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What Does Battery Acid Smell Like-Introduction, Effect and Checking

Jan 04, 2021   Pageview:2619

On a few occasions you must have noticed what would be considered as a near-offensive odor coming out from your mower, garage, car, or even battery. And in most of those occasions, you have asked yourself where the odor was emanating from.

If you have been eager to know what a battery acid smells like, then you have come to the right place. After going through this post, you should be able to determine a battery acid odor if you perceive it, as well as knowing whether all batteries smell the same way. Also, you would learn how to determine the status of your battery via its acid smell.

What does a bad battery smell like?

Batteries usually employ a chemical component known as an electrolyte to distribute electron flows from one of its terminals to the other, thereby facilitating the flow of current. Coincidentally, sulfur happens to be among the chemical mixture. It has a distinct odor that you can never be wrong about.

If you notice your battery giving off a bad odor, it is an indication that that battery could be leaking, and that is bad for any battery. That is why you need to investigate the reason for the bad odor and not just assume that everything is okay.

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When a battery is bad, it begins to give out a compound that comprises sulfur. The name of that by-product is hydrogen sulfide. It smells like a rotten egg.

Basically, this is the first thing that indicates that a battery is bad. For every battery that uses sulfuric acid and water moisture as its electrolyte, the rotten egg odor is what tells you that there is a problem with the battery. The thing you should note about this odor is that it is always offensive. It can be so harsh that it can sometimes choke someone. So if it is not sulfur related, it will be repulsive enough to put anyone away.

Unpleasant battery acid odors are not to be taken lightly. You are to treat such occasions with ever seriousness so it does not result in something more severe. The health implications of such repulsive smells is another thing you may want to bear in mind. Fortunately, you can avert all of this if you do something about the bad battery as soon as you notice.


What happens if you breathe in battery fumes?

We have established the fact that a bad battery smells like rotten egg in most cases or gives off a highly repulsive odor in other instances. Well, apart from knowing that a bad battery smells like rotten egg, it is also important that you know if there is any implications breathing in such fumes. This is of great importance because it will let you know if you need to avoid such fumes at all cost.

In the previous section, it was stated that the gas by-product that comes from the chemical mixture in battery is sulfur based. For more emphasis, the reaction is between sulfuric acid and water. So if you want to confirm anything, you may want to start by considering how sulfuric acid behaves when it is not mixed with another.

According to most chemists, sulfuric acid is a substance that requires a lot of caution when you are handling it. That is because it is a compound that is highly corrosive. It’s equally capable of serious skin damages, with a potential to irritate the throat and nose, and can even bring about difficulty when you breathe, should you inhale it. There are other reports that sulfuric acid can also damage your eyes if you hang around it for longer than necessary. That is why it is regarded as a compound with highly poisonous potentials.

While that has been said, you must understand that there is a level of the fumes you will be exposed to before you feel the effects. If you are going to inhale the fumes for only a short while, it is very likely that nothing will happen to you. Therefore, you shouldn’t start thinking that you will go blind anytime you just perceive the fumes from your battery. The only thing is that you try to avoid it as much as you can. And do not breathe in the fumes at all if possible.

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How can you tell if there is battery acid?

When you come in contact with battery acid, you are bound to experience certain unpleasant reactions on your skin. You need to be careful about letting your skin come in contact with such substances because they may not affect you right away. It could take up to minutes or even hours in some cases before you start seeing or feeling the effect of the battery acid that has touched your skin.

Among other feelings, you are bound to have a tingling, unusual sensation when your skin touches battery acid. Watch out for redness of skin, skin irritation, dead or blackened skin as some of the evidence that you have had contact with battery acid.

But does that mean, you cannot do anything when you accidentally touch a battery acid? Definitely not! There are a few things you can quickly do to remedy the situation. Here is a rundown of those things;

  • Try flushing the affected part of your skin with warm water for a period of 30mins.

  • Take off any jewelry or clothing that may be on the affected area.

  • Look at the area properly to see if any visible signs may appear. If you still notice any signs, then resume cleaning of the affected section with clean, warm water for another 30 minutes.

Please do not clean affected parts of your skin with ordinary water if you are dealing with a lead acid battery. That might have a negative effect on you. Instead make sure you rinse with warm, soapy water. That way, the sulfuric acid will slowly come off your skin.


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