fevest
I had my battery blow up inside my generator. cleaned up the mess the best I could. Worried about the wiring being messed up as it is close to the battery and may have some of the acid on it. No warning. Unit had been doing the weekly start. My wife said it sounded funny. I went out to manually start it. As soon as I put switch to manual. It blew up, I had my glasses on or my eyes would have had acid and plastic parts in them.
I have the company that installed it coming out june 4. What should I be sure to get them to check? They didn't give me a lot of confidence when speaking with them on phone. Said it would be fine. I figure it might be like a flood car. Good for a bit, then crap out on me.
Quote
Cobranut
Glad you're ok. Flooded cell batteries can be dangerous.
Usually when they blow up it's because the electrolyte got low and exposed the plates. Then a spark occurs during cranking and ignites the hydrogen/oxygen mix that's inside the battery case.

Flush everything thoroughly with water. A leaf blower works well to blow out the excess water, then let it dry in the sun for a day before starting.

I've replaced many of my batteries with AGM style, which don't have this issue. I've had great service from Odyssey batteries.
Quote
murphy
The electrolyte level in a wet cell battery must always be above the plates. They are likely to explode if the electrolyte level is below the top of the plates. The battery should be checked often to determine how quickly the level drops and distilled water added when necessary. If you have a maintenance contract and they haven't been checking it they should replace the battery for free IMHO.
Quote
Ron Goldstein Rongold
When the service guy comes out, have him check the charging voltage that the charger produces. If the voltage is too high, it will boil the acid out of the battery and expose the plates. Depending on how high the voltage is, the acid could boil out in a few days. Unfortunately, you do not know if the battery electrolyte was low, so you do not know if that is what caused the battery to explode. Good luck.



RON
Quote
BrentB
That unit is at least 12 years old! The charging system is static @ 2.5 amps. I have seen very many units that were not under a maintenance program have the same issue. Baking soda and water neutralize the acid, and no other issues. Because it blew during crank and not on the run, you should be fine.
Quote
whiteturbo
I have had two to explode and hasn't caused a problem i also used baking soda and water to clean the area.
Quote
Ron Goldstein Rongold
BrentB;52657 wrote:
That unit is at least 12 years old! The charging system is static @ 2.5 amps.


I have owned a 1967 Corvette 427 since 1974. About 3 years ago, I hooked up a battery charger and turned it on, on the lowest setting which is 2 amps. I did this every few weeks and left it on for a few hours to keep the battery fully charged when I wasn't driving the car. That afternoon, I slipped and fell down a flight of stairs and tore the quadricep muscle in my left leg---I needed surgery to reattach the muscle to my kneecap. I spent a week in the Hospital, and then 2 more weeks in rehab to get back on my feet and walking. I had to wear a knee brace to keep my leg straight and not bend at the knee. I totally forgot that my battery was on charge. About 3 months later, I remembered that my battery was still hooked up to the charger. I sent my wife down to the garage and she turned the charger off after running for 3 months.

A few weeks later I managed to go down the stairs to my garage. I popped the caps off of the battery, and the electrolyte level was below the plates on 5 of the 6 cells. I refilled them and everything was OK.

If the charger in this guys generator outputs a steady 2.5 amp charge, 24 hours a day, then that's the problem. The charger should taper down to a few milliamps in order not to boil off the acid in the battery. This is a design flaw, and creates a dangerous situation. This guy is going to have to check his battery every few weeks to be safe.

Just my 2 cents !!!



