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Battery Basics: A Layman's Guide to Batteries

Battery Basics Tutorial

If you have done any research on how batteries work or what you should look for when selecting a battery, you are probably buried in information, some of which is conflicting. At BatteryStuff, we aim to clear that up a bit.You have most likely heard the term K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid). I am going to attempt to explain how lead acid batteries work and what they need without burying you with a bunch of needless technical data. I have found that battery data will vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer, so I will do my best to boil that data down. This means I may generalize a bit, while staying true to purpose.

The commercial use of the lead acid battery is over 100 years old. The same chemical principal that is being used to store energy is basically the same as our Great Grandparents may have used.

If you can grasp the basics you will have fewer battery problems and will gain greater battery performance, reliability, and longevity. I suggest you read the entire tutorial, however I have indexed all the information for a quick read and easy reference.

A battery is like a piggy bank. If you keep taking out and putting nothing back you soon will have nothing. Present day chassis battery power requirements are huge. Consider today’s vehicle and all the electrical devices that must be supplied. All these electronics require a source of reliable power, and poor battery condition can cause expensive electronic component failure. Did you know that the average auto has 11 pounds of wire in the electrical system? Look at RVs and boats with all the electrical gadgets that require power. It was not long ago when trailers or motor homes had only a single 12-volt house battery. Today it is standard to have two or more house batteries powering inverters up to 4000 watts.

Average battery life has become shorter as energy requirements have increased. Life span depends on usage; 6 months to 48 months, yet only 30% of all batteries actually reach the 48-month mark. You can extend your battery life by hooking it up to a solar charger during the off months.

A Few Basics

Battery HydrometerThe Lead Acid battery is made up of plates, lead, and lead oxide (various other elements are used to change density, hardness, porosity, etc.) with a 35% sulfuric acid and 65% water solution. This solution is called electrolyte, which causes a chemical reaction that produce electrons. When you test a battery with a hydrometer, you are measuring the amount of sulfuric acid in the electrolyte. If your reading is low, that means the chemistry that makes electrons is lacking. So where did the sulfur go? It is resting on the battery plates and when you recharge the battery, the sulfur returns to the electrolyte.

  1. Safety
  2. Battery types, Deep Cycle and Starting
  3. Wet Cell, Gel-Cell and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)
  4. CCA, CA, AH and RC; what's that all about?
  5. Battery Maintenance
  6. Battery Testing
  7. Selecting and Buying a New Battery
  8. Battery Life and Performance
  9. Battery Charging
  10. Battery Do's
  11. Battery Don'ts


1. We must think safety when we are working around and with batteries. Remove all jewelry. After all you don't want to melt your watchband while you are wearing the watch. The hydrogen gas that batteries make when charging is very explosive. We have seen several instances of batteries blowing up and drenching everything in sulfuric acid. That is no fun, and would have been a good time to use those safety goggles that are hanging on the wall. Heck, just break out your disco outfit. Polyester is not affected by Sulfuric Acid, but anything with cotton will be eaten up. If you do not feel the need to make a fashion statement just wear junk clothes, after all Polyester is still out of style. When doing electrical work on vehicles it is best to disconnect the ground cable. Just remember you are messing with corrosive acid, explosive gases and 100's amps of electrical current.

2. Basically there are two types of lead acid batteries (along with 3 sub categories); The two main types are Starting (cranking), and Deep Cycle (marine/golf cart). The starting battery (SLI starting lights ignition) is designed to deliver quick bursts of energy (such as starting engines) and therefore has a greater plate count. The plates are thinner and have somewhat different material composition. The deep cycle battery has less instant energy, but greater long-term energy delivery. Deep cycle batteries have thicker plates and can survive a number of discharge cycles. Starting batteries should not be used for deep cycle applications because the thinner plates are more prone to warping and pitting when discharged. The so-called Dual Purpose Battery is a compromise between the two types of batteries, though it is better to be more specific if possible.

3. Wet Cell (flooded), Gel Cell, and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) are various versions of the lead acid battery. The Wet cell comes in two styles; Serviceable and Maintenance free. Both are filled with electrolyte and are basically the same. I prefer one that I can add water to and check the specific gravity of the electrolyte with a hydrometer. The Gel Cell and the AGM batteries are specialty batteries that typically cost twice as much as a premium wet cell. However they store very well and do not tend to sulfate or degrade as easily as wet cell. There is little chance of a hydrogen gas explosion or corrosion when using these batteries; these are the safest lead acid batteries you can use. Gel Cell and some AGM batteries may require a special charging rate. If you want the best,most versatile type, consideration should be given to the AGM battery for applications such as Marine, RV, Solar, Audio, Power Sports and Stand-By Power just to name a few. If you don't use or operate your equipment daily, AGM batteries will hold their charge better that other types. If you must depend on top-notch battery performance, spend the extra money. Gel Cell batteries still are being sold but AGM batteries are replacing them in most applications. There is a some common confusion regarding AGM batteries because different manufactures call them by different names; some of the more common names are "sealed regulated valve", "dry cell", "non spillable", and "Valve Regulated Lead Acid" batteries. In most cases AGM batteries will give greater life span and greater cycle life than a wet cell battery.
SPECIAL NOTE about Gel Batteries: It is very common for individuals to use the term GEL CELL when referring to sealed, maintenance free batteries, much like one would use Kleenex when referring to facial tissue or "Xerox machine" when referring to a copy machine. Be very careful when specifying a gel cell battery charger, many times we are told by customer they are requiring a charger for a Gel Cell battery and in fact the battery is not a Gel Cell.

Scorpion BatteryAGM: The Absorbed Glass Matt construction allows the electrolyte to be suspended in close proximity with the plates active material. In theory, this enhances both the discharge and recharge efficiency. Common manufacturer applications include high performance engine starting, power sports, deep cycle, solar and storage battery. The larger AGM batteries we sell are typically good deep cycle batteries and they deliver their best life performance if recharged before allowed to drop below the 50% discharge rate. The Scorpion motorcycle batteries we carry are a nice upgrade from your stock flooded battery, and the Odyssey branded batteries are fantastic for holding their static charge over long periods of non use. When Deep Cycle AGM batteries are discharged to a rate of no less than 60% the cycle life will be 300 plus cycles.

GEL: The Gel Cell is similar to the AGM style because the electrolyte is suspended, but different because technically the AGM battery is still considered to be a wet cell. The electrolyte in a Gel Cell has a silica additive that causes it to set up or stiffen. The recharge voltage on this type of cell is lower than the other styles of lead acid battery. This is probably the most sensitive cell in terms of adverse reactions to over-voltage charging. Gel Batteries are best used in VERY DEEP cycle application and may last a bit longer in hot weather applications. If the incorrect battery charger is used on a Gel Cell battery poor performance and premature failure is certain.

4. CCA, CA, AH and RC. What are these all about? These are the standards that most battery companies use to rate the output and capacity of a battery.

Cold cranking amps (CCA) is a measurement of the number of amps a battery can deliver at 0 ° F for 30 seconds and not drop below 7.2 volts. So a high CCA battery rating is especially important in starting battery applications, and in cold weather.This measurement is not particularly important in Deep cycle batteries, though it is the most commonly 'known' battery measurement.

CA is cranking amps measured at 32 degrees F. This rating is also called marine cranking amps (MCA). Hot cranking amps (HCA) is seldom used any longer but is measured at 80 ° F.

Reserve Capacity (RC) is a very important rating. This is the number of minutes a fully charged battery at 80 ° F will discharge 25 amps until the battery drops below 10.5 volts.

An amp hour (AH) is a rating usually found on deep cycle batteries. The standard rating is an Amp rating taken for 20 Hours. What this means, say for a 100 AH rated battery is this: Draw from the battery for 20 hours and it will provide a total of 100 amp-hours. That translates to about 5 amps an hour. 5 x 20 = 100. However, it's very important to know that the total time of discharge and load applied is not a linear relationship. As your load increases, your realized capacity decreases. This means if you discharged that same 100 AH battery by a 100 amp load, it will not give you one hour of runtime. On the contrary, the perceived capacity of the battery will be that of 64 Amp Hours.

5.Battery Maintenance is an important issue. The battery should be cleaned using a baking soda and water solution; a couple of table spoons to a pint of water. Cable connections need to be cleaned and tightened as battery problems are often caused by dirty and loose connections. A serviceable battery needs to have the fluid level checked. Use only mineral free water, Distilled is best as all impurities have been removed, and there is nothing left that could contaminate your cells. Don't overfill battery cells especially in warmer weather because the natural fluid expansion in hot weather can push excess electrolytes from the battery. To prevent corrosion of cables on top post batteries use a small bead of silicone sealer at the base of the post and place a felt battery washer over it. Coat the washer with high temperature grease or petroleum jelly (Vaseline), then place cable on the post and tighten. Coat the exposed cable end with the grease. Most folks don't know that just the gases from the battery condensing on metal parts cause most corrosion.

