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Discussion Starter #1
I had this posted on Newbie, and wasn't getting any solid feedback, so I decided to bring it here.

I want to relocate my battery (normal Duralast kind, not sealed Optima kind) under my truck bed, which would mean it would go under water for maybe a minute at a time when I'm doing the water crossings at Fordyce. Will this harm the battery or vehicle electrical system? I know water and electricity don't generally mix well, but i've never had problems with my alternator getting dunked.

thanks
brett
 

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Unless I'm missing something, when the two terminals become submerged, it will cause it to short out. Water conducts.

Or am I missing something?

Cody
 

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MoabZJ said:
Unless I'm missing something, when the two terminals become submerged, it will cause it to short out. Water conducts.

Or am I missing something?

Cody
You are missing something. Water conducts, but it's not that great of a conductor. At 12V the current draw is no big deal.

I would be concerned with the cells filling up with water and becoming contaminated. It would probably take several dunkings to do much damage though.
 

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MoabZJ said:
Unless I'm missing something, when the two terminals become submerged, it will cause it to short out. Water conducts.

Or am I missing something?

Cody
there is too much water for the terminals to actually short. If you were to isolate an amount of water into a tube, and then touch the liquid ends of the tube to each terminal you could then get it to short out. It won't short out in the river though. What you will need to worry about is contaminants getting into your battery. I believe this would also be a problem with Optima batteries as they are vented as well. They won't leak due to their internal design, but they could allow contaminants in.
 

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use an optima. Mind is mounted sideways, under the bed. Sometimes I am floating. The battery hasn't worried me or been an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hero said:
Sealed battery box, vent to top of bed, problem solved?
of course that's the obvious solution, but more work and would make it more complicated to get the battery in and out.

I think I'll just try it, the battery has a 3 year warranty, Fordyce creek is very clean, and the top of the battery will probably only go under for a total of a few minutes over the course of the summer.

any more input out there?
 

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BrettM said:
, Fordyce creek is very clean, and the top of the battery will probably only go under for a total of a few minutes over the course of the summer.

any more input out there?

Yup, ask Keith about fordyce and water :D
 

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I have dual optimas soon to be going under the bed.
A regular battery is vented for gas reasons. and to mount it under your bed you just have to worry about how hot it gets. or how deep it will be submerged.

the quick cooling effect the water will have, will make it suck in some water. Soon over filling it. with multiple crossing if the battery is hot it will dilute the acid some.
by hot I mean (like say after heavy winching)

otherwise you should consider sealing it up as good as you can. to give the water as little access as possible.

water dilutes acid so if it does take on water over time it will dilute it some but you could just run it and see if it hurts it. or every so often take it out and check the acid levels in it. since you say it will be seeing so little time actually under water.

if it is side post you could just run some foam sealing tape around the top of it to seal it up to the underside of the bed giving the water less point of entry and still allowing it to vent.

or just run it and if it kills it take it back to the place you bought it and tell them it don't work anymore.
(don't lie to them just tell them the truth.) see if they will replace it. often times the guy behind the counter won't care either way he will just look at it and see if it is till warrentied and swap it out or prorate it for a new one.
 

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GoatASS raises a valid point (man, that is something I never envisoned myself saying). Fordyce creek ain't gonna be very clean if you go dunking your damned battery full of lead and sulfuric acid in it :mad3:
JYS
 

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BrettM said:
I had this posted on Newbie, and wasn't getting any solid feedback, so I decided to bring it here.

I want to relocate my battery (normal Duralast kind, not sealed Optima kind) under my truck bed, which would mean it would go under water for maybe a minute at a time when I'm doing the water crossings at Fordyce. Will this harm the battery or vehicle electrical system? I know water and electricity don't generally mix well, but i've never had problems with my alternator getting dunked.

thanks
brett
IS it a sealed gas-recombinant type, like the ones with the green 'eye'?

If not, then when you dunk it, the cold water is going to cool the battery down and that will drawn in water through the gas vent. I don't think acid will come out, but then the water is going to dilute the electrolyte and reduce the battery capacity. I would build a waterproof box and vent it, or just get the Optima and be done with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i didn't even think about the environmental aspect, so I'll rule out this idea. keeping the trails open, and the environment itself is certainly a concern for me, thanks for bringing that up it totally skipped my mind.
 

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I think the actual question was prety well answered, but I wanted to clear up s ome misconceptions about the conductivity of water mentioned above. First, water is actually not much of a conducter at all. It is the impurites in the water that does most of the conducting. If you have an Ohm meter, try dipping the leads in a bowl of distilled water, and then tap water. You will see a big difference. The other misconception was about the quanity of water involved. Actually the biggest factor is the distance between the two points. The tube example was incorrect, because the distance is still the same. The quantity of water will affect it in that a larger qauntity will actually conduct better, but not much. The biggest factor by far will be the distance of the closest two points of opposite charge. Still the load (amp draw) the water will place on the battery will be MUCH less than that of a winch or off-road light.
 
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