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Old 07-14-2012, 06:08 PM   #1
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Overheating Battery

I have a 2006 23 foot Safari, recently I let the batteries run all the way down. Now since reconnection shore power I have one battery that seems to be overheating. I notice the fan on the Converter seems to be running, indicating to me that it is charging. Any thoughts? I am going to be out on a week long trip soon, can I use the battery disconnect while on shore power until I replace the converter if needed?
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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I have a 2006 23 foot Safari, recently I let the batteries run all the way down. Now since reconnection shore power I have one battery that seems to be overheating. I notice the fan on the Converter seems to be running, indicating to me that it is charging. Any thoughts? I am going to be out on a week long trip soon, can I use the battery disconnect while on shore power until I replace the converter if needed?
First of all physically disconnect the battery that is overheating. When you get a chance take it to a battery shop and have it tested. It is probably not salvageable. The fan on the converter is probably running because it is trying to charge the bad battery. Assuming one battery is still good, you can probably use just that one until you get a chance to deal with the other. If you still have the original converter in your trailer, it would be best to replace it with a 3 stage converter when you get back. That would be a good time to replace both batteries as they are getting up in age if they are original. Yes, if necessary you can disconnect the batteries when on shore power. However, if one battery is still good, it should not be necessary.


Ken
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response, I did replace these about 3 years ago. I will run with one on the upcoming trip and deal with it when I get back. Interesting the the second battery is cool and has no water loss at all.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response, I did replace these about 3 years ago. I will run with one on the upcoming trip and deal with it when I get back. Interesting the the second battery is cool and has no water loss at all.
Not to be a wet blanket, but it is possible the second battery has an open circuit and that they are both bad. However you can tell that by unplugging from shore power with just it connected. It is more likely that the bad battery has a shorted cell and is drawing so much current that it is drawing the voltage down to the point there is not voltage to even warm the good battery.

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Old 07-14-2012, 07:10 PM   #5
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When I am unplugged I show full battery power so I am guessing one is still good at least
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:21 PM   #6
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When I am unplugged I show full battery power so I am guessing one is still good at least
It Sounds like you are set to go. Enjoy your vacation.

Ken
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:30 PM   #7
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Usually an 'overheated' battery is caused by destructive forces inside the battery....Here's the nuts & bolts of what's happening, most likely...

As a battery ages, and sulfate builds up on the internal battery grids (plates) to such an extent one or more POS and NEG grids have touched through the separator between them causing that 'cell' to have a direct 'short'...This same result can happen in a newer battery if the grid components fail due to charging abuse, vibration, etc...

Each cell in a 12 volt lead-acid battery produces about 2.2 volts, and therefore if you have one cell with a 'short', you now in effect have a 10 volt battery that your 12 volt charger is 'overcharging', resulting in the elevated temperature of the battery...

This type of situation should be corrected with all speed!...going for the understatement here...

An overheated battery will quickly evaporate it's electrolyte and generate lots of Hydrogen gas that can ignite (in the presence of any nearby spark) with a BIG BOOM to ruin your day and create a mess in the battery box!...Yikes!...

In addition, the charger continues to pump the amps into the damaged battery, possibly causing the charger to overheat and fail as well - especially if not noticed and allowed to run for an extended period...

The short version of this tale is to replace the failed battery as soon as possible...If the other battery is over 3 years old, it should also be replaced so you have a fresh 'pair' of batteries with similar capacities...

Matching a new battery with an older one can bring on unequal charging/discharging problems that will result in less than stellar battery life, to say the least...

Happy trails...
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:09 PM   #8
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I will go with one battery this trip and then I think it is time to get a better converter and new batteries, thanks for the help.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:33 PM   #9
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I had a battery discharge during a severe winter cold spell, the electrolyte froze (I am certain) and when I plugged into shore power the converter over charged the battery causing a release of hydrogen and sulfur dioxide, boiled the water out and nearly melted the battery casing. I almost had a fire.
In fact somewhere on this forum I read about an Airstream catching fire (caused by a defective battery) and if the unit had been any closer to the house where it was being stored it would have burned the house down as well.
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