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  • Leaky old batteries

    Dismantling an old structure today I found these old things rotting in the basement, been there since the 80's by the labels found. We're getting a specialist contractor to dispose of them but in the meantime I've requested the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) to move them so I can continue work and my H&S manager is looking into that. I suggested acid-resistant boots, apron, gauntlets, faceshield but my company is taking advice.





    They aren't actually leaking despite the title except for the discharge you can see on top which I guess is from years of venting. I need to seprate them and move them a short distance to a COSHH (control of substance hazardous to health) store ready for collection.
    Has anyone handled these kind of things before? I'm thinking of just cropping the leads, un-bolting the bars and simply carrying them one at a time wearing the acid-proof PPE.

    Footing is good and each cell looks to be a comfortable weight to carry, the area is well ventilated. What about the fungus on top, I'm guessing that is also quite hazardous especially if hydrated?

    As I said, my company is taking advice but I thought I'd ask here for advice/opinions too.
    Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

    Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
    Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
    Monarch 10EE 1942

  • #2
    Peter,
    Since there are 6 of them I would hazard a guess that they are wet Lead Acid battery strung together to form a 12V ( 6x2V) string.
    The fuzz on the top is corrosion from leaking stem seals.
    If I were at home I would neutralize the fuzz with baking soda and water.
    But since its in a Industrial setting in you area. I would walk away and let the pro's deal with it.


    Dave

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    • #3
      They look pretty defunct but I think the first thing I would go in there with is a multimeter just to see if there was any voltage left. If so you will have to take precautions with those conductors. Wouldn't take much H2 and spark to ruin your day.

      I've only ever cleaned up car batteries and that was with baking soda and a garden hose, so I'm no help in that regard.
      Tom - Spotsylvania, VA

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      • #4
        Good idea - I'll take a meter in tomorrow, but I doubt very much there's any charge left in any cell unless they were a type capable of holding up for many years as they have been disused a long time.

        I won't be moving these without an approved method I can assure you. Hopefully we can get them removed directly from in situ before work progresses into the area then I don't have the problem at all.

        I also found the old battery charger which is an interesting-looking piece.

        Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

        Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
        Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
        Monarch 10EE 1942

        Comment


        • #5
          apron and gloves and boots are a great idea. If just because acid + cloths = little holes when you wash em.

          Face shield is a little overkill, but then, I would'nt wanna be without one *just incase*.

          I would recommend washing the apron down afterwards, Usally when you carry something it can't help but brush up against your chest area, And afterwards you could get secondary transfer to something else.

          Random fact you did'nt wanna know and don't wanna ask how I know first hand: Sulfuric acid makes super sour candys seem like suger in compairson.

          Also using your toung to test if that tingleing feeling on your hand is sulfuric acid or not is not a great idea. :P
          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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          • #6
            Maybe you could contact the manufacturer. Looks like they're back in business.

            http://www.ukbatteries.co.uk/brands/tungstone
            Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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            • #7
              Good thing you are not in the USA, here they would have to core drill the floor and look for leakage and what ever else they can find. Looks like if they charged you less then $10,000 USD to remove and clean it up you will be doing good.

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              • #8
                Over reacting!

                I think you are over-reacting with them. Cut the wires connecting them short, throw a HD plastic garbage bag over them and pack them out. Really no big deal! Call up your local recycler and find out where to drop em off.
                There's literally millions of these in the country, at least one for every vehicle....
                jmho

                edit: If they are dead the "acid" should actually be water, so the only hazardous material will be the lead inside.
                I spent most of my money on women and booze, the rest I just wasted.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Fixer
                  I think you are over-reacting with them. Cut the wires connecting them short, throw a HD plastic garbage bag over them and pack them out. Really no big deal! Call up your local recycler and find out where to drop em off.
                  There's literally millions of these in the country, at least one for every vehicle....
                  jmho

                  edit: If they are dead the "acid" should actually be water, so the only hazardous material will be the lead inside.
                  That sounds pretty true, once you get an enviromental company involved it IS WORSE THAN LEAVING THE KEY TO THE HEN HOUSE WITH THE FOX. They are obligated to turn you in if you tell them to hit the road because of the cost.

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                  • #10
                    I doubt they are "obliged to turn you in." Tell 'em you're getting an estimate from another disposal company...how are they to know what you actually do?
                    ----------
                    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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                    • #11
                      Thankfully, I don't have to are about the cost as we are not picking up the bill. I do care about my fellow workers though and I have to show due dilligence in that and in the disposal. For now, I just need to move them aside.
                      Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                      Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                      Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                      Monarch 10EE 1942

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Splash some of that acid on your head and rinse off. Great for removing the dandruff !

                        No, seriously, as one who has had battery acid in his hair (rinsed withing fifteen minutes), and had a battery explode into his eyes (rinsed within fifteen seconds), I think you''re making a bit of a meal out of this.

                        You couldn't electrocute a flea with 2 volts, and once one conductor is cut there's no current pathway. The fuzz you see will only be faintly acidic, and the plates are probably bent anyway, shorting them out. By the way, if they aren't, they'd make a nice storage pack.

                        And thanks for reminding me - I've got a battery on charge in the garage, and I don't like to leave it on all night. I'd forgotten about it.
                        Richard - SW London, UK, EU.

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                        • #13
                          Geez,I would do the same thing with those as I did with the pile I got rid of last week.Chunk them in the back of the truck in a plastic barrel and head for the scrapers.Didn't even wear gloves doing it.

                          14 dead ones brought me $70
                          I just need one more tool,just one!

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                          • #14
                            I don't think sulfuric acid is toxic to plant life (in small doses), And the heavy metals should be rather safely contained inside the battery, So I don't see why any clean up would be needed other then some baking soda and water.

                            Acid rain is bad because enough can drop the soil PH untill aluminum dissolves (PH4.0~) and then everything dies. Less just adds sulfur to the soil. Little acid in a small area will eventualy dilute as long as more acid isent contiously added (like acid rain)
                            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                            • #15
                              Oh,forgot to add,from the looks of those batteries they are probably dry as a Popcorn fart inside water probably left the scene a long time ago.

                              Oh,and if I were there the charger would be going home with me
                              I just need one more tool,just one!

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