RON
Quote
alphaa211
My old circa 2004 model 42903 with the bad battery charger they were known for killed 2 Optima red top AGM batteries before I figured it out and replaced the charger. That was over about a 7 year period. It would have boiled regular batteries dry and risked exploding like some did. Not only did they not explode but my battery cable ends never corroded. I’ve seen the photos of our generators with batteries that exploded and I am glad I didn’t have to suffer that. Glad you had your glasses on!
Quote
Peddler
Just out of curiosity how old was the battery that blew up?
Quote
whiteturbo
My first one was less than five years old and the second was less than 2 years old,both were Sears Die Hard. I didn't keep check on the water level but now i do.
Quote
murphy
For a generator that is providing emergency backup power, change the battery every 3 years. Do not wait until the battery fails to replace it.
Quote
fevest
thanks to all that answered.
The battery was about 3 years old. I did mix up baking soda and water and wash down all I could get to and then rinse with the hose.
I will check the water level regularly from now on. I have had the tech out before. He never said anything about checking the battery water level.
My father has a newer generator. The one with the led control panel and the outlet on the outside. He just had the guy out, from a different company. My father specifically asked about the battery. The guy didn't check it and just said if it starts it is ok.
Quote
Skip Douglas SkipD
fevest;52667 wrote:
thanks to all that answered.
The battery was about 3 years old. I did mix up baking soda and water and wash down all I could get to and then rinse with the hose.
I will check the water level regularly from now on. I have had the tech out before. He never said anything about checking the battery water level.
My father has a newer generator. The one with the led control panel and the outlet on the outside. He just had the guy out, from a different company. My father specifically asked about the battery. The guy didn't check it and just said if it starts it is ok.
I want to pass along two things.

First, although one adds distilled water to a lead/acid battery cell that has low [B]electrolyte[/B] level, [COLOR=Red]that's [B]NOT WATER[/B] in the cell[/COLOR]. [COLOR=red]It is diluted sulfuric acid.[/COLOR] One should call the fluid electrolyte or acid and NOT water. That way, uninformed people hearing you (like the wife and kids) will learn that it is, in fact, a hazardous fluid.

Second, I highly recommend totally disconnecting the factory-installed battery "over-charger" (my term for the original charger in the pre-Nexus units like my Generac 5416) and replacing it with a 3-Ampere battery maintainer such as the "Battery Tender" 3A unit sold at Costco. Don't use any battery maintainer rated at less than 3A and use one that can tolerate 100% service. Doing this mod will eliminate the loss of electrolyte in the battery (which is what led to the explosion). Doing this mod will require bringing a generator-backed 120VAC branch circuit in to the generator to power the battery maintainer.
Skip Douglas
Quote
Siegfried
Is this an issue with units that have an Evolution controller?
Quote
Skip Douglas SkipD
Siegfried;52669 wrote:
Is this an issue with units that have an Evolution controller?
The great majority (probably all) of the generators that had these battery problems were pre-Nexus generation. Evolution is newer than Nexus. I've never heard of similar problems with generators having either Nexus or Evolution controllers.
Skip Douglas
Quote
Peddler
This unit is pre digital and the battery should have lasted three years. I would check the no load voltage out of the battery charger and I will bet you will find it is running high and cooking the battery if it was only two years old. It should be about 13.5-14.5 volts when not hooked to the battery.
Quote
exrace
SkipD;n52208 wrote:
I want to pass along two things.

First, although one adds distilled water to a lead/acid battery cell that has low [B]electrolyte[/B] level, [COLOR=Red]that's [B]NOT WATER[/B] in the cell[/COLOR]. [COLOR=red]It is diluted sulfuric acid.[/COLOR] One should call the fluid electrolyte or acid and NOT water. That way, uninformed people hearing you (like the wife and kids) will learn that it is, in fact, a hazardous fluid.

Second, I highly recommend totally disconnecting the factory-installed battery "over-charger" (my term for the original charger in the pre-Nexus units like my Generac 5416) and replacing it with a 3-Ampere battery maintainer such as the "Battery Tender" 3A unit sold at Costco. Don't use any battery maintainer rated at less than 3A and use one that can tolerate 100% service. Doing this mod will eliminate the loss of electrolyte in the battery (which is what led to the explosion). Doing this mod will require bringing a generator-backed 120VAC branch circuit in to the generator to power the battery maintainer.


