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Thread: Venting House Batteries

  1. #1
    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Default Venting House Batteries

    How many people have house batteries in their boat cabins and how are they, if at all, vented to the outside..
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  2. #2
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    If you have a battery in your cabin it should to be isolated with an outside vent, usually a small clam shell ventilator will work. As you know, batteries put off hydrogen gas and you donít want that stuff accumulating in your boat cabin.
    Donít know your boat configuration, but for me the best choice was adding an additional battery along side my starter battery with a three way battery selector. This way I can start the main on one battery, run for a while, then switch over to the house battery; this way my starter battery is always charged.
    If it were me, Iíd place my house battery(s) outside in a separate battery compartment.
    With twin 250s youíll probably have duel starter batteries along with one or two house batteries I would imagine.
    Iím sure the fine folks at Glacier Craft will take care of your onboard battery managements needs.

    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
    OurPlayground.


  3. #3
    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by breausaw View Post
    If you have a battery in your cabin it should to be isolated with an outside vent, usually a small clam shell ventilator will work. As you know, batteries put off hydrogen gas and you donít want that stuff accumulating in your boat cabin.
    Donít know your boat configuration, but for me the best choice was adding an additional battery along side my starter battery with a three way battery selector. This way I can start the main on one battery, run for a while, then switch over to the house battery; this way my starter battery is always charged.
    If it were me, Iíd place my house battery(s) outside in a separate battery compartment.
    With twin 250s youíll probably have duel starter batteries along with one or two house batteries I would imagine.
    Iím sure the fine folks at Glacier Craft will take care of your onboard battery managements needs.
    Yeah, I am just looking at different types of batteries and configurations I can go with. Thats the cool part of a custom boat! I am finding that some people vent them but majority of people have not.........

    I will have two starting batteries and then two house batteries (unless I do 6volt).

    Thanks for the info.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  4. #4

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    DMan: For many safety reasons you should have all of your batteries outside of your cabin. However, if you don't have the space or don't want to use the space available for batteries you could put them in the cabin IF you used a completly sealed battery box(s) which is vented to the outside. These are not the normal battery boxes you see. They have a gasket or O-ring sealed lid, the cables are run through bulkhead fittings which seal tightly around each cable and they have no other holes except the vent line which is run outside. It is much easier and safer to just put them in the transom.

    SB

  5. #5

    Default ???

    Why not use Gel or AGM batteries in the cabin and not worry about the vent?

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    A couple thoughts on batteries. I've had to study the hydrogen issue and risks thereof for work over the years. I won't say there is no risk of hydrogen buildup and an explosion hazard, but it is often exaggerated.

    Under normal conditions, batteries don't off gas hydrogen. It is when a battery is over-charged, which typically requires a damaged charger.

    As hydrogen is the lightest molecule, it is highly buoyant in air. So realize that if a battery were to outgas, the hydrogen will be floating up to the highpoint in your enclosure, or cabin. It really doesn't take much ventilation to remove the hydrogen.

    My advice is go with sealed batteries, they are typically built better and will take the pounding on a boat, and if you have to top off the batteries on the trailer or at the dock leave your pilot house door or a window cracked open for ventilation.

    Again, I'm not saying it can't happen. But the cases of it actually occuring are very rare. I haven't heard of one aboard a boat, using modern batteries and battery chargers. The last one I read about was several years back, and it was in a UPS battery room in a manufacturing plant. A room the size of say a 28' cabin cruiser interior, that contained as I recall 48 cells that are larger than a marine battery.

  7. #7

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    Ditto...go with a sealed AGM/Gel and never worry about `em again. You won`t have any gas discharge unless you charge with a 'dumb' charger and boil it. I just load test mine every year. My battery charger will show a bad condition code if the battery has a cell problem. So far I`m on my forth year of doing zero maintenance on my battery. I leave it in the boat outside in temps down to -40 and it starts like a champ every spring. I just test voltage with a meter every spring and it`s been fine. I do carry an isolated battery with me for kicks but sealed gels work great. Look into MK gel batteries...group 22 for starting will work fine ( I carry two for the same weight of one 27) for EFI motors and a group 24 or 27 for the house work. Auto Electric has them in town and I always have a few good spares laying around.

    PM me if you have any questions.

    Deka Dominator (Re-labeled MKs from AO) specs-

    Group 22-13 minutes @ 75 amps, 557 @ 5 amps-Reserve 77 @ 30a.
    Group 24-33 minutes @ 75 amps, 845 @ 5 amps-Reserve 132 @ 30a.
    Group 27-40 minutes @ 75 amps, 1000 @ 5 amps-Reserve 160 @ 30a.

  8. #8

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    I used a lot of batteries in a wind generator system for years and boats as well. I used Hydrocaps. They capture the outgassing hydrogen and recombine it via a catalyst back into water. They work well and dramatically cut down on electrolyte evaporation. Here is one supplier:
    http://store.solar-electric.com/hydrocaps.html

  9. #9
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    This is a little off topic, but do any of you guys use electronic isolators? Here is one I have used on my Kenai boat for years: http://www.hellroaring.com/. I think the same thing would apply to house vs. starting batteries so that you don;t have to worry about a battery switch. The way it works is the the motor is electronically isolated to the starting battery, so it charges it first. What that battery is charged, then it will charge the house batteries, but if the house batteries get drawn down, then it does not allow it to drain the starting battery. I use this on my Kenai boat to have a separate battery for an electric trolling motor and it works great.

  10. #10
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I use a blue sea ACR to isolate the batteries. That and a single blue sea switch that has 3 positions, off, on with batteries isolated, and on with batteries combined.

    Pretty simple setup.

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