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Thread: Battery leak

  1. #1
    Flyjeep's Avatar
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    Default Battery leak

    Went to check the hangar because it had been a bit and saw a wet spot under the plane. The battery looks to have burped out a bit of acid. It wasnít on charge and it hasnít been started in months so not sure what the cause would be. Ive never had one do this that wasnít being charged. Its the old gill g-35 so will be upgrading.

  2. #2
    walt.buskey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery leak

    Mine did the same thing!

    One of the first things I noticed after I bought 57A in 2012-- it didn't matter if the plane had been flying or sitting, on a charger or not -- that $#@ Gill G-35 ALWAYS leaked. It had been bad enough in my plane that there had already been a patch applied to the belly where it had eaten away aluminum (the vents weren't secure either).

    One of the early things I did to it was the Bogert battery box mod (copper cables) and a battery replacement with a Hawker-Odyssey J-35 (IIRC) gel cell battery. NO MORE LEAKS.

    I didn't know if this was common with aviation batteries or what, but I couldn't wait to get that leaky thing out of there. Highly recommend replacement with a gel cell type.

  3. #3
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery leak

    We had a Cardinal sitting in a hangar for many years and it had a streak down the belly and the floor from the battery venting acid. Maybe the acid expands and contracts with temperature changes.

  4. #4
    walt.buskey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery leak

    That could be, Steve.

    As I understand it, the internal construction and strength of the elctrolyte solution of an aviation battery is unique to that type. What I do know is that I rarely (if ever?) saw the same amount & frequency of leakage from an automotive --or even a motorcycle-- battery.

    It was't cheap, but I felt a gel cell was a very good investment in my case.

  5. #5
    Flyjeep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery leak

    When i first started charging it back up it was spitting a bit but that stopped. i put distilled water back up to level and it tests fine now. Ive got the rare type of gill (because it lasted more than 2 years). it was installed in 3/18. I had an issue early on so i bought a battery minder. That brought it back to life. But the gel battery is the way I’m going. It was supposed to happen last summer but between work and life none of my upgrades or flying happened.
    Last edited by Flyjeep; 09-18-2022 at 12:31 PM.

  6. #6
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery leak

    Specific gravity of aircraft batteries is generally more than your average car battery 1.285 vs 1.265. My normal procedure at annual inspection was to remove, charge, top of with distilled water, charge and check specific gravity before reinstalling the battery. Now everything is sealed AGM Absorbent Glass Mat. Years ago I told a customer once that his battery was going bad according to the specific gravity. He blew me off till the first cold morning and it wouldn't start. That is when we learned about having to reset the Lazar ignition on his PA28-181 after running the battery down.

  7. #7
    EdH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery leak

    I have 2 of these batteries on my hanger floor. Both leak at all times, one has even started to leak on the floor and eat away the concrete. Both are relatively new. I use them as backups, but I never leave them in the aircraft due to them leaking all the time.

  8. #8
    Jim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery leak

    Walt,

    I don't think those are gel cell batteries, but I'm wrong more often than some others. It's my understanding they are lead acid built to very tight dimensions using closer internal plate spacing. The plates have fiberglass matts between them saturated in acid but are so thin acid can't move around or flow out. The fiberglass also prevents, or limits the crystal growth between plates which hinder battery life.

  9. #9
    walt.buskey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery leak

    Could very well be my bad, like the terms "engine" vs. "motor".... often used (mistakenly) interchangeably. I guess I'm really not sure: Hawker describes it as a "dry cell" battery, but is it AGM or Gel? In any case, I'm just very grateful that it doesn't weep acid like the old Gill did!

  10. #10
    Flyjeep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battery leak

    I tested it and sg was 1.20. I dont think it ever got above 1.26 the last time i had issues.Im running it on the battery minder just to see if it comes back. More curious to see if the charger can do it.
    Last edited by Flyjeep; 09-20-2022 at 10:30 AM.

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