I have a 20kw with factory charger that wasn't over charging but finally gave up recently.
I was due for a battery replacement this year and found the charger finally had died. I did add a branch circuit out to my unit for just the battery charger when I installed.
Thank you for posting this note about the battery tender and size. I am sure this will help others.
Quote
MacL
I replaced an exploded battery in a so-called Gen2 (pre 2008 but with electric stepper), which uses the 0A18010SRV, it had exploded the battery almost 2 years to the day earlier.

I think she is a candidate for installing a 0G8023 charger to work in tandem with the 1801 on her next maintenance. This eliminates the need to run an always hot 120 vac to the generator.

The 8023 gets its primary from the sensing fuses, and charges the battery the majority of the time. The 1801 (original) charger runs during exercise and during power failures, getting its primary from the dedicated winding in the alternator. The battery charger relay rewired to switch off the 8023 when the generator runs.

The 0A1801SRV and the 0G8023 are reasonably priced, easier to determine they are working. Search the part number on the Ziller store. Many aftermarket chargers will not keep the panel up if you disconnect the battery. Which is usually a sure sign you have a charger problem, if the display goes blank when you disconnect the battery. The generator should also run with the battery disconnected.

Original equipment also makes a much neater battery compartment. These aftermarket chargers are often screwed to walls with sharp screws sticking out and/or straps, and then tiny wires attached to the battery lugs, piles of ac cord, or spring clamps that get in the way of battery maintenance.
State your problem, not your diagnosis.
Quote
exrace
SkipD;n52208 wrote:
I want to pass along two things.

First, although one adds distilled water to a lead/acid battery cell that has low [B]electrolyte[/B] level, [COLOR=Red]that's [B]NOT WATER[/B] in the cell[/COLOR]. [COLOR=red]It is diluted sulfuric acid.[/COLOR] One should call the fluid electrolyte or acid and NOT water. That way, uninformed people hearing you (like the wife and kids) will learn that it is, in fact, a hazardous fluid.

Second, I highly recommend totally disconnecting the factory-installed battery "over-charger" (my term for the original charger in the pre-Nexus units like my Generac 5416) and replacing it with a 3-Ampere battery maintainer such as the "Battery Tender" 3A unit sold at Costco. Don't use any battery maintainer rated at less than 3A and use one that can tolerate 100% service. Doing this mod will eliminate the loss of electrolyte in the battery (which is what led to the explosion). Doing this mod will require bringing a generator-backed 120VAC branch circuit in to the generator to power the battery maintainer.


Skip,

When you wire in the [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica][SIZE=13px]"Battery Tender" 3A [/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR]are you connecting directly to the battery or do you still connect to the generators wring panel like the old [LEFT][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica][SIZE=13px]"over-charger" is wired if you follow the manual.[/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]
Quote
Skip Douglas SkipD
exrace;n59090 wrote:


Skip,

When you wire in the [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica][SIZE=13px]"Battery Tender" 3A [/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR]are you connecting directly to the battery or do you still connect to the generators wring panel like the old [LEFT][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica][SIZE=13px]"over-charger" is wired if you follow the manual.[/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]
My 3A Battery Tender is powered by a branch circuit that is kept hot by the generator during utility outages. The DC output from the Battery Tender is directly wired to the battery. The connections to the original Generac charger are all un-plugged from the charger module.

You need to understand that my generator is a PRE-Nexus model. My scheme very likely would not work with either a Nexus or Evolution controlled system.
Skip Douglas
Quote
exrace
SkipD;n59092 wrote:
My 3A Battery Tender is powered by a branch circuit that is kept hot by the generator during utility outages. The DC output from the Battery Tender is directly wired to the battery. The connections to the original Generac charger are all un-plugged from the charger module.

You need to understand that my generator is a PRE-Nexus model. My scheme very likely would not work with either a Nexus or Evolution controlled system.


Thanks for clarifying.
My generator is also a PRE-Nexus model (2009 20kw).
I also power the charger with a branch circuit that is kept hot during outages.
Quote