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  1. #1
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    Warning! My MERV CAUGHT ON FIRE! Be careful this doesn't happen to you.

    Unfortunately, the title is true. My MERV CAUGHT ON FIRE TODAY. Actual flames and a meltdown. I'm not certain what caused it, maybe even I am to blame.

    So here's what happened:

    I was off work and taking care of our baby upstairs till my wife got home. She came in the door and I could hear her put her keys down and start to walk up the steps to us. I hear her yell for me. "Something's burning!" I hear her scurry down the steps. A moment passed and she yells again, "Wes, something's burning down here." I'm scanning my brain about what it could be, but I'm coming up blank. I didn't have the oven or the iron on down there. I'd just gotten home and I hadn't used anything hot.

    I hear her open the basement door and start down those steps. In the meanwhile, I'm grabbing the baby and coming down to help. Down the first flight, I could smell smoke. It smelt like burning plastic. Down into the basement, the smoke was visible but we could tell that it was coming from the garage and my car.

    I'm making moves to push the car out of the garage, just in case we don't catch this thing quick enough. ( No use in burning my car and the house)

    Halfway out of the garage my wife can see in the back seat. "Your RC car! It's on fire!" Sure enough, my MERV is sitting in my back seat with flames on it.

    If my wife hadn't come in at just the right moment, it could have been far worse.

    Yes, my batteries were still plugged in. I'd run it just about 24 hours prior and I figured that they were about spent. I am running two 3 cell.





    The other pics
    Last edited by cooleocool; 04-25-2013 at 08:34 AM. Reason: merge

  2. #2
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Wolfslash16's Avatar
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    Ouch... I'm sorry dude. I'm guessing the lipos caused this?
    Sl2sh Slayer Summit Sl4sh Teton/Rally T-Maxx Pnde

  3. #3
    Marshal Dadx2mj's Avatar
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    Yes, my batteries were still plugged in.
    Sorry to say but that is the problem right there. Never ever leave the battery plugged in unless the car is in use. Glad no one was hurt and there was not more damage but without a doubt the battery being left plugged in is the cause of the fire.
    BlindMan Racing
    Rusty - MERV - Pede 4x4-Alias
    SPC Lipo Power

  4. #4
    RC Champion
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    How does leaving the battery plugged in start a fire?
    1:16 Slash VXL
    Stampede 4x4 3800kv
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  5. #5
    RC Competitor
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    Quote Originally Posted by X_Spurt View Post
    maybe even I am to blame.

    100% Blame. Traxxas warns against leaving the batteries plugged in. Sorry it happened but thanks for showing others what can happen if they make the same mistake.

    Last edited by ImageX; 04-24-2013 at 02:17 PM.

  6. #6
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. mike-susieq1's Avatar
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    yup leaving the battery plugged in was to blame the battery was being drained by being plugged in still so there was current still coming from the battery, have you noticed before when you plug your lipos in they spark or arch just a little when first making contact even though the esc is off this is what causes this to happen leaving them plugged in, i always disconnect even if i wont run it for like 5-10 mins like talking to someone about my RC cars
    I also notice the connector you have on their assuming its that venom connector i would have changed those out to TRUE traxxas connectors they have alot better contact and after all traxxas connector.
    sorry to hear about your lose but some of the car is ok still to use the parts off just break it down and take the non melted stuff off should be under 100 to replace the stuff only thing is the ESC that will cost like 38-45 shipped ebay.
    DEU 8:18 ESV

  7. #7
    Marshal Dadx2mj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimdog View Post
    How does leaving the battery plugged in start a fire?
    I am not positive exactly what happens to start fires when the battery is left plugged in but what I do know is the on/off switch on the ESC only controls the BEC circuit. The high voltage circuity is not effected by the switch so if the battery is plugged in all the high voltage circuity is active or hot. It has been known to cause fires and I have seen it first hand when a friend left a Novak system plugged in over night and it caught fire.
    BlindMan Racing
    Rusty - MERV - Pede 4x4-Alias
    SPC Lipo Power

  8. #8
    RC Qualifier
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    Ouch. Glad you caught it before serious damage (or worse) was caused.
    Sent from my lumia 920. woot.
    Signature removed due to excess awesomeness.

  9. #9
    RC Champion
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    Whoa that's some nasty stuff, and yes very lucky that your wife caught it in time! Scary.

    What a stench though I bet in that car now... that smell lingers for EVER.

    Similar thing happened to me, but right in front of my eyes so I grabbed it and ripped the wires apart (they actually just pulled out of the esc because they melted) and the fire quickly stopped. Those parallel connectors I tell ya! Hah it's not their fault, but problems always seem to happen when they're used in my experience.




  10. #10
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    @krallopian
    Your problem seems to be the ESC shorting out somehow, where X_Spurt's seems to be the batteries.

    As soon as you are done running your car, remove the connectors from both batteries, when using the parallel connector.
    If you just remove the connector from one battery and the ESC, you have a bare plug, thats perfect to short out your battery.

    Also, never leave batteries connected in parallel when not using them, since they will discharge each other, which also could cause them to burn.

  11. #11
    RC Competitor
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    Parasitic drain + Lipo = Lipo fire

    Unplug your batts.

  12. #12
    RC Racer
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    So true^^^
    How do you "Slash" without a sword?

  13. #13
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    mine blew about a mth ago as well due to lipos, i resoldered it all and its working and i disconnect batteries when not in use now
    lol we always learn lessons when it happens to us, but not before it happens

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