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  1. #1
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Catskills
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    John Deere 3320

    Default The 22 battery saga continues

    OK so now I'm seeing my battery leaking after about a year. But wait, this is a battery, it's not a paradox and it still has to fit into the laws of reason.

    So the first question is how is it leaking?

    Next, why didn't it leak when I got it?

    So I examine the battery. The seals are good, the vents are good and essentially this thing is like the day it came out of the factory. So why is it 'leaking'. Well I think it's not leaking. If it was going to leak out of the seals it would have done it from day one because my seals are as good as day one.

    So what has changed since day one? Only one thing. The level has gone down, not much but some.

    So here is what I do.

    I take out the battery and clean off the small amount of corrosion on the pan. Then I sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the pan just in case my theory is wrong. I then clean off the bolts put some anit-seize on them and put the whole thing back together, fill the battery carefully so no moisture is left on the top, shake the h*ll out of it to see if it come out and put it all together.

    So far so good. Now when I open the hood I no longer see battery acid on the top of the battery. I'll keep monitoring the system but I have some theories about why it 'leaks' and I think it is due to the cavity size of a partially filled battery creating more force and agitation when it has less fluid. And that fluid comes out the air pressure release orifice.

    Rob

  2. #2
    Banned
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    Apr 2003
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    1,450
    Location
    New York
    Tractor
    jd4100, Cub Cadet 3204 & Cub 125

    Default Re: The 22 battery saga continues

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob-D
    OK so now I'm seeing my battery leaking after about a year. But wait, this is a battery, it's not a paradox and it still has to fit into the laws of reason.

    So the first question is how is it leaking?

    Next, why didn't it leak when I got it?

    So I examine the battery. The seals are good, the vents are good and essentially this thing is like the day it came out of the factory. So why is it 'leaking'. Well I think it's not leaking. If it was going to leak out of the seals it would have done it from day one because my seals are as good as day one.

    So what has changed since day one? Only one thing. The level has gone down, not much but some.

    So here is what I do.

    I take out the battery and clean off the small amount of corrosion on the pan. Then I sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the pan just in case my theory is wrong. I then clean off the bolts put some anit-seize on them and put the whole thing back together, fill the battery carefully so no moisture is left on the top, shake the h*ll out of it to see if it come out and put it all together.

    So far so good. Now when I open the hood I no longer see battery acid on the top of the battery. I'll keep monitoring the system but I have some theories about why it 'leaks' and I think it is due to the cavity size of a partially filled battery creating more force and agitation when it has less fluid. And that fluid comes out the air pressure release orifice.

    Rob
    somebody posted this 22NF AGM SLA type battery - sounds like we need to start ordering

    Adventure Power UB12550 (Group 22NF) Battery

    Adventure Power UB12550 (Group 22NF) Battery - Group 30H Batteries

  3. #3
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: The 22 battery saga continues

    You may be right but I'm not buying a battery until
    I've resolved the reason this one causes problems.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Rara Avis's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    VT, ND & OH
    Tractor
    John Deere

    Default Re: The 22 battery saga continues

    Your tractor might be over-charging it...(i.e. boiling your battery)...check your charging system...voltage regulator, etc...

  5. #5
    Platinum Member tomd999's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Viva Manchvegas!
    Tractor
    '10 3320 cab

    Default Re: The 22 battery saga continues

    Hiya,

    In my experience all batteries "leak", or what may be a better term is "discharge" When an alternator charges a battery, or the battery discharges, the chemical process causes hydrogen and oxygen to be released. Along with these 2 gases, a slight amount of electrolyte is carried out the vents as a vapor. (This gas mixture is very flammable and is the reason why jumper cables should be used with care and avoid making sparks.) The electrolyte vapor condenses on the closest surface. (Mainly the top of the battery or the surrounding area.) This is the reason that batteries lose electrolyte level.

    The amount of discharge/charge and the rate at which they occur will affect the amount of vapor discharged. For example, if you discharge the battery 10% over 10 minutes it will have less electrolyte vapor in the gas discharge than if you do the same % in 10 seconds. This is exaggerated in batteries that just meet the size needed for the application. (batteries generate heat as they charge/discharge. if either rate is too fast for the plates ability to dissipate the excess heat, an increase in electrolyte vapor will occur.

    What may be happening here with these is that the battery is just large enough for the application with very little additional capacity and when cranking to start it reaches the limit of it's heat dissipation and higher levels of vapor are released, then the charging circuit may be full fielding cut type voltage regulation system where the voltage regulator does not vary the voltage to the field to regulate charge but simply turns it on and off. If that is the case, the battery would tend to discharge more vapor and the plates would have a higher temperature because the high charging amps being put to it in short bursts.

    Then again, I could be totally wrong,

    just my 2 cents,

    Tom

  6. #6
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: The 22 battery saga continues

    Thanks guys,
    My reasoning behind the battery not overcharging is the fact that it was fine for the first several months I had it. I will, however, check for overcharging which is easy enough. Also regulators today are totally electronic and failures are rare. Very many people here are having this problem which makes the chances of regulator failures less likely too.

