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Old 01-29-2015, 04:02 PM   #1
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Battery Problems

Hello All




Well I went to start the generator ,just to let it run for awhile and found the batteries were dead,the battery for the rig was also dead, Looks like the batteries are old ,so I guess I need to buy new batteries for next season.
But I found that there was a lot of stuff,crap ,don't know the right word it !!
on the terminals and the hold down bars also, for the two battery set up ,not the rig battery.
My first question is what is it ,secondly why is it there ,third how best to clean it and finally how to prevent it .

Just for more info ,the rig battery was dead ,but the charger said the batteries to start the generator said they were fully charged . by the generator will not start .
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Jeff
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:17 PM   #2
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Start with washing off the batteries. Next mix baking soda and water and pour on the corroded parts. Then brush with a wire brush. More baking soda and more brushing until you come up with a clean surface. Take pictures and mark all connections BEFORE taking apart. Install new batteries and spray all metal parts with battery protector spray.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:30 PM   #3
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Hello Jeff.. Good case of corrosion you got there. I'd start by getting a couple cans of coke and pour all over the corrosion intil you can see the mounting hardware for the battery tie downs and the battery clamps. Then flush with water. Now the fun will begin. Pull the battery's, take off the water caps and look inside the cells. If the water level is above the battery plates,, that's good. If not, your battery's are most likely trash.Then if you have a multi meter, set it to DCV and touch the red lead to the positive + battery post and the black lead to the negative - post. If the meter shows 12 VDC or higher, there is a chance your battery's are recoverable. Charge the battery's at a low amp level (2 or 4) if possible for a couple of days. Oh, and if you have to add water, make sure you use distilled water. Once you get this far, post the results and we can help further. Hope this helps
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:35 PM   #4
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Either the batteries were overfilled or overcharged.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:12 PM   #5
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I don't see filler caps on those chassis batteries, so the over charging idea sticks. Do the voltage check before you clean them up as they may be toast. Then clean that tray and all connections as recommended above. My observations over the years has been when one or more cells gets weak, the charging system puts a real strain on the remaining cells and you see the white stuff develop.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:34 PM   #6
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Do take pictures of cabling before disconnecting anything.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:38 PM   #7
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One point to understand. A poor connection is really a “high resistance” connection.

This is like replacing a 12GA wire with a 22GA wire.

If there is no current flowing, you will not see a voltage drop.

So measuring 12V or so just means your batteries are not completely dead.

But with corroded terminals, you have such a poor connection that it will produce a large voltage drop when you try to start the motor….aka dead battery.

Follow the previous directions and get everything cleaned up. Then see where you stand.

I recommend a plastic tray under your batteries for spilled acid.

And lots of terminal protection grease or spray.

Overcharging causes extra hydrogen gas, which bubbles up through the acid. This vapor gets on the metal terminals and corrodes them.

So don’t overfill batteries, and definitely don’t overcharge them….check your charging voltage when you put everything back together.

Regards,

Dan
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vraines View Post
I don't see filler caps on those chassis batteries, so the over charging idea sticks. Do the voltage check before you clean them up as they may be toast. Then clean that tray and all connections as recommended above. My observations over the years has been when one or more cells gets weak, the charging system puts a real strain on the remaining cells and you see the white stuff develop.
Those are NAPA batterys and the long plastic parts running the length of the battery are the 3 in 1 filler caps. Pry those caps up and 3 water fill holes will be exposed under each one. I would bet those batteries are toast.
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:03 PM   #9
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That is uuuuugly!

Looks like you have 2x6 volt batteries and me thinks that they are house batteries and that you have old style converter that is overcharging.

Just take garden hose and BLAST IT and wash everything down as acid is everywhere.

Remove batteries and charge and test them out of vehicle but likely toast or maybe usable for now...use them to verify everything working correctly then place new.

The jumper between them just toss it as it is toast.

If wires are long enough lop off the ends and place new connectors.

You may consider solder on type with lots of flux as that will prevent some acid creep into the connectot to cable interface.

Search converter voltage to learn about overvoltage, it needs to be about 13.6 but yours is likeky over 14 maybe 15.

While batteries are out scrub the area clean to remove rust and bad paint.

Coat everything with plenty of good oil base paint.

Let it cure for a few days then look for bleed through and scrape and repaint those areas.

Replace any hardware with stainless steel and grease it up.

Take plenty of photos and before you remove any wires get a sharpie and masking tape and number EVERY WIRE.

The label goes near where it is connected.

The jumper between batteries will have 2 labels...one for each connection.

Make a sketch showing where the posts are and number them P1, P2, P3 etc on the drawing.

B1 b2 b3 etc.

