Jump to content

Very, very hot leisure battery and Electroblok 208


Adria680

Recommended Posts

Hello I am new to this forum but been an avid reader for some time and picked up lots of useful tips and advice since owning our motorhome.

Can anybody help me with a problem that's happened this week on my Adria MH?

I connected the EHU to cool the fridge down in our Adria MH a day before we were due to go away.

When I checked the next day as soon as I opened the door there was a strong smell off sulphur and the seat over the battery compartment was noticeably warm to touch. When I took the seat off and opened the lid the leisure battery was very, very hot and there was evidence of electrolyte leakage on the battery and floor.

I turned the power off, cleaned up the spillage the best I could and put a desk fan over the battery to cool it down and disperse the vapours.

After a couple of hours and the battery had cooled a bit I checked the cell levels and they were below the plates. It was only when it had cooled completely and I topped it up that I realised the damage had been done. It took well over a litre of distilled water to fill it!

I put it back on charge again from the Electroblock 208SE charger to see if the LB was salvageable and then noticed that it was putting about 20 amps into the LB indicating that it was well discharged! Expecting the current to drop pretty quickly I checked the charge voltage which was off the scale (over 16V)! I tried another LB in situ and it showed the same result suggesting the Electroblock was US.

Took the overheated LB out and charged it on my CTek charger on the recon mode and after several hours some signs off life appeared!

The question is what caused the overheating in the first place a failing LB (only about 12months old) or failing (and out of control) Electroblock charger?

Everything else worked as normal but noticed that the mains hook-up LED was out even though it was powered up.

Has anybody experienced a runaway Electroblock before and one that potentially, if left longer, could have caused a serious fire.

Have removed the EB 208SE (nightmare job labelling up about 30 wires) and opened it up but no signs of damage and the glass fuse intact.

I have read previously of failing EBs but none that have baked the LB and almost boiled it dry any help, comments or advice much appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Certainly sounds like the Electroblock has failed and is outputing too high a voltage as you measured 16 volts. Your leisure battery should be replaced. It will have lost a lot of acid in the sulpher smelling vapour and leakiage so now when topped up the acid concentration will be too low. Also you do not know what damage has been done to the plates. So new battery required and the electroblok tested and repaired. There is no way it should pump out 20Amps at 16 volts, it should drop back to below 100millieamps when voltage is over 14.3 volts.

 

I notice you have also posted this inquiry over on MHFacts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Instruction Manual for an Electrobloc 208SE can be found here

 

http://www.acpasion.net/foro/archivosadjuntos/obelix/manuales/Schaudt_Electroblock_EBL208_SE_Ingles.pdf

 

The unit's charger-output is quoted as (maxima) 14.3V and 18A, so (as Brambles advises) 16V and 20A definitely suggest that your 208SE has become faulty. (Presumably you are 100% sure that the 16V/20A figures are correct? That you are taking the readings with an accurate multimeter and at the battery terminals, not relying on figures showing on your motorhome's control-panel.)

 

Section 10 of the Instruction Manual deals with technical faults and when

 

"The living area battery is overloaded during 230 operation (battery voltage in the red zone on the combined measuring instrument)"

 

a "Defective Electrobloc" is suggested as the possible cause.

 

This UK company advertises as a Schaudt Electrobloc specialist/repairer and may be worth contacting for more advice:

 

http://www.atlanticmotorhomeservices.co.uk/schaudt-elektroblock.php

 

(NOTE: I know nothing about the company - I just note that it claims to be familiar with Schaudt equipment.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses and likely causes.

I usually check the battery levels regularly and does have a coloured condition indicator on it which indicates the charge which always showed green and ok.

When I reconnected the LB initially the output voltage measured with a DVM was about 14v but after seconds started steadily rising to over 16v (did the same when I tried an alternative LB) which led me to think that it may have been the EB208 causing the problem in the first place.

Since we had to cancel our week away I will get in touch with the contacts suggested and get the EB looked at and probably change the LB ad well .

I was surprised that the EB charger fuse didn't blow before the LB got so hot - great conditions for a fire considering where the LB is situated in the motorhome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Derek Uzzell - 2013-08-26 9:11 AM

 

The Instruction Manual for an Electrobloc 208SE can be found here

 

http://www.acpasion.net/foro/archivosadjuntos/obelix/manuales/Schaudt_Electroblock_EBL208_SE_Ingles.pdf

 

The unit's charger-output is quoted as (maxima) 14.3V and 18A, so (as Brambles advises) 16V and 20A definitely suggest that your 208SE has become faulty. (Presumably you are 100% sure that the 16V/20A figures are correct? That you are taking the readings with an accurate multimeter and at the battery terminals, not relying on figures showing on your motorhome's control-panel.)