6.Digital Multi-MeterBattery Testing can be done in more than one way. The most accurate method is measurement of specific gravity and battery voltage. To measure specific gravity buy a temperature compensating hydrometer, to measure voltage use a digital D.C. Voltmeter. A quality load tester may be a good purchase if you need to test sealed batteries.

For any of these methods, you must first fully charge the battery and then remove the surface charge. If the battery has been sitting at least several hours (I prefer at least 12 hours) you may begin testing. To remove surface charge the battery must be discharged for several minutes. Using a headlight (high beam) will do the trick. After turning off the light you are ready to test the battery.

State of ChargeSpecific GravityVoltage
    12V 6V
100% 1.265 12.7 6.3
75% 1.225 12.4 6.2
50% 1.190 12.2 6.1
25% 1.155 12.0 6.0
Discharged 1.120 11.9 6.0


Load testing is yet another way of testing a battery. Load test removes amps from a battery much like starting an engine would. A load tester can be purchased at most auto parts stores. Some battery companies label their battery with the amp load for testing. This number is usually 1/2 of the CCA rating. For instance, a 500CCA battery would load test at 250 amps for 15 seconds. A load test can only be performed if the battery is near or at full charge.

The results of your testing should be as follows:

Hydrometer readings should not vary more than .05 differences between cells.

Digital Voltmeters should read as the voltage is shown in this document. The sealed AGM and Gel-Cell battery voltage (full charged) will be slightly higher in the 12.8 to 12.9 ranges. If you have voltage readings in the 10.5 volts range on a charged battery, that typically indicates a shorted cell.

If you have a maintenance free wet cell, the only ways to test are voltmeter and load test. Any of the maintenance free type batteries that have a built in hydrometer(black/green window) will tell you the condition of 1 cell of 6. You may get a good reading from 1 cell but have a problem with other cells in the battery.

When in doubt about battery testing, call the battery manufacturer. Many batteries sold today have a toll free number to call for help.

7. Selecting a Battery - When buying a new battery I suggest you purchase a battery with the greatest reserve capacity or amp hour rating possible. Of course the physical size, cable hook up, and terminal type must be a consideration. You may want to consider a Gel Cell or an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) rather than a Wet Cell if the application is in a harsher environment or the battery is not going to receive regular maintenance and charging.

Be sure to purchase the correct type of battery for the job it must do. Remember that engine starting batteries and deep cycle batteries are different. Freshness of a new battery is very important. The longer a battery sits and is not re-charged the more damaging sulfation build up there may be on the plates. Most batteries have a date of manufacture code on them. The month is indicated by a letter 'A' being January and a number '4' being 2004. C4 would tell us the battery was manufactured in March 2004. Remember the fresher the better. The letter "i" is not used because it can be confused with #1.

Battery warranties are figured in the favor of battery manufactures. Let's say you buy a 60-month warranty battery and it lives 41 months. The warranty is pro-rated so when taking the months used against the full retail price of the battery you end up paying about the same money as if you purchased the battery at the sale price. This makes the manufacturer happy. What makes me happy is to exceed the warranty. Let me assure you it can be done.

8. Battery life and performance - Average battery life has become shorter as energy requirements have increased. Two phrases I hear most often are "my battery won't take a charge, and my battery won't hold a charge". Only 30% of batteries sold today reach the 48-month mark. In fact 80% of all battery failure is related to sulfation build-up. This build up occurs when the sulfur molecules in the electrolyte (battery acid) become so deeply discharged that they begin to coat the battery's lead plates. Before long the plates become so coated that the battery dies. The causes of sulfation are numerous. Let me list some for you.

  • Batteries sit too long between charges. As little as 24 hours in hot weather and several days in cooler weather.
  • Battery is stored without some type of energy input.
  • "Deep cycling" an engine starting battery. Remember these batteries can't stand deep discharge.
  • Undercharging of a battery to only 90% of capacity will allow sulfation of the battery using the 10% of battery chemistry not reactivated by the incompleted charging cycle.
  • Heat of 100 plus F., increases internal discharge. As temperatures increase so does internal discharge. A new fully charged battery left sitting 24 hours a day at 110 degrees F for 30 days would most likely not start an engine.
  • Low electrolyte level - battery plates exposed to air will immediately sulfate.
  • Incorrect charging levels and settings. Most cheap battery chargers can do more harm than good. See the section on battery charging.
  • Cold weather is also hard on the battery. The chemistry does not make the same amount of energy as a warm battery. A deeply discharged battery can freeze solid in sub zero weather.
  • Parasitic drain is a load put on a battery with the key off. More info on parasitic drain will follow in this document.


There are ways to greatly increase battery life and performance. All the products we sell are targeted to improve performance and battery life.

Battery EqualizerAn example: Let's say you have "toys"; an ATV, classic car, antique car, boat, Harley, etc. You most likely don't use these toys 365 days a year as you do your car. Many of these toys are seasonal so they are stored. What happens to the batteries? Most batteries that supply energy to power our toys only last 2 seasons. You must keep these batteries from sulfating or buy new ones. We sell products to prevent and reverse sulfation. The PulseTech products are patented electronic devices that reverse and prevent sulfation. Also Battery Equaliser, a chemical battery additive, has proven itself very effective in improving battery life and performance. Other devices such as Solar Trickle Chargers are a great option for battery maintenance.

Parasitic drain is a load put on a battery with the key off. Most vehicles have clocks, engine management computers, alarm systems, etc. In the case of a boat you may have an automatic bilge pump, radio, GPS, etc. These devices may all be operating without the engine running. You may have parasitic loads caused by a short in the electrical system. If you are always having dead battery problems most likely the parasitic drain is excessive. The constant low or dead battery caused by excessive parasitic energy drain will dramatically shorten battery life. If this is a problem you are having, check out the Priority Start and Marine Priority Start to prevent dead batteries before they happen. This special computer switch will turn off your engine start battery before all the starting energy is drained. This technology will prevent you from deep cycling your starting battery.

9.Battery Tender Plus Battery Charging - Remember you must put back the energy you use immediately. If you don't the battery sulfates and that affects performance and longevity. The alternator is a battery charger. It works well if the battery is not deeply discharged. The alternator tends to overcharge batteries that are very low and the overcharge can damage batteries. In fact an engine starting battery on average has only about 10 deep cycles available when recharged by an alternator. Batteries like to be charged in a certain way, especially when they have been deeply discharged. This type of charging is called 3 step regulated charging. Please note that only special SMART BATTERY CHARGERS using computer technology can perform 3 step charging techniques. You don't find these types of chargers in parts stores and Wal-Marts. The first step is bulk charging where up to 80% of the battery energy capacity is replaced by the charger at the maximum voltage and current amp rating of the charger. When the battery voltage reaches 14.4 volts this begins the absorption charge step. This is where the voltage is held at a constant 14.4 volts and the current (amps) declines until the battery is 98% charged. Next comes the Float Step. This is a regulated voltage of not more than 13.4 volts and usually less than 1 amp of current. This in time will bring the battery to 100% charged or close to it. The float charge will not boil or heat batteries but will maintain the batteries at 100% readiness and prevent cycling during long term inactivity. Some Gel Cell and AGM batteries may require special settings or chargers.

10. Battery Do's

  • Think Safety First.
  • Do read entire tutorial
  • Do regular inspection and maintenance especially in hot weather.
  • Do recharge batteries immediately after discharge.
  • Do buy the highest RC reserve capacity or AH amp hour battery that will fit your configuration.


11. Battery Don'ts

  • Don't forget safety first.
  • Don't add new electrolyte (acid).
  • Don't use unregulated high output battery chargers to charge batteries.
  • Don't place your equipment and toys into storage without some type of device to keep the battery charged.
  • Don't disconnect battery cables while the engine is running (your battery acts as a filter).
  • Don't put off recharging batteries.
  • Don't add tap water as it may contain minerals that will contaminate the electrolyte.
  • Don't discharge a battery any deeper than you possibly have to.
  • Don't let a battery get hot to the touch and boil violently when charging.
  • Don't mix size and types of batteries.


There are many points and details I have not written about because I wanted to keep this as short and simple as possible. Further information can be found at the links below. If you are aware of sites with good battery maintenance information please let me know.

Additional Battery Tutorial batteryfaq.org


292 Responses,   4.7 Rating

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  • What is the connection to the battery tocharge a 24volt system

    Jimmy
    January 22, 2012 a 8:06 am
    • If you have 2 batteries in series, the voltage increases. The most common form of 24 volt systems involves two 12 volt batteries connected together, a wire from the positive terminal of one battery to the negative on the other. For more information about constructing battery banks, read this helpful article.

      http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles/battery-articles/battery-bank-tutorial.html

      If you have a 24 volt charger, you must treat your two 12 volt batteries as if they were a single battery. The open terminals on both ends would be the required positive and negative access points.

