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Broken battery - How to clean up the acid?


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Finally uncovered my boat this past week, and found out my starting battery had literally broken.  The maintenance caps came off, and the top was separating from the case.  There is battery acid in the battery tray and in the compartment.  I carefully removed the battery to dispose of it.  I quickly dumped two boxes of baking soda everywhere that looked wet, and have left it to soak up the acid.

 

Anyone know what I need to do next to clean this up and get the replacement battery installed so I'm back up and running?

 

Thanks,

 

Dave

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Cleanup the acid and add more soda and water until all signs are gone, as much as possible.  If any damages to the cables, replace them, you do not want to reuse anything with corrosion from that acid.  Battery should have been in a battery box, if not, make sure the new one has a box...  Once everything is cleanup, just get a new battery and hook everything back up.  Did your old battery freeze over the winter?

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  • Super User

Mix a concentrate of baking soda and water, keep cleaning every 10 minutes or so and after each cleaning wet it down with that concentrate again.  When you don't see any white foam showing up, let that last wetting with the concentrate stay in there to dry and you should be good.   If you are using multi-battery trays, I know some trays don't give you room to use battery boxes, but the cranking battery should have been in box.  Always use boxes if at all possible.  

It sounds like you didn't have that battery on a maintainer and it discharged enough to let if freeze.  That will bust one in a heartbeat.  

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Thanks for the tips on cleaning this mess up.  It was my own fault.  I bought this boat used several years ago.  I have replaced the TM batteries a couple times now.  But since I ONLY fish TM only lakes, the outboard hasn't been started in years.  The cranking battery is only used for my fish finder, and I just plain forgot to check it every so often.  When I got it out, the date on it was Feb of 2013.  Lesson learned.

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  • Super User

Good advice on the cleanup.

 

If you ever plan on using the engine, gonna have to expose of that old fuel, add some non ethanol fuel and hookup some muffs.

Having sat that long you'll also want to change the engine oil and lower unit.

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