 

Section 10 of the Instruction Manual deals with technical faults and when

 

"The living area battery is overloaded during 230 operation (battery voltage in the red zone on the combined measuring instrument)"

 

a "Defective Electrobloc" is suggested as the possible cause.

 

This UK company advertises as a Schaudt Electrobloc specialist/repairer and may be worth contacting for more advice:

 

http://www.atlanticmotorhomeservices.co.uk/schaudt-elektroblock.php

 

(NOTE: I know nothing about the company - I just note that it claims to be familiar with Schaudt equipment.)

 

This company repaired the faulty charger on my EBL99 and repaired the IT994 control panel. I recommend Allan highly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again for the advice.

Contacted A&N today and Allan has responded even though it's BH! Great service.

Will make arrangements to get it to him for his verdict and solution.

Shame there aren't more companies around that offer the same service as A&N.

I have had the 'boiled' LB on charge in recon mode on my CTEK charger and amazingly it's recovered and the SG is almost back to normal! Will see if it holds the charge.

Took the rest of the gubbins in the battery compartment out to give it a good clean, the boiled electrolyte had percolated everywhere so just as well I did.

Think I will fit a temperature sensor and relay to the LB so that if it should happen again the power to the charger will be cut off in the event of another 'boiling' episode.

A bit surprised that Shauldt didn't incorporate an overvoltage sensor in the EB to prevent this happening.

David

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All these abbreviations, I cannot cope - stuck with BH and can't be bothered working it out.

 

Anyway, I have mentioned you boiled your battery dry and it will have sustained damage. It is not like a Fork lift traction battery which can cope with abuse as it has solid plates. Leisure batteries have paste like a car battery and it falls off the plates and collects at the bottom. I have mentioned you should replace your battery not just for reliability but safety as well. It is up to you! Think of it like a tyre which has had a puncture, been repaired but unfortunately was driven flat for a while. Unseen damage to the carcase. It may look alright but is it? Plates will be buckled from overheating and pressing against separators, when they swell as they are charge it could cut through the separators and short - replace it please if not just for peace of your own mind and knowing you will have a good battery. I also suggest you make sure the replacement has provision for a vent tube and it is connected to a tube venting outside and 2nd vent port if provided has plug left in position.

 

 

Good luck with getting charger repaired and hope it does not cost you too much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will let you know what Allan thinks.

He has offered a 'remanufactured' one for £190 but hopes he can repair mine for less.

Point taken re the battery - will see what happens over the next few days - can always use it as a spare. It was a Yuarsa deep cycle one and a shame just to scrap it. Still showing over 13v (no load) after taking it off charge about 9 hours ago. I was very surprised to see the specific gravity of the electrolyte recover at all after such treatment!

Thanks David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just an update.

Took the Electroblok to A&N at Colwyn who diagnosed the output regulator as blown.

He offered me a recon unit at a very reasonable price.

Highly recommended and a very helpful chap to deal with.

The original Yuasa battery is still holding it's charge but after Brambles advice and reading his previous excellent discourse on leisure batteries have been looking around for the Bosch/Varta batteries he suggests.

Thanks.

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adria680 - 2013-08-26 9:03 PMWill let you know what Allan thinks. He has offered a 'remanufactured' one for £190 but hopes he can repair mine for less.Point taken re the battery - will see what happens over the next few days - can always use it as a spare. It was a Yuarsa deep cycle one and a shame just to scrap it. Still showing over 13v (no load) after taking it off charge about 9 hours ago. I was very surprised to see the specific gravity of the electrolyte recover at all after such treatment!Thanks David

 

Considering what you said about your battery if you intend keeping it a a spare you might like to consider getting it checked out.  It is almost certainly damaged internally and will 'gas' when on charge which is not desirable (read....potentially dangerous).  Also if you keep it it will need to be on an intelligent charger otherwise it will 'die' over time.  If it was me and considering the cost/safety angle I would bin it.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Adria,

Unfortunately over time information goes out of date as manufacturers move forward, not always in our favour either. A few years ago Varta changed their offerings and many of the leisure batteries changed specification.

 

Varta's Flooded offering seem to be in the Professional range and are dual purpose. They give up to 200 cycles and for a dual purpose is not bad compared to the Asian sourced offerings which are generally 150 cycles at 50% dod.

 

However they introduced the Professional AGM range to make up for the loss of semi traction batteries. They give around 400 cycles but are more expensive and cannot be topped up.