      James
      January 23, 2012 a 8:50 am
    • This is just what I need to give me confidence in dealing with a battery issue. Much appreciated.

      Desmond
      January 18, 2012 a 2:04 pm
      • Just to let you know that your battery basics piece was well written and useful. I appreciate your hard work and your passion for your subject.

        Keith Clemens
        January 23, 2012 a 7:38 am
        • Love it!! Once I read, K.I.S.S. I knew I would understand you! Thanks!

          Wendy
          October 27, 2013 a 10:35 am
        • Over the last 40 years I have puchased endless numbers of leisure batteries for my caravans none have ever lasted more than 12 mounths althouth I have charged them regularly.My latest one has just failed after 6 mounths and the manufacturers stamp 15 indicates January 2005 surerly this must be one of the reasons they do not last the coarse.I have found out more about batteries since reading Battery Stuff.Com although I am a retired motor engineer,Well Done.

          John Hackney
          January 26, 2012 a 11:03 am
          • hi this is a common problem, many battery manufacturers make batteries that they claim are leisure batteries. the advice i will give is that you should buy a battery with the largest amps as possible that will fit in the space that you have, in my opinion you should buy an AGM battery as this will discharge and recover better after use, they are more expensive but should last much longer. thanks eric roberts www.batteriesontheweb.co.uk

            Eric Roberts
            March 7, 2012 a 11:41 pm
            • AGM batteries do not last much longer than lead acid batteries, if they last an longer at all.

              Jamie
              June 14, 2012 a 6:01 pm
              • AGM technology is essentially the same as a lead acid battery. The only difference is the electrolyte is not free to spill, but absorbed. This eliminates the need to maintain fluid levels, thus preventing a lot of premature failure caused by reflectance. But maintenance free does not mean the freedom from having to charge regularly. All lead acid batteries self discharge, and the best way to see longest life is to keep fully charged as often as possible. Maybe you‘ve had some bad experiences with AGM batteries. That‘s unfortunate.

                Tech
                June 15, 2012 a 8:43 am
                • Agreed, if properly maintained, a wet battery will last just about as long as an AGM battery. BUT, very few people actually do the proper maintenance. Because AGM batteries are valve-regulated, have a slower self-discharge rate, recharg faster, etc, etc, they are more resilient than wet batteries and therefore, in real world use DO last much longer than wet batteries.

                  Sergio
                  August 27, 2012 a 12:32 pm
          • Is it possible to have 12 volts from a battery and low or weak cca ? Also tell me if im thinking wrong , but I have theory , that a battery is allot like your arm , you arm has the 12 volts and the muscles in your arm potentially are your amps , you can with stand holding weight for a certain amount of time until you become weak and need to relax for a few moments before you can “crank” again , would you say that would be a good example if i were to try and explain how a battery functions to people who don‘t speak english ?

            Larry
            January 27, 2012 a 7:15 am
            • That is a good example, yes. Some arms have less muscle mass and others have more. But all the same number of muscles in the arm. 12 volt batteries all have 6 cells. Each cell is 2 volts. 2 × 6 = 12. But the cells have plates inside of them. The more plates, the more current can run through, thus more CCA. Large and small batteries all have 6 cells, but the size and number of plates can vary greatly. I hope this helps.

              James
              January 27, 2012 a 9:23 am
            • if i could rate your article out of ten, i would give it ten.
              very informative alas i did not solve my problem
              what is the method of getting a rechargable battery to hold charge,
              will short overcharging periods do the trick?

              John
              January 30, 2012 a 9:31 pm
              • If you‘re referring to a rechargeable lead acid battery, then there could be many reasons why a battery does not “hold a charge”. There could be a parasitic drain. There could be a short or open cell. There could be an internal defect such as a weak weld. Or the battery could simply be deeply discharged, and if you‘re using a smart charger, find that the charger simply will not charge the dead battery. This is primarily due to the low voltage safety disconnect found in most microprocessor controlled chargers.

                James
                January 31, 2012 a 7:44 am
              • Very important article on rechargeable batteries.

                We are planning to install Lead Gel batteries in our AS/RS equipments. Shall we go for Lead Gel or AGM type of batteries ? Why ? Give us advantages in terms of cost & safety while selecting the type of battery.
                Pls help us to decide.
                thanks

                JAYANTI
                February 2, 2012 a 3:31 am
                • Hello,

                  Gel and AGM batteries are both nice because of the maintenance free nature and sealed case. The Gels are able to deep discharge better (well, with less negative effects than the AGM). However, the Gel battery requires a compatible charger/regulator. Normal wet cels and AGM batteries effectively charge at 14.6 volts or higher. But the Gel battery should be no more than 14.2 volts. It really does make a difference. They are more fragile and can be damaged easier when charging.

                  For more information, please read GEL Vs. AGM.
                  http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/battery-articles/gel-vs-agm.html

                  James Ville
                  February 2, 2012 a 8:31 am
                • Hi, I have an older 4 ×4 truck with no electronics. However, I have an inverter to power (mainly laptops, gadgets), two external lights but no winch. My current alternator is rated at 75amps and my current battery at 80ams / CCA 780 / CR 120. I want to install a split batteyr system (solenoid+monitor) along with another batter (same power or slightly higher). Do I need to upgrade my alternator.. say to a 100 amps? Can a 75amp alternator comfortably charge both batteries..given than I‘m using a “smart” split battery charging system? or am I asking for trouble….ie: a dead alternator? Thanks

                  Bert
                  February 4, 2012 a 5:19 pm
                  • You would be best off going with the larger alternator. 75 amps may be enough, but upgrading to the 100 amp system would make sense.

                    Jeremy
                    February 6, 2012 a 2:40 pm
                  • Two weeks ago I purchased a new car Buick Enclave that had been on the lot for an extended period of time. Everything seemed to be fine until I took a long trip (10hrs). The next morning I used the remote start to warm up the car then turned it off and continued to load the car using the remote hatch lift several times. About ten minutes later I got in the car and didn‘t have enough battery to start it. I was able to get a boost to start the engine and return home (10hrs). I took the car to the dealer the next morning to have it checked out and was told the battery was good as it checked out at 12.3 volts. Doesn‘t that show a discharged battery? Should the charging system maintain the battery at 12.6 to 12.8 volts? The next step is to have the electrical output checked. I would appreciate your input as to what I should have them check next. Thanks

                    Bob G
                    February 9, 2012 a 2:20 pm
                    • Hello Bob,

                      You are correct. The battery should be reading more than 12.3 volts. If the battery cannot reach over 12.6 volts, then there is likely a sulfation problem. the more sulfation on the plates, the less surface area. in turn, that results to less power and pre-mature failure.

                      James Ville
                      February 9, 2012 a 2:50 pm
                    • hi I am extremely interested in the subject and would like to thank you for clearing up a few things that i had previously not known.

                      Denise Keilholtz
                      February 14, 2012 a 4:31 pm
                      • hey, i am trying to charge 2 deep cycles in parallel with a 6 amp charger (12v) is this any diffrent than charging a single?

                        Kris F
                        February 16, 2012 a 1:10 am
                        • When you charge 2 deep cycle batteries in parallel, you’ve essentially doubled your capacity. The charger will recognize your battery bank as a single battery. If your 6 amp charger took 4 hours to charge one battery, it will now take 8 to charge both. The resistance has increased with the increase in capacity, so it will take longer to charge. As for the connections, you can hook your charger to the positive and negative terminal from one battery or both. For a 2 battery system, it doesn’t make a difference.

                          James
                          February 16, 2012 a 8:32 am
                          • “The resistance has increased with the increase in capacity,” Not so, resistances in parallel decrease. It takes longer to charge because you are charging two batteries at the same time instead of one.

                            Paul
                            April 15, 2012 a 8:49 am
                            • Resistance is based on the internal battery chemistry. It‘s not constant, but it relates to the strength of the charge rate versus the state of charge in the batteries. Two batteries in parallel will indeed lower the resistance. The charge time may not be quicker, but it will be more efficient.

                              Tech
                              April 16, 2012 a 11:03 am
                        • I have a few questions about sulfation removal.

                          1. How can a person determine how much sulfation has occurred inside a battery?
                          2. Which de-sulfation device do you most highly recommend to remove sulfation from battery plates?
                          3. How much time is required to fully de-desulfate a battery? If the de-sulfation device isn‘t capable of fully de-sulfating a battery, can you let me know how much de-sulfation such a device can provide.

