Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

Battery Explosion


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Panzerguy OFFLINE  

Panzerguy
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 53940
  • 650 Thanks
  • 391 posts
  • Location: Pawcatuck, CT

Posted February 07, 2015 - 11:04 PM

This is an important safety issue that I forgot to post on here after I posted the pics of the Panzer snowthrower.

   After I had gotten done clearing most of the driveway for a couple of hours, I shut the tractor off and got the camera to take a few pics while the snow was still flying. After I got done with that, I put the camera back in the house then came back to the tractor to start it up and move it out of the way until the next time I needed it. I was standing next to the tractor and as soon as I turned the key to start it, I heard a loud bang, like a firecracker exploding. I thought it was just a backfire through the muffler but then the wife yelled that there was something smoking under the seat. I immediately saw smoke coming off one of the battery terminals and saw something leaking from the battery. Looking further, I could see that one of the battery caps was blown off and the battery case was split open in a couple of places. Needless to say the battery had exploded but luckily, there were no injuries.

  Due to the nature of the snowblowing operation with these tractors, it is quite common for the operator and the tractor to get covered with snow, especially if it's the dry powdery stuff being blown around by the wind. Since the batteries on these older tractors are completely exposed to the elements, they commonly get covered with snow also. I felt the side of the battery after the explosion and it was slightly warm to the touch but nowhere near being hot. The top had been completely covered with wet snow when it poppped so I'm assuming the wet snow had blocked the caps from venting and helped to create a short across the battery terminals. Some sort of spark must have occured when I turned the key to start the engine, thus exploding the battery. 

   I've been using this tractor in these condition for years and never had a problem like this but you know what they say -"There's always a first time". I guess I've been lucky so far. I'll be looking into coming up with some kind of cover for the top of the battery to keep the snow off of it.

   We removed the bad battery, washed everything down, then intsalled another battery. Luckily everything worked fine and we were back in business.

   Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to mention this because I know some of you have been, or are thinking of, playing around with these older electric start Panzers in the snow.

 

 Be careful out there.  Big AL 


  • rustyoldjunk, Bud, Gtractor and 22 others have said thanks

#2 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

Utah Smitty

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 5557
  • 1,643 Thanks
  • 1,746 posts
  • Location: Northern Utah

Posted February 07, 2015 - 11:09 PM

This is an important safety issue that I forgot to post on here after I posted the pics of the Panzer snowthrower.

   After I had gotten done clearing most of the driveway for a couple of hours, I shut the tractor off and got the camera to take a few pics while the snow was still flying. After I got done with that, I put the camera back in the house then came back to the tractor to start it up and move it out of the way until the next time I needed it. I was standing next to the tractor and as soon as I turned the key to start it, I heard a loud bang, like a firecracker exploding. I thought it was just a backfire through the muffler but then the wife yelled that there was something smoking under the seat. I immediately saw smoke coming off one of the battery terminals and saw something leaking from the battery. Looking further, I could see that one of the battery caps was blown off and the battery case was split open in a couple of places. Needless to say the battery had exploded but luckily, there were no injuries.

  Due to the nature of the snowblowing operation with these tractors, it is quite common for the operator and the tractor to get covered with snow, especially if it's the dry powdery stuff being blown around by the wind. Since the batteries on these older tractors are completely exposed to the elements, they commonly get covered with snow also. I felt the side of the battery after the explosion and it was slightly warm to the touch but nowhere near being hot. The top had been completely covered with wet snow when it poppped so I'm assuming the wet snow had blocked the caps from venting and helped to create a short across the battery terminals. Some sort of spark must have occured when I turned the key to start the engine, thus exploding the battery. 

   I've been using this tractor in these condition for years and never had a problem like this but you know what they say -"There's always a first time". I guess I've been lucky so far. I'll be looking into coming up with some kind of cover for the top of the battery to keep the snow off of it.

   We removed the bad battery, washed everything down, then intsalled another battery. Luckily everything worked fine and we were back in business.

   Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to mention this because I know some of you have been, or are thinking of, playing around with these older electric start Panzers in the snow.

 

 Be careful out there.  Big AL 

 

Who would have thought that would happen?? I'm glad no one was hurt... Thanks for sharing it.

