September 14, 2012
Filed under RV Tech Q&A
I have a 2010 Newmar Bay Star and one of the house batteries exploded. I was told it had dead cells, although the water level was not low. I installed a new one, but I’m apprehensive it may happen again. It seemed as though the batteries weren’t holding a charge too well in the past. Do I have cause for concern?
Bobby G. Ratliff l Bedford, Va.
If it literally exploded, the only logical cause is ignition of a buildup of hydrogen gas. Batteries produce hydrogen and a spark from a loose connection, a spark from use of a jumper cable, or static electricity could have set it off. Weak or old batteries, particularly with faulty cells, tend to outgas even more. Make sure there are no loose connections that could spark, and when using jumper cables always make the last negative connection at a solid ground away from the battery. If you have a pair of 12-volt house batteries, these should be replaced in pairs.
— Ken Freund