Swapping Batteries - New ones are Sparking

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RustyIII

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Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Posts
6
Hi Folks - I am in process of swapping my two 12v Batteries (Interstate gel) for two new 6v (Lifeline AGM) batteries... These newer batteries are a bit too lively... heavy spark when I try to hook up (either neg or pos once one is hooked up).

Making me a little nervous... So I'm pausing this task until I get some answers. Unfortunately manufacturer is closed for the day.

No, I'm not mistaking positive and negative terminals... Just a simple swap is all I'm trying to do. There is a small solar charger in line. These batteries are on my Wildwood rv trailer.

Is this normal?

I mean, I'm seeing a mini arc welder in action here.

Any ideas? I appreciate any help.

Russell
 

Just Lou

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Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Posts
8,105
If you had two 12v batteries initially, they were wired in parallel.  Your new 6v batteries must be wired in series.  See the attached.

You can't just hook up one and then add the other 6v battery.  They must first be hooked up together (end-to-end) and added as ONE 12v battery.
 

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RustyIII

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Posts
6
Lou -

Whew! That explains it... I didn't even try doing these both at same time. Let alone in series.  :-[

Thank You for Images - helps!
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,959
Location
Davison Michigan
It is too late now but I recommend the following:

Before you remove the properly installed batteries take some red tape, paint or a red wire loom and all the wires hooked to a POSITIVE terminal that run somewhere other than another battery.. Make 'em red.


Optional use black on the negative side as well.

A very common issue is ..... Backwards installation.
 

SCVJeff

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Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Posts
1,210
Sparking batteries when reconnecting them is quite common (even when hooked up correctly) unless you have the mains turned off. There are lots of parasitic loads: smoke detectors, radios, big inverters (even when off). All those input filter caps add up to a pretty good spark at times.
 

RustyIII

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Posts
6
Thanks for feedback guys - The batteries are all set and doing there job. No spark activity when I had them in series... though I considered what SCVJeff mentioned. But Lou nailed it.

I'm liking these maintenance free batteries - They should be charging at a quicker pace then the gels. The gels where not charging well under tree shade with solar charger... understandably. I was parked for a few weeks in a shaded campground this summer with poor recharge abilities...and no hookups.

I was also disappointed with my H-2000i generator - as it kept shutting down under max loads (every 30 min). All I was trying to keep running was the fridge, main concern. Took a long time to get the gel batteries charged up with generator. Was really hoping that the honda would be enough to keep me juiced up - but not with the current setup.

Next up - is to upgrade the existing battery charger (magnetec 6300) and install the Trimetric 12v sys monitor... should be easy enough. Hopefully this weekend. Then my system should be all dialed in!  Well, except for a bigger solar panel for the battery recharging - I think that will really make a difference. Something I can move around and position for better sunlight. Current solar panel is small and mounted on roof and works fine in strong sunlight.

I'm no expert at 12v systems but I'm learning and have some good reading materials, which I should have consulted before hooking these things up...  ::)
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,959
Location
Davison Michigan
You had GEL's....  As I said in another thrad, Gel is not really a good choice.

AGM, however, which is a good choice, is often mistaken for GEL because it has all the advantages of GEL... Just Gel has a bunch of disadvantages,  Slow charging being one of them (You charge them like you do an AGM, you go out tomorrow and buy new ones).

Maintenance free are a good choice provided "THIS SIDE UP" can be respected, AGM (And Gel) do not have that label  But most all the reasons folks go for AGM's apply to maintenance free as well.
 
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