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Old 05-17-2012, 04:40 PM   #1
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Video: Aftermath of Battery explosion. Need imput.

Hey all,

Here is a video of the remains of one of the batteries.
Deep cycle Interstate Battery explodes in RV, video of what is left - YouTube

We don't know why it happened, but it happened 3 days ago. I heard a very loud explosion, I was outside under our toad when it happened and I thought it was kids with dynamite. My wife came running out of the rv, she though it was the RV, but I said... damn kids. Today, while pulling weeds, lo and behold... those damn kids were tinkering with my battery as the covers were off and I saw them under the coach. HOWEVER it wasn't the kids at all. It was the battery and it exploded ripping half of it off.

Looking for advice here on how to proceed. I'm going to unhook and pull them out and clean with baking soda/water, but what causes this and why does this happen?

Batteries were new a year ago.

Cheers,

Mike
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
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I would look at the converter/charger first. Remove the batteries and put a meter on the output of the converter. Should be between 13.2 and 14.5, tough to say exactly with no load. Then when you put new batts in check it again to confirm under load. Maybe it failed in a bulk charge mode and cooked the battery.

Observation: Looks like you have a pretty long run of extension cord from your service to the RV. Be sure you have a higher gauge wire than the standard 16 ga or you will have a significant voltage drop under load.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. The run, It is much thicker, you can see a normal cable plugged into it next to the coach one. I believe that one is 16 gauge. The one running to the house is much thicker.

I'll check the inverter as you suggest.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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Our travel trailer has 2 group 27 Interstate batteries. 28 months old.
One battery exploded last Friday.
Plugged in to shore power. Water levels checked within the month. The second battery looks fine, water proper level. Will replace both batteries.
The trailer has the original converter, not a 3-stage converter. Converter hasn't been checked yet.
Trailer has solar. Battery charge controller mounted by door. Batteries kept above 12.2 at rest.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:51 PM   #5
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Just got done cleaning out the compartment with baking soda/water then soap water rinse. I had another battery so I threw it in there for now. Both batteries had fluids, I checked them about 3 weeks ago. Still puzzled.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwcanopies View Post
Hey all,

Here is a video of the remains of one of the batteries.
Deep cycle Interstate Battery explodes in RV, video of what is left - YouTube

We don't know why it happened, but it happened 3 days ago. I heard a very loud explosion, I was outside under our toad when it happened and I thought it was kids with dynamite. My wife came running out of the rv, she though it was the RV, but I said... damn kids. Today, while pulling weeds, lo and behold... those damn kids were tinkering with my battery as the covers were off and I saw them under the coach. HOWEVER it wasn't the kids at all. It was the battery and it exploded ripping half of it off.

Looking for advice here on how to proceed. I'm going to unhook and pull them out and clean with baking soda/water, but what causes this and why does this happen?

Batteries were new a year ago.

Cheers,

Mike
It was caused by a faulty cell in the batteries ,charging with a bad cell created hydrogen gas in the housing which the short ignited. I have seen this several times with interstate batteries so I don't use them . In my opinion costco batteries are the best and the cheapest. Once you install the new battery run your power cord as usual ,let it sit and hour and check the voltage at the battery , post your findings
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:38 AM   #7
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It was caused by a faulty cell in the batteries ,charging with a bad cell created hydrogen gas in the housing which the short ignited. I have seen this several times with interstate batteries so I don't use them...
I had something like this happen with an AutoZone battery about 20 years ago. Turned the key to start the car and BOOM! The other vehicle also had an AutoZone battery that had had to be replaced because it would show 12v but, as soon as you put a load on it, the voltage would drop to zero. Apparently, a connection had opened up inside. I'm guessing the exploded battery opened up inside, causing a spark that ignited the hydrogen. I never bought anything from AutoZone again because the jerk behind the counter was convinced the battery blew up because I was jumping it. He replaced it (probably because he was afraid I was going to go over the counter after him...which I had seriously thought about) but that was it for me and AutoZone.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:51 PM   #8
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I agree that it was most likely an internal short in the battery. I have seen this several times. Was standing beside a fork truck in a home improvement store one day when the guy went to start it the battery blew up. Scared me to death . I would heck everything else but I suspect it was the battery. I used to work at a battery factory and it doesn't take much to short them out. Vibration from normal vehicle use, someone dropping the battery at some stage( even a small drop), etc can cause damage to the plates that can cause a short.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:08 PM   #9
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All it takes is for the water level to drop below the plates, hydrogen gas builds up and something ignites it. Starting a vehicle or charging the batteries can cause an arc between plates and... well you heard and have seen the result.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:30 AM   #10
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Scary. Our battery is interstate. New, and under the step at our RV door. I recently added a shutoff switch. Interstate batteries aren't inexpensive either.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:29 AM   #11
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The water level on the group 27 Interstate that exploded was not low. Unless the water level could suddenly drop down in a month. Water levels checked 1.5 months before battery explosion.
Checked the output of converter, without batteries, and readings were 13.7.
The new batteries shipped have yet to arrive.
I decided to order the same batteries. Interstate group 27. We are full-timers, and like batteries readily available. Even though it's taking over a week to get the batteries shipped to our location.
A battery could explode with proper water levels, clean terminals, felt rounds and terminal protection spray. Batteries 28 months old.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:22 PM   #12
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Sorry to hear of your problem. That would be an awful mess to try and clean. Sometimes leaving a RV plugged in constantly while in storage can overcharge the batteries. This will cause the water level to go down quite fast at times. When I store my RV's I now use a timer so they only are charging for a 1hr a day and it keeps the batteries charged fully and the water level stays constant. I just used a christmas light timer and it is just plugged into a 15 amp circuit. I seems to work fine. It looks like your problem was different than that but thought I would add a suggestion that might help others.
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