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Unread 07-27-2016, 09:37 AM   #1
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Default Charging in enclosed garage?

Do you charge your cart in your garage without ventilation? Reading a number of articles about the batteries gassing hydrogen and can turn into an explosion if there's a ignition source. Lots of reports of false carbon monoxide detectors going off due to it.

So just curious...
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Unread 07-27-2016, 09:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Charging in enclosed garage?

For our Cart 24/7 with garage closed for the last 2 years, never smell anything from the cart, charger and battery went to hell on the Lawn Mower we smelt that and unplugged. Up to 2 motorcycles kept on float chargers for nearest to 30 years nothing... Not saying nothing bad can happen just saying I've had no issues...
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Unread 07-27-2016, 09:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Charging in enclosed garage?

I figured the majority of people just leave them plugged in 24/7 in their garage, but since I have a gas furnace and water heater just above the garage...was a bit concerned after seeing the posts about hydrogen buildup - specifically leaving them charging overnight/trips away when there's nobody to notice it...
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Unread 07-27-2016, 02:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Charging in enclosed garage?

You've raised an interesting safety issue and I hope that knowledgeable folks will respond. We keep our cart in an enclosed garage in the desert and there is a gas water heater in that same garage.

Toss in average summer temperatures of 108F with a recent record high of 124F and I'm thinking maybe we really do need to explore this subject and look at such options as ventilation systems as a safeguard.
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Unread 07-27-2016, 02:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Charging in enclosed garage?

I'm one of the very few that will read every word cover to cover of an owners manual (not necessarily before using the product ) and it is actually stated in there a number of times to only charge in a well ventilated area.

I read somewhere that the air must/should change over 5 times per hour...

I've had motorcycle batteries on a trickle charge for hours before but those are much smaller and probably don't gas nearly as much as these big deep cells especially if you have 8 of them...and especially if you have one malfunctioning/end of life....


Right now for safety I've been only keeping the charger plugged in when someone is home.
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Unread 08-07-2016, 02:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Charging in enclosed garage?

OK. While I am no expert on this specific issue, I have been doing some research and have reached some tentative conclusions.

1. Hydrogen gas formation is a definite risk.
2. At a 6-7% level, hydrogen gas can be explosive when in an enclosed space like a garage, particularly if in the same garage there is an ignition source like a gas water heater, a gas furnace, and perhaps even an electrical outlet.
3. Old chargers that don't have automatic shutoffs or in which the automatic shutoffs have malfunctioned represent the greatest risk for hydrogen gas formation. This is especially true when coupled with older batteries that are not maintained properly.
4. An air exchange rate of 3-5 times per hour should minimize even that hazard.
5. If a home furnace draws air from within that same garage, there is a danger of hydrogen gas being distributed throughout the home.

Now, all that having been said, (and this is where I have questions about the accuracy of what follows) it appears that newer batteries within their normal useful life that are maintained properly and that are coupled with a charger that has a properly functioning auto shutoff feature, do not normally represent a significant hazard even in an unventilated garage.

So, newer batteries with proper water levels, tight caps, and that are properly cleaned and maintained, with tight cable connections, and discharged to only around 50% before being charged, shouldn't represent an unacceptable hazard, barring a battery or charger malfunction.

Yes, acceptable ventilation should be a goal as is closely monitoring the charger performance and battery condition. But, as a precaution, particularly in homes with an attached garage, disconnecting the charger every night after reaching a full charge is probably a good safety measure, particularly in an unventilated garage.

Thoughts???
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Unread 08-07-2016, 04:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Charging in enclosed garage?

We have several members who are firefighters that I'd like to hear from on this issue. While they may not have first hand knowledge, I bet they have access to better resources (inspectors, haz-mat teams, etc.) than us.


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