Can an AGM battery be immersed in water for UTE mounting?

Submitted: Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 17:18
ThreadID: 96912 Views:5725 Replies:2 FollowUps:5
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A question for someone more knowledgeable than me about batteries...
I am about to set up a Dual Battery in my BT50. Being a modern day ute, there is little to no room under the bonnet for the second battery. While there is plenty of room in the tub, I would prefer to mount it underneath the tray where there it would be much neater.
Can anyone tell me if an AGM battery can potentially be immersed in water, during river crossings etc?
Are these 100% sealed?
I could perhaps mount it in a sealed box of some kind.
Has anyone had experience in this?
Thanks in advance....
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Reply By: olcoolone - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 18:20

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 18:20
Most quality AGM batteries are water proof and can be submerged but always check with the seller.

If submerging in salt water always clean the battery afterwards...... the salt left can cause a conductive path between the poles and cause them to discharge.

You can also lay most AGM's on and angle but you will loose up to 10% capacity.

Don't mount them in a sealed box....... there is always the chance the so called sealed box isn't sealed leading to corrosion and rust.
AnswerID: 491095

Follow Up By: Member - warren G (VIC) - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 21:06

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 21:06
my boat recently submerged upside down with a sealed agm battery,it was upside down under water for about 10hr bafor being salvaged.i have that battery in my 4wd now and when checked it was down from 97ahr to 90.cheers warren
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FollowupID: 766539

Follow Up By: Member - warren G (VIC) - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 21:14

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 21:14
my boat recently submerged upside down with a sealed agm battery,it was upside down under water for about 10hr befor being salvaged.i have that battery in my 4wd now and when checked it was down from 97ahr to 90.cheers warren
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FollowupID: 766540

Reply By: The Bantam - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 23:03

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 23:03
There is no such thing as a completely sealed battery, but apart from certain situations such as overcharge and over heat, sealed batteries remain sealed for all intents and purposes.

You MUST provide ventilation and it is unwise to run them other than upright in vehicle applications.

This goes for AGM, GELL and even sealed maintenance free batteries.

no problem at all for river crossings.

even old style screw top batteries fair reasonably well, because the vent holes are very small and therer is only 1 per cell.

cheers
AnswerID: 491114

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 09:47

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 09:47
The cranking AGM is underwater.


Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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FollowupID: 766557

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 09:52

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 09:52
Most AGM battery's have a "one way" pressure safety relief valve that will vent at greater then 5psi, the amount of hydrogen vented into the atmosphere is so small it would not be noticeable or dangerous..... The chances of them venting is very very low under correct charging conditions, this makes them safe for installation in enclosed areas such as marine.

AGM's can be mounted on any angle with very little loose of capacity, that's one big advantage of AGM (Advanced Glass Mat Valve Regulated Sealed Lead Acid Battery) technology.

AGM batteries are the only ones that can be legally transported in an aircraft and have a world wide "DOT" exemption.

They are also approved for use in aircraft.

AGM battery's were originally designed for military applications.



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FollowupID: 766558

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 10:38

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 10:38
AGM batteries can and will vent explosive gasses in real world operation.

They MUST be provided with adequate ventilation and to say they are 100%safe in enclosed spaces is not correct and is not supported by the manufaturers material safety and data sheets or engineering application notes.

AGM battereies can be "operated' on any angle including upside down...that does not mean that can necessarily be charged in those positions or that they should be installed anyway other than upright in automotive or heavy shock applications.

While many sealed batteries can be transported by air and may not be considered dangerous goods for the purpose of transport, that does not mean that you can charge them in the same circumstances with the same level of safety.

AGM is a fine technolgy and there are some very nice AGM batteries out there AND they are a significanty safer battery than some others, BUT, the benifits of AGM are being regularly overstated.

People are happy to take the front page, glossy, advertising spiel at face value, but fail to read the fine print in the safety and engineering application notes.

BE CERTAIN
EVERY sealed lead acid battery can and will vent explosive and corrosive mist in every day, real world, applications.

EVERY sealed lead acid battery may leak acid from the vents at some time in its life if installed and charged on its side on its end or especially upside down.

EVERY sealed lead acid battery will withstand shock and vibration better if installed upright.

EVERY sealed lead acid battery MUST be installed in a properly vented place if it is to be charged there.

If anybody wants to argue these points, believe me I know this argument very very well and can quote chapter and verse from many manufacturers and one or two regulators.

A quote from a german manufacturer sums up the ventilation issue well.

While the art of low-gas production type batteries is well advanced, using Low Gassing Lead/Calcium plates and gas recombination techniques with well regulated charging devices, we CANNOT assume that the charging devices will always regulate voltage properly at all temperatures; Nor can we assume that necessary and routine maintenance of the cabling connections has been performed in a series/parallel battery set for mobile or Marine application. Given these variables, we must always design a suitably ventilated system in the event of induced gassing. For this reason it is strictly forbidden to use any battery technology in a sealed box or un-ventilated room. Ventilation to outside air- whether active (forced air) or passive (air slots or limber holes)- is compulsory.

ANY rechargeable battery can and will produce gas.
Ventilate to outside air!

cheers
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FollowupID: 766563

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