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post #1 of 40 Old 07-24-2014 Thread Starter
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Battery Acid!

I wound up inadvertently completely draining the battery on my boat a couple of weeks ago, so I took it home to charge. After charging the battery, I put the thing in the back of my car to reinstall the next time I was aboard. Turns out that "next time" was yesterday after work.

Anyway, I get to marina, roll up the hatchback privacy screen, and there is the battery, toppled over on its side in a pool of liquid. The liquid has clearly dissolved the carpet of the cargo mat, and has soaked a sweatshirt and an umbrella. My canvas boat bag is at the edge of this pool, as is the carryall I use to hold my "boat clothes". Ick, ick, ick.

Make a long story at least a little shorter, the battery acid had not dissolved the bottom of the cargo mat, so the car was fine. The sweatshirt and golf umbrella went in the dumpster immediately. I tried to save the cargo mat, but it was too far gone, so away that went too. I took the boat bag home and tried to wash it (twice), but it looks like a goner too. I thought the carryall had escaped unscathed, but upon closer look at home, it apparently got enough acid to make it goey on the inside, so off to the garbage.

After filling the battery with more distilled water, she charged right up again (gotta love the deep cycle).

Lesson learned: do not spill battery acid. Ick. You're welcome.
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post #2 of 40 Old 07-24-2014
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Re: Battery Acid!

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Originally Posted by mstern View Post
I wound up inadvertently completely draining the battery on my boat a couple of weeks ago, so I took it home to charge. After charging the battery, I put the thing in the back of my car to reinstall the next time I was aboard. Turns out that "next time" was yesterday after work.

Anyway, I get to marina, roll up the hatchback privacy screen, and there is the battery, toppled over on its side in a pool of liquid. The liquid has clearly dissolved the carpet of the cargo mat, and has soaked a sweatshirt and an umbrella. My canvas boat bag is at the edge of this pool, as is the carryall I use to hold my "boat clothes". Ick, ick, ick.

Make a long story at least a little shorter, the battery acid had not dissolved the bottom of the cargo mat, so the car was fine. The sweatshirt and golf umbrella went in the dumpster immediately. I tried to save the cargo mat, but it was too far gone, so away that went too. I took the boat bag home and tried to wash it (twice), but it looks like a goner too. I thought the carryall had escaped unscathed, but upon closer look at home, it apparently got enough acid to make it goey on the inside, so off to the garbage.

After filling the battery with more distilled water, she charged right up again (gotta love the deep cycle).

Lesson learned: do not spill battery acid. Ick. You're welcome.
That sucks....

Unfortunately the battery will suffer shorter life, how much is impossible to say. When the water gasses off the acid concentration stays, and adding more water gets you back to pretty much where you were. With a spill you now have a diluted battery acid...

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post #3 of 40 Old 07-24-2014
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Re: Battery Acid!

There was a time when you could buy a little plastic bag of battery acid, but I do not know if it's still available (thank you EPA). If you have a real battery manufacturer (not a retail outlet, but someone who builds and sells custom batteries) in your area, I'd give them a call. If they have it, be sure to tell them what battery you have and ask how much you should add to the water, because over doing it is just as bad as not enough.

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post #4 of 40 Old 07-24-2014
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Re: Battery Acid!

You should still be able to buy battery acid. Sulfuric acid is not much of an environmental hazard by itself; it's the stuff that gets dissolved into the acid once it's been used that's the problem. Check your local auto parts store(s). They should sell acid in pint or quart containers for not too much $$.

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post #5 of 40 Old 07-24-2014
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Re: Battery Acid!

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There was a time when you could buy a little plastic bag of battery acid, but I do not know if it's still available (thank you EPA)...
Don't you just love how people assign blame before they even know that there is a "problem"?

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post #6 of 40 Old 07-24-2014
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Re: Battery Acid!

You can buy batt acid at Autozone http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...mString=search

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post #7 of 40 Old 07-24-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Battery Acid!

Thanks all. Maine, I was thinking that same thing about dilution, but I had no idea if I was right, nor what to do about it. Assuming I find battery acid, how do I know how much to put in? And now that I've filled up the cells with distilled water, how do fit the acid in there?
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post #8 of 40 Old 07-24-2014
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Re: Battery Acid!

If you know the battery is charged, can't you use a hygrometer (sp?) to see if the acid concentration is high or low?
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Re: Battery Acid!

fyi, in trying to answer my own questions, I came across this website that does not recommend trying to recreate the correct mix of acid and water after a partial spill:

BatteryStuff Articles | When Should You Add Extra Sulfuric Acid to Your Battery?

That brings to mind another question: how much liquid is in a group 24 battery? My spill didn't seem very big, but it seemed to me that the battery sucked up about a half a quart of distilled water when I refilled it. Any way of telling how much of the original fluid I lost?
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post #10 of 40 Old 07-24-2014
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Re: Battery Acid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstern View Post
I wound up inadvertently completely draining the battery on my boat a couple of weeks ago, so I took it home to charge. After charging the battery, I put the thing in the back of my car to reinstall the next time I was aboard. Turns out that "next time" was yesterday after work.

Anyway, I get to marina, roll up the hatchback privacy screen, and there is the battery, toppled over on its side in a pool of liquid. The liquid has clearly dissolved the carpet of the cargo mat, and has soaked a sweatshirt and an umbrella. My canvas boat bag is at the edge of this pool, as is the carryall I use to hold my "boat clothes". Ick, ick, ick.

Make a long story at least a little shorter, the battery acid had not dissolved the bottom of the cargo mat, so the car was fine. The sweatshirt and golf umbrella went in the dumpster immediately. I tried to save the cargo mat, but it was too far gone, so away that went too. I took the boat bag home and tried to wash it (twice), but it looks like a goner too. I thought the carryall had escaped unscathed, but upon closer look at home, it apparently got enough acid to make it goey on the inside, so off to the garbage.

After filling the battery with more distilled water, she charged right up again (gotta love the deep cycle).

Lesson learned: do not spill battery acid. Ick. You're welcome.
Considering that the battery was "fully" charged when you lost (most of) the electrolyte, in the same circumstances I would have taken the unit to a good battery shop, or even a "Batteries Plus" outlet, where they could have drained off the remaining electrolyte and refilled the battery with an appropriate solution. Perhaps that's still possible but likely more problematic at this point and it might be wiser to simply trade the unit in on a replacement (and drive more carefully, and conservatively, to the marina to avoid a similar problem, no?)

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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