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OT Generator battery blows up

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by andybull, Apr 18, 2010.

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  1. andybull

    andybull Active Member

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    I tried to manually start an Onan 50 GenSet that I have in my second home. Upon flipping the switch instead of hearing the engine start up I heard a loud bang. This generator is about 100 feet from the house and I was in my basement garage, so I don't know if the engine turned over or not, all I know is that when I went over to the generator to see what happened I found that one of the two large batteries had blown apart.

    The batteries are about a year old. Any comments? Could this have been due to a imperfect battery?

    Thanks,

    Andy
     
  2. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Is the generator in a small, somewhat sealed and confined area? If so, you need ventilation. Batteries produce hydrogen and if there is no ventilation, any spark (even static electricty) will set it off.
     
  3. andybull

    andybull Active Member

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    It's a large generator, there are louvers on all four sides..
     
  4. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    An internal defect in the battery can be at fault. I've seen where an arc/spark was generated internally causing the hydrogen gas to ignite. It can make quite an explosion. Had one blow up on me in a car thirty years ago and I think I still might have some of the shrapnel in my leg. That one apparently had a crack near one of the terminals, which I suspect could have been an indicator that something was broken inside. Put the cables on it and it blew as soon as we cranked the engine. I don't stand near them anymore, nor do I try to charge or jump a questionable battery. Got showered with broken glass (headlights), plastic, and acid. Lucky there was a wash bay thirty feet away. My ears were ringing for two days.

    May I suggest replacing BOTH batteries with quality replacements. If one was damaged and blew up, the other could have been exposed to the same problems such as freezing or heat.

    I dealt with heavy electric forklift batteries. We had an inspection program and sophisticated test equipment. Any battery that was in the least questionable was replaced. You haven't lived until you've seen thousands of pounds of battery come apart violently.
     
  5. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Common occurrence with lead acid batteries.
     
  6. Fast Oil

    Fast Oil TS Member

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    In the mountains? Come over to SxS event this weekend!

    Scott
     
  7. KRE

    KRE TS Member

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    If your still useing the Onan Charger that is on the door of the Transfer switch, that is the problem. That style of charger has to be ajusted for the battery "It's" charging, as well as the input voltage the charger is seeing.

    Dump any and all, float only type charger, and replace it with a Float, equalize charger. Gen-Tran, Battery tenders, are becoming the Ind. std for small units,(<200KW) or you can step up to a Charles or Sin's.
    If your wanting the best go Lamarche, but bring your wallet.
     
  8. andybull

    andybull Active Member

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    I took both batteries to Autozone, that's where I had purchased the batteries. The battery that did not blow up tested fine, I got a credit of 22 bucks for the blown up battery, went home and all is well after connecting them.

    KRE: Please tell me what I need to buy that's reasonable in the way of a 24 volt charger. Is this a factory recommended update?

    Thanks.
     
  9. KRE

    KRE TS Member

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    andybull,

    You can find a 3 amp 24Vdc "Battery Tender", dealer via a net search.
    Their home page,

    http://www.batterytender.com/

    Kenneth
     
  10. andybull

    andybull Active Member

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    I'll order one and will install it on my next visit. I removed the charger's fuse meanwhile.
     
  11. KRE

    KRE TS Member

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    With no working charger, depending on your Gen-Sets mother board you will have 4-6 days before the batterys are dead, or will not start the engine. There are very few Auto start, Gen Sets, that do not draw power 24/7. I'd either run the unit every 3 days for 30 mins or reset the exc. clock to do it for you until the replacement charger is installed. The Battery tender like most newer chargers in todays world will not, charge a dead battery. If you do not need the unit, I'd just unhook the battery ground until it's repaired, unless there is a life safety issue within the home.

    Kenneth
     
  12. andybull

    andybull Active Member

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    We set the exc. clock to run every third day until we return.
     
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