Charging batteries

Discussion in 'Boat Safety' started by JRA, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. JRA

    JRA New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    Kentucky
    Yesterday, a neighbor of mine lost his house and everthing he owns when his house burned down. The fire started in the garage where he was charging a car battery. Thank goodness no one was hurt, but the house was a total loss. A couple of seconds before the fire started I heard some loud bangs, and then the garage was engulfed in flames. The fire departments suspects the charger or the batteries were to blame. My question is: how safe is it to charge boat batteries in your garage? I have an onboard battery charger and charge them in my attached garage as soon as I get back from the lake. After my neighbor's experience, I am now rethinking that. Nobody could have stopped what happened to his house even if he were closely monitoring the charging.
     
  2. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    That was bad but good no one was hurt, hope he has good insurance.
    I've thought about fire or battery explosion when using battery chargers in the garage for vehicles, ATV or lawn mower. But never heard of a fire caused from chargers. I once heard and saw a car that the battery had exploded and it wasn't being charged or 'jumpered.'
    I have a charger on my boat dock that is plugged in all the time.

    I noticed there is a recall on this charger saying it could cause a fire.
     

  3. psychomekanik

    psychomekanik New Member

    Messages:
    2,534
    State:
    Illinois
    funny you should mention that. i hauled my boat to work yesterday and put a new water pump in it, and tuned it up. when i brought it home i took my battery out of it and put it in the garage on a timer. i set the timer for 20 minutes and asked my girlfriend to remind me to check on it. 3 hours later the timer was still set on 20 minutes. dont trust an automatic timer to do it's job. keep an eye on them. that could have been our garage if i had'nt already suspected it. that fire was probably from overcharging the battery not just a faulty charger or battery.
     
  4. ncfowler

    ncfowler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,648
    State:
    NC
    Name:
    Jeff
    i have a onboard charger as well, my question would be how many amps is the charger,my charger has a 6amp max with a matinance dribble charge. and most newer chargers are fused and made so you can not over charge a battery. There are always the few cases of mechinacal failure but most of the time the charger shuts down. I use a mutlimeter to check my amps and volts being charged regurlay. I installed plugs so i can hook up the meter with out removing the cover form my battery box.
     
  5. JAYNC

    JAYNC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,312
    State:
    Newport N.C.
    There are so many factors to consider of why it happened. Battery charger could have been bad, something could have fell on it and arced the battery terminals. The battery could have been underserviced and got hot and exploded, this in turn can make batteries freeze if left in the cold. Frozen batteries can not charge. Could of had a crack in the battery case. I have an onboard charger in my boat also, which is a fully automatic 10 amp per bank charger, but I always keep an eye on it. Thats a sad story, its hard to tell why some things happen but its great news that everyone is ok.