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Old 12-09-2006, 07:22 AM   #1
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Where to charge a battery?

I took the battery out of my Box for the winter, and am now looking for a place to keep it on the maintainer/charger. Instructions say it has to be in a ventilated place, so it can't be inside a residence (as in winter there's not much ventilation). "Ventilated" means pretty much outside, in winter. Can I just leave it at a covered spot outside?

The Box is stored in storage without power.

Z.
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Old 12-09-2006, 07:29 AM   #2
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In the garage is OK if you have one!
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Old 12-09-2006, 07:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucelee
In the garage is OK if you have one!
Thx, but I don't have one -- at least not one with power in it.
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Old 12-09-2006, 07:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z12358
Thx, but I don't have one -- at least not one with power in it.

Back porch or other covered area? Can you run an extension cord to the garage?
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Old 12-09-2006, 04:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucelee
Back porch or other covered area? Can you run an extension cord to the garage?
Rich, thx. I'll figure something out. My main question was whether large temperature changes (deep cold) outside (though covered, like a porch) would hurt the battery in some way. In winter, it's hard to find an area that's BOTH ventilated AND temp controlled (heated). The answer, I assume, is that the cold isn't going to hurt the battery.

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Old 12-09-2006, 04:24 PM   #6
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Right, so long as it is kept charged. In a discharged state they will freeze.
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Old 12-09-2006, 04:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z12358
Rich, thx. I'll figure something out. My main question was whether large temperature changes (deep cold) outside (though covered, like a porch) would hurt the battery in some way. In winter, it's hard to find an area that's BOTH ventilated AND temp controlled (heated). The answer, I assume, is that the cold isn't going to hurt the battery.

Z.

If you have a tender on the battery, the cold is no issue, UNLESS it is SO cold that the fluid will freeze. I DON'T know what temp that is but you can find that on the web I bet.

If you are not putting a tender on it, then yes, the battery will die faster in an unheated space.

BTW- the auto stores keep batteries inside the store by the dozens. I don't think that ventilation issue is all that critical but I bet Minn Jim would know.

Good luck.
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Old 12-09-2006, 04:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by donv
Right, so long as it is kept charged. In a discharged state they will freeze.
Yes, I did mean it's hooked to a charger/maintainer. Thx.
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Old 12-10-2006, 11:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucelee
If you have a tender on the battery, the cold is no issue, UNLESS it is SO cold that the fluid will freeze. I DON'T know what temp that is but you can find that on the web I bet.

If you are not putting a tender on it, then yes, the battery will die faster in an unheated space.

BTW- the auto stores keep batteries inside the store by the dozens. I don't think that ventilation issue is all that critical but I bet Minn Jim would know.

Good luck.
Hi,

Ventilation is an issue if the Battery is on a charger, which of course they're not inside a store. Besides, the HVAC system in the store changes the air so frequently that it really is a ventilated place. The same would go for inside a home, especially if you have forced air heating. I would keep it in the basement. I suspect that there is enough traffic that you'll not build-up any noxious fumes or such. Not next to a furnace or pilot light due to the Hydrogen off-gassing. Cold won't hurt it, but won't help either. The electrolyte in a Battery will go down to like -50 before freezing, but the cold can make connections or the plates brittle and more prone to damage, so inside is better. Place it on something like a board or old phone directory to insulate it from a cold concrete floor though...

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Old 12-10-2006, 04:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MNBoxster
Hi,

Ventilation is an issue if the Battery is on a charger, which of course they're not inside a store. Besides, the HVAC system in the store changes the air so frequently that it really is a ventilated place. The same would go for inside a home, especially if you have forced air heating. I would keep it in the basement. I suspect that there is enough traffic that you'll not build-up any noxious fumes or such. Not next to a furnace or pilot light due to the Hydrogen off-gassing. Cold won't hurt it, but won't help either. The electrolyte in a Battery will go down to like -50 before freezing, but the cold can make connections or the plates brittle and more prone to damage, so inside is better. Place it on something like a board or old phone directory to insulate it from a cold concrete floor though...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
Thx everyone for the advice.

Jim, I'm really worried about the fumes in ANY closed space. I left the battery (on a thick cardboard) hooked to the (Schumacher) charger in a closed room (just as a test) and I could smell the fumes after only 30 minutes. So I unhooked it. I think it would be the same in the basement which is not ventilated and no one really goes there for long periods of time. There, there's the extra issue of the oil furnace being in the same space which doesn't make me comfortable at all -- especially since we only spend weekends in that house, so I would never think of leaving it down there unattended. I assume these fumes do present a fire hazard, right?

I wonder, where do these fumes go when the battery is charged/maintained in a car that's stored/parked in a garage for the winter, as the Porsche manual recommends? The garage is not really "ventilated", is it? I bet I would smell fumes even there.

Never thought this would be such an issue.

Z.
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Old 12-10-2006, 05:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by z12358
Thx everyone for the advice.

Jim, I'm really worried about the fumes in ANY closed space. I left the battery (on a thick cardboard) hooked to the (Schumacher) charger in a closed room (just as a test) and I could smell the fumes after only 30 minutes. So I unhooked it. I think it would be the same in the basement which is not ventilated and no one really goes there for long periods of time. There, there's the extra issue of the oil furnace being in the same space which doesn't make me comfortable at all -- especially since we only spend weekends in that house, so I would never think of leaving it down there unattended. I assume these fumes do present a fire hazard, right?