                          Thx, Z

                          Z
                          February 17, 2012 a 4:37 am
                          • 1)There is no exact way to determine the amount of sulfation, but a hydrometer is helpful. By telling the specific gravity, you can determine the strength of the electrolyte. Typically, the more sulfation on the plates, the weaker the strength of electrolyte. If you have sealed batteries, a hydrometer will not work.
                            2)If you have a flooded battery, I recommend using Battery Equalizer in conjunction with a pulsing charging, such as Battery MINDer or PulseTech. Exact model will depend on the capacity of your battery.
                            3)You’ll see the most dramatic results after about 2 weeks of continuous pulsing. The harder, crystallized sulfate which took a long time to build up may take an additional 2 months before reaching a another restore point. On average, a de-sulfated battery may be restored up to 80% of its original factory capacity.

                            James
                            February 17, 2012 a 9:58 am
                          • I am purchasing a 125 watt solar panel and want to purchase two 12 volt RV batteries.I dry camp alot and want to be able to maximize my reserve capacity using the solar charging to replenish the drain on the batteries. My question is what size battery re the 20 hr amp rating would you recommend using two twelves and AGM or Gel? I do not winter camp so majority of use is April to Oct. Apprecite your expertise.

                            Thanks TP

                            Todd
                            February 22, 2012 a 6:21 pm
                            • If want to size the batteries, you will need to know your load amount. If you have this, please use our Sizing a 12 Volt Battery to a Load Calculator found here:

                              http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/calculator-sizing-a-battery-to-a-load.html

                              If your solar controller has a gel profile, then having a gel battery is not a problem. They can deep discharge better than AGM, but are more expensive.

                              James Ville
                              February 23, 2012 a 12:01 pm
                            • Great informative article. Just wondered if you or any of your readers have experienced or heard of problems with BMW automobile batteries? This is a well know and documented issue by many BMW owners and dealers? Due to the inordinate number of battery life failures BMW no longer honors their new car battery warranty. By downloading historical information from the automobile‘s computer the dealer will look for any excuse for blaming the problem on the car owner, e.g., leaving the door open, leaving the key in the car, or not driving the car for several weeks. It seems to me that BMW has a problem with parasitic drain on their cars from about the time that the 2008 models came out. The car computer remains active when the engine is off, still controlling functions that I cannot explain. BMW has not compensated for this parasitic drain by installing a heaver duty (more Amp Hours) battery. I can‘t believe their engineers are this ignorant. An easy saluting would be to parallel two batteries but this would increase the cost of the vehicle by several hundred dollars. That is probably why BMW has taken no action to correct the problem. It is possible that other automobile manufacturers have similar problems. My opinion is that if new batteries cannot be designed to compensate for the heavy parasitic drain then the manufactures need to install two parallel batteries or come up with procedures to connect an external battery trickle changer when the car is parked overnight.

                              John C
                              February 23, 2012 a 5:43 pm
                              • That‘s a good suggestion. A Trickle Charger is the best step to take in extending the life of the battery. It‘s less expensive than a new battery, that‘s for sure.

                                James Ville
                                February 24, 2012 a 7:49 am
                                • BMW cars and some Mercedes Benz have had issues with on board computers,after disconnecting the engine heater wiring and computer reset the problem was solved. Disconnect the battery,disconnect the heater wiring at engine, reconnect battery, turn on ignition 20 seconds, turn off. Then start engine, if no startyou have to reconnect the wiring on some models warning fault light will stay on for some time. Our workshop solved most problems.
                                  Over sophisticated temp (seats, engine) and security sensors and free radical computer connections can create the power use problem. If you can find a reset button/or code it helps.

                                  Keith Vanderee
                                  June 25, 2014 a 1:29 am
                                  • Good advice, thanks!

                                    Tech
                                    June 25, 2014 a 9:00 am
                                • I‘m shopping for a couple of off-grid batteries , I‘m curious when purchasing a new battery, what is the typical warranty length, in case you bought a dud that was sitting in the heat in storage for 12 months. Thanks, great info BTW

                                  Yancy
                                  February 24, 2012 a 11:33 am
                                  • All of our batteries have their warranties listed on the product pages. Typical warranties start at 1 year for most of our powersports batteries. Shorai and Odyssey high performance batteries have 2 year warranties.

                                    James Ville
                                    February 24, 2012 a 11:56 am
                                  • I have an interesting battery question for AGM battery charging. I recently purchased a 12 volt 7 amp battery for my roboduck, I used my older 1/2 amp charger adn about two hours later, I noticed the battery had a puddle of clear water around it‘s base. It was acid! How on earth could a glass matt battery generate that much fluid (about 1/4 cup). I did nto even think there was that much fluid in the battery! What is going on?

                                    Tom Z
                                    February 29, 2012 a 9:55 am
                                    • AGM batteries are sealed. If there is a large pool of electrolyte, there must be an opening in the case. If the liquid is not coming from the ventilation holes on the top, there must be physical damage elsewhere, possible near the base.

                                      The electrolyte in the battery is absorbed, but it can be forced out if there is enough pressure in the case or if it hasn‘t had time to fully absorb (for instance, it if was a freshly activated battery).

                                      James Ville
                                      February 29, 2012 a 10:04 am
                                    • I have a Sportster scooter which is seven years old and has two 12V deep cell GEL type batteries. It has been used very little. These batteries won‘t take a charge. When I disconnect them to read the voltage I get 11 volts on one and 13 volts on the other. Gel types (80AH) for this unit are super expensive.
                                      (1)Could I try to replace the 11 volt battery only, presuming its a dead cell?
                                      (2)Would you recommend that I replace these batteries with two AGM batteries with a comparable AH rating? Can I use the same charger on these batteries?
                                      (3) Any other way out of this dilemma, such as using a maintenance-free lead acid battery with a comparable AH?

                                      Thanks very much, John
                                      Thanks very much

                                      John Paciorek
                                      March 2, 2012 a 6:07 am
                                      • 1) If you‘re reading 11 volts, there is no short or dead cell. It‘s much less expensive purchasing a de-sulfator unit to restore the battery than to buy a new one. If the batteries are still holding a charge, they can be restored.
                                        2) If you do decide to upgrade to AGM, your Gel charger will work. Commonly, AGM batteries charge best at a higher voltage, but those chargers would damage the Gel.
                                        3) When creating a battery bank, it‘s recommended to use batteries of the same voltage, AH rating, and type. 80AH AGM batteries will work for your system just fine, but good battery maintenance is still recommended, regardless of the battery chemistry type.

                                        James Ville
                                        March 2, 2012 a 9:29 am
                                        • How is that one would determine that an 11 volt reading is not associated with a shorted cell?

                                          Ranger
                                          June 19, 2012 a 11:20 am
                                          • 11 volts cannot be a short cell, as each cell can read 2 volts or more. Therefore, a battery with a short cell typically reads 10.5 volts or less. But an open cell is different. This has to do with a weld piece disconnecting under the load, and voltage usually drops significantly or sometimes flatlines when this happens.

                                            Tech
                                            June 20, 2012 a 12:41 pm
                                        • Hi, I have four 6 volt house batteries for my RV. We do some warm weather dry camping. How low should I let the voltage drop before recharging with the generator? Thanks, Rick

                                          Rick Echols
                                          March 2, 2012 a 9:06 am
                                          • Lead Acid Batteries, doesn‘t matter the voltage, should never be left to drop in voltage. That is only common practice with NiCD batteries. Discharging your batteries severely before recharging them will cause sulfation and early battery failure. The healthiest thing to do is keep them fully charged as often as possible.

                                            James Ville
                                            March 2, 2012 a 9:11 am
                                            • So how can I expect to be able to use my house batteries for dry camping without losing any voltage? I would think that I should be able to use my lights inside and radio without runnung my generator. I don‘t want to have to run my generator all the time.

                                              Rick Echols
                                              March 2, 2012 a 9:25 am
                                              • Losing voltage is normal. Good battery maintenance is as follows: Re-charge battery at the soonest possible after using the battery. When drawing from the battery, avoid discharging below 50% capacity. This is the danger of having a battery sit in storage for months at a time. You will see early battery failure. Charging regularly or keeping a trickle charger is the best solution.

                                                Surely batteries are meant to be used. But the myth of “battery memory” does not apply to lead acid batteries. It is not healthy, and unnecessary, to discharge all the way and recharge again.

                                                James Ville
                                                March 2, 2012 a 9:35 am
                                          • Thank you James, for all the great information!

                                            Ive got an electric scooter (xtreme xb-600) and need to replace the 12v22ah SLA. Ive looked around and was told that the EVX12200 or EVH12240 Deep Cycle Battery would be the way to go.

                                            Your opinion would be muched valued and appreciated!

                                            Eagleye
                                            March 5, 2012 a 5:33 pm
                                            • Yes, those batteries will work as they are the same dimensions as any 12 volt 22 AH SLA Battery. The difference between the EVX12200 and the EVH12240 is AH rating. The higher the AH, the more runtime you‘ll have.