    On our solar systems we use Watermisers and Hydrocaps to recapture the gases as they leave the battery. I would be happy to add them to the battery but I don't believe they make them in the smaller cap sizes.

    I do use distilled water for refilling, the same water I use for my Rolls deep cycle batteries.

    You have to remember what's coming out of the battery is not just water but water and acid. (we know this because the acid doesn't evaporate after time like the water.)

    Is there anyone here who is NOT experiencing trouble and has had their tractor long enough for battery problems to show up, I'd say at least six or eight months?

    Here is the water filling recommendation from Trojan batteries, a respected battery maker for deep cycle solar applications:

    Watering
    (Flooded batteries only)


    Flooded batteries need water. More importantly, watering must be done at the right time and in the right amount or else the battery's performance and longevity suffers.

    Water should always be added after fully charging the battery. Prior to charging, there should be enough water to cover the plates. If the battery has been discharged (partially or fully), the water level should also be above the plates. Keeping the water at the correct level after a full charge will prevent having to worry about the water level at a different state of charge.

    Depending on the local climate, charging methods, application, etc. Trojan recommends that batteries be checked once a month until you get a feel for how thirsty your batteries are.

    Important things to remember:

    1. Do not let the plates get exposed to air. This will damage (corrode) the plates.

    2. Do not fill the water level in the filling well to the cap. This most likely will cause the battery to overflow acid, consequently losing capacity and causing a corrosive mess.

    3. Do not use water with a high mineral content. Use distilled or deionized water only.

    CAUTION: The electrolyte is a solution of acid and water so skin contact should be avoided.


    Step by step watering procedure:

    1. Open the vent caps and look inside the fill wells.

    2. Check electrolyte level; the minimum level is at the top of the plates.

    3. If necessary add just enough water to cover the plates at this time.

    4. Put batteries on a complete charge before adding any additional water (refer to the Charging section).

    5. Once charging is completed, open the vent caps and look inside the fill wells.

    6. Add water until the electrolyte level is 1/8" below the bottom of the fill well.

    7. A piece of rubber can be used safely as a dipstick to help determine this level.

    8. Clean, replace, and tighten all vent caps.<

    WARNING: Never add acid to a battery.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    93
    Location
    Central Florida
    Tractor
    JD 4310

    Default Re: The 22 battery saga continues

    Let me see if I can help explain things a little bit also. The company that I work for designs and manufactures equipment that measure different acid percentages when acid is manufactured, ie. 0-30%, 90-99.9% of Sulfuric (h2so4). This is the main acid used in batteries. Although the acid in batteries is very weak I think around 10% I could be wrong but I know it's nowear near the 90-99% full strength stuff. We use teflon seals and special alloy20 metals on this acid to prevent corrosion and pressure check the seals at 300 psi for leaks. After a year or two some of the units are returned for repair and have showed signs of leaking through the sealed teflon gaskets. When inspected we find that there is no liquid present in our sensor but the fumes have leaked past the teflon gasket and have started corroding the interior electronics. Keep in mind this gasket was presurred checked at 300 psi when leaving our factory and will still pass the 300psi test when returned. When you think of this and the only seal that a battery has is a snap on plastic cap then you see why a non sealed battery will leak. Washing the battery off will remove the the fumes from the battery and any place you can spray water but the now acid and water mix will seep under the battery and corrode the steel because it will remain wet for a long time. Even when the water dries you still have acid residue.
    The best thing I can tell you is to get a sealed battery to help prevent this. Even this may leak some but with the low concentration of acid used in batteries the sealed plastic seams to keep the fumes from escaping.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: The 22 battery saga continues

    Thanks John,
    Here's the thing though. I have lots of garden vehicles with batteries and they don't leak. I don't have corrosion in the pan and some of these batteries have been in equipment for sometime.

    In fact I just bought a battery at my JD dealer for one of my garden tractors and it doesn't leak either.

    Since I have been carefully monitoring my battery water I haven't seen any leaking but I haven't pushed the tractor since I've been doing this and that will be the real test.

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    93
    Location
    Central Florida
    Tractor
    JD 4310

    Default Re: The 22 battery saga continues

    I do know that tractors are very rough on batteries. Maybe it's the heat from the radiator that helps get the gases hot. The fan could help pull the fumes out of the battery. Is your battery mounted in front of the radiator like mine? There are to many conditions the battery is exposed to that we can't answer why it might leak. I know that my first battery in my toro ztr mower had no problems leaking either, but this replacement I got from wally world leaks! I will be changing that one out soon. My JD 4310 leaked and ate the front plate up so I replaced it with a sealed battery and haven't had any problems in 18 months. The replacement is an Interstate battery. I had to redesign the mounts but it works great.
    My advice is spend the $80 and get a sealed battery. It will save all kinds of headaches in the future. I know you expect more from JD but sometimes we just don't get everything we want. They did fix the corroded metal battery box area under warranty but would have installed the same type battery if I hadn't already replace it.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: The 22 battery saga continues

    Well, now I've put several more hours on my tractor and have been careful about checking the battery level and topping it off when it needs it.

    Guess what? No leakage problems and I've done some hard work at high rpms.

    So my advise is to make sure your battery is always up to the proper mark.

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