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GWGAllisfan

Battery issue: what happened?

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GWGAllisfan
My B-10 hasn't been moved for some time. I doubt it has been moved since mid-08, and bes i can remember hasn't been started since then. I was getting ready to go to a small local show this weekend and decided to charge the battery in preparation to start the engine. Of course the batterry was dead, to the point the charger didn't seem to want to charge it. Monday night I left it on 2A trickle charge all night, and in the morning the batteruy was sightly warm, but still not enough curretn to turn over the engine. Last night I put the charger on at the regular 15 amp setting and left it all night.(7-8 hours) The charger has an auto-shut-off so I though this would be OK. When I came out to look this morning, there was a hot eletrical smell and the side panel by the battery was warm to the touch. Bubbles were coming out of the vent covers. Since I had to go to work, I pushed it outside and have left it to cool. What's happening here? My guess is the battery had an internal short? Maybe sulfation lead to over current and boiling the electrolyte? I understand hydrogen production is a side effect of charging lead -acid batteries, just never seen this much. The charger still seems to produce current, though I think it's amp/charge guage is broken now. I'm aware I need to buy a new battery soon, but want to understand what happened.

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Tiny
Another likely cause is you wanted to have water over the plates before you started charging it. Charging a battery low on water (below the plates) is a perfect way to ruin a battery.

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HubbardRA
Batteries that are allowed to sit and are not used for long periods of time will develop a sulfate coating on the plates which will prevent charging. If this is the case it will just take a long period of slow charging to break down the coating. I have had batteries that I worked on for a week before they started charging correctly. I would put my 10 amp charger on for a couple hours, then take it off for a while, then put it back on again, then take it off overnight. It seems that each time I put it back on the battery would take on just a little more charge, till eventually it got back where it should be. If this doesn't happen, then it is shorted like Maynard said.

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dentwizz
Another device for that would be a "Desulfating" or reconditioning charger. There are conditions in which it would not do the trick, but I have seen where it does wonders. They are not cheap and not fast($50-100) but at the cost of a battery it can be worth it if the unit is not too far gone. Also useful for preventive maintenance.

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