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Old 07-16-2019, 11:48 AM   #1
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Exclamation Battery boxes

I was checking the batteries in this boat before survey.


there are 3 under the engine room floor, I lifted the floor and they are just loose in the bilge.
I assume one for each engine and one for the Gen.



Can't be right, not strapped etc



Not in a separate box


So I'm thinking about building a box out of 1/2" or 3/4" ply to fit in the same space.


But it needs to vent (include Sulfur Dioxide as well as Hydrogen Sulfide. Pure hydrogen also is possible)
I think, how where to?


Or am I worrying for nothing?


Just strap them a box to contain any spill and vent in the engine
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:01 PM   #2
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There are several decent commercial boxes, easy to strap down, if one of those configurations fits your space...

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Old 07-16-2019, 12:19 PM   #3
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I realize that some obsess about battery venting, but I don't. No boat that I have owned (and I have owned about ten cruising type boats over the years) ever had battery venting whether the batteries were in the engine compartment or in the living area or in a cockpit lazarette.


ABYC requires batteries to be in boxes that will contain the entire battery contents and that the boxes be strapped down. Noco makes good ones for less than $15 on Amazon.


David
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:25 PM   #4
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I've had several boats but sailboats only two batteries none were in boxes but were strapped down.
Of course there was bilge blower


But with this power boat having more batteries I ask
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:33 PM   #5
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If you have a non traditional battery configuration. you can build the boxes out of plywood, fiberglass the inside of the box. just make sure that the box will contain any leakage from the batteries. and it is secured to the boat according to standards. The battery terminals should also be protected from accidental shorting.
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:35 PM   #6
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If it was my boat. I would build a box, or buy a box, that will contain any acid spills, keep the batteries secure, cover the terminal with a non conductive material and have some vents. As to securing the batteries ABYC specifies movement no more than 1Ē. I secure mine with no movement since I donít want any pulling on the connections. If you buy a commercial box it will probably meet the standards but I cut some starboard spacers to drop down by the side of the batteries so they canít move at all. Also if the commercial box has the cheezy strap, get rid of it and use a substantial tie down instead. Think about your boat rolling on itís side and the cheezy strap holding several hundred pounds of batteries in place, will it hold?
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:55 PM   #7
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As others have said, there are a variety of inexpensive and functional battery boxes. Find one that fits your battery and space and call it good. It is easy to secure them with straps.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:07 PM   #8
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Buy molded plastic boxes and use stout plywood to construct a HORIZONTAL platform to support the boxes as well as provide a place to anchor the straps. I reconstructed the original battery box platform in my Albin when I noticed that it wobbled when I stepped on it. 2x blocking under the platform was cut to match the curvature of the bilge and was glued directly to the hull using WEST void-filling epoxy. It's all easy to do unless your batteries are in an awkward position.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:18 PM   #9
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I built my own box as I did not find any that would fit properly in my space/configuration.
I made it with pine wood, sealed with epoxy and reinforce with fiberglass. Each battery space has an empty space below the battery that could contains a eventual spill. The battery stands in the box up to 2/3rd of its height so cannot roll over the side. I may add a box cover at one point in time but not sure yet as all battery post will be protected by a plastic cover over the post.
Finally I used bilge primer and paint as a finish for the box.

The box itself is fixed on a wooden stand in the ER.

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Old 07-16-2019, 04:28 PM   #10
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I also built my own boxes from 3/4 plywood for bases, and 3/4 pine for the sides and sealed with PL premium and fiberglass cloth.
For one I dumped some baking soda in the box, in case acid boils out which happens when the batteries fail, it will neutralize the acid.

When battery plates short, which can easily happen when they get old, a shorted cell is made, and its being charged constantly, the electrolyte gets real hot, and bubbles out of the cell vents.
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:05 PM   #11
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I have a custom air tight battery box made out of plywood, coated with epoxy and glass cloth. It is installed under the salon settee with a vent hose to outside. The box was built 1/2" bigger than necessary in width and length to make battery removal easier. Pieces of flat plastic are inserted between the box and battery to prevent shifting.

Having large bank of house batteries in living spaces without venting gases outdoor is not good practice.

The house batteries were installed under the settee in open top boxes by the PO. When we bought the boat, I noticed that a lot of the metal fittings, screws and hardware around the battery were discolored or tarnished dark. I replaced many of the discolored metal but within a year, they were tarnished again.

I also noticed that when the batteries were low and being recharged at a high bulk rate that the smoke detector would go off once in a while. Finally dawned on me about the gasses produced by the batteries in the open box.

After installing the batteries in an air tight box vented to the outside, no more tarnishing of metal and a quiet smoke detector.
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
I also built my own boxes from 3/4 plywood for bases, and 3/4 pine for the sides and sealed with PL premium and fiberglass cloth.
For one I dumped some baking soda in the box, in case acid boils out which happens when the batteries fail, it will neutralize the acid.

When battery plates short, which can easily happen when they get old, a shorted cell is made, and its being charged constantly, the electrolyte gets real hot, and bubbles out of the cell vents.
I did the exact same with backing soda and I think I got the idea from you in another post

L
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
I did the exact same with backing soda and I think I got the idea from you in another post

L
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:29 PM   #14
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USCG Recreational Vessels Electrical Requirements

Batteries - Must be secured so they cannot be moved more than 1" in any direction; terminals must be protected so that metallic objects cannot contact ungrounded terminals (positive battery terminal); and be vented to permit the discharge of hydrogen gas. Batteries cannot be installed directly above or below a fuel tank, fuel filter or fuel line fitting.

This does not say anywhere must be mounted in a box.
I hope this helps everyone.
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