                                              James Ville
                                              March 6, 2012 a 8:46 am
                                            • James, this is a great site! Maybe you can help me: I have 3 8D AGM marine batteries on my boat with a xantrex charging system. The boatyard said they would plug the boat in over the winter in the warehouse but did not. Nor did they shut the breakers off. So, the batteries were depleted to zero over the last 5 months. How can I tell what damage was done? How can I calculate the liability the boatyard has?

                                              Greg White
                                              March 8, 2012 a 4:21 pm
                                              • While it‘s difficult to quantify the damage, I have some recommendations.

                                                First, you should take a voltage reading from the batteries. If indeed you‘re reading 0 volts (which is unlikely) then I would try to charge them with a low voltage start charger ASAP. Most automatic chargers have a cut-off voltage of 6.5 volts before they will start. This prevents you from bringing back severely discharged batteries. Interacter makes a charger that starts charging with a reading as low a 1-2 volts.

                                                Second, sulfation has most definitely occurred, so I would also advise putting a de-sulfator unit on the batteries as well, such as the OBD12V. If these do not bring the battery back to working condition, then I would suggest the batteries have passed the point of no return.

                                                James Ville
                                                March 9, 2012 a 9:30 am
                                                • hi all i bought a AGM battery for my kawasaki vn 1500, great more ca,s no probs with it until i went overseas to work and made the mistake of leaving the ignition switch turned to park!, THIS in turn left the rear lamp illuminated, returned back home 6 weeks later ZILCH,visited my local bike guru in redcar he put slow charges, then fast charges into it over a period of two days, its gone from an initial reading of 0.3 v to a steady 12.9, hope this helps the guy with the boat.

                                                  Knobby Ions
                                                  May 8, 2012 a 8:53 am
                                                  • Hey, that‘s great that your batteries came back! 12.9 is very good voltage. Thanks for sharing!

                                                    Tech
                                                    May 8, 2012 a 9:59 am
                                                • Wonderful article. Just had a question though.
                                                  How does one test SMF batteries on-site for e.g. Server UPS batteries. ? The test-gig should be portable though.

                                                  Phyleus
                                                  March 12, 2012 a 3:30 am
                                                  • What do you need to test for? Voltage readings with a volt meter is always helpful. This gives you a good idea of the state of charge of the batteries. A Load tester is good for measuring CCA and durability under a load. Even our comprehensive digital battery conductance analyzer is portable. All of our testing units are located in the Battery Accessories category on our website. See for yourself. :)

                                                    James Ville
                                                    March 12, 2012 a 11:58 am
                                                  • hello Jamie, I am currently working on a research about Solar- hybrid off-grid instalations,
                                                    I have my battery amp hour for 20hrs discharge but i need the battery to store enuf cahrge for 3 days, so ut is trippled, do i still use the C20 rating or do i use the C72hrs rating for it? i am confused. and the needed Current is about 6000Amp-hour

                                                    Jummy
                                                    March 13, 2012 a 2:49 am
                                                    • If you parallel your batteries, the capacity (AH) will increase. The rating will still be at 20 hrs, but the number will triple.

                                                      If you have your batteries and draw amount, please use our battery calculators to help you figure out how long they will last, or if you need another battery based on your load.

                                                      http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/

                                                      James Ville
                                                      March 13, 2012 a 9:14 am
                                                    • Next time simple is enough…..

                                                      Deron
                                                      March 12, 2012 a 10:16 am
                                                      • Very good overview of lead-acid batteries. How do I submit a question? What type of sealed lead-acid battery would a handicap scooter likely have: AGM or Gel? I need to know in order to select the right charging mode for a Schauer automatic charger.

                                                        Mel Schallot
                                                        March 12, 2012 a 10:46 am
                                                        • Mobility Scooters use both AGM and Gel batteries. I cannot verify what you have. However, if you‘re unsure, I recommend using the Gel setting. This is a lower voltage that is safe for gel, but the AGM will accept it also. It‘s the other way around that is not recommended.

                                                          James Ville
                                                          March 13, 2012 a 11:56 am
                                                        • Fantastic information. Thanks so much for your service to those of us struggling to understand through all the hype. My question is for a marine application. I have a bank of 4 Trojan lead acid batteries for my house bank and another lead acid starter battery. My starter battery died and I‘d like to replace it with a maintanence-free option but have heard not to mix battery types. I‘m not ready to replace the Trojans, so should I just buy another lead-acid starter to tide me over until my Trojans die? Thanks for any suggestions you can give.

                                                          Toni Roddey
                                                          March 13, 2012 a 2:19 pm
                                                          • If your starter battery is not connected to the house bank, then it‘s fine to upgrade it to a sealed type. You can even use the same charger if you go with an AGM. Within a battery bank it‘s recommended to use the same battery type. Because your boat draws from the house bank and the starting batteries separately, then you‘re okay.

                                                            James Ville
                                                            March 13, 2012 a 3:28 pm
                                                          • have a 6 volt dry cell batt. in a old bike. is there a way of protecting the batt. from being over charged? thank you for your time..
                                                            Gary
                                                            March 17, 2012 a 6:33 am
                                                            • The best method to preventing battery from being overcharged is to use a micro-proccessor controlled “smart” automatic battery charger. If the bike itself is over-charging, then there is a problem with the bike‘s charging system, the stator.

                                                              James Ville
                                                              March 19, 2012 a 11:06 am
                                                            • Thank you for the excellent article and taking the time to answer everyone‘s questions. I want to install a dual battery system in a small car that has an 80 amp alternator. The 2nd battery will be dedicated to one appliance that has a low current draw. A small deep cycle AGM like those used in mobility scooters will do the trick (about 35 Ah). I don‘t want to upgrade the alternator but I also don‘t want to overly stress the one I‘ve got by having it regularly recharge a battery that is often going to be drained close to max (50 percent). Is there a way that I can limit the current to the second battery so that it charges at 10 to 15 amps? That would be equivalent to driving with lights on and so I know it would not have a big negative effect on the alternator as long as I am not using the lights.

                                                              Bill Smith
                                                              March 18, 2012 a 12:40 am
                                                              • If you want to charge your vehicle‘s starting battery as well as a separate auxiliary battery, I recommend using the Battery Isolator Switch (Bi303303). Having a 35 AH spare battery should not be too much for your 80 amp alternator. It‘s an automatic device, there is no “preset” amperage setting. The charge allocated to the batteries really depends on the status of each one. With the rise in resistance in one battery, charge will be directed to the other until they are both stable and full.

                                                                James Ville
                                                                March 20, 2012 a 11:46 am
                                                              • Hi,
                                                                I only use my car on weekends. My question is: Can I use a Smart Charger whenever the car is stopped? This will not overcharge the battery?
                                                                My car has an AGM battery.
                                                                Thanks in advance for your help.

                                                                Cain
                                                                March 18, 2012 a 11:55 am
                                                                • If you use an AC charger, parking the car and turning off the engine is fine. If you are refereing to a solar charger, it‘s also designed to charge the battery, not only when the car is stopped, but the engine is off as well. Plugging a smart charger on the car during the weekdays is very healthy for the battery. No overcharging if you make sure the charger is fully automatic. Our chargers are. :)

                                                                  James Ville
                                                                  March 19, 2012 a 11:30 am
                                                                • The article above suggests you know what you‘re talking about. I don‘t know jack, but have read a little online and am trying to use a deep-cycle battery to power a projector for a public art project. Any chance you‘re available to help me trouble-shoot? I borrowed a neighbor‘s charger and charged a brand new battery up for about 15 hours. I then hooked up a 1000watt inverter and plugged the projector in. It worked great, for about 25 minutes, but then just died with a Low Voltage error message. Does this mean the battery wasn‘t charged all the way or am I doing something else wrong? According to the projector specs, the max wattage it uses is 288. Would really appreciate any input you‘ve got. I‘m out of my league here.

                                                                  Shawn
                                                                  March 19, 2012 a 12:04 pm
                                                                  • Based on the information you provided, you‘re drawing around 23 amps from a 12 volt battery. That‘s a lot of juice since it‘s a constant draw, not a quick burst. Without any information about the battey itself, or the charger, I cannot determine what the problem was.

                                                                    If the battery did not have the capacity to handle the load, you may need something with more AH (Amp Hours). It might be helpful if you run your numbers through our calculators.

