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Old 10-01-2016, 02:44 PM   #1
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House Battery 'Catastrophe' & Questions

Hello all, our house battery is installed underneath the van on the driver's side. A little less than a year ago I got a new 4D battery from SMB and they replaced the bracket/frame that holds the battery.

On Wednesday morning driving home from surfing we heard a loud bang followed by an even louder scraping noise. I pulled over as quickly/safely as possible to find that the frame welds had failed and the battery was hanging on by a "thread".





We were incredibly lucky/fortunate that it didn't completely come apart from the van and cause an accident (or worse). I'm also lucky this happened on a surface street and not a busy highway.

We got the battery disconnected. I've contacted SMB and they are going to send me replacement parts to get it remounted. It does not appear like there is any damage to the battery, terminals or wiring.

However, I've noticed something strange, at least to me. We have a BlueSky controller and a 130 W solar panel. The controller still shows the same voltage as when the house battery was connected. I'm assuming it is reading the van batteries. Furthermore, all the electronics in the van (lights, water pump, etc.) still work. Again it must be draining from the van batteries. Is this normal and an intended function? I would've thought nothing should've worked? When the house battery is reconnected how can I tell if the electronics are using the house battery vs. the van batteries? How can I see the voltage of the house battery?

I have a feeling there is a problem with the wiring or the separator. Any thoughts/guesses/advice? Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:51 PM   #2
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Scary. I would keep a close eye on the battery though to make sure there's not some crack that you can't see. Maybe a load test too just in case there's internal damage.


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Old 10-01-2016, 03:06 PM   #3
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Thanks Herb. Should any auto parts store be able to do a load test on a battery of that size?
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sdwindansea View Post
Thanks Herb. Should any auto parts store be able to do a load test on a battery of that size?
Good question. I would think so, but it might just take longer due to the capacity.

Worth a call ahead of time so you don't have to lug that lead weight around.


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Old 10-01-2016, 06:49 PM   #5
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If you have solar and the panels were in daylight then the separator would be closed and yeah, you'd be pulling off the starters. Not sure what separator you have but I had a Surepower unit stick in open or closed position more than once.

Scary situation there. Glad you came out w/o too much damage.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:20 PM   #6
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Ditto the scary, you likely avoided something really bad. Those bad boys aren't light either.
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:20 PM   #7
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A battery shop may be better setup to test the battery than a auto parts store. Glad that there was not other damage.
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:33 AM   #8
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Thanks again everyone. Dave, I appreciate the explanation as well, that makes sense. It was a bit scary but it could've been so much worse.
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:36 PM   #9
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Others with this same SMB frame mount should take notice.....scary stuff......

sdwindandsea: assuming that you have solar, do you know what make/model of battery separator that you have? If it's not bi-directional, then you may have other wiring issues.....
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:55 PM   #10
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Yowza, that must have been interesting. Glad it wasn't worse.
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