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Old 10-31-2008, 07:00 AM   #1
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Just went out to my rig this AM and saw black and white plastic on the ground under the coach. Opened the battery compartment and found the third coach battery (furthest in on the tray) has exploded. The rig was plugged in and the other two (Interstate SRM-29) bats seem to be Okay.
Any ideas? I think I heard the explosion at about 5 AM yesterday.
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:00 AM   #2
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Just went out to my rig this AM and saw black and white plastic on the ground under the coach. Opened the battery compartment and found the third coach battery (furthest in on the tray) has exploded. The rig was plugged in and the other two (Interstate SRM-29) bats seem to be Okay.
Any ideas? I think I heard the explosion at about 5 AM yesterday.
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:14 AM   #3
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You'll want to hose your battery compartment down to rinse any acid left over from the explosion. Only time I've seen an explosion is during a battery "jump" when a spark happened.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:02 AM   #4
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Sorry to here your problem, make sure you use baking soda to rinse the acid keep using the soda water mix till all bubbling stops When a battery lets go they leave acid everywhere which will cause a lot of rust later. Cause could have been a lot of thing will be hard to tell after fact. good luck with clean up.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:07 AM   #5
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Hi Ho: When batteries are charged they produce hydrogen gas. That's why they must be in an open compartment. The other possibility is that a cell went bad and caused the battery to overheat. The most common cause for battery acid on the ground around here is to no maintain the battery and have it discharge and freeze in the winter.

I would wash everything and then get a large economy size of baking soda and make a solution with which I would also wash everything again. Good luck.

A friend was once blown out of his pickup with a shell because he was filling gas cans in the truck. Oh, did I fail to mention that he had a small propane-powered refrigerator in there as well. Live and learn. At least he is still alive.

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Old 10-31-2008, 02:07 PM   #6
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Isn't it curious that this inner battery issue keeps coming up, and now a catastrophic failure... And THIS is the terminal that the battery temp sense probe was attached to on mine. The charger should have known better if this was preceded by heat.
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:24 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by autofish:
Sorry to here your problem, make sure you use baking soda to rinse the acid keep using the soda water mix till all bubbling stops When a battery lets go they leave acid everywhere which will cause a lot of rust later. Cause could have been a lot of thing will be hard to tell after fact. good luck with clean up. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Yup - LOTS of baking soda/water solution to neutralize the acid.

A few years ago Jane called me and said her car wouldn't start and heard a 'bang' under the hood. I met her and the car and opened the hood and saw the battery had exploded.

Just one of those things that happen - there was no maintenance issue, nothing wrong with the alternator/regulator. Go figure...
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:05 PM   #8
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BBBEEBOP,

I had a battery explode when my rig was about 4 months old. Mine exploded in the middle of the night, while I was asleep. The noise was deafening. I found that a chassis battery had exploded. Nearly blew the top clean off.

What I concluded at that time was that it was most likely due to my Trik-L-Start battery charger. I was plugged in at a campground, and running on shore power. However, the Trik-L-Start will take a small amount of charge from the house batteries to keep the chassis batteries up while you are parked. My chassis batteries were most likely pretty beat up by the dealer prior to my buying the rig. The chassis batteries were maintenance free so I could not check the status of the water level. I am sure that the electrolite levels were low, and thus allowed the batteries to gas.

When the Trik-L-Start kicked in, it was like lighting a fuse. If yours was a house battery, I am assuming that it was not maintenance free. In that case I would suspect that the fluid level was low, and/or the vent was plugged. This allowed a cell to gas, and when the charger kicked in, it lit the gas.

On the maintenance free batteries, I learned that the plates are only about half the height of the battery. The rest is filled with electrolite. Thus is takes a long time for the fluid level to drop, killing the battery. However, that space is taken up with gas if the vent is not working properly.

Check your other battery cells for charge. If one cell was going bad, it likely took the others with it.

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Old 10-31-2008, 04:17 PM   #9
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For 31 years I did repair maintenance on large trucks. Listen to this carefully! Before you remove or play around any battery make sure it is filled with water! If you can see the plates that means all that area where the water is missing is FUMES! A small spark inside the battery plates & Boom! I Just changed a marine one today that was almost empty. I removed the caps with goggles on & filled it to the top with water BEFORE I moved that potential bomb. I have seen some REAL impressive explosion damage from batteries.
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:08 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the input. Cleaned everything up yesterday with lots of fresh water and baking soda. Sanded, primed and painted the tray with rustoleum primer and black paint. Looks like new. I put in three new batteries. The guy at the battery shop beleives that at least one cell went dry and shorted across the plates causing a spark and a hydrogen gas explosion. I'm glad I was no where near it when it blew. I can't see any other damage and all seems to be working well. Thanks again.
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