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Old 11-18-2010, 03:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
I think the hydrogen explosion issue is waaay overstated. In normal use, you don't produce that much. The problem comes when you have a dead battery and you've hooked up another vehicle--the charging rate is very high in the first minute or so and the area under the hood is confined, plus you get a spark right at the point where you remove the jump cable. So if you've hooked up right to the battery terminal, the spark is in just the right place.

These three conditions just don't usually happen in an RV. There's almost zero explosion danger inside an RV in normal charge/discharge operations and there is no physiological danger from the gas.

You really have to work hard to blow the top off an battery, yet people seem to do it several times a year. Murphy is very proud...

My neighbor attempted to start his Buick several years ago while I was outside. I heard what sounded like an M-80 going off and walked over to him as he exited the Buick. There were vapors coming out from under his hood. We lifted his hood and found the top of the battery blown off and acid all over the engine compartment. He had not been working on the car or charging the car; he had just gotten into it to run an errand. So it can happen without apparant cause at any time.

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Old 11-18-2010, 06:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RamblinManGa View Post
Hi from Ga. . . can't find info on these automatic watering deals. I have 4 batteries and manually watching water levels is gonna get tedious. OK,OK, I know, I'm not the smartest guy here, but maybe someone could point me in the right direction ? ? please ?, thanks and regards, Craig
Flow-rite RV Battery filling systems, Quick Fill, Qwikfill, profill, pro-fill, battery water level Camping World - Flow-rite RV Battery filling systems, Quick Fill, Qwikfill, profill, pro-fill, battery water level - Product - Camping World


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Old 11-18-2010, 10:06 PM   #17
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I agree with Fred's last post in this thread. Once you have installed a smart charger, your batteries won't be using much water. The batteries use up their water when continually charged above 13.4 volts. The smart chargers provide a "float" charge around 13.2 to 13.6 volts

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Old 11-18-2010, 11:51 PM   #18
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Most major automotive Battery Mfg's these days have converted to Calcium alloy lead battery plates (as opposed to traditional antimony alloy plates)in most all their products that we typically see on suppliers shelves...

The Calcium alloy was first mass produced in Delco's line of 'maintenance free', side post batteries for GMC vehicles, many years just about everyone uses this type plate alloy, but using cast plates, not expanded metal plates as Delco uses...

The Calcium alloy lead plate begins to 'gas' at a higher charging voltage, allowing for a great reduction in water vapor loss, along with a special labyrinth cell venting system that does a better job of condensing vapors that are then returned into the cells as a liquid...

Now, if you have a modern 3-stage converter/charger that lowers the charging voltage into a 'float' mode as the battery is fully charged - coupled with modern Calcium alloy lead plates - your ultimate 'water loss' will be much less than we been accustomed too in years past...

Sure there are exceptions, when a cell fails, etc...but by in large, when today's deep cycle batteries are charged and 'floated' properly, you will get years of service life with little water loss...

Self watering systems have their place, in instances where the batteries are cycled often, such as off-grid, battery systems that are deeply discharged between cycles, golf carts, etc...BUT, most RV installations don't see such heavy cycling, and won't require much distilled water at all - IF - maintained properly as noted above with proper modern equipment...

BTW...the 'alloy' is added to the lead used for battery plates (grids) for strength - pure lead sponge grids work best, but aren't strong enough to take the abuse as the plates contract and expand during normal life...

Interestingly, there are some specialty mfg'd batteries that use pure lead sponge for their grids - these batteries perform very well, are of the 'sealed' type, but are quite a bit more expensive due to the increased amount labor required during the specialized manufacturing process...

Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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Old 11-25-2010, 04:58 PM   #19
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Battery Water

From past experience I have found that a once a year battery inspection is all my batteries need.
At that time I remove all chassis/house batteries, wash and hose out the battery compartment, clean and polish posts and cables, repair anything looking needy, and rotate the battery positions (4 x T105's)(2 x HD chassis) inside out. I sample and record, in my maintenance log, each cell with a battery hydrometer.
On reinstallation, I apply terminal GEL to the posts, anti seize to the hold downs, and know that all is well for another year.
I used to do it twice a year, but that proved not to be necessary.
Record everything in your maintenance records for future reference.
If you don't look at these tasks from a preventive maintenance view, they are sure to cause an unexpected crisis when it is most inconvenient.

On another note:
Changing from regular deep cycle to gel batteries may require a change in alternator output setting as the gel require a higher VOLTAGE to charge properly. I have not researched this at length, so will leave it to the experts on this forum to elaborate.


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