Garage Fires
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Thread: Garage Fires

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Garage Fires

    Local fellow I bought my trailer from just had one of his storage buildings burn down loosing his tractor, a matching set of his and hers ATVs, a couple snowblowers, etc.
    I asked him if he had any BatteryTenders operating. Indeed he had two charging both the tractor and one ATV, both with wet cell batteries. He indicated that his son, a motorcycle mechanic by trade, said that several fires have been attributed to BatteryTenders or other charging devices left on for too long.
    With all the diesel and gasoline involved the fire's heat was sufficient to melt aluminum. As such the fire investigators said they doubted enough evidence existed to indicate a probable cause.
    However a word to the wise is to perhaps not trust many devices to be left drawing current unattended for extended periods of time.
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    Senior Member Moabman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight, Fred
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    Senior Member Rider21's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing that Fred. I have 3 going all the time. Maybe I should start cycling them.
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    Senior Member williamemack's Avatar
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    I've always been a little leery of these devices so I make a 2.25 hr trip to NH in the wintertime to charge up the batteries. Yeah, I know it can be done with a smart phone, but I don't have one and can't get my wife to get one and learn how to use it.
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    Senior Member 1911garand's Avatar
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    Battery tenders are good, but not needed 100% of the time in the off season.

    In the off season (dead of winter), I remove the batteries from the summer toys and bring them inside to utility room. Then charge them once a month with a tender, good to go. No need for a tender to be plugged in for 5 months!

    To each their own though - lots of opinions on battery storage. (like engine oil)

    Good Luck!
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    I am not really attempting to say bad things about BatteryTenders per se. They were unlikely responsible for the mentioned fire, but they are certainly possible candidates. More it is an advisory about concern about risks from overheating batteries during the charge, or float cycles. Not all electronic stuff should be trusted to work fault free. I had a rather pricey peak charge detecting charger for R/C Ni-Cad that worked flawlessly until one day it decided to become a Suzy Baker Oven and attempt to incinerate a battery pack. Had I not been present to see battery pack smoldering I could have had a house fire.
    Last edited by Fred; 07-30-2016 at 12:48 PM.
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    Senior Member arbolmano's Avatar
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    One has to pay attention. I had a cheap trickle charger that decided it wanted to go big. Took out a new wet cell unit by overcharging and flooded my shop with hydrogen gas, a byproduct of charging. Go around sometime an check those little transformers used for cell phone, notebooks and the like.
    amazing how hot they get. One more minor detail..........good job Fred!
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  9. #8
    Senior Member jtstdub's Avatar
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    Been using small Battery tenders for over 20 years... Usually at any time I have 3+ plugged in and taking care of batteries. Mowers, Cycles, cars..
    Not enough current to boil a battery... 500ma.
    My battery power tools chargers, that's another story. I unplug them when not in use... They are built well and probably would not flame up but I do not like things that do not need constant power to operate left plugged in!

    I will conclude with one last statement....

    If I were a law maker I would demand that most electronic devices be 100% turned off when not in use!... TV's, Microwave's etc...
    Ask, how can you do that?

    The only reason most devices need power is for the clock and remote turn on to keep folks from having to get off their ass to turn things on.

    All that is needed is for the clocks and Ir receiver to run on batteries... Circuit to turn on the incoming power.
    Technology has been around for a long time that learn and remember channel settings etc when power is removed from the devices...

    Even Cell phone chargers do not need constant power.

    Oh well we know this will not happen...

    Just like no new dams for water, no new nuke power plants but lets conserve and let the population grow....


    Jim
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  10. #9
    Senior Member jtomelliott49's Avatar
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    Thanks Fred. I use a battery tender jr. My garage is heated, and motorcycles are inside, so batteries stay in bikes. Mower stays outside under carport, so battery comes out to be stored on shelf in garage charged. I do, however, have a problem with my black and decker cordless drill. I think my charger fries it's batteries. lol,,,,no, not lol, not funny. I think I'll buy a DeWalt next time.
    Tom in Wichita

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