It just gets better

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Gorse Hill, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Gorse Hill

    Gorse Hill Funster

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    following on from the ( I've just silconed the van from the next street saga) it just gets better, been away over the weekend came home yesterday put it on EHU on the drive, just been in it to get something and was meet with a horrible smell (burning/melting) to find the hab battery under the drivers seat hot to touch, surprised as the battery was replaced on its first hab check 3 months ago and the micro switch on the tap in kitchen also not working not sure if the two problems are connected but any advice welcome
    I do have it on EHU sometimes when on my drive, but read throu the manuals and nothing to suggest I shouldnt/couldn't do this
    Thks for any advise
     
  2. Tea Bag

    Tea Bag Funster

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    Hi.
    The "Horrible smell" is probably your Batteries Boiling,so something is not switching off from the charger..... I THINK. NOT an Auto Leccy,but lorry batteries pong when they boil.
    Tea Bag
     
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  3. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    Be very careful of boiling batteries! They can kill!

    Craig
     
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  4. Gorse Hill

    Gorse Hill Funster

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    I know got up yesterday with a banging headache so must have been giving of fumes overnight but much worse today, am I right in thinking that when taking into the dealers to get sorted the onboard charger will be operating and therefore the hab battery will again start to give off fumes
     
  5. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    No, the on board charger will only operate when on EHU.

    The battery may well be charged from the alternator though. Whether this will matter will depend on what the original fault was & what other damage may have followed. It would be better to isolate the habitation battery to be sure.

    Some 12V systems have a switch that isolates the battery from the alternator charging circuit, but I suspect most don't. If you post your make, model & year of M/H & ideally also the make & model of your control panel, someone may be able to tell you how yours is configured. Your profile says Hobby premium drive but I'm afraid I know nothing about them.

    If it's the onboard 240v charger that's faulty (didn't stop charging when the battery was full), then there may not be too serious a problem, but if the original problem was in the battery, or if the overcharging has now damaged the battery internally, it may not be a good idea to have the alternator try & charge it further.

    If the battery is under the drivers seat, I'm guessing that it's a no-maintainence type that you a) can't get to easily & b) can't top up even if you could. It may not be easy to disconnect at the terminals either. Someone may know if there is a fuse that you can pull that will isolate the battery, but the fuse might only protect the loads feed rather than the alternator charge feed. If your dealer is a Hobby dealer, they should know.

    I don't think I can make any suggestions without knowing more, but there are several on here who know a lot more about this sort of problem than I do. With luck they'll see this & may be able to advise.

    The only thing I can say is get some ventilation in the van & don't go near the battery for 12 hrs after you turned everything off.
     
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  6. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    I would switch off your charger (if you haven't already) then physically disconnect the battery at the terminals before driving. Turn all loads off the battery, ventilate the underseat area (just a draught from a flapped towel will do), then remove the connection to the battery earth terminal. Any further charge, from either EHU charger or alternator, may at best split the battery casing.
     
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  7. Jonkil

    Jonkil Funster

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    NO...
    Switch off charger, DO NOT DISCONNECT BATTERY FOR 12 HRS
    Let battery cool and stop venting before disconnecting.
    Hydrogen gas will explode with a spark, it will/can blow the battery to bits and acid everywhere.
    Have it professionally checked.
     
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  8. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    Don't know if anyone would agree, but this does sound like something is shorting out. It sounds like something is putting a massive load on the battery, or perhaps the charger is defective and overcharging.

    Either way, you really do need to make sure you have no hydrogen to ignite before you disconnect the battery.
     
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  9. Gorse Hill

    Gorse Hill Funster

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    That's the beauty of this forum, when you need advise there is always knowledgable people on here ready to offer there help
    Thks
     
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  10. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    These things can happen! Last Tuesday we took two batteries from stock and trickle charged them overnight to be fitted to one of our own vehicles. Both charged up fine.

    We fitted them Wednesday afternoon.

    The vehicle is in one of our workshops and is being prepare for the NEC, so plugged I into mains.

    Thursday morning, on opening up, a horrible smell was noticed. One of the two batteries was very hot and very smelly.

    As Jonkil said, the van was disconnected and left several hours and both batteries disconnected and testest. The dodgy one had a dead short internally.

    But, as I said, they both been trickle charged over night Tuesday and showed no unusual signs, especially as there was two of them so any unusual characteristics would have stood out.

    Both batteries now aside to be returned to the manufacturer of further investigation (same batch so one will be the benchmark for testing), two replacements fitted and perfect so no external influence to cause the issue.
     
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  11. Gorse Hill

    Gorse Hill Funster

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    To be honest eddie, I do agree with you on that issue these things do happen and no ones fault, however they did change the first hab battery following my first habitation check in October which was just 12months old from new so you would ask the question why has a battery that new gone faulty to the extent it needs replacing rather than just putting a new one in without establishing what caused the first one to go faulty
    Either a charging issue or a dead short somewhere
     
  12. Jonkil

    Jonkil Funster

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    Battery's,.... Work of the devil I tells ye.... works of the devil!
    Have seen batteries do this often, rancid acidic smell is the first sign, followed by heat or a bang.
     
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  13. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    Why 12 hours? As long as it is well ventilated it can be disconnected as soon as necessary - and the sooner the better. All batteries on charge vent hydrogen - would you leave your car 12 hours after a run before changing or simply disconnecting a battery? My working life involved batteries built of open 2v cells connected in series to give 48v. Each cell was the size of a tea chest. The room in which these stood had an extraction system with outlets over each small group of cells. We also used glass 2v cells where each was the size of a car battery in areas where switching equipment was in constant operation. Ventilation is the key - as hydrogen leaks from the cells it heads very rapidly for the ceiling. The dangers occur if it cannot do so.
     
  14. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Erring on the side of caution, I would say. We don't know what sort of battery it is - open, vented or sealed. We do know that it was hot & potentially under internal pressure. 12 hours gives plenty of time for it to return to ambient temperature. Once the charger is switched off & given that the engine was also stopped, there is nothing going into it. The only remaining potential fault that could be made worse by leaving it connected would be a short to earth in the +ve battery cable between the battery terminal & the first fuse.

    Your working life may have left you with more specialist knowledge than the rest of us so you know what is safe & what isn't. My more limited knowledge suggests that I wouldn't want my hands near an overheated battery until it had cooled down.

    I admit that my original suggestion of 12 hours was an arbitrary figure plucked out of the air. It was a shorthand way of saying - the OP posted at 5pm, it was 10.30pm when I replied - you might as well leave it 'till morning now. How soon would hydrogen stop seeping from a damaged & overheated sealed battery & how soon would it dissipate from the under seat area? I didn't know, but next morning sounded sensible.
     
  15. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    I started life working for the Longlife tyre and battery company. We used to solder the plates together, build the cases, fill them with acid delivered to us in carbouys.

    Having spent time in the Royal Eye Imfirmary with major burns to my left eye after a "small issue" flicked in, I always err on the edge of caution.

    We disconnected the power and hit the 12 volt swicth on our own vehicle and left it several hours, mainly to be honest due to the level of work booked in in our other workshop.

    I have a very healthy respect for "bad" batteries lol
     
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