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Old 04-04-2021, 04:06 AM   #1
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Got wrong batteries for mh

I bought new batteries for our 2003 Holiday Rambler Vacationer from Costco. They gave me 2 Marine/RV marked Marine/RV. I told the employee I needed 6v batteries & he assured me they were.

I came home installed the new batteries in series and problems began. The 3 fluorescent ceiling lights in the kitchen quit working. I tried to find my mistake for several hours unsuccessfully. Frustrated and tired, I quit.

I returned 2 days later to remove the batteries. None of the batteries had any markings indicating voltage. I went to Interstate's site and finally located a chart of their specialty batteries which showed my P/N to be 12v.

So, what damage could have occurred to the 12v system because of the error at Costco? I have talked to Costco management at the store. They have told me to advise them of the damage to my mh and they would repair it.
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Old 04-04-2021, 04:13 AM   #2
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I know it’s a little late now, but 6v batteries have three caps and 12v batteries have 6 caps. It should be impossible to mix these up. Also a cheap volt meter will always confirm things. Batteries don’t always have much in the way of markings, other than a date code, and sometimes not even that.

Not sure what damage has been done - I’d start with testing the converter, but at this point of you are sure they will keep their word, you should hire a good auto/RV electrical tech to test everything and add that to the bill.
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Old 04-04-2021, 05:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.Wold View Post
I know itís a little late now, but 6v batteries have three caps and 12v batteries have 6 caps. It should be impossible to mix these up. Also a cheap volt meter will always confirm things. Batteries donít always have much in the way of markings, other than a date code, and sometimes not even that.

Not sure what damage has been done - Iíd start with testing the converter, but at this point of you are sure they will keep their word, you should hire a good auto/RV electrical tech to test everything and add that to the bill.

I hate to dispute, BUT the batteries I removed were clearly identified as 6V. Also, they had 6 caps.

Initially, I will try to determine what was damaged. If I find problems in the 12v circuit from being overpowered, I will do as you have suggested.
Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 04-04-2021, 05:56 AM   #4
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Well, put another way, flooded lead acid battery cells each produce a little over 2 volts. So 6 volt batteries have 3 cells, 8 volt have four, and 12 volt batteries have 6 cells. I’ve never seen 6v batteries with 2 caps per cell.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:09 AM   #5
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Yep, count the caps for sure.

And you should always have a voltmeter and take pictures of whatever you work on. Print them out and write the voltages down. Put those maintenance records in plastc sheet protectors and keep in a good place or even post them near the voltage reading places.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:27 AM   #6
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Slightly different take on 6 volt batteries. When I bought 4 of then last year from Costco, someone that taken the red plastic protective cover from the positive screw post and put it on the negative post on one of the batteries. I found that after I set the 4 batteries in place and noticed one of the batteries looked backwards. Luckily I hadn't connected any wires to it before I found the switch.

So the moral of the story, check the batteries very carefully after you buy them and before you install them.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:41 AM   #7
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You asked what sort of damage this may have done, the simple answer is it may have burned out the electronics in any 12V appliance it was connected to, including the refrigerator, air conditioner, furnace and water heater, which now all may be in need of new control boards.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:44 AM   #8
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The batteries the OP got were probably maintance free. They don't have visible caps. If not, they have 2 long caps.
Counting the new battery caps isn't going to help.

As far as 6 volt, AGMs will be capless but flooded will have 1 longer cap or 3 caps. Can't get past that.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:48 AM   #9
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I hate to dispute, BUT the batteries I removed were clearly identified as 6V. Also, they had 6 caps.

Initially, I will try to determine what was damaged. If I find problems in the 12v circuit from being overpowered, I will do as you have suggested.
Thanks for the suggestions!
I've been in the auto and truck industry for 45 years and have never seen a 6v battery with more than 3 caps.

A picture of the old batteries would help
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Old 04-04-2021, 07:02 AM   #10
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So I’m thinking maybe he had 12v batteries (6 cells/caps) but wired in parallel, and put the new ones in in series, as he stated, making 24v and leading to the issues... Seems like that would be hard to do, but just trying to make sense of this...
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Old 04-04-2021, 09:23 AM   #11
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So I’m thinking maybe he had 12v batteries (6 cells/caps) but wired in parallel, and put the new ones in in series, as he stated, making 24v and leading to the issues... Seems like that would be hard to do, but just trying to make sense of this...

Nope, he made a sketch of the connections & took pictures of the tops before starting to take them loose. They WERE wired in series!

He messed up by not taking a voltmeter to the new ones. He would have seen they were 12v. He installed the new ones because he had specifically asked several times of the Costco clerk for 6v batteries for a motor home. He felt the employee knew his product. He installed the new (12v) batteries taking care to connect them just like the old ones he removed. But, in his care & taking care to detail installed the 12v batteries in series putting 24v into the 12v system. He is sick to death this happened. But you know s*it happens every so often & live with the smell.
What happened was the batteries were not labeled 6 or 12v. The batteries were labeled Marine/RV by Interstate. This probably led to lead the employee they were 6v. He & I were both at fault. At least Costco management has agreed to accept liability for this mistake. Also, I knew what I wanted but was sold something else.
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:24 PM   #12
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After changing the battries I would check the fuses in the power distribution box. 24v will draw about 2x the amps as 12v. So you may have been lucky and thr fuses protected you.

Sh-- happens, life deals these small bumps in the road. It does not alway mean you need new tires.
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:27 PM   #13
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The batteries the OP got were probably maintance free. They don't have visible caps. If not, they have 2 long caps.
Counting the new battery caps isn't going to help.

As far as 6 volt, AGMs will be capless but flooded will have 1 longer cap or 3 caps. Can't get past that.
AGMs I have /have seen dont have CAPS but they do have pressure relief vents or valves and there are three of them on my 6V AGM

FROM OP: "Nope, he made a sketch of the connections & took pictures of the tops before starting to take them loose. They WERE wired in series!"

I'm sure we would all like to see the photos 9f the original 6V battys with 6 caps... please post it
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:30 PM   #14
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After changing the battries I would check the fuses in the power distribution box. 24v will draw about 2x the amps as 12v. So you may have been lucky and thr fuses protected you.

Sh-- happens, life deals these small bumps in the road. It does not alway mean you need new tires.
Amp draw for 24V should be HALF that of 12V!
Thats why 24V used for some heavy loads like starters.
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