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Author Topic:   Trickle Charger Problem
REDFISH posted 01-17-2002 03:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for REDFISH   Send Email to REDFISH  
My trickle charger caught on fire. No power was hooked up to the charger but it was hooked up to both batteries at the time. It burned the [wires] from the batteries back to the charger on both batteries. The charger itself is toast and smuted up my 22 outrage. Neadless to say my whole boat could have been toast also. Any ideas on what could have gone wrong? The charger was hooked up correctly and had been on the boat for a year or so.
triblet posted 01-17-2002 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
What happened was that something failed and there was no fuse in the charger line. Had there been a fuse, it would have failed and protected the wiring and boat.

One possibility is that the trickle charger suffered a meltdown that amounted to a short.

Another possibility is a voltage differential
between the two batteries. What kind of trickle charger and how was it wired to TWO batteries? If the two batteries were just paralelled, and a cell shorted internally, the good battery would tend to pump a lot of current through the bad battery via those little wires.

If you have two batteries you need one of the following:

- Two trickle chargers

- A trickle charger built for two batteries

- A switch so you only charge one battery at a time

And a fuse.


Chuck

jimh posted 01-18-2002 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Chuck's analysis is excellent. A fuse in each line would may have prevented this.

Any AC operated battery charger has a transformer winding and rectifiers. If the rectifiers fail in such a way that they become shorted (as opposed to open), then current from the battery can flow back to the charger and through the low DC resistance of the transformer winding. This would be the equivalent of placing a short across the battery.

If you still have the charger, check the rectifiers. Probably two of them are shorted. If so, that is the likely culprit.

Chuck's theory of the shorted cell in one battery is also a very good hypothesis. You might check the terminal voltage on the two batteries and see how they compare after charging.

REDFISH posted 01-18-2002 11:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for REDFISH  Send Email to REDFISH     
good info guys. the trickel charger was made to charge both batteries with seperate leads going to each. the leads did not come from the factory however with in line fuses. neadless to say i am out of the trickel charge business. both batteries seem fine. i will test them though. tks

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