Bubbling Batteries.....Bad Sign?????? Bubbling Batteries.....Bad Sign??????
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    Bubbling Batteries.....Bad Sign??????
from Guy Edwards (  
4/21/2001 9:30:00 PM


 When I charge my batteries with my on board charger I can hear by batteries bubble. Is this bad and means I need to repalce them? The batteries are two years old and I was hoping to push them to three.

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   check water from bigones (  4/21/2001 9:48:00 PM
 I was told as long as there is water in them it does not hert them to boil them.Make sure the batterys are full of water and charge them.I would call a battery dealer not the guys at wal-mart and ask them to be sure.

   Gassing batteries from rono (  4/21/2001 10:28:00 PM
 It is normal for batteries to gas off as they charge. That gas (hydrogen and oxygen) is what explodes if you have a spark. That is why you are supposed to NOT hook up the ground jumper to the battery when jump starting your car


   It's OK from BucknBass  4/21/2001 10:31:00 PM
 Batteries will seem to "boil" and "bubble" when they are being charged. This is normal. As long as you keep the proper amount of water in them and charge them after a day on the water they should last at least 3 -4 years (unless they are very cheaply made batteries). Of course the amount of use will also determine the lifespan.

   Bubbling batteries from Sue D  4/22/2001 7:35:00 AM

I disgree with the above coments that bubbling or boiling is OK for batteries. Normally boiling is a sign of overcharging or a bad cell in a battery. What are you using for a battery charger.

Sue D.

   Sue is right from Willie Landem (  4/22/2001 9:05:00 AM
 A battery that bubbles during charging is a battery in trouble-either seriously discharged or defective. Very minor bubbles are normal(have to look hard to see) but other bubbling is a sign of trouble.

   I agree with Guy from Rick Cotten (  4/22/2001 9:56:00 AM
 Bubbling cells are an indication that the cells are bad. If you look at each cell independently while charging you will see which cell are bad. Of coarse, don't be smoking while making this observation if life insurance premiums are not paid.

   unclear.... from Local Motion  4/22/2001 11:29:00 AM
 It is unclear exactly what you mean by bubbling.

When the batts are charging you will see the cells are active with some tiny bubbles rising. Even at a 20 amp fast charge it will be the same but active at a faster rate.

There is a big difference between active cell charging and bubbling or boiling or an expanding case or hissing sound or a hot case or visible smoke. If your batts are doing any of these extreme things it is a very bad sign and should be obvious.

Your batts will also last much longer if maintained on a charger rather than discharging and recharging, by years.

   Not necessarily a bad sign from markG  4/22/2001 11:44:00 AM
 It's not unusual for a certain amount of oxygen and hydrogen gas to be generated in the latter stages of charging. This hydrogen/oxygen gas mixture is extremely explosive, so that's why I think its very good advice to ventilate the battery area and avoid any sparks or ignition sources in the battery area.

When the battery is fully charged what you've got is basically lead in about 60% sulfuric acid, a lead-acid battery. When the battery is used, the sulfuric acid manufactures lead sulfate and the acid solution get weaker; that is to say the concentration of water in the cells increases. This is why a weak or discharged battery is more susceptible to freezing. The best way to check your battery condition is with a battery hydrometer, which checks the acid concentration. If a battery is good, there shouldn't be much variation in the specific gravity from one cell to the next.

There are three steps to the charging process, the first one is typically called bulk charge which is followed by a step called absorption, which is where water can get split up into O2 and H2 gas. This is normal, and bubbling will be noticeable. At this point the charger voltage is tapered way down and eventually goes into what's called a float. If your battery charger is working properly it will maintain you batteries in "float" without any harm. The batteries might get warm during this step, but when all is well, they should never become hot to the touch.

If you have a high current or unregulated charger, you could overcharge and damage you battery. The bubbling would become more violent and the battery would get very hot.

hope this helps a little,


PS when you split off water in the normal charging process, you will eventually need to replace it. If solution gets too low and the plates are exposed to air they will sulfate very quickly....not a good thing!! Use DI water to fill since the minerals in tap water will contaminate the plates.

Also, don't let you batteries sit in a discharged state.

   too much water from DC  4/23/2001 8:40:00 AM
 Guy, is it possible that you recently filled the batteries with water and may have overfilled? I did this last year, and heard the same bubbling sound you speak of and had some bubble out of battery. Made for a fun cleanup, let me tell you. No probs with battery since then, and I am much more careful when it comes to adding water now.



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