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Joel H. 02-22-2013 04:43 PM

Battery location and venting.
I'm thinking of moving my battery banks from, under my starboard, to under my port cabin settee. I want to do this in order to correct a list and drasticly shorten my battery cables. Now this puts the batteries in the same space as my switches so I expect I should tab in a sealed baulkhead for fume and/or spill seperation. Now the current location is only passively vented (a few holes into the engine bay) and a loose cover and cushion. The new location will not have any connection to the engine bay but of course is only covered by a loose board and cushion.
Should I consider running a vent hose to the engine bay to carry away any gasses?
Am I un-necessarily concerned?
Thanks in advance,
Joel H.

mitchbrown 02-22-2013 04:53 PM

Re: Battery location and venting.
Most boats ive worked on including my own don't seem to put any effort into venting battery compartments
On my boat i can go a year and only have to put a very small amount of water into the batteries. This would indicate that there is very little off gassing. Most gass is created when there is overcharging going on, so pay attention to your battery charger and voltage regulator. Keep these working correctly and your batteries will remain happy and healthy.


Joel H. 02-22-2013 05:53 PM

Would I not need to isolate the switches as I described then?

mitchbrown 02-22-2013 05:57 PM

Re: Battery location and venting.
I guess it depends on what kind of switches your talking about, you don't want anything that creats a spark near the batteries.

Joel H. 02-22-2013 06:30 PM

Yes, it's a typical under 100.00 lighted plastic toggle switch panel for the lighting on my C27. I bought it 2 seasons ago at West Marine.

Joel H. 02-22-2013 07:09 PM

Now that I think about it, I need a seperation bulkhead just to keep anything that might break loose from damaging the whole system.

mitchbrown 02-22-2013 08:52 PM

Re: Battery location and venting.
Hi Joel

Any switch thats not vapor proof should be kept out of the battery area. My guess is that those are not vapor proof. I wonder if there is another solution for you listing problem that would be easier.

Joel H. 02-23-2013 05:00 AM

Re: Battery location and venting.
Thanks for all the feedback Mitch.
Actually, moving the batteries will clean up a lot of unnecessary clutter and cable routing that I've never liked. The bulkhead itself will be minimal and I have all the items I need just taking up space in my basement. So, I'm kind of looking foreword to the finished product. I think I'll just go ahead and run a little 1" corrugated poly past the switches and to the engine bay near the blower pickup, just for peace of mind. What could it hurt.
I just had never heard much talk about battery fumes concerns and wondered what the prevailing thoughts were on that.
Joel H.

chef2sail 02-23-2013 07:19 AM

Re: Battery location and venting.
Buy AGMs/ Gels and you never have to worry about it ( laughing as they dont fit everyone). Didnt your panel come with a rear enclosure?

A quick point.

Make sure if you have wet cells you tied down the batteries well. Also they should be in cases in order to isolate and acid from spilling from them, ( knockdown or even a large heel angle). They should be ventilated as much as you can as the gas is hyrogen and the liquid is sulfuric acid. The should be as close to the centerline of the boat as possible so the heel angle doesnt expose the lead inside the battery when under way.

This thread is good reading posted by Maine Sail who is highly qualified in marine electric matters.
Wet cells give off gas as part of the normal charging process. Also if you want batter life and more deep cycles you need to desulfate them every so often which also gives off gas. A three stage charger is an important part of any electrical system No matter how small simple your battery bank is its good to understand it as its one of the major systems on the boat. You can waste a lot of money easily if you dont maintain it,

Get Nigel Calders book its a great refernce.
Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and ... - Nigel Calder - Google Books

norsearayder 02-23-2013 07:36 AM

Re: Battery location and venting.
use agm batterys, no fume leak,its not good for ya to breathe !

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