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Posted: 1/12/2005 6:16:53 PM EDT
Went out 20 minutes ago to pull the charger off my international cub cadet. I was only running it at 10 amps on a declining scale,[10 amps,as it charges it automatically drops amps]The battery was full as I had checked it at 4:30 this afternoon when I put the charger on. I was leaning over it and decided to hit the key to see if it was fully charged. This is a 67" 10HP tractor that I plow snow with and it takes a lot of amps to start, the starter/alt is the size of a truck starter, I turned the key and the battery blew up throwing acid all over the shed including my eyes, face and clothes. That stuff BURNS quick. Wife asked what the hell happened as it sounded like a firecracker. I just told her to throw my clothes in the washer and I went in jumped in the shower and rinsed off, especially my eyes. WEAR your EYE protection!!! when you mess with batteries. Right now my face feels like it was sunburned, I rinsed out the shed with baking soda and water to nutralize the acid. The entire top of the battery is gone, pieces were all over. I still do not know why as all connections were tight, on correctly and the battery was full of water. Be careful!
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:20:33 PM EDT
Wow! I've heard they blew up, but I've never experienced it. You should go to an ER and have your eyes checked out ASAP.

From now on I will definitely be wearing googles and not just eyeglasses when I'm working on a battery.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:22:27 PM EDT
Ya!

..and it killed me.

I'm talking to you from the beyond.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:22:52 PM EDT
Any spark near a battery can cause a kaboom.

Connecting/disconnecting anything like chargers, jumpers, battery cables, smoking, welding or whatever can and will cause one to explode.

Wash off good, use lots of water and baking soda to neutralize the acid on you and the vehicle.

Best wishes, sounds like you are lucky.

Danny
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:26:15 PM EDT
Yes I have and forget your clothes there gone. Saftey glasses don't work you must use goggles.
Get that burn checked...
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:27:26 PM EDT
How old was the battery?
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:27:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2005 6:31:25 PM EDT by Aardvark]
Yes!  Back in the late 70's I accidentally reverse connected a battery charger and one cell blew up.  Luckily the battery was on the garage floor and the worst damage was a small hole burned in my jeans by the acid spray and a ringing in the ear for a few days from the loud BANG.  Definitely not something I would do again.

When you replace the battery, I highly recommend Optima Batteries.  They are a sealed Advanced Glass Mat (AGM) gell battery that can be mounted in any position.  No liquid and a very low danger of explosion.  I have a Yellow Top deep cycle type in my Honda Insight and I just installed a Red Top in my sister's Saturn for Christmas.  They aren't cheap but they are well worth the money.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:31:01 PM EDT
I have worked on vehicles/small engines/tractors/whatever for 30 years now. This is the first time it has ever happened. I flushed my eyes out very well, was not as bad as when I had a furnace blow up on me this spring. That hurt like hell! Part of the blast hit me in the face and even tho I was wearing eye protection The shock wave still blew out the blood vessels in my right eye, looked as if it was one big blob of blood. I DID go to the ER room for that, but I drove myself after flushing it for 10 minutes. I also looked like I was sunburned or had welded w/o face protection [arc] for a while. Eye protection does work and at least the new designs are better looking then the dork styles of yesteryear.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:32:04 PM EDT
Yes, had a VW baja beetle  that didn't have the battery strapped down very good, and no back seat  and the trail I was on got a bit too bumpy and hit a bump and shorted the positive against the frame, sparks flew and POW acid everywhere. It blew the entire top of the battery off.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:33:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Burley:
How old was the battery?


 3 years old. I had bought a new one for my grasshopper this year and put the old one one in the Cub.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:36:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Aardvark:
Yes!  Back in the late 70's I accidentally reverse connected a battery charger and one cell blew up.  Luckily the battery was on the garage floor and the worst damage was a small hole burned in my jeans by the acid spray and a ringing in the ear for a few days from the loud BANG.  Definitely not something I would do again.

When you replace the battery, I highly recommend Optima Batteries.  They are a sealed Advanced Glass Mat (AGM) gell battery that can be mounted in any position.  No liquid and a very low danger of explosion.  I have a Yellow Top deep cycle type in my Honda Insight and I just installed a Red Top in my sister's Saturn for Christmas.  They aren't cheap but they are well worth the money.


 I use optima yellow tops in my "rango" and my boat. Expensive but well worth the money, spiral wound, no liquid acid and sealed. They do not make them in the smaller tractor sizes tho.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:47:05 PM EDT
I had a BIC lighter  blow up in my face. It burned of my eyebrow and half of the hair on the right side of my head.

Serves me right, I was 14.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:49:06 PM EDT
Yes. My safety glasses saved my eyes. Battery acid in your nose hurts very much. Trust me on this one... Fullclip
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:52:15 PM EDT
I had a battery blow up on me and a fellow worker at work.  One of our tugs needed a jump and when we attached the jumper cables, we reversed the cables to the dead tug's battery.  It sparked and blew up.  Luckily neither one of us was hurt.  We were very lucky.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:56:59 PM EDT
Had one blow up in a car.  Turned the key to start and heard a bang under the hood.  Made a hell of a mess under the hood.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:58:36 PM EDT
I took a D cell apart once, and the shit inside sprayed in my eyes, once I realized I wasn't blind I swore I wouldn't take apart a battery again.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:59:49 PM EDT
i had a battery blow up in my face on the side of the road one night and i can tell you from personal experience that it burned the top layer of my right eye pretty bad- dr advised battery acid will generally burn only the top layer of the eye. very uncomfortable for about three weeks- every time i blinked i was reminded quickly that the top layer was burnt.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 7:00:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fxntime:
I have worked on vehicles/small engines/tractors/whatever for 30 years now. This is the first time it has ever happened. I flushed my eyes out very well, was not as bad as when I had a furnace blow up on me this spring. That hurt like hell! Part of the blast hit me in the face and even tho I was wearing eye protection The shock wave still blew out the blood vessels in my right eye, looked as if it was one big blob of blood. I DID go to the ER room for that, but I drove myself after flushing it for 10 minutes. I also looked like I was sunburned or had welded w/o face protection [arc] for a while. Eye protection does work and at least the new designs are better looking then the dork styles of yesteryear.