 

Smitty


  • Alc, tinbender7, Savageman and 1 other said thanks

#3 chris m ONLINE  

chris m

    Tractorholic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8148
  • 3,277 Thanks
  • 4,033 posts
  • Location: Charlestown,Rhode Island

Posted February 07, 2015 - 11:16 PM

I have seen a couple batteries explode over the years. I am just glad you are ok! The tractor surviving is great too, but not nearly as important.

 

It is also great that you are giving everyone a heads up to what can happen. :thumbs:

 

Good luck with our next round of snow Neighbor!


  • Alc, tinbender7, boyscout862 and 3 others have said thanks

#4 glgrumpy ONLINE  

glgrumpy

    Getting Out!

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 8360
  • 6,661 Thanks
  • 6,475 posts
  • Location: Huntington, IN 46750 North East in State

Posted February 07, 2015 - 11:42 PM

Power King's have batt under one side of seat and if you replace with taller batt, which is most of time, and is a top post, the seat can swing down with heavy person on it and short accross the positive term and short out.  That maybe happen to yours? OR, if not on tractor, guess that doesn't apply, Never Mind!


  • tinbender7, Sawdust and Coventry Plumber have said thanks

#5 Savageman OFFLINE  

Savageman
  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 53929
  • 394 Thanks
  • 262 posts
  • Location: Southampton, MA

Posted February 08, 2015 - 05:17 AM

Thanks for the headsup.  Sorry to hear that Al.  I've been lucky with no battery explosions but did have a battery short out and burn up a whole wiring harness on an Arctic Cat snowmobile to the tune of $1500.00.  Shouldn't have brought that up it doesn't belong here.

 

if you think that venting was the problem then maybe a sealed battery is the answer.  Or maybe one of those Gel batteries all the racers use.  They are supposed to be real safe.  For sure rubber caps over the terminals is a definite.  Your lucky you had an extra battery hanging around.  Get the Panzer ready.  Here comes another 12"er followed by another 8".

 

Oh well, at least there was no harm to you 'cause you know your butt is real close.

 

Dave


Edited by Savageman, February 08, 2015 - 05:21 AM.

  • tinbender7, icecream4070, Panzerguy and 1 other said thanks

#6 cootertom OFFLINE  

cootertom
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 59950
  • 1,326 Thanks
  • 718 posts
  • Location: Springville, Alabama

Posted February 08, 2015 - 05:45 AM

Sure it wasn't just the battery gone bad. I've had 2 explode like that in a car and a truck. The first one even burst the sides to the battery and the second battery popped 2 holes out the top of the battery. Never had a battery go bad in either one after that.
  • tinbender7 and Coventry Plumber have said thanks

#7 MH81 OFFLINE  

MH81

    Proud to be Deplorable

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 802
  • 27,289 Thanks
  • 28,622 posts
  • Location: N. W. PA

Posted February 08, 2015 - 06:36 AM

The charging of a lead acid battery can cause hydrogen to be released. If there was a snow dome, it could've trapped the gas. Now all we need is an ignition source.

Thankfully you weren't hurt. The ending of this story could've been far worse.
  • tinbender7, CRFarnsworth and Panzerguy have said thanks

#8 CRFarnsworth OFFLINE  

CRFarnsworth

    Member

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 6275
  • 3,642 Thanks
  • 1,734 posts
  • Location: Rossville Illinois

Posted February 08, 2015 - 07:59 AM

The charging of a lead acid battery can cause hydrogen to be released. If there was a snow dome, it could've trapped the gas. Now all we need is an ignition source.

 

First of all I'm glad you weren't hurt.

I've had only one battery explode. It was being charged, and caught a spark when i unhooked the leads from the charger. I have since learned to hook up the charger to the battery and then plug into the wall. I always unplug the charger and then disconnect from the battery.

I've never had one explode otherwise.  Hope I never do!    Rick


Edited by CRFarnsworth, February 08, 2015 - 04:59 PM.

  • tinbender7, Rock farmer and Panzerguy have said thanks

#9 tinbender7 OFFLINE  

tinbender7

    FORDoholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 5171
  • 1,113 Thanks
  • 784 posts
  • Location: Ft Meade,FL

Posted February 08, 2015 - 09:10 AM

I have seen a battery freeze and bulge and explode the minute you put power to it like ,turn the key on.


