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Old 02-27-2011, 09:18 AM   #1
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Battery Boiling Off

The day after I got home from DH V, I noticed a different smell inside the trailer that I couldn't identify. It wasn't the unpleasant rotten egg smell of propane or the unemptied garbage. I just couldn't isolate the smell. When I had more time to spend, I heard a faint humming sound in the battery compartment. When I went to get under the seat by the door, I found the booth seat cushion warm and the wooden compartment door quite hot. Once I opened the door, I heard and smelt the battery boiling. The fan on the Xantrax was running as well, which I'd never heard before. I turned the switch off to the outlet that the Xantrax is plugged into and left the trailer since it smelled most unpleasantly.

As a bit of background, this is a relatively new Xantrax and Group 27 battery. It is always plugged in to shore power and has not been a problem in the past. The old IntelliPower burnt out awhile ago and I put in a new circuit board in the Dometic fridge before putting in the new Xantrax. I have not done any electrical work or made any changes recently that could have caused this.

Any ideas where to start with this issue?

Brad
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:29 AM   #2
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Battery

Two things to look for.
Some inverter/chargers have an equalization mode, that should only run for about 8 hours, after plug in to shore power. Read your manual.
Test your battery for a bad cell, as this will cause continuous charging.
Dave


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The day after I got home from DH V, I noticed a different smell inside the trailer that I couldn't identify. It wasn't the unpleasant rotten egg smell of propane or the unemptied garbage. I just couldn't isolate the smell. When I had more time to spend, I heard a faint humming sound in the battery compartment. When I went to get under the seat by the door, I found the booth seat cushion warm and the wooden compartment door quite hot. Once I opened the door, I heard and smelt the battery boiling. The fan on the Xantrax was running as well, which I'd never heard before. I turned the switch off to the outlet that the Xantrax is plugged into and left the trailer since it smelled most unpleasantly.
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Originally Posted by flyfshr View Post

As a bit of background, this is a relatively new Xantrax and Group 27 battery. It is always plugged in to shore power and has not been a problem in the past. The old IntelliPower burnt out awhile ago and I put in a new circuit board in the Dometic fridge before putting in the new Xantrax. I have not done any electrical work or made any changes recently that could have caused this.

Any ideas where to start with this issue?

Brad
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:36 AM   #3
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A bad cell? That just may be the culprit as I checked the electrolyte levels before I went and they were low so I topped them off.

Brad
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:43 AM   #4
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Battery Level

If the battery cells test OK (ie all about the same) then I would say double check the charger settings. Is it set to charge on lead acid or on AGM???? AGM requires a higher setting which will over time cause need to add water in a regular battery.
Dave

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A bad cell? That just may be the culprit as I checked the electrolyte levels before I went and they were low so I topped them off.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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I have seen batteries with sulfation and charging systems that are spiking because of it. If that battery is hot it becomes really dangerous. Start with a new or professionally tested battery so you have a good reference and check and monitor that inverter/charger. Make sure your connections are good too, ie good grounds to the batteries and cable ends that are tight.

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Old 02-28-2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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Start by measuring the specific gravity of the electrolyte in each cell. If they aren't consistent, your battery is junk and you'll have to replace it.

Then check the voltage and current at the battery while it is under charge. The values should make sense for the state of charge shown by the specific gravity. If the voltage is really high and the current flow is low, maybe there's something wrong with the charger or it's set wrong. If the voltage is low and their is lots of current flow, and the battery shows fully charged based on specific gravity, maybe there's a a shorted cell. If that's the case you should see visible electrolysis (boiling) in the bad cell.

If the battery is sealed well you can still load test it and if the voltage with a 100 amp load, on a fully charged battery, is much below 12.5 then the battery is probably shot. They sell load testers at car parts places.
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