                                                                    http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/

                                                                    Or give our tech guys a call at 541-474-4421

                                                                    James Ville
                                                                    March 19, 2012 a 12:58 pm
                                                                  • Awesome article – thanks. I have a question.
                                                                    I have a YP17-12 (12V17AH) Maintenance Free Lead Acid battery in my Bushranger Power Tank (for jump starting). It‘s was showing over 12 volts after about 10 hours at 1 amp. I tried to load test (it failed) and it‘s now just under 12 volts. It has a plastic strip which when I popped it off with a screwdriver there were little caps on each filling hole. Can I add distilled water to it even if it had gel. I up-ended it with caps off over a container and not a single drop of liquid came out making me think it is not a wet acid type. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

                                                                    Andrew D-H
                                                                    March 20, 2012 a 5:22 am
                                                                    • If the battery is indeed maintenance free, it is not designed to be opened and water added. Low voltage is not a result of low fluid levels, in this case. A fully charged battery should read 13.2-12.8 volts. If you read 12.0 or 12.2 volts, that‘s severely discharged. If you load test at this poin, you‘ll only further discharge the battery. I recommend putting the battery on a charger immediately and load testing once it‘s fully charged.

                                                                      If the battery is draining rapidly in 10 hours at 1 amp, I recommend you use our online tools to calculate if that‘s a good size battery for that amount of draw, or if the draw time should be shortened for the sake of the battery.

                                                                      http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/

                                                                      James Ville
                                                                      March 20, 2012 a 10:54 am
                                                                    • Thank you for that info. Well meaning folks online were driving me nuts telling me that a deep cycle battery that is often discharged to 50 percent will greatly shorten the life of a small alternator. But I couldn‘t find any info like that at a reputable web site and I‘m glad to hear it isn‘t really true. I had been looking at a VSR (voltage sensitive relay) for the part of the wiring you mentioned. These (I guess they are all the same) charge the starting battery first and then switch the charging current to the auxiliary battery. Does the isolator you mentioned work that way? If not, which method do you think is best. I know the companies that make the VSR devices are always touting the fact that there is no voltage drop with their devices which I gather there is with a device that uses a solenoid.

                                                                      Bill Smith
                                                                      March 23, 2012 a 11:27 am
                                                                      • James,

                                                                        I have a boat with 2 cyl diesel engine and currently 2 series 27 wet batteries set as two banks. I would like to add another 2 batteries because the engine does not start easily when cold. The question is whether it is advisable to mix AGM‘s as one bank with wet cells as the other. I would like to change to AGM‘s, but hate to lose the investment already made in the two wet batteries. For starting, I do have a standard A/B or BOTH as a switching option for the banks.

                                                                        Rich
                                                                        March 28, 2012 a 7:23 am
                                                                        • When constructing battery banks, it‘s highly recommened to use batteries of the same type (Flooded, AGM, Gel), voltage, AH rating, and even age. Although you can technically build your banks by adding AGM batteries, having these differences will cause an inbalance of discharge and recharging.

                                                                          James Ville
                                                                          March 28, 2012 a 8:01 am
                                                                        • A very useful site, and highly informative – well done!

                                                                          I have two flooded lead acid for my domestic bank, and have added a small AGM for the engine start. The mains charger can be configured for one type or the other – in my situation would it be better to set the charger to AGM type?

                                                                          bob

                                                                          Bobby
                                                                          March 31, 2012 a 6:46 am
                                                                          • From our experience, Flooded and AGM batteries can be charged at the same charge voltages. It should be safe either way.

                                                                            Tech
                                                                            April 2, 2012 a 8:16 am
                                                                          • Excellent information. Thanks.

                                                                            Just bought a DieHard Platinum Marine Group 31 for my boat. The reviews on this battery are excellent and I plan to use it for both starting the boat and running the trolling motor. You mentioned needing a special charger for AGM batteries. I have a Stanley BC4009 40 amp 3 stage charger. Is this charger OK to use with the AGM battery? Do I have to disconnect the battery from the power cables to charge it? Thanks for your help!

                                                                            Chad
                                                                            April 7, 2012 a 1:16 pm
                                                                            • AGM Batteries can be charged with most standard chargers. It‘s the Gel batteries that require a special charge profile. If you charge your battery, you don‘t have to disconnect the power cables as long as the battery isn‘t being used while you charge it, unless your charger is also a power supply. If you draw on the battery while the charger is turned on, the charger will attempt to supply the demand.

                                                                              Tech
                                                                              April 9, 2012 a 9:23 am
                                                                              • Well then, if a modern automobile with all it‘s current drawing electronics is to be charged using a smart charger, are you suggesting that the cables be disconnected while charging the battery? What difference would it make if cables were left on during the charging process? Thanx

                                                                                John
                                                                                August 17, 2012 a 2:03 pm
                                                                                • Having the battery connected to the vehicle will cause a slight discharge as a result of the electronics. But normally it‘s not much. A charger will stil charge just fine but if the draw amount of the car is excessive, it can cause the charger to become less efficient.

                                                                                  Tech
                                                                                  August 17, 2012 a 2:20 pm
                                                                            • Lots of good stuff here—-and well written so that weekend mechanics like me can understand it. I have a 36v Western Golf Car with 2 year old batteries. The charger came with the car and I recharge after every use. None-the-less, two cells have failed on each of two of the batteries. Your article recommended that I should not ‘mix and match’ batteries, but I would like to replace the two failing batteries with new ones to get another year or so out of the remaining 4 old batteries. They cost about $125 each so my fix would invest $250 now to stave off a $750 pay out for another year. Bottom line: If I follow your advice, I replace all batteries at the same time and chuck 4 fairly good batteries (with no resale value). Is there a middle ground—-such as using some of your products to bring the two batteries back to service??

                                                                              Tom
                                                                              April 9, 2012 a 4:38 am
                                                                              • The choice is yours. The reason we recommend using batteries of the same age is because you will see overall better performance and lifespan of the whole bank if you do this. But if you feel it‘s not practical, you buying 2 new batteries will make your bank work and it might be just fine for you. It‘s not optimal, but it makes more sense. If your old batteries have shot cells, there is no product that can reverse that.

                                                                                Tech
                                                                                April 9, 2012 a 9:35 am
                                                                              • I have a 12 volt portable battery (Sears Diehard Portable Power 1150) that I use for car camping trips and the occasional jumpstart. I wasn‘t keeping it charged all the time and the battery finally wouldn‘t take a charge anymore. So I was convinced to replaced it with a deep cycle agm battery. After reading your article, it seems apparent that I should not have used a deep cycle because it‘s not appropriate for jumpstarts. However, I have also found that after the first time I used the battery for a weekend of camping, I had drained it down to 10% and now it will not charge. Is it possible that the unit is not compatible with deep cycle batteries, or is it more likely that I overdrained it and the unit isn‘t registering a battery to charge? I was told that I can connect this unit to my car battery (or any other charged 12 volt battery) and that should trick the unit into charging the battery. What do you think?

                                                                                Budge
                                                                                April 10, 2012 a 12:27 pm
                                                                                • Deep Cycle batteries have CCA ratings as well. However, for the same physical size battery, if you compare it to a starting battery, the CCA will be much less. But a deep cycle battery is fairly common in jumpstarts because they are also used as 12 volt power sources and some even have built in inverters for AC power. The batteries in the units are large enough where the CCA can jump start a car. In doing so, 25% of the battery‘s capacity can be drained just like that. If batteries read severely low voltage, most automatic chargers have trouble charging. Connecting another battery in parallel with the drained battery is a good method of bypassing the “low voltage disconnect” filter of the charger.

                                                                                  Tech
                                                                                  April 10, 2012 a 2:06 pm
                                                                                • Virgin lead vs. recycled lead?

                                                                                  Is there a life span difference between batteries constructed with virgin lead compared to one made with recycled batteries, assuming that all other conditions are equal? If there is a difference, is it a noticeable one?

                                                                                  Frank
                                                                                  April 16, 2012 a 9:30 am
                                                                                  • Yes. Batteries made from virgin-lead perform better and will last longer. High performance batteries, such as Odyssey, also have 2 year warranties.

                                                                                    Tech
                                                                                    April 16, 2012 a 11:19 am
                                                                                  • Hello,
                                                                                    I asked a question a few weeks ago and have been looking for a reply. My question is about running LED lights on a 12v vs a 24 volt system. I have 17 lights that are 27 watts each and want to get the maximum runtime. I have seen your calculators but do not have all the imput parameters. The batteries I am thinking about are deep cycle with 210 reserve capacity. Thanks.

                                                                                    Bill
                                                                                    April 16, 2012 a 1:15 pm
                                                                                    • My question is this: what voltage are those lights rated for? If it doesn‘t say on the lights, you should find out by calling the maker. It‘s important to keep the voltage the same. Running a 12 volt rated LED light bulb will blow up if you use 24 volts (2 batteries in series). Maximum runtime is ensured not my increasing the volatge amount, but the capacity (Amp Hours).

