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Battery explosion


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#1 WHdbJD OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 03:11 PM

Backed the E-14 out of the shop this morning.  Stopped and

shiftd into low,  moved the lever to forward and the fuel gauge dropped to

total discharge.   Then....BOOM!   The front battery under the hood had exploded.

 

Scared the crap out of me!

 

I took both front batteries out and the other front battery had slightly bulging sides.

I cleaned out the battery box with baking soda solution. 

Any thing I should check before I drop in a new set of batteries?

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#2 sacsr OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 03:15 PM

Glad you were not injured. I am of no help, hopefully some will post soon that can be of help.
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#3 larrybl ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 03:46 PM

"and the fuel gauge dropped to total discharge." I assume you meant the AMP Gauge, If this is the case It would mean a Dead Short has happened, thus the battery explosion. I would check all Wires "Especially the heavy gauge ones"  for damage. Wouldn't hurt to check the solenoid also as those have been known to short out.

 

Be Very careful connecting new batteries, I would wear a full face shield cloves, and a bomb suit if available.


Edited by larrybl, August 28, 2016 - 03:47 PM.

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#4 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 04:15 PM

That's not good as you will never get all that acid out of there. Plus, gotta figure out why!


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#5 WNYTractorTinkerer ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 05:24 PM

Sprinkle baking soda around all the metal parts you don't want to corrode and wash it off.  It neutralizes the acid..  The explosion was caused by the battery itself.   It wasn't the tractor's fault.  Just to be sure look @ the main cables to look for any exposed wires or shorting..  


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#6 grattone OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 05:33 PM

Isn't  there a circuit breaker/ fuse in line with the battery's ? If not I believe I would put one there before reconnecting the battery's. I have a friend who lost an eye hooking up a battery. 


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#7 JBRamsey OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 05:40 PM

Batteries relates hydrogen gas when they are charging. Most likely something sparked and ignited the hydrogen.

The big question is finding and correcting the root cause. The batteries could have been overcharging and out gassing more than normal.

For the acid, hose it down and cover everything with baking soda. Everywhere you see it bubbling that means its neutralizing the acid.

Lucky you had the hood closed. A friend of mine almost lost his sight when a car battery blew on him.

#8 JBRamsey OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 06:08 PM

Rereading your post, I would go through the complete charging system, check and clean all of the connections.

The bulging battery was caused by hydrogen gas building up during the charge cycle.

Are these maintenance free batteries? If they require topping up and the water allowed to get too low, the plates inside can warp. If they warp enough, they touch, arc and explode.

#9 WHdbJD OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 06:14 PM

Thanks guys!  I know I'm fortunate.  I've heard and read about battery explosions, but never

saw or heard one.  It lifted the hood an inch or so.  I'm going to take my time going over the

wiring to look for a short.

 

Yes, the 'fuel gauge'  I refered to would be an amp gauge, It's labeled as fuel on the dash.

 

These are not maintenance free batteries, I pulled the caps and water/acid level was OK.



#10 IHCubGuy ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 06:33 PM

20 years ago when I was in Penn College instructors told of a student was working with a battery on the 8v92 detroit in the dyno room and a 4D exploded in his crotch.  Lucky for him he was wearing heavy Carrhartts.


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#11 larrybl ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 06:34 PM

The AMP gauge is normally connected in series with the charging circuit. Seeing it dropped to total discharge (usually 15 - 30 amps) but if the needle pegged could be much more, something is definitely shorted.  Be careful. If it was me, I would place a high current Headlight bulb like a 35W 12V Halogen in series with the battery + terminal and cable. Then go through all the key switch positions. Full Bright = Short.   


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#12 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 06:48 PM

Backed the E-14 out of the shop this morning.  Stopped and

shiftd into low,  moved the lever to forward and the fuel gauge dropped to

total discharge.   Then....BOOM!   The front battery under the hood had exploded.

 

 

 

"and the fuel gauge dropped to total discharge." I assume you meant the AMP Gauge, If this is the case It would mean a Dead Short has happened, thus the battery explosion. I would check all Wires "Especially the heavy gauge ones"  for damage. Wouldn't hurt to check the solenoid also as those have been known to short out.

 

 

 

 

Thanks guys! 

 

Yes, the 'fuel gauge'  I refered to would be an amp gauge, It's labeled as fuel on the dash.

 

 

 

 

The AMP gauge is normally connected in series with the charging circuit. Seeing it dropped to total discharge (usually 15 - 30 amps) but if the needle pegged could be much more, something is definitely shorted.  Be careful. If it was me, I would place a high current Headlight bulb like a 35W 12V Halogen in series with the battery + terminal and cable. Then go through all the key switch positions. Full Bright = Short.   

 

The FUEL gauge on GE tractors is a volt meter, it measures the total battery pack voltage.

 

The AMP meter or Power use gauge as they call it, measures all the battery amps being used.


Edited by DH1, August 28, 2016 - 06:55 PM.

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#13 larrybl ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 06:56 PM

Either way, a complete drop on Voltage, or High discharge on Amperage = SHORT.

Only the Charging / Accessory circuit is fused. The Starter / solenoid (Hi AMP) Circuits are normally not fused. 


Edited by larrybl, August 28, 2016 - 06:58 PM.

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#14 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 07:10 PM

Agreed. 

I think the battery itself shorted out and caused the explosion. ??? but I don't know for sure.

I also think that when he moved the control to go forward and the Fuel gauge or volt meter dropped that's when the battery shorted out.

But again I don't know for sure, I'm not a battery expert.

 

There is a short piece of solid wire that is mounted on the main disconnect, they say it's rated at 250 amps ???

All the battery power goes through that wire or fuse.


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#15 larrybl ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2016 - 07:18 PM

I would look at the control lever linkage to see if there is any interference with the wires.


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