One for the sparkies: does shorting a new batt ruin it?

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 15:21
ThreadID: 66049 Views:2623 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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Newly fitted camper trailer battery moved and the +ve shorted out on the batt box lock. Enough to chamfer half the diam of a 1/4" bolt that does the lock holding.

Dunno how long it'd been happening for; maybe intermittently for an hour; maybe continuously for part of that.

What does this do to the battery? Only drain the current or worse?

Advice appreciated. I have to get back to the guy who did the work.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 16:01

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 16:01
Just to add: spoke to the guy who'll replace the battery immediately.

Sorry to go off half cocked. On a UBB system I would've deleted the post.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thoughtfully- Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 19:24

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 19:24
very relevant and interesting thread sigmund, no need to delete it
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 16:55

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 16:55
I had a battery short out under the bonnet once - the battery got so hot, it warped the casing and the earth wire caught fire. Battery looked trashed, but still worked, but I got rid of it anyway. i'd guess your battery is still OK, but you'd need to charge it back up and test it.
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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 18:56

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 18:56
Hi Sigmund,
I guess the definitive answer is "it depends"

If you dropped a big lump of metal across the terminals and walked away it most likely would damage the battery.

Intermittent shorting like you saw most likely won't. If you did it every day I'd say it would eventually.

Batteries seem to survive being used as a bush welder rather successfully. Though I doubt being used as a substitute welder every day of their life would increase their health.

The really annoying part about batteries is their habit of following the natural laws of physics and chemistry rather than a neat bit of repeatable theory.

Geoff

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 21:16

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 21:16
Thanks for the replies folks.

Geoff, I'm a happy empiricist in my old age .... so the fact of the matter so far is that there is no bulging case or flaming wires.

I could test the voltage which might or might not say something about the future capacity of the battery?
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 21:56

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 21:56
"I could test the voltage which might or might not say something about the future capacity of the battery?"

And that is what makes batteries bloody annoying!

You could charge and test it today, then the rotten ungrateful thing would drop its guts tomorrow.

If the supplier is happy to replace it I'd grab the offer with both hands.

Geoff

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Reply By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 23:24

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at 23:24
if you have a hydrometer check the state of the battery(fully charged 12.85) fully charge the battery and test under load. if it tests ok thats all you can do
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Follow Up By: bordertrek - Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 01:21

Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 01:21
Hey splatty is that you?
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Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 06:14

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 at 06:14
Thanks again guys.

Supplier will replace it, no dramas. Get it done this morning.
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