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Old 01-05-2011, 11:17 AM   #61
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Not really. The proper way to remove/install a battery is to disconnect the ground post (usually, but not always, the negative terminal) first and to connect it last. No sparks fly now............
Of course, that is the right way to do it. Tell me with a straight face that you haven't heard of anyone arcing a car battery.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:23 PM   #62
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Sure, some people don't do things right. If they don't know how, can't figure it out and won't learn, they shouldn't try. That's why I am willing to change batteries but don't do brain surgery.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:27 PM   #63
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...I am willing to change batteries but don't do brain surgery.
+1

When I bought my used RV, I spent a lot of time going through everything. I had read that there were many RV fires each year due to electrical shorts or propane line problems.

So, I carefully checked the big heavy gauge wiring around the house batteries - "house" meaning the batteries that are for living and not the starter battery for the engine. While the batteries were being under charge by the power converter, I measured the voltage drop across each connection, each crimp terminal, the isolator relay, etc... to make sure there was good contact.

At one crimp terminal, the voltage drop was a bit high. It was in the tens of millivolts compared to other places that were in the millivolts.

Hmm... I felt that terminal lug, and it was a bit warm. Of course the contact had higher than normal resistance. The cable looked a bit corroded. Hmm... I wiggled it a bit to see if the voltage drop changed. Yes, of course...

And then, the darn big #2 cable in my hand came off its lug. Good lord! The crimp terminal had worked itself loose, and the cable end was barely hanging there in the socket. The hair on the back of my neck raised when I thought of what could happen. Holy mackerel! Imagine if this thing came off and shorted its end against the steel enclosure holding the batteries while I was driving. Talk about unintentional arc welding!

So, I spent time to rip out all these chintzy cables with crimp terminals, put in all new ones with soldered ends, and put fuses in there too. The house batteries and the engine battery were also linked via a battery isolator relay. This was a long #2 gauge cable snaking through the chassis and the engine compartment, and there were no fuses at all to protect against fire should the cable rub against the chassis and short itself out. So, I put in big fuses, one on each end.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:23 PM   #64
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Sure, some people don't do things right. If they don't know how, can't figure it out and won't learn, they shouldn't try. That's why I am willing to change batteries but don't do brain surgery.
What is that saying? - experience is something you get just after you need it.......
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:53 PM   #65
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Of course, that is the right way to do it. Tell me with a straight face that you haven't heard of anyone arcing a car battery.
Yup. KABOOM! The idjit was trying to pry a stuck lug off the post with a big ole screwdriver (instead of a lug puller). Melted halfway through the screwdriver.

Requisite sea story: Of course, a cell in a submarine battery can deliver a heck of a lot more in cranking amps. It takes a lot to move a boat, even more to get a nuclear reactor to turn over. So, EM-4 Schmeckel hops into the battery well, to jumper out a questionable cell. He has with him his handy 3/4" open end wrench. Sadly, not the one covered in plastic insulation.

KABOOM!

He did have his safety glasses on, and his heavy rubber gloves, and canvas coveralls, so he survived, remarkably unharmed outside of a few minor burns. The Engineer kept the pieces of the wrench that we found.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:21 AM   #66
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He did have his safety glasses on, and his heavy rubber gloves, and canvas coveralls, so he survived, remarkably unharmed outside of a few minor burns. The Engineer kept the pieces of the wrench that we found.
Yikes. Just... yikes.

So-- how long was the incident critique?
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:33 AM   #67
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The stupid story I know about a batter is someone that I worked with when I was an teenager... this idiot was having a problem with the battery and took the caps off (remember, back then they screwed on)... he could NOT see the level of the water so he needed a light...

Out comes the BIC lighter... you can guess the rest...



He almost lost one eye... and had acid burns on his face and chest... I was not there long enough, so I do not know if he ever recovered from it... nor how good his eye became...
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:29 AM   #68
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Yikes. Just... yikes.

So-- how long was the incident critique?
The formal one or the informal one? The electrician became the designated galley air filter/precipitator cleaner for the remainder of his tour/career. There were a few weeks of extra daily E-Div training, covering both safety and Schmeckel supervision requirements (designated semi-permanent Sea-Dad status).
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:39 AM   #69
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One day I was driving my truck and took a sharp turn. Suddenly I heard a loud "WHUP!" The truck died, and acrid smoke started pouring into the drivers cab.

Eyes watering, I jumped out and popped the hood expecting a big fire. Nothing. Just a few sparks from the battery and a lot of smoke. On closer inspection my power steering line looked dry, cracked and brittle. The engine smelled like a burning tire.

Turns out the battery came loose from its base while I was turning. Positive terminal touched the body of the truck (i.e. went to ground). All that electricity went to the weakest link in the engine compartment. Evidently that was the hose, which was inset with metal lining. It fried until the battery went kaput. When I touched it, the hose peeled apart like a banana.

My very experienced mechanic had never seen anything quite like that...
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:36 PM   #70
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The formal one or the informal one? The electrician became the designated galley air filter/precipitator cleaner for the remainder of his tour/career. There were a few weeks of extra daily E-Div training, covering both safety and Schmeckel supervision requirements (designated semi-permanent Sea-Dad status).
Good times. NOT. I know an officer & chief petty officer who were taken to admiral's mast for a similar incident resulting in greater injuries to the electrician.

That photo looks like it was taken in the early 20th century, but the cell looks exactly the same size & shape of the 1990s battery replacement I went through... don't miss that evolution a bit, either.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:54 AM   #71
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I didn't comment on Sam's Club, years ago, I looked at them, but backed away from buying one there. I know I read an article (not this one) that WalMart brand, Everstart, was made by Johnson Controls. I talked to a bunch of people at the company since I contracted there, they really stand behind their product quality.
Since WalMart owns Sam's, I'm assuming it's the same, that's why I suggested you need to ask Sam's Club to be sure.
As luck (good or bad) would have it, we had to take our 2003 CRV for an oil change at Midas and the battery amp test came back at 263, battery needs replacing. I declined the offer from them and my car wouldn't start in the parking lot after they pulled it off the car rack!

I filled up my battery cells w/distilled water and gave it a trickle charge, all is good so far, but in my comparing pricing, I was able to verify Sam's Club sells Interstate Megatron and Optima brands (Chicago area). I plan on getting mine from Costco today (supposed to be -29 wind chill later), which I've been told is Kirkland branded, but is an Interstate battery, so far, I know the cold cranking amps match the Megatron and it looks like the Costco warranty is a little better than Sam's Club. FYI - if you ever need to use a warranty on club purchased batteries or tires, you need to have an active membership. I found this out a few years ago, when I switched from Sam's to Costco. I had to renew my membership so I could use my tire hazard warranty for a flat...then I cancelled the month or two later. Made me ask Costco, same rules apply.
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