CO alarm and battery

Oct 24, 2020
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We're new to caravanning this year. Currently away with the family and our CO alarm goes off early hours this morning. We ventilated the caravan and turned gas off. However, once we shut doors etc it then started to rise again. After some internet searching, we found it could be the battery overcharging. Husband said the battery was warm but not overly hot or bubbling as some report. We turned off the charger switch, ventilated again and everything was fine. CO alarm read at zero until morning. In the morning we turned on gas again and all was fine on the CO reader. Thinking all must be due to battery overcharging.

We then noticed that our caravan is nolonger showing that it is connected to the mains electric. Is this because we don't have the battery on charge? Also what could the fault be? We want to try and rectify before dark but are weary to turn on the charger again incase we get the same problem. However as it stands we have power. Is it bypassing the battery? Can we or should we turn it back on again?can we continue our trip?
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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According to the picture and the leisure battery voltage reading 10v and the fact that the battery felt warm indicates a fault with the battery.

With the battery charger off your 12v power will be from the PSU.
 
Oct 24, 2020
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Thank you for this reply. We have looked at the error code and it comes up with W 24 H. Sorry to sound like such a newbie (but I am), does this mean that we are still getting enough power from the mains to continue our stay and then just get the battery looked at or replaced when we go home?
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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You would be better advised to get a replacement battery now.

The caravan electric system is designed to have a battery in circuit and not just run from the PSU.
However, do not try and use the current battery , get a new one.

The battery being warm and the alarm sounding says that it is gassing, and that gas is Hydrogen, which is very flammable and highly explosive.

Also, if the battery is sitting in a tray in the locker, check for any liquid in the tray, it will be acid and will cause severe burns if you get it on you.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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Asking a question, rather that stating a fact - is it possible that the power supply/charger is faulty and over-charging the battery - if so just replacing the battery won't cure the problem as the same will happen to the new battery.

Another thing - the battery compartment should be sealed from the caravan interior so any gas should be vented outside - that doesn't seem to have happened.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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There is evidence that some CO (Carbon Monoxide) alarms may respond to hydorgen gas resulting from charging Lead Acid batteries.

.

The symptoms described certainly are typical of an overcharged battery, but as RogerL has pointed out, it also means the battery compartment is not room sealed as it should be.

This raises the question of why is the battery overcharged. It could be a faulty battery, and certainly the fact its present standing voltage seems to be about 10V means the battery is damaged and will almost certainly need to be replaced, but the charger its self could have damaged the battery.

Short term to get you through the holiday, replace the battery, and use the caravans charging facility sparingly for 2 to 3 hours a day to replenish the battery charge then turn it off again. After the holiday you need to get the caravans charger checked.

There has been a history of problems with some makes of chargers used in caravans, Try to find out what make and model yours is. There is a company:-


Who have extensive knowledge and can offer sollutions for problem caravan chargers and power supplies. - once you have the relevant details it might be worth contacting them.
 
Oct 24, 2020
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Thanks for all your responses. What are the risks of leaving if off and as is and just using the power from the PSU, especially if there's no leakage from the battery? Sorry for all the questions just trying to way up what to do for the best. Feeling like we may just end up having to pack up and head home. We're not the most practical or techie of couples.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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To add to some of the responses. If possible, take the battery to Halfords or a battery supplier. They have kit to do a proper test. This may save you the wasted cost of a new battery.

How old is the battery? Is is under guarrentee?

John
 
Oct 24, 2020
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To add to some of the responses. If possible, take the battery to Halfords or a battery supplier. They have kit to do a proper test. This may save you the wasted cost of a new battery.

How old is the battery? Is is under guarrentee?

John
We got it new, caravan and new battery, in July this year. Hoping it's under some kind of guarantee.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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In that case, phone up the dealer and report it and ask their advice. and take it to Halfords.

John
 
May 7, 2012
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If there is a problem with the alarm going off because the battery is overheating, something is wrong. If the box is sealed the gas should not be getting into the caravan, so either the box is not sealed correctly or the gas is getting into the caravan from somewhere very close to the box. I would have this checked when you can.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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We got it new, caravan and new battery, in July this year. Hoping it's under some kind of guarantee.
It will definitely be under warranty as caravan is not even 6 months old. As said contact dealer about battery. In many caravans the battery is part of the circuit, hence no battery, very dim lights, pump hardly working etc.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thanks for all your responses. What are the risks of leaving if off and as is and just using the power from the PSU, especially if there's no leakage from the battery? Sorry for all the questions just trying to way up what to do for the best. Feeling like we may just end up having to pack up and head home. We're not the most practical or techie of couples.
Bearing in mind your recent comment that the caravan was purchased new, then hopefully the caravans 12V power supply will be a proper regulated smoothed output power supply (PSU) and not just a battery charger. I won't go into the detailed differences, but it does mean you should do no harm to any of the caravans appliances by trying to run them without the battery being connected.

However there are certain things the PSU might struggle with- for example, you wont be able to use a caravan mover if you have one fitted, and depending on the type of water pump you have, the PSU might not have enough current capacity to run it.

If you have a submersible water pump that drops into the external water carrier, you should be ok, but if you have an inboard water pump, the PSU might struggle to run it.

I would advise just being frugal in using 12V appliances, turn lights of if they are not where you are in the van. I will stress you're not likely to damage any of them, its just the PSU has a limited current capacity and if you turn on too many items at the same time the PSU may start to misbehave. It a bit like turning too many taps on and you only get a dribble out them.

Just for clarity the job of the battery is to store excess power when you are only using a few low power items, so the excess can be used when you try to use high demand 12V devices, or for when you have no mains power to run the PSU.
 
Oct 24, 2020
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UPDATE: We have now brought a new (fully charged) battery and connected it up. Showing on the panel as 12v. However, when we turn on the charger button it shoots up on the dashboard to being 14v, is that too high? Manual says that the charger dc output can be 13.6 to 14.4 volts.
 
Last edited:
Jul 18, 2017
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Battery should read a minumum of 12.7v. Ours is normally well over 13v and sometimes peaks at 14.7v on a hot day, Today it is reading 13v, but it down in Brean and not sure of the weather there.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The results you have reported are perfectly normal, and expected. To charge a battery you have to supply it with a greater voltage than its standing terminal voltage otherwise the current will not flow into the battery to charge it. For that reason a 12V battery charger will normally produce between 13 and 14.5V, So your reading is perfectly normal.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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UPDATE: We have now brought a new (fully charged) battery and connected it up. Showing on the panel as 12v. However, when we turn on the charger button it shoots up on the dashboard to being 14v, is that too high? Manual says that the charger dc output can be 13.6 to 14.4 volts.
Hopefully you were able to speak with the dealer and still have the old battery and invoice for new battery? The dealer should be able to reimburse you. If they hassle come back here for further advice. Enjoy the rest of your stay.
 
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