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1st time I let the magic smoke out on an industrial scale

Discussion in 'The Family Room' started by AAH, Aug 23, 2019.

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  1. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    At 9am this morning I put my wifes BM on charge as the battery was flat and then returned inside to build blinky bits. Forty five minutes later there was an explosion and magic smoke had escape on an unimagined scale.
    The car has gone to the great light display in the sky as have 3 of my pushbikes, lots of outdoor chairs, some tools and a few other things. Nothing much done to the house except some smoke damage and MAJOR smoke damage and potentially a bit physical damage to the carport. No damage to any peeps.
     

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  2. Jarrad

    Jarrad I find your lack of Pixels Disturbing

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    Oh dear, but your all ok and the car can be replaced, any idea what happened?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    No idea of what caused the meltdown. Charger had been in use a couple of weeks ago. Car had been driven on Monday. There's no logical reason for it and the damage to everything is extraordinary. The charger is actually melted into the aluminium head of the car.
     
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  4. Zuseleets

    Zuseleets New Elf Generous Elf

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    Geez, you don’t do things by halves do you?!? Glad you’re all ok. Things can be replaced. I hope you chucked some tyres on the fire!
     
  5. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

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    The amount of energy in batteries is actually scary, and even a "Flat" battery can still provide quite a few hundred amps to a short circuit. Glad everyone is OK, and hopefully insurance will cover the damage, losses and repairs. After seeing what a simple 18650 battery can do when it fails, anything like that is only done when I'm about now.
     
  6. OP
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    AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    I have a paranoia about the energy in batteries which is why I just added the following to a FB post about my adventure.

    When Cathcart towing came to grab the car I told them to be careful as there was still part of a tank of juice that hadn't gone boom and that the battery was still in place and hadn't been disconnected. He said that firies are generally pretty paranoid about getting the power off as soon as possible. I said it wasn't easy as it's a fair HoHoHo to get to under the back seat. The driver had a rat around where I said it was and said he couldn't find it so it was all good. I ratted around deeper as it's a BIG battery and I didn't want the car going up in flames. Eventually I ratted through the remnants and found a large lead sinker where the 30kg (??) battery used to be. What is a bit astounding is that the lead in the battery melted and only about 4" further away was a petrol tank through some more sound deadener and the floorpan.
     
  7. Matthew Thompson

    Matthew Thompson Santa's Little Helpers

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    Wow mate. Glad you are ok.
     
  8. Ɠαяєтн

    Ɠαяєтн Mae gen i C.L.A.P ei heintus iawn

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    Glad you and everybody else is ok.
     
  9. scamper

    scamper Dedicated Elf

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    I had a charger let out some smoke recently while charging a battery in my shed. I turned it off and disconnected it but it kept smoking. I took it outside just in case and eventually got it to stop. Turned out one of the switches (12/24v charge switch) had arcing contacts that then melted the plastic that it was made from.
    The charger was a high current charger and either the switches are not rated, or it got some dirt in or just decided it didn't want to play any more.
    Long story longer, I hard wired it to 12v only and it still works.
    However, if I hadn't been there at the time I am pretty sure I would have a similar situation to you.
    I am very careful when charging batteries and won't do it while I am not there or at least in very close proximity.

    I hope you had agreed value insurance on your car :) That will make the wife very happy, new drive;)
     
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  10. Ralphyf1

    Ralphyf1 Apprentice Elf

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    A lesson for us all. Glad your OK
     
  11. the grinch

    the grinch I guess I could use a little social interaction

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    Yes glad you're ok also
    Lead acid batteries can be extemely dangerous and I feel a lot of people are unaware .
    Firstly the power alone produced from these batteries can weld metal melt wires and cause fire but under charging cycles hydrogen gas is produced and all we need is an ignition source and boom we have a hydrogen bomb!!!!
    Battery fires in vehicles is quite common loose or arcing battery terminals , smoking near battery, grinder sparks, naked flame near batteries are just a few examples of how you can cause an explosion.
    I recommend charging batteries outside with plenty of ventilation and as many others have said dont leave unattended and I dont like to leave overnight! !!!
    Also personally if the battery is easy to remove I will and charge away from the vehicle on a piece of wood or metal as charging a battery on concrete or ground is a no no ! As also storing battery on the ground also not ok ! Batteries can be drained by the ground and sometimes wont charge when sitting on concrete.
    Luckily ive not blown any up yet but seen happen and I nearly had an incident whilst charging a battery in a American classic car the battery was completely dead possibly comatosed as such but anyways I put on fast charge to get vehicle mobile drive out of workshop rather than push as to heavy so could get other vehicles out so could start working for the day .
    So after a short amount of time on charge the battery began to swell, heat up and hiss like an angry snake was a scary moment. So I immediately turned off battery charger but it continued to worsen as if it was going to blow . I realized this had to be disconnected from the vehicle immediately so I grabbed my pair of sidecutters and cut the main earth supply to the car and RAN !!! To my relief the battery calmed down immediately , I rekon if I was to have tried to unbolt battery clamp or cut positive lead would of sparked and boom .
    So not only did I save that vehicle but the others also from being sprayed with sulphuric acid !
    But typical of my boss at the time was upset that I cut the wire? Typical ! and had to replace the earth leads and then I put new battery in and all was good.
    So yes please be aware !
    Cheers
     
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