Varta also have the Professional Deep cycle range and this is even better than their original leisure (hobby) batteries with up to 800 cycles with a staggering 80% dod. However what they also did was to continue to market the standard original leisure batteries under the Bosch brand and a year ago were still readily available from SAF ( Sutton Motor Factors - mail order) at a very good price but I do not know if they are still available. Oh why do things have to change! I expect the Deep cycle range are quite expensive and sizes and shapes are not ideal as drop in replacements as the cases are not standard car battery formats.

 

Varta also a few years ago started to offer their ‘flagship’ for the leisure market which is the Professional Deep cycle AGM. 800 cycles at 50% dod. It is probably the most suitable battery but not cheap and Exide Gels may be a better option.

 

So really you need to work out how much power you are going to be discharging and expected life you want. It is a hard one because you have just hit the classic failure which takes the battery out. 1 year old and you have wasted a £100 battery but imagine how you would feel if it was a £200 battery and had to replace it. So what makes economic sense long term? For many this is going to be the cheaper standard flooded dual function battery and if you say just need a battery for what I call coffee or lunch halts because you have hook up most nights then just about any cheap battery will do. I do not know your power profile, desired capacity or power usage so cannot recommend a particular battery.

 

Banner Batteries offer semi traction batteries ( Energy Bull) still and is probably a better bet now than Varta when choosing a flooded wet battery. Again only if you require a premium flooded battery. (Gosh I hope Banner have not changed its specification!

Bearing in mind most batteries fail because of user abuse and I include your fault in this which boiled the battery even though it was not deliberate abuse ( inadvertant abuse shall we call it) then is it really worth forking out on expensive top quality AGM batteries unless you really need the power , wild camp a lot of nights and need the cyclic performance. So my default recommendation has always been flooded leisure batteries of premium quality and unfortuanatly Varta flooded no longer fall in this category but as a dual purpose they are up their at the top for the money… Their use being in boats as a starter and auxiliary power battery.

 

Some links for you.

 

http://www.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/products/leisure/

http://www.bannerbatterien.com/banner/produkte/batterien/energy_bull/index2_en.php

http://www.tayna.co.uk/Varta-Hobby-Leisure-Batteries-S285-1.html

http://www.tayna.co.uk/Banner-Leisure-Batteries-S1331-1.html

 

Tayna are a good supplier and reasonable prices and as a customer I have always had good service.

There are other good suppliers out there as well and often there are local battery supplier who wil offer good deals.

 

One link I forgot is SAF. http://www.buypartsby.co.uk/buy/__/161/outdoor/leisure-batteries/bosch-leisure-batteries/ but only seem to have the 75Ah now.

 

Sorry thii post rambles on, I am getting interrupted a lot so hope it is of some use. I really just wanted to point out some of my past posts need seriously updating as products have changed. Well some of them anyway like the Vartas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Further to above, just looking at the Tayna website they stil seem to supply some of the original type semi traction leisure batteries but probably not suitable sizes. 50 Ah, Varta 95406,

 

96051 Varta Leisure Battery I12

12V 130Ah

(DIN: 960 051 000)

 

 

96351 Varta Leisure Battery J12

12V 180Ah

(DIN: 963 051 000)

 

 

and 81154 (A25) Varta Hobby Leisure Battery 12V 105Ah but this is a sealed battery I think.

 

 

Generally speaking if you find a varta which is not sealed and has removable caps it is the original series semi traction but could be old stock. The likes of Tayna and many others fill with acid just before despatch and are stored dry so is not an issue. It is supliers who have them sitting on shelves filled which could be a problem as likely to be old stock and deteriorated (sulphated).

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an Electrobloc 208SE apparently charges the starter-battery automatically as well as the leisure-battery, it might be wise to check the condition of the former battery too.

 

The 208SE Instruction Manual says"

 

"Mains charging of starter battery

 

This feature provides an automatic float charge for the starter battery at up to 2 A when the 230 V mains is connected to the Electrobloc."

 

This is fine as long as the Electrobloc is functioning normally, but David's Electrobloc has evidently damaged his motorhome's leisure-battery with over-voltage/over-amperage charging and that ain't normal. A 2A float charge should do no harm but, when the Electrobloc was cooking the leisure-battery, what sort of voltage/amperage was it applying simultaneously to the starter-battery?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You raise a very good question Derek. I have already looked at this as possible other damage. The starter battery charge is controlled by its own circuit using solid state device to limit the curent to 2 Amps. Basically it is a simple thermistor in series with the battery, anda relay circuit for when engine is running to isolate it, and so should have been protected and any current limited to 2 Amps max.

Is this a case of crossing fingers and hoping it is OK ? Maybe!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...