Anyone have any idea why a battery would explode. Friend was sleeping in his coach in the drive last night. Got up this morning to the sound of the 12 engine battery exploding. Any ideas? I have no idea. Sorry 2000 southwind plugged in in their driveway
I have heard that maintenance free batteries, if the "Green" eye turns to red, it is because the battery is out of water, and should not be recharged.
I guess I would woner how the terminals looked? Corrosion around them can indicate that the terminal might have been leaking, or something? Or the case cracked at that point.
I wonder what would make the battery explode, as it should not be charged while parked, and the most stress is while cranking it started, not while sitting parked, or for that matter while driving and having it exposed to +14.4 volts from the alternator.
If it was a coach battery, I would say look at the converter/charger first, and make sure it was not putting out 15 volts or something like that, to cause the explosion. No need to keep the same charger, and have it happen again!
Was the RV Plugged in? Some RV's have a aftermarket relay, that if the coach battery is over a certain voltage, and the engine battery is under a certain voltage, then the relay energizes to recharge the engine battery. If the RV has this type of controller (not from the factory though), then look at the coach batteries, and see what voltage they are running at.
Make sure that all the coach batteries are full of water (if they are lead acid, and you can add water to them).
Check the wiring from the alternator, to the batteries, and look for a short someplace. That is another way that the battery might have had a melted wire to ground, then this caused it to be discharge quickly, and the arking battery wire also provided the spark at the same time hydrogen was being released from the quickly discharged battery.
Any lead-acid battery system when overcharged will produce hydrogen gas. If the rate of overcharge is small, the vents of each cell allow the dissipation of the gas. However, on severe overcharge or if ventilation is inadequate or the battery is faulty, a flammable concentration of hydrogen may remain in the cell or in the battery enclosure. Any spark can cause a hydrogen and oxygen explosion, which will damage the battery and its surroundings and which will disperse acid into the surroundings. Anyone close to the battery may be injured.
Sometimes the ends of a battery will be severely swollen, and when accompanied by the case being too hot to touch, this usually indicates a malfunction in the charging system of the car. Reversing the positive and negative leads will damage the battery and may lead to gassing and explosion. When severely overcharged, a lead-acid battery gases at a high level and the venting system built into the battery cannot handle the high level of gas, so the pressure builds inside the battery, resulting in the swollen ends. An unregulated alternator can put out a high level of charge, and can quickly ruin a battery. A swollen, hot battery is very dangerous, and should not be handled until it has been given sufficient time to cool and any hydrogen gas present to dissipate.
My best guess would be a short inside of the battery (which causes it to continue charging instead of shutting off). Battery gets hotter and hotter until the hydrogen gas explodes. Probably could easily smell the "rotton egg smell" for some time prior to the explosion. Hope nobody was anywhere near when it went off. Can be a really bad thing for eyes.
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An internal short in a battery can cause a thermal run away and subsequent explosion. I had one in an 0-1 Bird Dog airplane in Vietnam. I was a forward air controller (FAC). The battery was right in front of the stick, between my legs. I found the run away by the odor. Smelled like pork chops frying at 1500' over the Vietnam jungle. A touch of the battery found it very hot. I was able to unhook it and throw it out of the window. It actually exploded about 200' below the airplane. but not between my legs. The airplane charging system was fine, just a battery defect for no apparent reason. They happen.
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Recharging a wet lead-acid battery normally produces hydrogen and oxygen gasses. While spark retarding vent caps help prevent battery explosions, they occur when jumping, connecting or disconnecting charger or battery cables, and starting the engine. While not fatal, battery explosions cause thousands of eye and burn injuries each year.
When battery explosions occur when starting an engine, here is the usual sequence of events: One or more cells had a high concentration of hydrogen gas (above 4.1%) because the vent cap was clogged or a defective valve did not release the gas. The electrolyte levels fell below the top of the plates due to high under hood temperatures, overcharging, or poor maintenance. A low resistive bridge or treeing formed between the top of the plates such that when the current started to flow, it caused an arc or spark in one of the cells. That combination of events ignites the gas, blows the battery case cover off and spatters electrolyte all over the engine compartment. The largest number of battery explosions while starting an engine occurs in hot climates.
When an explosion happens, thoroughly rinse the engine compartment with water, and then wash it with a solution of one-pound baking soda to one gallon of warm water to neutralize the residual battery acid. Then thoroughly rewash the engine compartment with water. Periodic preventive maintenance (please see Section 7.7.), working on batteries in well ventilated areas or using Valve Regulated Lead Acid (AGM or gel cell) type batteries can significantly reduce the possibility of battery explosions.
1: if a cell shorts, then the remaining cells form a 10 volt (or less if more than one cell shorts) battery,, I have one of these awaiting replacement just now.
This means your charging system is trying to push way more voltage than the battery wants and thus it may push more current, My charging system can push up to 80 amps into a battery under these conditions plug whatever the house batteries contribute.. This is enough to cause serious gasing of the additinal cells and KABOOM. it blows as the pressure builds up. Well POPS is a better word (like a baloon)
The other is when a wet cell dries out, once all the liquid is converted to gas, Most of which happens to be brown's gas (2 parts hydrogen to one part oxygen by molecular count) which happens to be the exact mix for a decent explosion,, Well then the next bit of current will cause a spark
Recall this is perfectly mixed H/O gas for an explosion KABOOM and in this case it really is KABOOM.
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