When Batteries Explode, Remove Them and Return to Walmart

We came down to the boat this time to find that we had a little battery issue, one didn’t like being charged over the last few weeks and just blew its top (or side as it looks). Most boats and sailboats have a battery compartment and we have three batteries on board. One starting battery and two “house” batteries.

Much like an RV, the house batteries are supposed to be deep cycle batteries but when we bought the boat the person who “preped” the boat said they put in new batteries, and of course they were all starting batteries. This wasn’t really a bid deal since we weren’t going to use them much at first anyway, but one of them didn’t like being charged like a deep cycle does.

Batteries, Charging, and that Deep Cycle Thing

I removed the coverings to find that the side had completely blown off the side of the battery and of course all its contents were in a puddle underneath the battery. Thank goodness the plastic that lines the battery compartment kept the battery acid and all things wet, contained (also thankful it didn’t start a fire as well).

exploding batteries

Since the lead plates were visible I was not real thrilled with getting in there and removing it, but someone had to do it, so while I prepared, Deborah took a few shots here. You can see from the battery shot, the yellow piece to the left is actually the side of the battery that blew out and up.

removing batteries

Disposal of Said Bad Battery

What to do… well, we put a box in a garbage bad, pulled the battery and put it in the bag, then mopped up all the remaining acid and water, sealed it all up and went outside for a breath of fresh air. What in the world do you do with a battery like this? Disposal needs to be done properly, so, Wal-Mart here we come.

The conversation with the automotive center guy went something like this.

wm – Do you want to return it for a refund?
me – Nope.
wm – Do you want to exchange it?
me – Nope.
wm – Do you want your money back?
me – Nope.
wm – What do you want?
me – Nothing, just take the darn thing and dispose of it for me
wm – (opening the bad to inspect)… ummmm
me – ahhh, don’t do that, it is pretty bad in there
wm – ok, anything else.
me – Nope. Thanks.

People are always dealing with power issues on a sailboat, nice to see some of the other posts about some of these issues, like House Battery Shelf, which looks like he shouldn’t have this problem, its great to do it yourself. We now make sure the charger is turned off when we leave since the remaining battery is still a starting battery, but in very good shape.

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