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Old 05-12-2011, 08:43 PM   #1
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Fumes from battery???

I had a box made to house 2 batteries that will sit on the tongue between the shell and lp tanks. The guy that made the box for me said I should vent it somehow. Something about hydrogen gasses from the battery. The original battery was inside a plastic box behind the outside battery door. There was no venting of any kind that I could tell.
Do I need to vent?
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:50 PM   #2
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He made the box and didn't make a vent, and yet he knew you would need one?

I don't agree that you need one, but if he thinks you did, why didn't he put one in?
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:21 PM   #3
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I think it will depend on the type of batteries you plan to use. How tight is the lid on the box? Does it (the lid) have a gasket? Does the box have a drain hole?
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:22 PM   #4
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Battery box venting is sort of an issue with me too. My 1976 31' has one 12 volt battery in a drawer under the floor curbside. I'd like to add another battery inside the kitchen area right above the original battery location. How would I vent that? Down through the floor I hope. Who knows?

Gary
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:25 PM   #5
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If the box does not totally seal (rubber gasket water proof) you should be ok without a vent. I build custom battery boxes that are 100% sealed and are placed inside (to center the weight over the axle) the trailer and must be vented to the outside in the remote case that they discharge. The discharge tube is 1/2 ID to give you an example how little venting is needed. My guess is you have way more than that with the unsealed edges of your lid? New Airstreams do not put a vent in the battery box build in the tongue area. Hope that helps you decide one way or the other. Todd
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:30 PM   #6
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Todd, look at my post above. How would I vent my marine type box installed inside the kitchen cabinet?

Gary
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:10 PM   #7
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I can send you a 1/4" stainless steel instrument air outlet screen fitting and you can drill I will see if I can find a bulkhead nut or a reducer you can put on the inside to screw it into.

If the lid is tight fitting or has a deep lip I would vent it. Hydrogen can self ignite at a concentration or around 19% with oxygen. If you ever had a battery with a problem and boiling the electrolyte you could possibly get a concentration of Hydrogen.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:32 PM   #8
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Come on Aage. He is the fabricator, not the designer. Where do you put the vent? How big should it be? A discussion would be in order though.

We talk a lot about venting batteries on this forum, but I have not seen any design guidelines. I am putting four 6v golf cart batteries in the rear storage compartment of my Tradewind. I would like to know how many vents to use and what size. I am putting two batteries on each side. I guess I could put one 1/2" vent on each side. I think that this would work, but It is only a guess.

Dan
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:36 PM   #9
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Gary, I would not vent through the floor, the less holes through the floor the better, rather it should be vented out the top of what ever sealed box you desire. Since you are in your kitchen area it think a simple solution could be to tap into your sink vent stack that vents to the top of the trailer... Todd
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:52 PM   #10
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Dan, and Others...
If the battery box is in a sealed storage compartment it only needs to be able release the gas build up to the outside. In my case for two reasons... I placed my batteries inside the trailer rather than outside, one to keep them warm in the winter so that they keep a charge better, the other to center them over the axle for weight and so they are closer to my electrical main panel. I also lowered then into the sub frame 4" to gain greater battery size. I use 6 two 90 lbs 6volt AMG batteries. The top of the battery box is then vented to the out side through a 1/2 ID tube that vents into the wheel well .. In the spring I blow air through it to make sure no critters have made a home... I have thought about putting a one way valve on the end but have not... I researched how much venting you needed and used of all things a golf cart manufactures information on venting batteries...Hope that helps! Todd
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:14 PM   #11
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Any flooded cell lead-acid battery MUST be vented to the outside of your trailer for safety...

Hydrogen gas (explosive if ignited) is emitted from this type of battery during normal discharging/recharging cycles...

Proper ventilation is essential to allow the gas to flow away from the battery compartment and then be diluted in the atmosphere...

Sulfur like fumes can be emitted when one cell of the battery becomes damaged and allows adjoining POS & NEG plates to touch (electrical short) - your 12 volt battery now becomes a 10 volt battery that the charging system tries to bring back up to 12 volts (usually at high charge rate)...this then 'overcharges' the good cells, heating up the battery, evaporating the fluid, exposing the plates and emitting larger amounts of hydrogen and those 'sulfur' fumes...Hence, VENTS are required!

The OE battery compartments in the front of older AS's have gaps in the exterior doors to allow the battery to vent the gasses - the inside of the compartment is completely sealed to keep any gas from entering the interior...

Later AS's place the batteries in a steel compartment or plastic battery boxes on the tongue that allow free flow venting of the gases...

I don't think I would attempt to 'vent' a sealed battery compartment into the pluming system's vertical vent pipe...You really need more than one vent to allow for a 'flow' of the air currents around the battery...The pluming vent may be subject to some unwanted air circulation during water flow through the system trapping some of the gas - I just don't think you'll want any hydrogen gas mixed with your plumbing system...
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:55 PM   #12
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Mexray

So what amount (size) of venting would you recommend for four golf cart batteries?

Dan
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:36 AM   #13
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Dan...I'm not a designer, but the large roto-molded plastic boxes I've seen for (4) 6 volt GC's have two, 2" holes at one end to route the cables, so there's quite a bit of area left over for ventilation...

I know that if I were to make a sealed box to be mounted inside the trailer, I'd want as much ventilation as possible - I don't think one or two 1/2" holes would be enough, IMHO...
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:20 AM   #14
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if the box in on the tongue, how would you vent an keep water out?
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