                                                                                      Tech
                                                                                      April 16, 2012 a 2:34 pm
                                                                                    • I have a question. I purchased a Minn Kota Endura 50 trolling motor 2nd hand. It‘s for an aluminum fishing boat I have access to once a year for a week. I‘m a casual fisherman who takes the boat out maybe for an hour a day. I bought a deep cycle AGM 12 Volt 12 amp hour with a charger for agm and gel batteries. I had trouble finding what kind of draw the trolling motor places on the battery at the Minn Kota site. Did I buy an undersized battery for my causal usage?

                                                                                      Dave
                                                                                      April 20, 2012 a 3:29 pm
                                                                                      • Speaking from experience with other customers with trolling motors, I can‘t imagine the motor pulling anything less than 15 amps/hour from the battery. A 12 AH battery would not be able to supply more than 1/2 hour of power to the motor, if even that much. A larger capacity deep cycle battery would be highly recommened.

                                                                                        Tech
                                                                                        April 20, 2012 a 4:10 pm
                                                                                        • I was afraid of that. Any suggestions as to what would fill my needs but would not be overbuying for what I do? I see some of the deep cycles run $400 or more. I don\‘t think I need that much power. Thanks for your reply. Obviously I\‘m new to making these calculations and a little leery of just walking into a store and having them sell me something.

                                                                                          Dave
                                                                                          April 21, 2012 a 4:42 am
                                                                                          • If the motor drew at a rate of 15 amps an hour, I recommend using a group size 24 marine battery. This 12 volt, ~75 Amp Hour battery should give you 2 hours of uninterrupted runtime, and only discharge the battery to the safe 50% capacity remaining. We sell these batteries for $200-250.

                                                                                            Tech
                                                                                            April 23, 2012 a 8:46 am
                                                                                      • i might have missed this in the article but, why is it not recommended to mix battery sizes, and not to mix battery types?
                                                                                        cheers

                                                                                        Trev
                                                                                        April 23, 2012 a 9:51 pm
                                                                                        • Batteries of different types and sizes will charge and discharge unevenly. When batteries are configured in parallel or series (or both) they behave as a single unit. If there is an imbalance it could mean a shortening of overall battery life, as well as potential harm in recharging.

                                                                                          Tech
                                                                                          April 24, 2012 a 11:49 am
                                                                                        • Great info, my battery died today, so, the AAA guy said that my old battery was below 12.5 volts and that it wouldn‘t have or hold the amps?? what does this mean

                                                                                          Jack Gilbert
                                                                                          May 5, 2012 a 8:09 pm
                                                                                          • 12.5 volts is partially discharged, 70% capacity remaining. When a battery is put under a load and there are no “amps” going through, it‘s usually a result of an open cell. The intense heat of a load can cause a separation in a cell connector, and this will cause current to decline or cease entirely. But when the load if taken off, the metal cools enough to touch and give a false voltage reading. It‘s very misleading and a result of poor construction at the factory level.

                                                                                            Tech
                                                                                            May 7, 2012 a 12:36 pm
                                                                                          • Off the beaten track but several years ago my Dad bought me a 16V Craftsman drill. I used it a couple times and put it in the garage. Recently I was cleaning up and found that drill but the battery was dead and refused to take a charge no matter what. A new battery (when they can be found) is $55 plus. Do you know of any way to get this battery working again? Thanks.

                                                                                            Jim
                                                                                            May 8, 2012 a 11:48 am
                                                                                          • My husband just added acid instead of distilled water to my motorcycle battery after it had been sitting all winter. Is it ruined?

                                                                                            S.
                                                                                            May 9, 2012 a 4:09 pm
                                                                                            • Possibly. The sulfuric acid never leaves the battery, it‘s only the water that evaporates and needs replenishment. If more acid was put in, the pH levels are probably out of balance. The battery may still work, you should test it before going on the road with it.

                                                                                              Tech
                                                                                              May 9, 2012 a 4:17 pm
                                                                                            • I have been charging my dead battery for 4 months using pulsetech smart charger. This dead battery has been leaving there for 1 year.
                                                                                              I got back my voltage of 13.7v and the smart charger is pulsing without mass charging for 1 week.
                                                                                              However the battery still unable to start my car. The battery can supply headlight, horn and etc.

                                                                                              Should i give up this battery or any other way to try it out?

                                                                                              I notice 1 of the electrolyte\‘s in a cell is not drying up even after a long charge. the other cells always keep drying up and require to top up with battery water. Is the cell dead and cannot be revive anymore?

                                                                                              thanks.

                                                                                              Yloon
                                                                                              May 14, 2012 a 10:35 pm
                                                                                              • Please refer to our article about Battery Troubleshooting. As far as battery water goes, as long as it‘s distilled water, that‘s fine.

                                                                                                Tech
                                                                                                May 16, 2012 a 10:53 am
                                                                                              • When we use two batteries 12V each in a 24V system connected in parallel. There will be a possibility of unbalancing if both the batteries have different manufacturing date or batch. The charger only knows to charge 24V even if one battery is at 14 and other one is at 10. So it is thumb rule always connect same batch batteries in series and never replace one battery in a series. Replace the whole bank to avoid unbalancing. Unbalancing can damage one battery earlier than expected life.

                                                                                                Kamran Jabbar
                                                                                                May 16, 2012 a 4:23 am
                                                                                                • Well said. Thank you for contributing.

                                                                                                  Tech
                                                                                                  May 16, 2012 a 2:44 pm
                                                                                                • The best ever. Your tutorials were written for dummies like myself.

                                                                                                  Bob
                                                                                                  May 17, 2012 a 6:46 pm
                                                                                                  • Thank you for the feedback. :)

                                                                                                    Tech
                                                                                                    May 18, 2012 a 9:22 am
                                                                                                  • i have a 12 volt trolling motor and i just purchased an optima bluetop battery. These batteries are marketed as being dual purpose (deep cycle and cranking). is it possible to connect two 12 volt batteries to power my trolling motor (i want to be on the water as long as possible) and if so could i than use one of those 12 volt optima blue top dual purpose batteries as my cranking battery for my engine? if any of this sounds dumb im sorry im very new to boating and im trying to figure all this out .

                                                                                                    Justin
                                                                                                    May 20, 2012 a 3:37 pm
                                                                                                    • Deep Cycle batteries have a CCA rating as well. If you have a starting battery and a deep cycle battery of the same physical size, the starting battery will have far more CCA. It has to do the the thickness and number of the plates per cell. But if you have a large marine battery, there‘s a good chance there will be enough CCA to turn over your engine. It‘s not unheard of. There‘s no harm in trying it out. It will either work or it won‘t.

                                                                                                      Tech
                                                                                                      May 22, 2012 a 10:27 am
                                                                                                    • I have a cpep that uses 2.2 amp I need to run it of a deep cell and a inverter for 8 hour for camping what what size inverter and deep cell battery would I need?

                                                                                                      Vince
                                                                                                      May 21, 2012 a 11:20 am
                                                                                                    • is it possible to charge a 12 V battery with less than 12v?

                                                                                                      Mat
                                                                                                      May 21, 2012 a 1:00 pm
                                                                                                      • Yes, but not fully. Proper charging requires inputting a higher voltage in order to bring up the battery voltage. For example, if your 12 volt battery is reading less than 6 volts, you can use a 6 volt charger to bring it up to 6.6 volts. At this point you may use an 8 volt charger. But a 12 volt battery reading less than 10 volts is still EXTREMEMLY discharged, and should be brought back ASAP to avoid sulfation and decreased battery life. Please use a 12 volt charger, or make sure the charging system in your application is strong enough, usually 14.6 volts is normal.

                                                                                                        Tech
                                                                                                        May 22, 2012 a 9:58 am
                                                                                                      • I have a 12V marine deep cycle battery which is marked 875 marine cranking amps, 675 cold cranking amps, and 125 amp hours. I have been using the battery on my boat for about two years since I purchased it. It was charged every couple of months by either running the engine (a 9.9 HP outboard with an alternator which puts out less than 10 amps at full throttle) or by using a regular car battery charger with a pulsating charge of 10 amps(duty cycle= 10 sec. on, 140 sec. off). It only serves the bilge pump when the boat is not in use, and the pump only runs a few times a day for a few seconds. After not checking it for about two months, I found that my battery was not working (boat bilge was flooded) so I brought the battery out of the boat to my house. Prior to charging, it read about 6 volts on the meter, and it was low on water. Each cell had about 1/4 in. of the cell showing, and I added about 4 oz. of distilled water to each cell. I charged it for about 50 hours with the 10 amp charger, and after reading your article, I changed to a 1 amp charger. I now have access to a hydrometer, and I will stop the 1 amp charge tomorrow morning, and let the battery set for a while before checking with volt meter and hydrometer. The 10 amp charger still reads about 9 amps on its meter when charging, and immediately after I disconnected it, the voltmeter showed 12.46 volts. All cells were bubbling, and the battery was warm, about 100 F. What have I done wrong so far? Could I have damaged the battery? Do you think it will recover from the deep discharge?

