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Old 11-10-2018, 09:25 AM   #1
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Crossed pos/neg - dead batt?

Here’s a dumb mistake that could have landed me in the Darwin chronicles...

Putting my batteries on the Battery Tender for the season. Since I don’t want to misplace the short jumpers I leave them on their pos/neg posts. Setting them up, I rotated the pos cable on one battery to get it out of the way of the other one and accidentally touched the positive jumper cable to the negative post. Moderate sparks and you can see the damage to the negative post in the attached pic. Was wearing gloves and didn’t get shocked myself - well, not electrically - was shocked as anything when those sparks flew!!

Wondering if this 1 second touch kills the battery? Both are on the Battery Tender now and both are charging (flashing green light) so hoping no harm. Just bought these at the beginning of the season and hoping to get 4-5 years out of them. Welcome any thoughts here. Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:38 AM   #2
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I think you'll be okay.
We've all thrown sparks, sometimes just connecting cables.
It can be exciting.

I witnessed a battery explode once. It was being charged in a wooden box, pretty sealed up. The explosive gas built up and "POW!" it sounded like a 12 ga. shotgun.
The operator was covered in acid, but he was quick enough to splash water in his eyes, and refused medical treatment. Later, he had to leave the site because his clothes dissolved.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:49 AM   #3
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If you did not melt the jumper wire you were not connected long enough to draw the batteries down. That red wire would have melted if connected for 3 or 4 seconds.
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the insights. I can imagine how that jumper cable would melt. There’s a decent amount of lead missing from the post after only a nick. Keeping that connected for a handful of seconds would grind it down to nothing.....

Scary but glad I wasn’t any stupider and that the batts should be good.
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:35 AM   #5
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You'll be fine Sparky...😂


All who have never done it please stay seated.

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Old 11-10-2018, 10:46 AM   #6
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just remember the first rule of battery management. Always Connect The Negative Terminal Last. as long as the negative terminal has not been connected you can not draw current in the system.


That hold for all cases except directly across the batter terminals themselves.
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
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You'll be fine Sparky...





All who have never done it please stay seated.



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Sparky - love it!

(Is anyone standing? )
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:52 PM   #8
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just remember the first rule of battery management. Always Connect The Negative Terminal Last. as long as the negative terminal has not been connected you can not draw current in the system.


That hold for all cases except directly across the batter terminals themselves.


And I was so proud of myself for creating a way to remember that. Ending the camping season is a negative thing, so remove the negative cables first o remove the batts for charging over the winter. Coming back in the spring to reinstall them means the start of the camping season - a positive thing - so connect the positive first....

Of course - your closing point is well taken.
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:22 PM   #9
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Hi

While it's all very exciting and will make for a great story for years to come, no damage to the battery resulted. Even without gloves, in this case, no significant damage to nearby hands or other body parts. It's exciting but not anything that would cause injury past the mosquito bite level.

Bob
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:06 AM   #10
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Crossed pos/neg - dead batt?

From all this we can infer that removing all cables from disconnected batteries is a good idea especially if you plan to move them.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:55 AM   #11
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Two shocking stories.

Hi, this reminds me of when I was a young mechanic and messing with a car salesman. I had a jumper cart in my stall and a smart @$$ salesman was headed my way. I told him that he should stay away from me and I had a jumper clamp in each hand. He laughed at me and said that it was only 12 volts and that it couldn't shock him. I said try me then! When he got close enough, I put the two clamps together making sparks fly like crazy. Scared the hell out of him and made him rethink about whether 12 volts could hurt him or not.

It will not hurt the batteries.

Also, I was replacing a metal-case, self grounded relay on a Lincoln. I didn't unplug the wire connector before removing the ground screw on this relay and I got a heck of a shock. This is because of the windings inside of the relay feeding back wards and increasing the voltage. [I only did this once]
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:56 AM   #12
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From all this we can infer that removing all cables from disconnected batteries is a good idea especially if you plan to move them.


In hindsight, I’d have to say that’s a smart inference! I could leave the jumpers in the Battery box over the winter. Or spend $10 on a new set if I lost them.

To quote Mike Brady, “I think we’ve all learned an important lesson here...”.
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:15 AM   #13
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There is less worry about shock from 12 volt battery, unless through damaged skin. With acid and/or sparking hot lead, the risk of eye injury is very high, use protection. Also, I was badly burned when my watch band got itself into a circuit. After 65 years I still don't wear metal stuff around a battery.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:34 PM   #14
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With respect to all posters and readers.

As an Automotive Technology Instructor in all of my factory training my mentors drilled into us “ Make and Break on the Negative terminal “ Disconnect the negative ground side first hook it up last. Not the hot side.

Of course in school I asked why ? And was told It’s not 1960 anymore. The introduction of electronics air bags and modules brought out this new safety practice.
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