We had the same experience at the beginning of last season with gel batteries similar to Delco. TWO years old. We had switched off the battery switches and left the boat for 7 months ashore. When, on our return, I switched the shore power on to charge them the problem arose. By chance I happened to touch the wood under the pilot berth and found it hot. Hate to think what would have happened if I had left the charger on over night... We replaced the whole lot.
Despite every precaution over their use I have come to treat batteries as a renewable item every 2 years in an SM which is lived aboard for 7 months of the year and rarely sees a marina.
Happy charging. Ian and Judy, Pen Azen, SM 302, about to return to Uruguay after 5 months and to check the batteries.....
From: "John McDougall" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: cooking batteries
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2006 13:31:36 -0000
I left my boat over winter '04 in Dubrovnik marina and contracted the
boatyard to run the generator & charge the batteries every 2-4 weeks.
They clearly did not do this and they also left the battery switches
on, causing the batteries to be "dead" when I arrived in May 05.
Upon charging using shore power the result was exactly as you
describe. Sizzling heat, strong smell and water (acid) on floor of
compartment. I got by temporarily by disconnecting the two worst
batteries (7&8 from memory) and charging while motoring was OK but
problem re-occurred with shore power. All the batteries had to be
replaced and this cured the problem. The batteries (original Delphi)
were by this time 4years old & therefore towards the end of their life
I realise you say that your batteries check out OK but the symptoms
In email@example.com, "mgrunstein2002"
can anyone comment on the subject. Recently, while motoring, the battery
compartment heated up and upon opening it I was confronted with steam,
sizzling with water accumulating on the floor of the compartment, the
batteries too hot to the touch and strong smell. I left it open and
after a few hours they cooled down. This did not repeat when we
continued motoring and charging and discharging were again normal.
This happened again while we were connected to shore power, again with
the compartment closed. When open and charging it was normal again. now
I sail with open compartment and so far so good.
The alternator and batteries were checked and nothing wrong was found.
My batteries are the ASM or GSM from West Marine at $200+ each.
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