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Old 07-27-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
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Urgent Battery Help needed....

First time this trip we plugged our Jamboree into shore power and shortly after we had developed a sulphur smell...searched and found out house battery was about dry in 7 out of 8 cells.....BUT when not on shore power (as WallyCamping last night), everything is fine! I therefore deduce that the issue is either poor maintenance (that's on me for not checking the battery level?), or a shore power to battery converter. Since we get plenty of charge while driving to run the fridge, water pump and water heater and running on shore power bypassing the battery is fine (which we will do on every stop on the rest of our trip), my plan is to immediately switch the battery off once on shore power and replace the battery tomorrow at the next going concern...then once home I will get the converter looked at/tested....thoughts???? NO CHARGING the house battery from shore.....!!!
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WogStL View Post
First time this trip we plugged our Jamboree into shore power and shortly after we had developed a sulphur smell...searched and found out house battery was about dry in 7 out of 8 cells.....BUT when not on shore power (as WallyCamping last night), everything is fine! I therefore deduce that the issue is either poor maintenance (that's on me for not checking the battery level?), or a shore power to battery converter. Since we get plenty of charge while driving to run the fridge, water pump and water heater and running on shore power bypassing the battery is fine (which we will do on every stop on the rest of our trip), my plan is to immediately switch the battery off once on shore power and replace the battery tomorrow at the next going concern...then once home I will get the converter looked at/tested....thoughts???? NO CHARGING the house battery from shore.....!!!
I'd say you're doing the right thing. Batteries without water are basically trouble. They may seem ok, but they're not. I've had many a battery that seemed good, but would not hold or take a charge. Get a new battery. It may resolve your entire issue. Then let us all know what happened.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:42 PM   #3
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As voltageguy indicated you are doing the right thing to get those batteries replaced. Once they have been let run low on water and got hot from charging without water you can be quite certain that the lead plates are warped and the capacity has been severely reduced.

The next thing to do, after replacing them is to plug your RV into shore power and check the charging voltage of the converter with a voltmeter and see if the converter is over-charging the batteries. There are a couple of scenarios,

A. The converter is defective and overcharged the batteries and out-gassed enough to run the battery low on water.

B. Over a long period of time of not checking the battery water level, the batteries lost water due to the natural process of charging the batteries and resulted in a good converter trying to do its job of keeping the batteries charged, but couldn't get them up the required voltage due to being significantly low on water. The converter continued to charge the batteries in an attempt to get them up to the specified voltage, and resulted in them being over charged and the sulfur smell was a result of that activity.

Hope this helps your efforts to identify the problem.

Jack
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:12 AM   #4
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What converter did they put in your RV?

I have found occasionally the batteries will gas and give off a sulfur smell.. But that after that they are still OK.. I have a Progressive Dynamics 9180 with wizard .
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:49 AM   #5
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When you check the charging voltage, be sure to change the meter to read AC and check again. If the charger is putting out AC, it will fry your batteries. A failed charge can let that happen.
Tom
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:39 PM   #6
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The first thing is just how many cells do you have. If you have 8, then you are running a 16V house bank, or you can only find 2/3 of the 24V bank that I have never seen in an RV (Boats - yes).

Lets say you just can't count, and there are only 6 and all but one were dry.
Well, that is because that cell that still had electrolyte in it is actually shorted so you converter is boiling the other cells dry trying to get those five cells to make 12V and they just can't do it.

Replace the house bank....

Matt
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