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Slight Bulge In My Batteries

Jan 11, 2014
4,649
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
The whole point is not the charger, but exercising the batteries. Continuous small charge currents to replace natural discharge are reported to allow for some sulfating. (I guess a stronger current is needed to combat sulfation) To be truthful I have never been able to tell the difference but like I said we use the boat frequently enough that it would not come into play. Know some folks that run the charger 24/7 for a few month at a time and they have no complaints. Do not know at what length of time the effect would significantly affect battery performance. For me I personally value convenience over $$(battery life); if it is inconvenient to cycle the charger I would leave them charging 24/7.
Hmm, that's interesting. If that is the case then all those small solar chargers are not a good idea. And the California Emissions Control (CEC) ProMariner chargers serve a purpose beyond cutting emissions, as they have shorter run times.
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,589
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
In warmer climates, where battery freezing is not a common occurrence, a bulge like that, in a vented battery, is often the result of plate deformation inside the battery. The deformation can be caused by sulfate degradation or direct mechanical failure. Once the plates are deformed, internal shorting becomes likely. This can cause a very bad downward spiral that can accelerate on short notice at any time. The results can be dangerous.
 
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Aug 22, 2017
1,589
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
Dangerous? How?
A friend of mine in Miami, had a bulged battery in her car. She found out about it when the car would not start one day. If she drove the car, the battery would charge. If she started it a couple of hours later, it would start. If it sat for 2 days, it would not start. She didn't have time to get it changed immediately due to a a busy schedule & the fact that a Group 96R is not on the shelf in every corner auto parts store. As a temporary solution, she carried a jump pack, to get her by for a few days. On day 3, she saw smoke coming from under the hood while driving & drove into a repair station that happened to be close by. When the mechanic popped the hood, acid was bubbling from the battery & smoke was coming out of the vent. A few hours & a few boxes of baking soda later, things had cooled down enough to change the battery. I consider that to have been a close call that could have ended badly.
 
Last edited:
Dec 4, 2018
28
Balboa 27 NA Denver
The Ample Power Primer used to be my bible back in the day, and David Snead was a firm proponent of NOT storing batteries on extended float, but rather leaving them at resting voltage with periodic boost charging.

I bought a Nor’Sea in 1992 that had all Ample Power equipment, Sonnenschein 4D batts and had been left in a storage shed in Vegas on float for 5 rears. As soon as I got it home and used the system, the batteries bulged and were unusable. Certainly an extreme example but I have never left a battery in storage plugged in since.

The Trojan article is silent about extended storage at float voltage, either because it is no problem, or ???. Something to think about, I guess.
 

AlexB

.
Aug 9, 2016
33
C&C 36 Great Kills harbor.
I was topping off our GC-2 batteries this weekend and found an every-so-slight bulge in the battery's casing. They are about three years old, and have really never done any real work (thanks to a variety of factors that kept us from spending much time at anchor). I have a Sterling 60A charger so I am not cooking them at all. In fact, I hope they are still near 100%. Anyway, I attached a picture. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

Thanks!
It looks like those batteries are not to start engine, so it's not an emergency. If they under warranty, replace, if not- just see, what happens. You can borrow capacity tester to check the condition.
 
Aug 27, 2015
58
Cal 2-46 Whitianga. New Zealand
We had four batteries one year old all had the same issue. We bought the boat from an inexperienced couple who had sailed it from Panama(!!!)
But had never added water. They were knackered.

Had a problem with a frozen battery in Srinagar, Northern India. Perfectly good battery but zero output. Had to push start the Dechevaux Citroen. Not fine in that temperature!!!

Pete
 
Aug 27, 2015
58
Cal 2-46 Whitianga. New Zealand
We had four batteries one year old all had the same issue. We bought the boat from an inexperienced couple who had sailed it from Panama(!!!)
But had never added water. They were knackered.

