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Old 10-13-2016, 03:04 PM   #1
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Stinking Batteries Smell Like Rotten Eggs

My wife and I picked up our 2017 FC 25 on Aug 15 and have been traveling with it full time. We have yet to use the batteries since we've been on shore power each night.

A few days ago, we started to smell rotten eggs and traced the odor to the battery box. Over the course of a day, the odor got really nasty and we switched the batteries to the 'store' position and the odor went away. Fast forward to today, the odor came back so I switched them back to the store position and the odor is dissipating.

Has my Parallax unit cooked the batteries? The date stamps on the Interstate batteries are May, 2016. I'm taking the rig to the Interstate dealer tomorrow and will post the outcome.

Thanks, Dave
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:10 PM   #2
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They are sulfated from overvoltage charging. Check the water level if possible and standing voltage. Might plan on making a warranty appointment to have it checked out.
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Old 10-13-2016, 03:34 PM   #3
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They are sulfated from overvoltage charging. Check the water level if possible and standing voltage. Might plan on making a warranty appointment to have it checked out.
I measured the voltage at 12.75V. I pulled all four caps and the water level in 11 of the cells looks normal. The twelfth looks like it contains a honey colored solid and the level is just slightly below normal.

We are driving through St George tomorrow where there's an Interstate Battery warehouse. I talked to the tech who will look at the batteries and replace under warranty if they are defective.

Could the Parallax be at fault? The fan seems to be on about 20% of the time. Is this excessive?

Dave
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:17 PM   #4
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Lp?

Since they are right below the LP tanks, you could possibly have a LP leak? That smells much like what you are describing as a "rotten egg" smell.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:25 PM   #5
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Sounds like you might have at last one dead cell. They can verify that when tested.
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:31 PM   #6
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Rotten eggs smell is likely hydrogen sulfide, and that is dangerous. Recently a woman and her daughter were found dead inside a running SUV on the Florida turnpike. The cause of death was determined to be hydrogen sulfide poisoning from a defective battery which was apparently mounted under the car seat.

Get this looked at and corrected ASAP.

Al
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:39 PM   #7
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For 2 years I reconstruct my Cruiser 1954. A few weeks ago I noticed a strange smell in the trailer. Somewhere dead animals in a cavity?
Finally, the stench was so horrible that I could no longer work in it. Together with my neighbor, we went in search. Incredibly, it was the new gel battery, a large 250 ah, which should be free of maintenance! All around and above were large bulges, she was at bursting.
My Garagist has then substituted ...

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Old 10-13-2016, 07:37 PM   #8
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We send a lot of 4 stage upgrades for the Parallax units to dealerships every day, and not just Airstream. It's widely believed/known they are not your battery's best friend but some folks nurse them (Parallax) along and monitor them closely and get by for awhile, even a couple years before buying new batteries. The rotten egg smell is likely your batteries because propane smells like...well...propane.
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
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We send a lot of 4 stage upgrades for the Parallax units to dealerships every day, and not just Airstream. It's widely believed/known they are not your battery's best friend but some folks nurse them (Parallax) along and monitor them closely and get by for awhile, even a couple years before buying new batteries. The rotten egg smell is likely your batteries because propane smells like...well...propane.
Propane smells like rotten eggs also, because 'they' add Methyl-Mercaptan to the gas as an indicator.
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:49 PM   #10
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  • Natural gas and propane are colorless and odorless, hence a small amount of methyl mercaptan or ethyl mercaptan is always added to make it easy to detect a gas leak. The odor is reminiscent of rotten cabbage or a skunk and may get noticeably stronger as the tank becomes more empty with use, as the mercaptan is heavier, letting one know it's getting near time for a refill.
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:54 PM   #11
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Your battery is fried. Get a new one. Same thing happened to me.
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I measured the voltage at 12.75V. I pulled all four caps and the water level in 11 of the cells looks normal. The twelfth looks like it contains a honey colored solid and the level is just slightly below normal.
You have a shorted cell. Because the cell is shorted, the remaining cells are overcharging. The battery could overheat or explode if you continue to use it in this condition.

Quote:
We are driving through St George tomorrow where there's an Interstate Battery warehouse. I talked to the tech who will look at the batteries and replace under warranty if they are defective.
Good luck. You'll need it.

Quote:
Could the Parallax be at fault? The fan seems to be on about 20% of the time. Is this excessive?
There are many drawbacks to the Parallax chargers, among them the loud fan, but I doubt if it has anything to do with your problem.

Shorted cells can be caused by allowing the electrolyte level to get below the tops of the cells, by manufacturing defects, or by age.
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:23 PM   #13
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Propane smells like rotten eggs also, because 'they' add Methyl-Mercaptan to the gas as an indicator.
You're correct Mel I just meant that they smell different to me.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Sounds like you might have at last one dead cell
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
You have a shorted cell. Because the cell is shorted, the remaining cells are overcharging.
Bingo!

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Good luck. You'll need it.
We stopped at Interstate Battery in St George today and the tech (Alan) was awesome. He pulled the battery, confirmed the shorted cell and dropped in a new battery. All in about 30 min. He also explained that the honey colored solid was the strap holding the cells together and isn't normally visible with a proper water level.

Thanks for all the comments, Dave
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