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  • Accidental short circuit!

    I'm sure there are two types of people who work with large lead acid battery banks:

    1) Those who have had an accidental short circuit and,
    2) Those who are still going to have an accidental short circuit.

    Even though this has happend to me countless times before, and after each time I vow to be more careful in future there is always a time when you are working under pressure to get a very large and cumbersome part of the wiring job done and even though you think a spanner, loose end of wire or some kind of metal object is safe from creating a closed circuit by accident somewhere in the system it inevitably happens when you least expect it to!

    Fortunately this one only burnt off a chunck of a wiring stud and gave me a big fright!

    Please work carefully, take breaks every 20-30 minutes when wiring batteries!!!

    Regards,

    D

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dave3011 View Post
    I'm sure there are two types of people who work with large lead acid battery banks:

    1) Those who have had an accidental short circuit and,
    2) Those who are still going to have an accidental short circuit.

    Even though this has happend to me countless times before, and after each time I vow to be more careful in future there is always a time when you are working under pressure to get a very large and cumbersome part of the wiring job done and even though you think a spanner, loose end of wire or some kind of metal object is safe from creating a closed circuit by accident somewhere in the system it inevitably happens when you least expect it to!

    Fortunately this one only burnt off a chunck of a wiring stud and gave me a big fright!

    Please work carefully, take breaks every 20-30 minutes when wiring batteries!!!

    Regards,

    D
    Good advise. Glad you weren't hurt during your latest "learning lesson".

    Comment


    • #3
      Be glad it was a small battery. In Telephone offices with battery capacity up to 20,000 AH @ 48 volts a bolted fault could vaporize you.
      MSEE, PE

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dave3011 View Post
        1) Those who have had an accidental short circuit and,
        2) Those who are still going to have an accidental short circuit.

        Even though this has happened to me countless times before...
        I disagree... this will never happen to some of us. Some of us take enough precautions that it is very unlikely to happen. If you can't count the number of times this has happened to you, you shouldn't be doing battery work.

        I consider shorting a battery to be like falling off a roof... it is not inevitable if you take appropriate precautions.

        --mapmaker
        ob 3524, FM60, ePanel, 4 L16, 4 x 235 watt panels

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mapmaker View Post
          I disagree... this will never happen to some of us. Some of us take enough precautions that it is very unlikely to happen. If you can't count the number of times this has happened to you, you shouldn't be doing battery work.

          I consider shorting a battery to be like falling off a roof... it is not inevitable if you take appropriate precautions.

          --mapmaker
          Sounds like famous last words to me. Anyway just to clarify I don't wish this on anyone. And no it hast happened that many times in the 25years I've been tinkering and working with high powered batteries just so by the way. I also work with 230v AC and have never had an accident there. The difference is you can't switch batteries off and nature of the lower voltage lends to temptation in taking things a little easier than when you're working with 230v AC.

          Anyway good for those who work carefully and take their time - it's what I aspire to. Guess being young and over eager is what causes these things to happen right?

          Comment


          • #6
            When I'm just watering batteries, I do about a half hour of prep, sometimes it even involves weed whacking a exit path, before I need it.

            Glasses, gloves, 2 rinse buckets, wipe down rags, waste can...... Wish there was a robust alkaline battery watering system.
            Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
            || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
            || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

            solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
            gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
              When I'm just watering batteries, I do about a half hour of prep, sometimes it even involves weed whacking a exit path, before I need it.

              Glasses, gloves, 2 rinse buckets, wipe down rags, waste can...... Wish there was a robust alkaline battery watering system.
              Yes very good way of preparing - I also mix a solution of water and sodium bicarbonate in a bucket before working with batteries just in case.

              This short happened because of poor planning. I had run out of red insulated wire and decided to proceed using only the black insulated wire I had because I was eager to get the job done. Due to the fact that I didn't have the colors to remind me of which polarity was which on the wires I had to be very careful to check the battery terminals to know what was going on. I was diligently applying colored insulation tape to the wires as I was going but due to a laps in concentration I missed out on something and then it happened. Had been going at it for 2 hours without a break too...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dave3011 View Post
                Yes very good way of preparing - I also mix a solution of water and sodium bicarbonate in a bucket before working with batteries just in case.

                This short happened because of poor planning. I had run out of red insulated wire and decided to proceed using only the black insulated wire I had because I was eager to get the job done. Due to the fact that I didn't have the colors to remind me of which polarity was which on the wires I had to be very careful to check the battery terminals to know what was going on. I was diligently applying colored insulation tape to the wires as I was going but due to a laps in concentration I missed out on something and then it happened. Had been going at it for 2 hours without a break too...
                I can see "it happening" under those circumstances.

                I was recently wiring a tiny (in comparison to yours) 100AH Battery, and realized I only had Red cable on hand. I wired both leads with the red and marked the neg with black tape. Even with the marker, I must have double checked polarity 10 times before I wired up the CC... nerve racking...
                [CENTER]SunLight @ Night[/CENTER]

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                • #9
                  How many of you actually use tools made to work on batteries, or even know what procedures and PP to wear? Very small percentage.
                  MSEE, PE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sunking View Post
                    How many of you actually use tools made to work on batteries, or even know what procedures and PP to wear? Very small percentage.
                    That is like riding a motorcycle in shorts and flip flops. Seems safe to me.

                    Heck. You should see the Arc flash PPE I wear when I hook up a power quality meter.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                      That is like riding a motorcycle in shorts and flip flops. Seems safe to me.
                      Hey you just described every motorcyclist in Panama including me. Motor cycles are real popular means of transportation down here. What is really a trip is there is even a few retired Hell's Angels down here with a Chapter. Wished I could say they are a nice bunch of fellows, but not so much. Even the Police are scared of them.
                      MSEE, PE

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                      • #12
                        Dem

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FunGas View Post
                          The old fuse boxes in the US used round "screw in" type fuses. When they blew and you didn't have a spare people use to use a $.01 penny to get power back on.

                          Not sure what the "amp rating" was on that penny but it probably was 10 times as much as the fuse rating that blew. Definitely not a safe condition.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                            The old fuse boxes in the US used round "screw in" type fuses. When they blew and you didn't have a spare people use to use a $.01 penny to get power back on.

                            Not sure what the "amp rating" was on that penny but it probably was 10 times as much as the fuse rating that blew. Definitely not a safe condition.
                            I've played a trick on a few apprentice mechanics with a penny.
                            Drop one in the lighter socket of a rear-door armrest ashtray (like those found on 70s Lincolns and Cadillacs),
                            Then put the pop-up lighter back in the socket.

                            It would blow the dome/clock/lighter fuse.
                            It would take some mechanics days to figure it out... (and they would get paid 1hour for the diagnosis)
                            [CENTER]SunLight @ Night[/CENTER]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dave3011 View Post
                              .......I also mix a solution of water and sodium bicarbonate in a bucket before working with batteries just in case.......
                              In case you want to create thermal burns on top of acid burns ? using a base to neutralize an acid, releases heat, and the acid in embedded in your fingerprints.
                              Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                              || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                              || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                              solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                              gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                              Comment

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