Beware of exploding batteries
Did you know that a vehicle battery can explode?
Batteries on charge emit oxygen and hydrogen. At moderate temperatures and hydrogen concentrations below 4% and above 96% there is no reaction between oxygen and hydrogen, but increased temperatures and hydrogen concentrations of greater than 4% can result in an intense reaction.
Battery explosions can be set off internally by: faulty welds, dry burns, lead runs, broken or cracked group bars (straps), poorly-burnt posts, corroded posts, short-circuiting and electrolyte not covering the top of the plates.
First National Battery, a manufacturer and distributor of lead acid batteries, offers some tips to reduce the likelihood of battery explosions:
- Do not skimp on the quality of your battery;
- Take care when removing the terminals to avoid sparks;
- Have the charging voltage of your alternator checked to ensure that the battery is not being overcharged; and
- When jump-starting a vehicle, always follow the specific battery manufacturer's guidelines and check that the battery clamps are correctly tightened to the battery terminals.