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8D Battery Explodes

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Trak, Oct 1, 2018.

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  1. Trak

    Trak Member

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    I think my batteries are mfg in 2015. I will replace all 4 with flooded and know I will be good for the next 3-5 years. I would think that if you were going to replace on a schedule, then you could buy a cheaper, maint free battery and be pretty confident that you will get 3 years. If you were going to run your batteries to failure, then buying a better quality open cell would be better. That way you could check cells often and do maint as required?

    I talked to the Sentry Charger tech today. Sentry chargers have independent circuits for each battery bank. He said always replace all the batteries in one bank (batts wired together). You do not have to replace both banks as the charger will handle the difference in loads.
  2. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Yes. That way the bank ages the same and like others, hopefully age gracefully with each other.
    I wish I could talk you out of those maintenance free boat anchors. On a boat, there is no such thing as maintenance free.
    Flooded batteries will always need water. My 19" 8Vs last 4 years.

    A sealed flooded battery will always need water, just you trust this maintenance free thingy, Oh, you usually can not ad water if you wanted to...

    Get a set of Deka/East Penn (or better brand) AGMs and be happy for the next 4 + years.

    Like fuel filters and impellers, batteries have a service life.
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Yep, I remember now, dual 12v bats. When starting the engines a double relay kicks in and joins the batteries in a 24v config for starting. Then resumes back to a parallel 12v bank.
    You have a 12v ship.
    When the bats are in parallel and charging, at different ages and use, they are accepting charging current differently. Probably releasing starting differently also.

    As I noted earlier, it seems to be working for you, but your batteries would be working more efficient if the bank had matching bats in it.

    Again, your system seems to be working for you. With proof in your pudding (bilges), Hard for me to say it's wrong.
  4. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Reading this thread is freaking me out about the exploding battery stories, which so far has not happened to me ,yet. So after one does blow up could there be flames and smoke too? Or with old school flooded batteries that I have always used , just an engine room loaded with acid everywhere only , and no fire/smoke? Mine are flooded 8Ds three years old and are still going I check the water levels spring/fall but I think it's time to put a tester on them to see how they really are. I have one of those hand held load testers, do they really work?
    What maintenance, if any , do AGM's need? None?
  5. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    The only time I have replaced a single battery in a bank was when a battery that was less than a year old failed. Over a year the whole bank goes.

    Personally I haven’t gotten more life out of AGMs. I ve rarely gotten more than 4 years even with modern charters set for AGMs. I ve had a number of AGMs bulge up and stink up up the boat. Most recently a windlass/thruster battery in living areas. Nothing like waking up to the smell of rotten eggs in the morning. And it always happens with guests on board :(

    I use flooded batteries on my own boat... I get 4 to 5 years and no gassing when they get old, just low voltage.
  6. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Flooded batteries are tested with a hydro scale and a load meter. The old toasters are a poor tester as they go up to maybe 80 to 100 amps quickly.
    Cold carbon testers are needed to really put a load test on a battery. The better ones up to 1000 amp+ load.

    AGM bats require clean connects and a thermal pic from time to time.
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    If a battery grenades, acide and battery case pieces everywhere and smoke that will sting your eyes, skin and if you breathe it in, it usually disappates in 5-10 minutes.

    The Deka distributor uses a little hand held deal with very small wire leads on it and supposedly is tests them very well.

    I always have AGM's installed now adays and usually only get 3 years on them +/-. They don't seem to last any longer than lead acid (AGM lifelines and Northstar being the exception, or the gels I've seen go an incredibly long time, as much as 8 years). Most newer boats are under batteried. But the additional cost of AGM's is cheaper for the owners of the yachts I manage because they're not paying me to add water to batteries every 2 months, just check the connections.
  8. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Ok, got it. Thanks for the pros and cons and the insight. One , my budget is tight and two I really resist change so I think I will stick with the flooded batteries which seam to last just as long and check the water spring and fall. I only have two batteries so it's not a big deal plus they are easy to get to.
  9. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Also if you keep your batteries in an dedicated closed container meant for that purpose you don't need to worry much about shrapnel. Also wear eye protection and gloves when testing. If you do smell that disturbing rotten egg fragrance , turn on your engine room fans and venting blowers - that stuff is toxic., and it ain't your holding tank. Open the hatches and doors to your salon also. Fresh air is the cure. Most batteries explode when the electrolytes evaporate off, so that reduces the free liquid you will find in the battery box, but be aware some liquid remnant will be there. I've heard that some folks will flood the box with water to dilute the acid.
  10. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Is a different type of charger needed for gels?
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Gels do have a larger charging voltage and resting voltage. Most modern chargers do have a dedicated setting for gels. Some older ones do not.
  12. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Thanks. Do gels last twice as long, but are twice the price?
  13. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    FWIW, we replaced one bank of "original" (to us) 3x flooded Group 27 batteries with Odyssey AGMs (PC-2150s, Group 31) in early 2006, and then had to eventually replace that bank again in July 2017. I might have been able to get another year out of that bank, but a just-previous inverter installation using that same bank proved morning coffee was beginning to push it. (It happens we replaced the first bank of Odysseys with 4x Lifeline 6V 4CTs to increase overall capacity; haven't had those long enough to know longevity yet.)

    We replaced the other bank of 3x "original" flooded G27 with the Odyssey G31s in 2009, still going strong.

    Most of our replacement choice (AGMs) was driven by maintenance, mostly access, issues... plus reduced off-gassing. The second time around I figured out I was able to make that capacity increase by burying that bank of batteries even further back in the original cubbyhole... making potential maintenance even more problematic. Ease (lack) of maintenance has been very much worth the extra cost, in our case. YMMV.

    -Chris
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    That's a very impressive life span. I have only seen that with AGM's once in a blue moon. I have a set of Odyssey group 27's in a 27' whaler and they went 3 years and one of them went completely bad and wouldn't hold a charge. I've seen an AGM lifeline go 8 years. I've seen gel batteries on a few boats go at least 6 years and still working fine and a few go 8 years before failure.
  15. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    Our usage is relatively easy on batteries, and we're usually able to recharge immediately, usually daily, after a depletion cycle (reading suggests that's required for best AGM longevity). And even when we're at anchor, it's seldom longer than a week or two at a time, so still not too difficult to recover.

    Several years ago, another owner changed to Sears Platinum AGMs -- at the time, OEM-ed from Odyssey, same as PC-2150s -- and he had one of those batteries go bad relatively quickly, I think less than a year maybe. Don't know what his charging regime was, though. It was replaced under warranty, of course.

    -Chris
  16. saltysenior

    saltysenior Senior Member

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    after a 8 d exploded while filling it,,,from then on whenever I checked batteries, I always wore eye protection, wore an old shirt , kept a wet towel nearby and used a wrench which was 90% covered w/ electrical tape...
  17. FIQ

    FIQ Member

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    Scotty always did say that "She's gonna blow!", but Capt Kirk always knew better!
  18. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    We have always had good luck with our Interstate batteries direct from the distributor, lead acid. Up to 5 years with regular maintainence.
    One thing overlooked is that the charging engine alternators used on old and new engines alike are usually meant for a lead acid application. Some engine manufacturers only recommend lead acid batteries on engine alternator charging circuits.
  19. saltysenior

    saltysenior Senior Member

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    the first ''yacht'' I ran was a 67' Stevens....we had the boat for 10 yrs and never replaced any of the 8Ds that were 2yrs old when we obtained the boat...these batteries were most likely installed in Ca. when the boat was built....I kept them filled with tap water too!