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Old 12-01-2012, 02:55 PM   #1
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house batteries

I went out to check the batteries and noticed the house batteries had some acid on the top of them. the MH is plugged in and charging the batteries. what should I do to neutralize the acid and clean them off and also what to check for to prevent it from happening again...

thanks!
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:38 PM   #2
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I went out to check the batteries and noticed the house batteries had some acid on the top of them. the MH is plugged in and charging the batteries. what should I do to neutralize the acid and clean them off and also what to check for to prevent it from happening again...

thanks!
You can neutralize the acid by sprinkling baking soda on top of the battery. "Be careful not to allow the soda to get into the battery cells" as this will neutarlize the acid in the battery and render it useless.
Wash the soda off using a light stream of water.
It can be done with just water but you must be careful not to splash water on the painted surfaces as the acid will destroy the paint.
Now, once you have things cleaned up, you should check the water levels in the cells. It should be up to the "Level Ring" inside. Use Distilled Water only to top up the level and Do Not Overfill beyond the Level Rings.
Next, You should check the battery voltage. It should be in the range of 13.2 - 13.6 Volts DC with the MH plugged in to shore power. If it is higher, your converter is overcharging the batteries and causing the acid residue on top of the batteries.
As far as adjusting the charge rate, consult your manual or dealer.

Hope this hepls,
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
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This is very common on house batteries today and was also very common on car batteries.... Many moons ago (Before Maintenance free).

USing a nylon brystle (or other plastic) brush start by visiting the dollar store and dropping a dollar on the counter next to a box of baking soda, (Or any other store and varying amunt of money) you may also need to add a few cents for the governor. (Tax) depending on where you buy (Folks this is NOT a political statement it is a fact).

Mix it with water forming a paste, thing paste is good enough.

Wearing disposable gloves or kitchen gloves brush it on, when it stops foaming rinse it off with plenty of clear water and brush on some more.. while you are at it clean anything in the area that needs cleaning. Finally hose well with regular tap water and let dry.

That... Is all there is to it.

Once dry, pop the tops and add DISTILLED water as needed to bring the flluid level in the batteries up to JUST BELOW the bottom of the filler tube 1/8 to 1/4 inch is best in my experience, Manual says the exact bottom of the tube but I like to leave a bit of space.. Cuts down on teh amount of baking soda I need to buy..


By the way.. This is called: Routine maintenance.

Check at least one a moth till you know better (Better depends on teh motor home and is often different for any two posters. it also changes as the batteries age).
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:26 PM   #4
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This is very common on house batteries today and was also very common on car batteries.... Many moons ago (Before Maintenance free).

USing a nylon brystle (or other plastic) brush start by visiting the dollar store and dropping a dollar on the counter next to a box of baking soda, (Or any other store and varying amunt of money) you may also need to add a few cents for the governor. (Tax) depending on where you buy (Folks this is NOT a political statement it is a fact).

Mix it with water forming a paste, thing paste is good enough.

Wearing disposable gloves or kitchen gloves brush it on, when it stops foaming rinse it off with plenty of clear water and brush on some more.. while you are at it clean anything in the area that needs cleaning. Finally hose well with regular tap water and let dry.

That... Is all there is to it.

Once dry, pop the tops and add DISTILLED water as needed to bring the flluid level in the batteries up to JUST BELOW the bottom of the filler tube 1/8 to 1/4 inch is best in my experience, Manual says the exact bottom of the tube but I like to leave a bit of space.. Cuts down on teh amount of baking soda I need to buy..


By the way.. This is called: Routine maintenance.

Check at least one a moth till you know better (Better depends on teh motor home and is often different for any two posters. it also changes as the batteries age).
wa8yxm, you could put John Grisham to shame.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:32 PM   #5
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do what dennis 45 said.Much simpler and as effective. as both mentioned dont fill to the ring and if possible use distilled water although I have used "soft tap water"for years with nary a problem.Do a converter charge outpuut value.I have not had to add water to my 4 house batterys in 2 years.If your having to add water constantly your overcharging or your batterys art in need of changing
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:35 PM   #6
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wa8yxm, you could put John Grisham to shame.
Or just top off each cell with mineral oil, at least 2 ounces per cell and never check water again! Also keeps them from gassing and coroading.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:40 PM   #7
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Or just top off each cell with mineral oil, at least 2 ounces per cell and never check water again! Also keeps them from gassing and coroading.
Really? if its that easy and simple why is not commen knowledge?
seems odd. I have to look into this as it sounds too good to be true?
why would they not do this from new?
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #8
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Really? if its that easy and simple why is not commen knowledge?
seems odd. I have to look into this as it sounds too good to be true?
why would they not do this from new?
Don't know why it's not done new, but we did it to batteries in our cabin cruiser since 1958. I've done it in many cars, too, especially old VW's where the battery was under the back seat and could corrode seat springs. It prevents outgassing and corrosion buildup on the terminals and connections.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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See you learn something new here every day! I never heard of it either, but read about it on here. Seems like many on here do it and swear by it.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:05 PM   #10
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Really? if its that easy and simple why is not commen knowledge?
seems odd. I have to look into this as it sounds too good to be true?
why would they not do this from new?
Oil cost more then water, that's why!
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:09 PM   #11
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Oil cost more then water, that's why!
Not if you buy your water at the gas station.
But a really good idea. I have been in the process of getting this done for a while but it's on of those Rountoit kind of things.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:16 PM   #12
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thanks for the info- will get this done asap- can't wait to repeat in the middle of winter, have it on the calendar to check every 30 days.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:44 PM   #13
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Oh, and make sure you are wearing old clothing. If you accidentally splash any of the corrosion onto that brand new pair of jeans, in about two weeks you will notice holes. For some reason it will only happen on brand new stuff. My old paint stained greased stained jeans are hole free, but the new ones??

Eye protection isn't a bad idea either.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:45 PM   #14
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I envy you guys who never need to add water to your batteries. I know my charger is set-up & working correctly, I have no gassing or messy spillage, my batteries test great....I've added the mineral oil thing...but I still need to add water every so often.

Like most people this is not a job I enjoy. Gotta get out and put on the hazmat suit (old T-Shirt & shorts), rubber gloves, eye protection...turn-off the shore power...bring in the bedroom slide...pull-out the kwiki slide tray that only comes out 2/3 of the way (who designs these things?)...flashlight & mirror to try and see the back battery cells...turkey baster & distiller water....what a production! Any wonder it gets put-off and ignored.

I finally surrendered and bought a "poor man's AGM conversion kit".

Bought a Pro-Fill system...bit expensive, but makes the job of insuring the battery water levels are always correct.....a breeze. At the price of 4 new GC batteries, if you get lazy and neglect the routine maintenance ....well for me ...money well spent.
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