Had a problem with a frozen battery in Srinagar, Northern India. Perfectly good battery but zero output. Had to push start the De chevaux Citroen. Not fine in that temperature!!!

Pete
 

pateco

.
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
HELP!!!

I lost two batteries over the last week, and am wondering if my charger has fried. This is the charger I have currently (I know it is too small, but it came with the boat)
Charger.jpg
Connected using the ACR below
BlueSea ACR.jpg
attached to two group 24 interstate batteries. bought new in 2016 and a 1-2-all switch

July third while prepping the boat for our sail on the 4th , the engine would not start even in the all position. Shore power was functional, and the charger was on. I checked the batteries, and fluid levels were fine, but one was hot and bulged. so I figured 3 years was all she wrote. went and bought a new one, and had a good sail on the 4th.

Wednesday evening I went to the boat to go for our weekly beer-can races and again it would not start. the other original battery was hot and bulged. I have disconnected the charger, and have not tried to recharge the new battery yet. (if it is bad I will get it replaced under warrantee.)

Could both batteries fail that close together, or do I have a bad/failed charger?
 
Sep 24, 2018
661
O'Day 25 Chicago
this is a 42' motoryacht
A boat that moves without sails?!? o_O There must be some devil's work going on here!

Perhaps a discharge test could shed some light on the batteries condition? Seems logical to me but I'm sure someone who's more knowledgeable will chime in on this...
 
Dec 4, 2018
28
Balboa 27 NA Denver
HELP!!!

I lost two batteries over the last week, and am wondering if my charger has fried. This is the charger I have currently (I know it is too small, but it came with the boat)
View attachment 167097
Connected using the ACR below
View attachment 167096
attached to two group 24 interstate batteries. bought new in 2016 and a 1-2-all switch

July third while prepping the boat for our sail on the 4th , the engine would not start even in the all position. Shore power was functional, and the charger was on. I checked the batteries, and fluid levels were fine, but one was hot and bulged. so I figured 3 years was all she wrote. went and bought a new one, and had a good sail on the 4th.

Wednesday evening I went to the boat to go for our weekly beer-can races and again it would not start. the other original battery was hot and bulged. I have disconnected the charger, and have not tried to recharge the new battery yet. (if it is bad I will get it replaced under warrantee.)

Could both batteries fail that close together, or do I have a bad/failed charger?
Well, if you had one hot and bad, the other could not be far behind. If for no other reason than it was hooked to the bad one. Lots of wiring questions. Are each battery separate and connected only by the switch and the ACR. I can’t imagine the little charger doing this, but if you plug it into shore power and check voltage you will be able to tell.
 
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pateco

.
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
@Garbonzo , It is wired like this.

acr.jpg

I also have a Victron Battery monitor installed. On July 3rd it was just showing low voltage. Yesterday it showed absolutely no voltage.
Victron.jpg
 
Jan 11, 2014
4,649
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
I also have a Victron Battery monitor installed. On July 3rd it was just showing low voltage. Yesterday it showed absolutely no voltage.
It looks like it is showing 0.94 Amps. It is easy to inadvertently change the display on the Victron.
 
Dec 4, 2018
28
Balboa 27 NA Denver
What is the Victron sensing, the start or the house? And where is the shunt located. Which battery was bad first?
 
Dec 4, 2018
28
Balboa 27 NA Denver
It could be a number of things, including an amp draw exceeding your 5 amp trickle charge and draining the battery (s). It could be with the start battery going that was shorting the acr and nothing going to the house.

You really need to get a better charger at any rate, and check the ACR.
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,589
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
@Garbonzo , It is wired like this.

View attachment 167099

I also have a Victron Battery monitor installed. On July 3rd it was just showing low voltage. Yesterday it showed absolutely no voltage.
View attachment 167100
The fuse on the negative seems strange to me, but I don't know that particular device, so it may be normal.

I would check voltage at the charger & at each battery with a hand held meter. Once I had those results, I would make other tests.