  • Alc and Panzerguy have said thanks

#10 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

dodge trucker
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 19314
  • 1,439 Thanks
  • 1,897 posts
  • Location: kankakee

Posted February 08, 2015 - 09:29 AM

I have seen 2 batteries explode. 1st time back in high school was helping finish an engine swap on a 77 Maverick, had the battery charger on "high" as we were just getting ready to fire up the replacement engine for the 1st time, teacher was getting anxious for my buddy to get it outta there for room to get the next project in.  Plan was for the own to drive it home that day. we were not getting a good ground, so I went to loosen the ground cable at the engine side (paint can be a great insulator)  so I could "wiggle" it and retighten it... the wrench slipped off and flung the loose end right to the "+" terminal of the battery.... Another kid was standing right over the battery when it blew/ this kid always followed like a lost puppy and was often "right there" in the way... and got a face full and the brunt of the concussion (noise) of the blast....

 

the other time was our shop truck at a place I used to work at; I was asked to deliver a couple tires on a cold winter day, I had  moved the truck outside about 6 hours earlier, as we always parked it inside over nite.  

I got in, hit the key, and heard a light little "pop"  and then everything was stone dead/lights and all... that one just cracked the case when it blew, didn't blow the whole case apart like the 1st one (above) did.


  • Alc, Savageman and Panzerguy have said thanks

#11 Panzerguy OFFLINE  

Panzerguy
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 53940
  • 650 Thanks
  • 391 posts
  • Location: Pawcatuck, CT

Posted February 08, 2015 - 10:31 AM

Thanks for the headsup.  Sorry to hear that Al.  I've been lucky with no battery explosions but did have a battery short out and burn up a whole wiring harness on an Arctic Cat snowmobile to the tune of $1500.00.  Shouldn't have brought that up it doesn't belong here.

 

if you think that venting was the problem then maybe a sealed battery is the answer.  Or maybe one of those Gel batteries all the racers use.  They are supposed to be real safe.  For sure rubber caps over the terminals is a definite.  Your lucky you had an extra battery hanging around.  Get the Panzer ready.  Here comes another 12"er followed by another 8".

 

Oh well, at least there was no harm to you 'cause you know your butt is real close.

 

Dave

 

A far as my butt being real close to the battery ------------ I don't have one so that really wouldn't be an issue. Nothing but bone and gristle. That's why I need those seat pads. :biting_nails:


  • Savageman and Coventry Plumber have said thanks

#12 Savageman OFFLINE  

Savageman
  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 53929
  • 394 Thanks
  • 262 posts
  • Location: Southampton, MA

Posted February 08, 2015 - 12:55 PM

Al, I spoke with Carl this morning, he is a mechanic, and he advises you to have your charging system checked.  Make sense?  If your overcharging you make more hydrogen.


Edited by Savageman, February 08, 2015 - 12:55 PM.

  • Alc, Panzerguy and Coventry Plumber have said thanks

#13 Canawler OFFLINE  

Canawler

    Member

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1273
  • 1,893 Thanks
  • 1,750 posts
  • Location: York, PA

Posted February 08, 2015 - 01:58 PM

Glad you weren't hurt and hopefully not much acid got on the paint?

 

You might want to check for holes in the seat.  I hear methane is explosive as well. :smilewink:


  • MH81, Sawdust, Bill 76 and 2 others have said thanks

#14 Panzerguy OFFLINE  

Panzerguy
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 53940
  • 650 Thanks
  • 391 posts
  • Location: Pawcatuck, CT

Posted February 09, 2015 - 07:09 AM

Glad you weren't hurt and hopefully not much acid got on the paint?

 

You might want to check for holes in the seat.  I hear methane is explosive as well. :smilewink:

 

   Yep - there always has to be AT LEAST one wise guy :shoot2:.    I say "at least" because I'm one of them.

Here's to ya Jimmy :beer:.   


  • olcowhand, MH81 and Coventry Plumber have said thanks

#15 grattone OFFLINE  

grattone
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 66237
  • 222 Thanks
  • 167 posts
  • Location: Stanleytown, Va.

Posted February 21, 2015 - 08:59 PM

If you do cover the battery to keep the snow from covering it, make sure you are vented. Also when pulling a battery always remove the Neg.(-) wire first and install it last that way if the wrench hits the frame while working with the positive (+) wire their is no return path. I also use a short wrench to keep from shorting the terminals. Had a friend short a battery while disconnecting its not a good thing to do...






Top