I wonder, where do these fumes go when the battery is charged/maintained in a car that's stored/parked in a garage for the winter, as the Porsche manual recommends? The garage is not really "ventilated", is it? I bet I would smell fumes even there.

Never thought this would be such an issue.

Z.
I have to confess that I have charged dozens of Porsche batteries in my garage and have never smelled fumes. This is perplexing to me!
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:37 PM   #12
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I have been charging the battery with a 2 amp maintainer with the battery in the car
every 3 weeks for 2-3 days for the past 4 years and never noticed fumes or odor.

My battery is a maintenance free and completely sealed, could this make a difference.
Car is stored in my basement garage.
Or have i just been lucky.
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:58 PM   #13
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Hi,

Hydrogen is a colorless, odorlees, gas so you wouldn't smell it. What you may be smelling is Sulphuric acid vapor (in a heavily diluted form). I wouldn't worry about hydrogen fumes in a home where the furnace runs regularly, it'll consume the Hydrogen as it cycles on/off. What you do not want is a small restricted space where Hydrogen gasses can concentrate.

If the battery is even in a 10"X10" room, that's plenty of space to dilute it to the point where an explosion simply won't happen if the source of hydrogen is a 6-cell 12V Wet Cell battery. I wouldn't worry about it...

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Old 12-11-2006, 04:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by MNBoxster
Hi,

Hydrogen is a colorless, odorlees, gas so you wouldn't smell it. What you may be smelling is Sulphuric acid vapor (in a heavily diluted form). I wouldn't worry about hydrogen fumes in a home where the furnace runs regularly, it'll consume the Hydrogen as it cycles on/off. What you do not want is a small restricted space where Hydrogen gasses can concentrate.

If the battery is even in a 10"X10" room, that's plenty of space to dilute it to the point where an explosion simply won't happen if the source of hydrogen is a 6-cell 12V Wet Cell battery. I wouldn't worry about it...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
Thx. So what about the sulphuric acid? Isn't that poisonous? I felt that had I left the battery charged for couple of more hours, no one would be able to enter the room from the smell. And yes, the room was larger than 10X10ft. My fiance is even more jealous of the Box as it keeps affecting our weekends (she can smell it) even when stored!

The sequence of events. I stored the car and took the battery out three weeks ago. The battery has been just sitting in a room (on a thick cardboard) for those three weeks NOT hooked to the maintainer. (I delayed figuring out the charging set-up and location up until now.) Though not likely, is it possible that the battery has discharged itself so much (by just sitting there?) that it needed such intense initial charging to produce a strong sulphuric acid smell only after 30 minutes? Perhaps it would have subsided as the charging intensity subsided? I have the 1.5 amp Schumacher charger/maintainer.

Can I just keep the battery off the charger most of the time, and just charge it every couple of weekends when I'm there to observe it? Or the charger/maintainer has to be hooked to it all the time?

It feels weird to be the only one concerned about these things here. Seems like everybody has this figured out but me.

Thx.
Z.
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Old 12-11-2006, 04:53 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by z12358
Thx. So what about the sulphuric acid? Isn't that poisonous? I felt that had I left the battery charged for couple of more hours, no one would be able to enter the room from the smell. And yes, the room was larger than 10X10ft. My fiance is even more jealous of the Box as it keeps affecting our weekends (she can smell it) even when stored!

The sequence of events. I stored the car and took the battery out three weeks ago. The battery has been just sitting in a room (on a thick cardboard) for those three weeks NOT hooked to the maintainer. (I delayed figuring out the charging set-up and location up until now.) Though not likely, is it possible that the battery has discharged itself so much (by just sitting there?) that it needed such intense initial charging to produce a strong sulphuric acid smell only after 30 minutes? Perhaps it would have subsided as the charging intensity subsided? I have the 1.5 amp Schumacher charger/maintainer.

Can I just keep the battery off the charger most of the time, and just charge it every couple of weekends when I'm there to observe it? Or the charger/maintainer has to be hooked to it all the time?

It feels weird to be the only one concerned about these things here. Seems like everybody has this figured out but me.

Thx.
Z.
Hi,

The Acid small should not be too strong, but some's sensitivity can be greater than others'.

The Battery should only off-gas when working, that is being charged. The Schumacher is a maintainer which cycles on/off as necessary so you should be able to keep it on the battery all the time...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 12-12-2006, 07:15 PM   #16
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I have what is likely an earlier model (not as "pretty" as your linked one) of the Porsche Tequipment maintainer. Works great. My only bad experience with it was from forgetting to use it... left the car for many weeks while on vacation this year and didn't use the maintainer. Took the car for a short spin afterwards (not enough to charge it) and came out to a dead battery. Never had this problem when using it.

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Old 12-17-2006, 04:44 AM   #17
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A false alarm update...
Embarrased to admit that most of the smell must have been coming from the charger and not the battery (Who knew how sulphuric acid is supposed to smell?). The plastics and the components in the brand new charger must have warmed up for the first time -- possibly combined with some fumes from the battery as it initially drew a lot of current after being unhooked for almost a month. Now the battery is full and the charger is in trickle mode. They are sitting in a room inside, with no smell at all. As a precaution, I'll still only keep them hooked over weekends when I'm there to keep an eye.

Z.
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