Close up photos with labels included.

Make note of which post each wire is connected to before you remove them and confirm as you do.

Carefull as there may be a large ground that goes all the way to the converter as a RETURN wire and it can be confused as hot...a friend had a battery shop swap his and this wire was left off...was not labeled so it took about an hour to locate and confirm the other end.

Just take the time on the front end to prepare for the work then the job will go well.

Once all is cleaned up and ready and if the old batteries have any life at all put everything back together and now START TROUBLESHOOTING.

Verify charging voltages and once everything is fixed then consider new batteries....but they will need to be watched until you are certian it is okay.
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:19 PM   #10
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Wear protective eye ware !!!!! and good rubber gloves, remove wedding ring and watch !!!
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:28 PM   #11
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Suggestion: now would be a good time for you to start reading up on batteries and battery maintenance. Here are a few tidbits.

Electrolyte management and proper charging techniques at intervals = performance and longevity.

What you are likely seeing on the batteries is sulfate as a result of overfilling or overcharging. If you have a smart charger that is working, a smart charger will take AC and deliver high input to batteries up to the acceptance charge limit: which is where the electrolyte just begins to bubble and give off gas. Without a proper cutoff, the batteries are subject to overcharging which is really hard on them.

The process goes like this:
Discharge: Lead in the lead oxide on the positive plates separates and mixes with sulfate found in the sulfuric acid, releasing hydrogen. Sulfate (salts of sulfuric acid) builds up on the positive plates. The oxygen separated from the lead oxide combines with the released hydrogen from the sulfuric acid to form water. The lead on the negative plates combines with the sulfate that was in the sulfuric acid to form lead sulfate on the negative plates. Battery now in sulfated condition. The sulfate is soft and hasn’t yet formed hard crystals.

Recharge, the lead separates from the sulfate (salts of sulfuric acid) on the positive plates, the water separates into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen and sulfate recombines into sulfuric acid. Oxygen combines with lead to form lead oxide on the positive plate, and excess lead forms on negative plate. The sulfuric acid increase the specific gravity. Battery now becomes charged.

DisCharge, Recharge is one life cycle.

Overcharging batteries is a common reason for premature battery failure. A faulty voltage regulator is usually the culprit: its supposed to limit the output voltage of the alternator.

Electrical converters built into RVs can cause overcharging over long periods by providing voltage levels that are high enough to cause continual battery gassing.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
That is uuuuugly!

Looks like you have 2x6 volt batteries and me thinks that they are house batteries and that you have old style converter that is overcharging.

Just take garden hose and BLAST IT and wash everything down as acid is everywhere.

Remove batteries and charge and test them out of vehicle but likely toast or maybe usable for now...use them to verify everything working correctly then place new.

The jumper between them just toss it as it is toast.

If wires are long enough lop off the ends and place new connectors.

You may consider solder on type with lots of flux as that will prevent some acid creep into the connectot to cable interface.

Search converter voltage to learn about overvoltage, it needs to be about 13.6 but yours is likeky over 14 maybe 15.

While batteries are out scrub the area clean to remove rust and bad paint.

Coat everything with plenty of good oil base paint.

Let it cure for a few days then look for bleed through and scrape and repaint those areas.

Replace any hardware with stainless steel and grease it up.

Take plenty of photos and before you remove any wires get a sharpie and masking tape and number EVERY WIRE.

The label goes near where it is connected.

The jumper between batteries will have 2 labels...one for each connection.

Make a sketch showing where the posts are and number them P1, P2, P3 etc on the drawing.

B1 b2 b3 etc.

Close up photos with labels included.

Make note of which post each wire is connected to before you remove them and confirm as you do.

Carefull as there may be a large ground that goes all the way to the converter as a RETURN wire and it can be confused as hot...a friend had a battery shop swap his and this wire was left off...was not labeled so it took about an hour to locate and confirm the other end.

Just take the time on the front end to prepare for the work then the job will go well.

Once all is cleaned up and ready and if the old batteries have any life at all put everything back together and now START TROUBLESHOOTING.

Verify charging voltages and once everything is fixed then consider new batteries....but they will need to be watched until you are certian it is okay.
One thing is for certain. They are two twelve volt batteries in parallel. The post are hooked positive to positive and negative. There are also two cell covers on each battery. One for 3 cells and a second for the other 3 cells.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:41 AM   #13
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Does not matter what type of battery...work is same.

Using phone so could not see good detail.

As long as each wire is tagged at connection end and as found drawing done then op will be able to pull the mess apart clean and restore it regardless of batteries in place.

Batteries can be cleaned and tested while out and replacement planned for after system is made correct.
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