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Old 11-03-2014, 04:49 PM   #1
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Weird Battery Issue

What y'all are looking at is my 2 golf cart batts in their rack. The one on the right has a growth on the bottom of its rack underneath the strap, it's actually pushing the strap outwards. Pic 3 is the strap undone and showing this growth. I'm assuming this is aluminum oxide, but why is it there? The strap is plastic, so not conductive. The batts are in battery boxes, not touching the aluminum racks. The last 2 pics are the eaten up cable which I will replace. I chipped this stuff away from the rack and vacuumed up the fuzzy crud.The batts are grounded to the frame of the boat, along with everything else. What's happening here and how can I fix it?
Thanks in advance.
Mike
P.S: Sorry for the less than stellar pictures.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:31 PM   #2
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Can't tell from the photos but this is what I have seen when batteries are boiling out because of overcharge. Was the top of the battery wet? Sign of overcharge... Overcharge can occur when one of the batteries are taking on a large charge, (shorted or week cell) and the other is being over charged as a result. Something to check......
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:35 PM   #3
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The aluminum racks are grounded, right?

It looks to me like the battery boxes are slightly wet like everything on a boat. That creates a circuit from the pos battery terminal through the wet box to the rack to ground. That creates a corrosion situation and leads to the aluminum oxide that you see.

Clean up the oxide, insulate the rack and the problem should go away.

Now where was that cable connected?? The corrosion on the end is the result of a long term bad connection. The voltage drop across that connection led to the corrosion.

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Old 11-03-2014, 05:47 PM   #4
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Don't remember any wet on top Roger, but will look next time at the boat, thanks.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:51 PM   #5
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David: The boat is all aluminum stem to stern, but the racks are not grounded other than being welded to the boat. By insulate do you mean keep the batts and their boxes separated from the racks by something like a rubber gasket under each one?
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:57 PM   #6
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And the cable was connected from the neg terminal on the right batt to the pos terminal on the left batt. 2 six volt golf cart batts.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:58 PM   #7
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Possible battery leak? Take some of the battery cleaner you can get a wally world and sprey on it. If it changes color then you may have a leak from over charging or the battery is cracked.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:34 PM   #8
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Acid wicking down the strap from a leak above??
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:45 PM   #9
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Wicking possible, battery cleaner a great idea worth trying.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:12 PM   #10
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Greetings,
Mr. GC. Hoo boy...REALLY hard to remember Chemistry 101 but, and I stand to be corrected by someone who knows for sure...I have witnesses this corrosion/fuzzy stuff (fs) before in areas that are nowhere near any aluminum. The electrolyte in wet cells is sulfuric acid. Pretty well reacts with most metals. While the fs may be aluminum sulfate, it could also be lead sulphate (from battery posts) or zinc sulphate (galvanized plating on battery cables).
As mentioned, the ER is quite a damp place so any vaporous acidics from battery out gassing or actual electrolyte boiled off from overcharging can quite easily be distributed almost anywhere in proximity to your batteries. Again as mentioned, it could be wicking down the hold down strap and concentrating where the strap is close to the frame.
Solutions? Clean up and neutralize any acidic residue around the batteries and on the hold down straps. Consider painting the battery trays with something to minimize corrosion in the future. Coat cable ends with grease and keep a close eye on any electrolyte around the tops of the batteries.
You might consider spraying the tray with something similar to this:
http://www.batterystuff.com/battery-...es/bcp-10.html
I'm sure one of the automotive supply places (O'reilly's, NAPA or the like) will have an anti-corrosion spray that's easy to apply.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:26 PM   #11
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Well Mr. RT, the strap is sounding like the culprit here, need to figure out a way to isolate the straps from the top of the batts and see if that works.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:36 PM   #12
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Greetings,
Mr. GC. I don't think it IS possible to effectively isolate the strap. Could you change out the strap to a non-woven material? Stiff rubber perhaps? or maybe coat the strap in something like this.... Plasti Dip Protective Coating Products | Plasti Dip Protective Coating Products | Rubber Dip Coating
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:44 PM   #13
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Yeah, there has to be a better strap out there RT, those are cheapo straps that work fine but I'll look around and see. It will be well worth it if new straps stop the bats from eating up my boat. Thanks to all for the suggestions.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:18 PM   #14
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Things I'd try:

1. Thorough cleaning and neutralization of entire area and all components.

2. Rubber mat under each battery to isolate it from the hull

3. Thick rubber pads at each strap corner to protect the strap from direct contact with battery fluids

4. Regular monitoring to watch for changes/leaks.

If you have battery acid on the battery tops, try water miser caps or something similar to minimize loss of water.

Are the batteries relatively new and healthy?
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:57 AM   #15
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You probably have done this but if not, I would suggest to turn your charger off for several hours, dependent on your load. You want a small load on it. Then after a few hours under load check the voltage of each individual 6 volt battery. They should be very close to the same voltage. Much difference you have a battery weak and probably causing overcharge/boil on the other battery. If that is the case replace both at the same time.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:19 AM   #16
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I agree with a wet strap providing a conductive path
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:44 AM   #17
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You can mix up baking soda and water to clean the battery, strap and mounting area. The baking soda neutralizes the acid.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:47 PM   #18
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Al: The batteries are about a year and a half, old, maybe 2 years. I'll clean them up and get the straps off the tops, I have some rubber insulation that should work. Thanks to each of you for the suggestions, I'll follow them and see what happens.
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Old 11-04-2014, 02:07 PM   #19
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Instead of strapping directly over the top of the battery,why not strap over the top cover?You could place some builders foam sheet over the battery to prevent chafing through the cover, or some EVA foam sheet similar to what yoga mats are made of.That would prevent wicking of battery electrolytes through the straps.
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:25 PM   #20
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I just looked at the Flow Rite Pro-Fil system for keeping batteries full of water, I think it was been mentioned on TF awhile back. Looks like a great idea, is anyone out there using this gadget to fill their batteries?
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