind "dumb question" #2. I realize that the house batteries should not charge if you break the connection to the chassis batteries. But, if you actually do break the connection and they do not charge, then we can know that the cause is likely upstream of the break. Until you actually break the connection and test, that's an unconfirmed assumption- and the cause of some of the suggested remedies.

Humor me here.

I don't know your coach. If the BIRD wiring is like that of the Monacos for which I've seen diagrams, the alternator feed lands on one of the BIRD solenoid studs. If that's the case, pull that connection off, start the coach, and see what happens at the coach batteries. It should be nothing. Then, reattach the input cable and remove the output cable from its stud on the solenoid. Should still be nothing at the coach batteries.

Leave the output cable off the BIRD solenoid. Get yourself a working 12-volt battery. Connect the output stud of the solenoid to the battery with a set of jumper cables, and the ground to the chassis ground. Start the coach. Does that battery shows signs of overcharging? Test again, moving the connection point to the input side of the solenoid.

Enough said for now. Let us know how it goes.

Mark
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:15 AM   #40
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My input...

Hot batteries are result of heat generated...

Some folks get crazy talking about chemical reactions and functions of a battery and that is fine...but keeping it simple works well for times like these.

Battery is a device with 2 roles.

1 is a source of power so think "gas tank"

Second is a load resistor, when it is being charged.

Simple Ohm's law dictates current flow will generate heat and the surface area of the battery and air temperature will dissipate it.

Excess heat indicates excess current and that is all that matters here.

Once charged to 100% the battery only needs 0.1% C of float current.

So a 225 amp hour battery only needs 0.225 amps.

Anything above that will generate excessive heat as indicated here.

Anything above 13.6 volts at the battery when battery fully charged will do this.

Check to see if your alternator is adjustable voltage as many used in RV are.

Ours has a diode based isolator so voltage can be adjusted to compensate.

If your alternator is adjusted for a diode based isolator and you have a selenoid style it will do exactly what you have.

Your batteries may be toast as the folks testing them are only performing short tests and they usually only pick up real bad ones.

You can do a timed test for sure but the voltages indicate you are severely overcharging.

Get that fixed first then check battery condition.
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:59 PM   #41
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TQ60. "Check to see if your alternator is adjustable voltage as many used in RV are. Ours has a diode based isolator so voltage can be adjusted to compensate."

Questions:
How do I determine if my alternator is adjustable ??

How do I determine if I have a diode based isolator ??

I have been looking for the so called BIRD component but haven't found it. Looks like it has a solenoid connection but not sure.
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:26 PM   #42
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For the alternator it can be easy or not...

Look for a cover that indicates adjustment inside or try to find an Id label on it with manufacturer or part number that you can look up.

For the isolator there are a couple ways.

One is look for a device maybe size of a brick with fins on one side and 3 connections on the other with a large wire on each.

Center to alternator and outside ones to each battery.

Or if you have a decent volt meter and can get to the back of the alternator then locate the biggest wire not a ground on the alternator and measure the voltage and remember or write it down.

Next measure voltage at battery.

If voltage at alternator is 0.6 ish more than the battery you likely have a diode isolator.

If your voltmeter wires are long enough to have one at battery positive and other at alternator output then place wires in those places to measure voltage drop from alternator to battery and if about 0.6 volts then you have a diode isolator.

Me is guessing you may not have one but alternator thinks it does.

Your rv may have had one that someone removed resulting in the voltage being too high.
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