Wow!  First a furnace, and now a battery?  Are you sure you wife isn't trying to whack you?

It happened to a freind but I have never seen it personally. You could keep the battery and see if you can get something from the battery company, if you are so inclined.

Stay safe.  In fact, maybe you should stick with activities that don't involve fire, electricity, or caustic chemicals.  
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 7:05:12 PM EDT
TON'S of 'EM.

I used to work for JCI (Johnson controls INC) at their Batt' factory in Canby (Or).

A pallet had 56 34's on them in the "boost" phase.

You pulled hundreds of pallets a shift and on 5 or 6 of them you'd be sure to cross a lead as you were pulling them off and the whole damn pallet would go off in your face  Really cool blue arc and then a run for the 55 Gal' BBL's with the baking soda in 'em lol
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 7:06:41 PM EDT
Yes I have.  Jumping a 5 ton dump truck in the motorpool when I was a private.  (1991-Ft Bragg).
Kinda like a shotgun going off in my face.  All the battery acid was a mist and other than a piece of plastic stuck in my thumb the only thing I felt was a mild burning sensation. I was lucky.  After that I took my lazy ass to the tool crib to get the slave cables.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:12:18 PM EDT

.  They are a sealed  (AGM) gell battery that can be mounted in any position.  .



That would be a "Absorbed Glass Mat"

FYI
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:14:05 PM EDT
Never had that happen, dont really plan on it.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:35:42 PM EDT

Had one blow up in a car. Turned the key to start and heard a bang under the hood. Made a hell of a mess under the hood.


I had the exact same thing happen in my car a few years ago, pulled out the hose and hosed everything down real good to dilute the acid.

Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:46:56 PM EDT
30 years ago I got the cables reversed while attampting to hotshot another car.  The explosion is from hydrogen gas leaking from the battery vent caps.  Scary as hell.  Ops
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:55:19 PM EDT
Never have, hopefully never will...........don't know if it's possible to blow one up by putting both charger cables on the battery.  Learned at a paint & body shop in high school to not connect the negative charger cable to the battery, connect it to a ground, so after I hook the positive charger cable up, I hook the negative to the frame, or in the case of my tractor, a bolt on my front end loader, no problems, charges fine, no spark when connecting, no explosion.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 8:57:57 PM EDT
I met a guy though a mutual friend that lost a few fingers because of a car battery. He was a machanic. He said be really careful when putting new batteries in. They tend give off some kind of heavy gas that  sits right on top of the battery. Also if the battery sits for awhile too becareful
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 9:03:15 PM EDT
Lucky you still have your eyes. We used to blow up electrolytic capacitors in lab class for demonstrations.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 9:10:19 PM EDT
Job hazard for me , so yeah I've seen it a couple of times .

Battery's that pop on their own when they pass current
is the result of a cracked plate connector usually .
Internal arc , Hydrogen gas = boom .

Baking soda is your friend when it comes to killing the acid .
If your clothes are cotton , you might as well throw them away .
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 10:14:08 PM EDT
I saw it happen to my dad a bunch of years ago. he was under the hood of the car and I had walked to the other end of the garage when I heard a hell of a bang. Dad staggered back and started  yelling for me to get him some water. We did as good a rinse job on him as possible before rushing him to ER. In addition to the red face, he was also pretty well cut up from the plastic. He had a big swollen knot on the bridge of his nose.

Turns out as he was picking up his tools, he dropped a wrench and thinks if shorted across the terminals causing the battery to blow. We figure the wrench caught him in the sniffer. I still remember someone asking what happened to him as he looked like he had gone through a windshield.

Sure taught me to respect battaries.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 10:35:10 PM EDT
I have had one explode on me. The battery was an old type with pop-off caps and these blew out.  Got sprayed with H2SO4 mist but no real damage as I washed it out quickly.  Number one thing to remember is plenty of water QUICKLY.  Baking soda works but not in the eyes as it can cause more trouble.  Regular soap on the skin is just as effective and you probably have it ready.

Now on the other batteries.  Be careful with dry cells, rechargeables.  These are much more damaging to eyes due to the alkaline electrolytes, namely potassium hydroxide.  Nickle cadmium, nickle metal hydride and lithium primary cells are all of this type.  They all can leak and spray electrolyte if temperatures get out of control.  I have had packs do this, fortunately they were wrapped.  Loose cells would be really bad.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 10:47:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2005 10:47:30 PM EDT by Digitalpunk]
I was helping a friend clean out an old shed and a car battery fell off a shelf and blew up.  It sprayed battery juice all over my pants and to this day no matter how many times I wash the pants they look wet where the juice hit.  It's mostly on the left leg below the knee.

Digital
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 11:39:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2005 11:41:23 PM EDT by Hoppy]
The little bubbles you see while it's charging are by and large HYDROGEN!  Extremely explosive.  The slightest spark from removing/installing cables or jumpers or a loose connection at startup will set off this gas.
Link Posted: 1/13/2005 6:23:43 AM EDT
yup when I was 17 it was charging all the caps were removed and I approached it with a cig in my mouth,, poof all covered with acid got it in my eyes but was ok,,, never did that again..
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