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Old 11-18-2010, 12:46 PM   #1
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Venting the Batteries

How important is it to vent batteries which are mounted in the vehicle? My VW's all had them under the back seat and as far as I know it was never a problem. Didn't the Westfalias mount an extra battery under the driver seat? Was that vented? They weren't AGM either.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:15 PM   #2
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Re: Venting the Batteries

Hydrogen is very explosive and I wouldn't want any corrosion issues either. AGM's vent very very little but the manufactures claim they still do, so why not play it safe? Try to think insurance replacement when you build or add onto your van. I think most companies strongly suggest to vent AGM's more as a liability factor but I still would do it as well as keeping the battery in a poly type battery box. Personally I would not have a wet cell type battery on board for various reasons but to each their own. AGM batteries were the best thing that happened to my bass boat, Gel's were the worst with wet cells coming out somewhere in the middle.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:02 PM   #3
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Re: Venting the Batteries

SMB Texas put my 2nd 4D in a poly box without venting, inside the van. I've since moved it underneath but over space concerns not gas.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:42 PM   #4
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Re: Venting the Batteries

Not just Westfalias had batteries in the interior. VW Beetles, vanagons, Mercedes and lots of others have batteries mounted under passenger seats. No venting that I've noticed.

The rules maybe different for living spaces and passenger compartments.

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Old 11-18-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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Re: Venting the Batteries

Yeah could be a Recreation Vehicle Industry Association thing as well.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:44 PM   #6
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Re: Venting the Batteries

OK. So hydrogen is lighter than air, correct? So any vent would have to let the gas travel upwards for it to escape or else the battery box would fill up with hydrogen. I have seen diagrams on this site where the vent tube went down through the floor. Where is the hydrogen gas going? I think its collecting in the box.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:22 PM   #7
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Re: Venting the Batteries

Most of the battery boxes have handles that act as vents. Kind of like boats where the engine compartments have vents on the deck. Hydrogen dissapates super fast if it's outside or somewhat open but I wouldn't want to fill up a sealed room with it. A hole in the bottom of the box would be more for acid/fluid overflow. Over charging can cause that. In my bass boat I don't have drains...I want the fluid to stay in the box so acid does not get into the bilge where wires and pumps sit. With a vehicle you can divert fluid to the ground via a tube or hose. At least that's how I see it. Because it's so rare, I would be more worried about the acid than an explosion issue but a bad battery can off gas heavy if something goes wrong... the rotton egg smell. One of my starting batteries that are mounted under the vehicle did this and the whole inside of the van smelled. I did not worry about an explosion from hydrogen inside the vehicle, I worried about the battery itself blowing up.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:05 PM   #8
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Re: Venting the Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Most of the battery boxes have handles that act as vents. Kind of like boats where the engine compartments have vents on the deck. Hydrogen dissapates super fast if it's outside or somewhat open but I wouldn't want to fill up a sealed room with it. A hole in the bottom of the box would be more for acid/fluid overflow. Over charging can cause that. In my bass boat I don't have drains...I want the fluid to stay in the box so acid does not get into the bilge where wires and pumps sit. With a vehicle you can divert fluid to the ground via a tube or hose. At least that's how I see it. Because it's so rare, I would be more worried about the acid than an explosion issue but a bad battery can off gas heavy if something goes wrong... the rotton egg smell. One of my starting batteries that are mounted under the vehicle did this and the whole inside of the van smelled. I did not worry about an explosion from hydrogen inside the vehicle, I worried about the battery itself blowing up.
Yeah, isn't that also why you're supposed to connect the negative side of jumper cables (of the battery being jumped) to a good ground rather than the battery itself, just in case there's any flammable gas around the battery which could ignite/explode?


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Old 11-18-2010, 05:50 PM   #9
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Re: Venting the Batteries

Silver350 wrote, "...I have seen diagrams on this site where the vent tube went down through the floor. Where is the hydrogen gas going? I think its collecting in the box..."

Here's a diagram I posted with the 2010 SMB West installation when done inside the van for two AGM 27s (4D batteries are usually mounted outside and beneath the van):

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/viewtopic.php

Other than the openings SMB put in them, the cases are completely sealed - no handles. The Dekka literature for AGM battery installation recommends adequate vehicle compartment ventilation. SMB put drain holes in too so that any water that comes in via the vent cover on the side of the van can escape - and, yes, in case a battery leaks.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:30 PM   #10
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Re: Venting the Batteries

My Prius has the 12 volt battery in the trunk. It is in its own compartment. Air comes in from the passenger compartment (most is not all vehicles today have the blower running on a low setting even when the blower switch is in the "off" position.. positive cabin pressure reduces incidents of carbon monoxide intrusion) and then out through a breather tube in the floor pan. Fresh air is always washing the battery and moving any hydrogen gas to the outside of the vehicle.

I have witnessed one and only one engine compartment explosion when a guy was attaching jumper cables. It was impressive and much more than just a "pop".

I vent my two house batteries to the outside.
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