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Old 02-24-13, 07:37 PM   #1
MO_CPA
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Thumbs down Help! Battery Acid Overflow

Hey all,

I took the cover off of the Tracker today to see how things went over the winter. Everything was in pretty good shape...BUT when I opened the battery compartment, I noticed that there was quite a good bit of acid (white corrosion) on the aluminum in the battery area. I took the batteries out in October/November so I am not sure why it is just now showing up. So, I am freaked out a little and need your advice:
  1. What is the possible effect on the aluminum that is covered in the acid? Will this ruin it?
  2. Is there anyway to neutralize the acid? I have heard a mix of baking soda/water as well as a professional product. What would you use?
  3. What is the best way to take care of this going forward? Should I install a sealed battery box, cover the bay area with a thick plastic sheeting and change it out every year, or switch battery types?
As always, I appreciate your knowledge! I hope I haven't f'd....er....*messed* anything up.

John
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Old 02-24-13, 08:47 PM   #2
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Neutralize the area ASAP - baking soda should do it and don't touch the area with bare hands, you could get burns, or God forbid touch your eyes with contaminated fingers. As for any significant damage, you'll know after you clean it up. If you have corrosion due to battery acid, it could occur from a leaking battery (cracked case), so give them a good look, or possibly some overflow when filling or charging them. You can try the battery boxes if the batteries are still good. I don't use wet cell batteries, for a couple reasons - leaking is one big one. I use AGM batteries (Cabela's) and would recommend them if you need to change a battery or two. They ARE EXPENSIVE, but IMO the advantages are well worth the investment. Good luck with the clean up and I hope there is not real damage.
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Old 02-24-13, 08:50 PM   #3
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I dealt with an incident investigation with this same thing a few months ago. We run battery packs on a gyro for positioning in deep water. They are encased in aluminum sealed tubes and sent to 3-10000' of water. The acid can be neutralized with baking soda from what I understand. But our problem came from charging the batteries in the case. It was not vented and ended turning the container in to a bomb when it blew a cap off and sent the canister in to a ceiling. No telling where it would have landed. I think you are alright though with just some cleaning and finding out why it is leaking. Might be charging too much and boiling over?
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Old 02-24-13, 08:54 PM   #4
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Bubba is right. The acid can be neutralized with a baking soda/water mix and vinegar will do it also, if I remember right.
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Old 02-24-13, 09:47 PM   #5
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So I went by the local auto parts store and picked up a can of this battery acid cleaner/detector. This stuff sprays on yellow...if battery acid is present then it immediately turns pink. So here is what happened....I sprayed into the black plastic trays my batteries were sitting in....PINK. OK, a little acid there...I get it. Then, I spray in what I thought was the infected area...YELLOW. I sprayed another area....YELLOW. So, I guess this wasn't acid....which I suppose makes sense because I would think I would have noticed the battery leaking???

At any rate, I am puzzled on what this white substance would be. It doesn't clean off with battery acid cleaner, it doesn't scrape with your finger nails...I guess it most resembles calcium? I do fish in water temps from 30 degrees up to 85 degrees so could it have been caused by condensation? I am at a loss right now.

John
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Old 02-24-13, 09:58 PM   #6
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ALUMINUM WILL OXIDIDE. john. normal when water of air or a mixture of the 2.
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Old 02-24-13, 10:42 PM   #7
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Either corrosion due to air salt etc or you left the lid open and its bird poop,which also causes same.Not a lot one can do after the fact,any coating or treatment make sure its fire retardent and not the cause of one,Lots of vapor can build up during charging.

Mine has also been wet with acid but covered with that black underlayment like one puts on cars.Proper cleaning with removers baking soda and or lime then flushing often.
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Old 03-11-13, 12:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info everyone. Being the "worry wort" that I am, I scheduled a service appointment with Tracker for this coming Wednesday 3/13. Wanted to get the corrosion ID'd and discuss preventive/damage control procedures. Might even have them slip in a couple battery boxes for me while I am there.

I will let you know what I find out. Also, I will take a few pics before I take it in just to show you what I am seeing.
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Old 03-11-13, 06:48 PM   #9
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got an idea john, have oyu seen that commercial about the spray rubber? well i got a can to see if it works, ain't used it yet. oyu can get it in white, which is what i got, maybe after cleaning the tanks real good spray ine it with that and maybe it'll be easier to keep clean? it's just rubber right? if i am worng, someone tell me please.
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