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takeahiketour

Smoke From Battery

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After 4 hours out today went to check oil because I just changed it. Oil was fine but there was a small amount of smoke coming from battery. The problem battery was Really hot (even an hour later) but not hot enough to melt the wires. I'd noticed a rotten egg smell the last several trips out but had been attributing it to the river! Dual battery setup in parallel. The other battery has no issues.

I had a battery draining issue at beginning of summer, so I checked volts then and the smoking battery had tested at only eight while the other tested at twelve but at the time I thought it just hadn't charged all the way back up yet. Also today I was running the stereo at a stop with the engine on at idle. Then stopped engine and had to jump it. I noticed the volts weren't getting up at idle but as soon as under way they'd pick back up.

My research says most likely cause is bad cell in the one battery - replace that battery. 

My questions - possibly alternator replacement needed - voltage regulator failing? I don't think so because the other battery has no issues. Any other possible causes? Replace both batteries as precaution or just the bad one?

My plan is to replace battery tomorrow and keep fire extinguisher handy (as it always is) just in case. Also moving the life jackets from the engine compartment to the front. Monitor from there.

Appreciate any advice.

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Reading of 8 volt on 12 volt battery should give you a clue ... dead battery, at least 1/3 of it.

Be cautious by all means, but replacing the dead battery with new one should solve your problem.

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8V is beyond dead. 11.8 is dead. 12V on the other one is about 75% dead. Lots of reasons why a battery can be down like that, beyond a bad battery. Replacing may be only a short term fix addressing the symptom, not the root issue. With that said, a smoking or stinking battery is likely toast and needs to be replaced. Just dont assume your problem is resolves. 

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Do You always keep battery water above the cells tops ?  Were they in parallel for a longer cranking ability ?  Engine needed a minute or 2 of cranking to run by itself ? Age of each  battery ?

 

Smoking batteries ARE batteries with 1 or more cells being shorted by Lead falling off the plates & causing a short at the bottom from being run down too far & too often.

Batteries (  WET CELLED  ),  need more attention than most people will give them............Marinas ?  HA HA on them keeping a battery well watered in a hot or cold climate........That is why so many batteries die so soon.

May be your Alternator survived the constant full current demands.  It need a load test to be sure.. It may put out full current ? But not stop when the correct voltage is reached.  More ruined batteries

Batteries are touchy beasts if miss handled.

You are now a expert.     :)

Good luck

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Sounds like a short in that battery.  That's jut one of several ways they can fail.  I would at least have that other battery checked, but I'd probably replace it, as I'm guessing its the same age as the failed one.  The bad battery being shorted out, provides a path back to ground for the good battery, and basically becomes a electric heating coil that's filled with acid.  It will continue to get hot until all the voltage is drained from the still functioning cells as well as the good battery, unless you disconnect it.  This is a perfect example of why you shouldn't run dual batteries in parallel on a boat.  A 1/2/both/off switch would have allowed you to isolate the bad battery from the rest of your electrical system.  If I was in your situation, in the middle of the lake, with smoke rolling off of a battery, I would probably have been disconnecting that battery, and tossing it overboard.  They can catch fire, or rupture and spray battery acid everywhere.  

In short(no pun intended) replace both batteries, and get a 2 battery switch.

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How old was the battery? People try to get max life out of a maintenance item that will ruin your day when it fails.

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Went to Costco for two new marine batteries, 70 each after core refund. Out all day today - kept a close eye on them and no issues. Gave me an excuse to order an infrared temperature gun too! Thanks everyone!

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7 hours ago, takeahiketour said:

Went to Costco for two new marine batteries, 70 each after core refund. Out all day today - kept a close eye on them and no issues. Gave me an excuse to order an infrared temperature gun too! Thanks everyone!

Starting, deep cycle, or one of each?

brick

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Are they still connected the same way?  If you have them wired up parallel, you will get more run time for the radio while on the hook, but you can still run them down and leave yourself stranded.  Also, as you well know now, a failure of one battery can kill them both.  Get a 2 battery switch.

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17 hours ago, brick said:

Starting, deep cycle, or one of each?

brick

They only had one kind so I'm pretty certain they were both starting but now that you mention it I'll actually need to double check - it's Interstate.

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5 hours ago, TNBrett said:

Are they still connected the same way?  If you have them wired up parallel, you will get more run time for the radio while on the hook, but you can still run them down and leave yourself stranded.  Also, as you well know now, a failure of one battery can kill them both.  Get a 2 battery switch.

I think I described it wrong when I said wired in parallel. The negative from one battery only connects to the other battery, but they both have separate positive connections and there is a 1 / 2 / both / off switch.

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Glad to hear the battery issue is resolved. Keep a close watch on each battery's voltage for the next few outings. Before you start up the engine, and then after it's been running for 10 minutes for instance. Typical readings might be 12.5 and then 14.0 for instance. This will show good batteries as well as prove the charging system is working. One question for you. Why are there life jackets in the engine compartment?

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Keeps them dry & warm  if needed ?

I put the kiddies under the bow seats. 2 Adults fit under the full width rear bench seats with the clear plastic cockpit zipper covers.

I STUFF the other 4 adults in the engine room when carrying 6 adults. All are  the bulky " Float a adult face up type. " . Kent # 1004 Type I Commercial Offshore for child & adults.

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11 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

Keeps them dry & warm  if needed ?

I put the kiddies under the bow seats. 2 Adults fit under the full width rear bench seat

I tried that once. The kids kept coming up for air, and our 2 Adult friends never came back...

brick

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14 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

  :haha-7383:   :haha-7383:

 

Thank you brick

Sorry. Couldn't resist...

brick

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Lol. There is a designated storage compartment on the port side of the engine compartment accessed through the engine hatch. I realized the possibility of being unable to access that area in an emergency is much higher so going to use that for something else going forward.

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On 8/5/2017 at 10:47 PM, Richard W said:

Reading of 8 volt on 12 volt battery should give you a clue ... dead battery, at least 1/3 of it.

Be cautious by all means, but replacing the dead battery with new one should solve your problem.

Richard has a good point. But also you mentioned that both are in parallel. So both batteries should have been very close to the same voltage. Being that far off is a clue that the battery has a problem. What I am trying to say is that both batteries should have been discharged or charging at the same rate. All things being equal.  

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Parallel batteries can charge & discharge at different rates with age. That is why 1 was cooking and the other did not.

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3 hours ago, Iggy said:

Richard has a good point. But also you mentioned that both are in parallel. So both batteries should have been very close to the same voltage. Being that far off is a clue that the battery has a problem. What I am trying to say is that both batteries should have been discharged or charging at the same rate. All things being equal.  

All this is just a speculation but his sick battery might have shorted one of the three section or internal compartments that are connected in series with each providing 4 volts. The remaining two good sections fully charged would read 8+ volt.

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