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Old 07-17-2018, 05:36 PM   #1
schwalbach
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Battery issue

So been camping with my buddy since spring, noticed smoke coming from his battery box. pulled cover and disconnected ground lead, battery was so hot it felt like it could melt, steam coming out of the battery. After looking things over we found the battery was put in backwards. Went and got a volt meter and the battery had 6 volts negative voltage. and yes I know how to read a voltmeter, black to black and red to red. Checked inventor output and found it was charging at 13.4 volts. But he had the red hot positive lead connected to the battery negative and ground to positive.

Only thing I can think is battery was stone dead when he put it in, over time hooked backwards it desulphated and charged reverse polarity, I have heard of this but never actually seen it happen live. So question is-how did he get by for the last several months? Also rechecked battery after sitting awhile and it cooled down but still had negative 6.4 volts?

Anyone ever actually seen this?
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:53 PM   #2
Canonman
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There might be a bigger problem. The 40 amp reverse polarity fuses should have blown.
Since you still have 13v coming from the convertor they didn't. This could have ended with the battery exploding. So check and see if the fuses are there and not replaced with a "no blow" wire.
All your 12v systems will run off the convertor as long as your connected to shore power.
I can't say how anything worked if you weren't.
All this based on the black lead being negative in this installation, which it isn't in some cases
It'll be interesting to see what others think...
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:13 PM   #3
schwalbach
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Buddy said he had trouble with the breaker tripping constantly, but was getting less frequent, we had been around camper most the day and he kept resetting it. still wonder how he went months before problem showed up.

He could not confirm that anything worked on battery as he always plugs it in. manual jacks etc. i still feel the battery had to be stone dead and not taking a charge for him to go so long before it showed up.
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:19 PM   #4
sourdough
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Hmmm, this has been hooked up like this since spring??

Interesting deal. If the converter is pushing 13.4vdc to the batteries, and it's hooked up "backward" (neg to pos and vice versa) it would seem that 1) the battery had zero charge when installed or it would have blown the fuses at the converter or 2) the converter fuses are removed or bypassed. If they were removed or bypassed and the battery had been at full charge I would still think that you would have experienced some sort of converter anomaly.

Now, getting -6vdc from a +12vdc battery is......different Never seen it. Just thinking out loud, and probably what you were saying; if the battery was totally dead (empty - a blank canvas so to speak) then connected backwards, over time, then would the battery charge "backwards" changing the polarity of the battery? Interesting. Why not charge to -12vdc?

It's something to ponder but for me I would throw the battery away, get a new one, get someone that knows how to connect it (then double check it) and do a thorough check of the converter. It's a wonder that thing didn't explode.
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:43 PM   #5
flybouy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwalbach View Post
Buddy said he had trouble with the breaker tripping constantly, but was getting less frequent, we had been around camper most the day and he kept resetting it. still wonder how he went months before problem showed up.

He could not confirm that anything worked on battery as he always plugs it in. manual jacks etc. i still feel the battery had to be stone dead and not taking a charge for him to go so long before it showed up.
And that's why you don't just keep resetting the breaker. The breaker tripped for a reason and that reason should have been found before jeopardizing the caper with an electrical fire. Your buddy was fortunate that you were there.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:34 AM   #6
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I had this happen to a customer who had a foreign car that used Pos Ground. when he brought it in the gauges were going nuts and it was not getting fuel. pulled the fuel pump from the tank and found it was running backwards. We put a load on the battery until it was dead and then charged it up the correct way and all was OK. Seems he had a dead battery and hooked up a battery charger backwards and charged up the battery the car would not start and that's when he brought it to our shop.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:00 AM   #7
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As others already said .... I canít believe the reverse polarity fuses didnít blow instantly.

Iíd have to measure the output of the converter with battery completely disconnected and also measure battery with no connections.

Not possible to read - voltage from that battery if meter is connected correctly and set on correct DC measurement.
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