Jump Starting Safety

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Jump Starting Safety

Post by JW IN VA » Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:39 pm

How many of us have just hooked up positive to positive and negative to negative terminals for years?
From what i've read, the last negative hook up should go to a good ground other than the battery.I was under the hood of my son's 5.3 Chevrolet and on the engine there was a spot with GND cast into it.
When I jump start things with my biggest tractor,I get good results with hooking to a big bolt on the loader frame.


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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:47 pm

JW IN VA wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:39 pm
How many of us have just hooked up positive to positive and negative to negative terminals for years?
From what i've read, the last negative hook up should go to a good ground other than the battery.I was under the hood of my son's 5.3 Chevrolet and on the engine there was a spot with GND cast into it.
When I jump start things with my biggest tractor,I get good results with hooking to a big bolt on the loader frame.
I’ve heard that for years but normally go pos to pos and neg to neg.
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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by JW IN VA » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:08 pm

It has something to do with avoiding a spark from the last terminal hooked igniting gas coming off the battery.Never seen it happen but I've seen a blown battery.Ain't pretty.Right smelly with the Sulphuric acid boiling.
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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:21 pm

JW IN VA wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:08 pm
It has something to do with avoiding a spark from the last terminal hooked igniting gas coming off the battery.Never seen it happen but I've seen a blown battery.Ain't pretty.Right smelly with the Sulphuric acid boiling.
Yes, very dangerous. I need to do it right.
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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by wbvs58 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:34 pm

Good point, just yesterday I jump started my old Mahindra pickup that I rolled back in early winter, my grandson is resurecting it as a bush basher. I'll make a point of heeding your advice.

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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by Atimm693 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:35 pm

Yeah, charging batteries put out hydrogen gas. The risk is low, but there is a small chance it could explode.

GMs usually have dedicated jump start lugs, since the side post batteries are next to impossible to clamp a cable to. Vehicles that have the batteries hidden usually have remote lugs as well. Same goes for tractors, for the most part.

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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by greggy » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:15 pm

If the battery is flat....wont matter....

I did my time in the trade, my habit it to hookup in any order, but I always keep my face away from battery....i.e never lean over it or have face open to any explosion.....

Take more care when you have just charged a battery.....

I used to charge hundred of batteries a week and many jump starts, never blown one, but always make sure no load when hooking up....which can be hard.....

If it does blow up, it can kill or badly injure, then you have the acid to deal with....wear glasses.....

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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by Redgully » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:03 pm

As greggy says, the danger is a recently charged battery and this includes a vehicle that has been running hard. I had a cousin have a battery explode in his face and it was nasty. Burnt his eyes but luckily his uncle was nearby and neutralised it with some bicarb and he made a full recovery. I had a cherry picker battery explode once, was pretty epic and the guy standing not far from me had to change his undies! We had to flush everything with bicarb, what a mess. Lead poisoning is a very serious risk in that situation as the lead is in a very absorbent state.

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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by M.Magis » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:20 pm

I had one explode within 18” of my face. I have no idea how it didn’t get my eyes, because my face and chest was covered in acid mist. It sounded like a shotgun going off and my ears rang for hours. Had one of the pieces of plastic hit me it would have been bad. Just got lucky I guess.

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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by Caustic Burno » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:22 pm

JW IN VA wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:08 pm
It has something to do with avoiding a spark from the last terminal hooked igniting gas coming off the battery.Never seen it happen but I've seen a blown battery.Ain't pretty.Right smelly with the Sulphuric acid boiling.
I had one blow the hood open on a 1980
Ford pick up. Went out to go to work sounded like a12 gauge went off in the cab when I turned ignition on.
My mind has been right about batteries every since. It’s hydrogen gas coming off the battery the explosive range on hydrogen gas is huge the LEl is like 4% and the UEL like 76% if I remember right.
I run sale-barn cattle.

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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by greggy » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:05 pm

M.Magis wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:20 pm
I had one explode within 18” of my face. I have no idea how it didn’t get my eyes, because my face and chest was covered in acid mist. It sounded like a shotgun going off and my ears rang for hours. Had one of the pieces of plastic hit me it would have been bad. Just got lucky I guess.
Why did it explode....

Always good to know.....

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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by greggy » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:13 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:22 pm
JW IN VA wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:08 pm
It has something to do with avoiding a spark from the last terminal hooked igniting gas coming off the battery.Never seen it happen but I've seen a blown battery.Ain't pretty.Right smelly with the Sulphuric acid boiling.
I had one blow the hood open on a 1980
Ford pick up. Went out to go to work sounded like a12 gauge went off in the cab when I turned ignition on.
My mind has been right about batteries every since. It’s hydrogen gas coming off the battery the explosive range on hydrogen gas is huge the LEl is like 4% and the UEL like 76% if I remember right.
Yep, if the gas builds up and a spark ignites it.....boom.....basically a small bomb....

I am not sure how i spent so many years and not having one go.......but always charged in a ventilated area.....and do treat each as it is about to go when connecting and charging....etc

Not much you can do with the one you had, it must have had a failing connection internally, or loose terminal..s.

Had it been on a charger or running prior?

Quite often you can also smell when one has a problem, or being over charged....

Lucky you did not have your noggin there when the key was turned !

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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by alisonb » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:41 am

I asked one of my crew to take the old battery off of the tractor and put it in my truck. Was on my way to buy a new one(the supplier takes the old one). I heard this explosion, ran to check out what had happened and there was the guy with his face full of sulfuric acid. Got him to the hose pipe and sprayed him down quickly then went to get the bicarb.
He said he lit his lighter close to the battery :o . He got a he!! of a fright but was okay.
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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by M.Magis » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:58 am

greggy wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:05 pm


Why did it explode....

Always good to know.....
It had been charging all day because I knew I’d have to plow snow after work. It was on my Ford 3000, I unhooked the charger and turned the key while standing beside it with the hood up. Not sure why there was such a concentration of fumes since it was outside with the hood up.

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Re: Jump Starting Safety

Post by greggy » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:35 am

alisonb wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:41 am
I asked one of my crew to take the old battery off of the tractor and put it in my truck. Was on my way to buy a new one(the supplier takes the old one). I heard this explosion, ran to check out what had happened and there was the guy with his face full of sulfuric acid. Got him to the hose pipe and sprayed him down quickly then went to get the bicarb.
He said he lit his lighter close to the battery :o . He got a he!! of a fright but was okay.
OMG

The same person who uses a lighter to see how much fuel is in a fuel tank.!

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