                                                                                                        Timothy Lee
                                                                                                        May 26, 2012 a 7:27 am
                                                                                                        • 12.46 volts is good progress. You probably won‘t be able to see a full charge because of sulfation build up. It‘s like trying to wash your hands while wearing gloves. I don‘t believe the battery is beyond repair, but I strongly recommend a desulfator or charger with desulfation pulse mode (not voltage pulse, like some chargers do). Try a Battery MINDer or Pulse Tech unit.

                                                                                                          Tech
                                                                                                          May 29, 2012 a 8:18 am
                                                                                                        • I have four 110AH leisure batteries for my small hybrid solar system. The batteries are all 2yrs old and are not holding their charge like they once did. I read somewhere that I could empty and wash them out then replace with a mixture of sulphuric acid(96%) with distilled water to the correct gravity, put them on a trickle charge for 36hrs and then they will be better than new… Is this true? And if so, how can I be sure my mixture is correct? I do have a basic hydrometer. Many thanks!

                                                                                                          Carlos
                                                                                                          May 28, 2012 a 12:16 pm
                                                                                                          • We strongly advise against emptying out the electrolyte. Bad batteries are not a result of the electrolyte being “bad”, but usually there is a build up of sulfation on the plates in the cells. When exposed to oxygen, the sulfation will rapidly increase. Putting new acid sounds nice, but here‘s the problem. Sulfation is like trying to wash your hands while wearing gloves. You still won‘t see a full charge. On top of that, if you remove the sulfation from the plates using a pulse charger/unit, then it will become electrolyte and throw off your pH levels again when mixed with the new stuff.

                                                                                                            It‘s safer to simply use a de-sulfation unit like Battery MINDer or Pulse Tech for an extended period of time. That‘s what we do.

                                                                                                            Tech
                                                                                                            May 29, 2012 a 8:56 am
                                                                                                          • I have recently purchased four new US Battery 12V Deep Cycle golf cart batteries for my 2006 Club Car, which has a 48V motor. I don\\\‘t drive the cart more than 1-2 miles on a given day but always recharge the batteries every day of use. The Club Car charger is left plugged into the cart at all times the cart is not in use. I am getting an awful smell after the meter on the charger drops to about 4 amps…on its way to zero on the charging cycle. I can hear the electrolyte bubbling inside the batteries and they do not get hot whatsoever. Once the meter reads zero amps and the charging cycle has ended, the smell stops. Is this normal? Factory personnel tell me they will always smell when recharging…..but I have never experienced this with former Trojan (Club Car) batteries. The local dealer says the smell should stop shortly…otherwise there may be a problem with one of the new batteries. My voltmeter shows 12.7v in each of the four batteries after charging.

                                                                                                            Gary Mack
                                                                                                            June 3, 2012 a 9:14 pm
                                                                                                            • Some bubbling and smell of sulfur is normal for large flooded batteries. 12.7 volts is good voltage. As long as you monitor the water levels, it sounds like everything else is fine. If the electrolyte boils over, or completely evaporates, that‘s a problem.

                                                                                                              Tech
                                                                                                              June 5, 2012 a 11:30 am
                                                                                                            • I have two deep cycle dp24 12 volt batteries. One is rated 685 CA 32degrees and the other is 505 ca 32 degrees, the first is rated at 140 minutes and the other is 120 minutes. Can these be connected in parallel without problems? Can they also be charged in parallel using one charger?

                                                                                                              Art
                                                                                                              June 5, 2012 a 5:08 am
                                                                                                              • Yes, they can be paralleled together, but it‘s not advised. It will technically work. But charging and discharging will be un-even. There‘s no way around that. If you desperately need it, I say go ahead. But in the long term there may be some issues and maybe shortened battery life as a result.

                                                                                                                Tech
                                                                                                                June 5, 2012 a 11:32 am
                                                                                                                • Sounds like a similar problem we have had with one of our vehicles. It is an F350 Truck with a box that has a communications package. The truck has two batteries under the hood with green eyes. There is a third and much larger battery in the box that powers the inverters for the comms. Twice over the past 3.5 years the charging system has overheated the large battery until it failed. Last time the battery boiled over and we had a mess to clean up. The charging system is powered by a shore line that plugs into 125v wall receptacle. There has been some modifications to the systems and there is not sufficient info with the vehicle from the manufacturer that explains the 12 vots systems, but from what I understand the shore power charges all three batteries. I assume I need to check if all three are charged by the same charger. What happens to MFLA batteries if they are mixed like this?

                                                                                                                  Jim
                                                                                                                  March 27, 2013 a 4:32 am
                                                                                                              • Great article, Learned much, but, and there is always a but, started looking at batteries and found the amp hour rating listed in different ways – examples:
                                                                                                                20 amp hour rate:55
                                                                                                                35 Amp Hour
                                                                                                                32 Min @ 10 Amp
                                                                                                                So I am again confused about the true meaning of the amp hour.
                                                                                                                I think this is what I need to look for as I am looking for batteries for a trolling motor.

                                                                                                                Fred Harris
                                                                                                                June 9, 2012 a 7:13 am
                                                                                                                • Amp ratings are tricky. They really depend on two things: Draw amount, (Amps) and time. The first rating, 55 AH at 20 hours means that during a 20 hour load time, it takes 55 amps to discharge the battery completely. I do not know what time frame the second rating is for, possible taken at 10 hours?. The third rating tells you if you draw a steady amount of 10 amps, the battery should last you 32 minutes. The first rating, 55 AH, is equivalent of 2.75 amps an hour. But if you bump it up to a rate of 10 amps per hour, your duration is drastically cut to 32 minutes.

                                                                                                                  Check out our battery load run time calculator to figure out what length of time a battery would give you under a load of your choice. Plus, there‘s also an article about Pukert‘s Law, which explains all about Battery Capacity. You should find that very informational.

                                                                                                                  Tech
                                                                                                                  June 12, 2012 a 12:10 pm
                                                                                                                • I live in a 3rd world country. Distilled water is not available here. Can I safely use the water out of my Katydyn Filter to add back water to my starter battery? The water going in is either rain water or river water; it is not treated chemically. If it is not acceptable for the battery, what are my options for adding water to the battery? Thanks in advance!

                                                                                                                  Tim
                                                                                                                  June 10, 2012 a 1:06 pm
                                                                                                                  • Distilled water is best because there are no impurities. Using other water will technically work, but the battery will not perform or last we long as it would otherwise. Having foreign contaminants and minerals will throw off the delicate chemistry of the electrolyte, and throw of the pH levels, too. Filtered water will work better than rain water. But anything more than pure H20 will negatively affect the battery.

                                                                                                                    Tech
                                                                                                                    June 12, 2012 a 12:18 pm
                                                                                                                    • Distilled water is just captured steam. If you boil water and capture/cool the stream back into water, that‘s distilled water. You can pretty easily make your own with household supplies or even camping supplies. There are several methods out there. Google “How to distill water.”

                                                                                                                      Sam
                                                                                                                      July 11, 2012 a 5:14 pm
                                                                                                                      • That‘s a very good idea. Thank you for sharing.

                                                                                                                        Tech
                                                                                                                        July 12, 2012 a 8:47 am
                                                                                                                    • My question is,do you keep a 12volt battery(used for a golf trolley)constantly on charge,or remove from charge when fully charged?.thanks.

                                                                                                                      Graham Bennett
                                                                                                                      June 12, 2012 a 3:14 am
                                                                                                                      • It really depends on the charger you use. If it is a manual constant current charger, then I would remove the batteries after they‘re fully charged. If the unit is a smart charger, like the 3-stage microprocessor controlled chargers we sell, then it‘s safe to leave on the battery forever. Keeping the battery in the “float mode” will ensure full charge at all times, which is the healthiest thing you can do for a battery.

                                                                                                                        Tech
                                                                                                                        June 12, 2012 a 1:31 pm
                                                                                                                      • Dear Sir,What is the best/correct proceedure when charging a 12v battery,used for a golf trolley.When fully charged,is best to keep it on charge,or remove it from the power supply?. Thanks.

                                                                                                                        Graham Bennett
                                                                                                                        June 14, 2012 a 1:28 am
                                                                                                                        • The best thing you can do for batteries is keep them in a fully charged state whenever possible. If your charging system will not overcharge, but will adjust and trickle down to a float charge, then it‘s safe to leave on indefinitely. If not, please remove after it‘s done charging.

                                                                                                                          Tech
                                                                                                                          June 14, 2012 a 8:54 am
                                                                                                                        • in a 24 volt system, batteries connected in series, if one battery happens to fail, should both batteries be changed regardless of whether or not the 2nd battery tests out fine? also, in the same system, if one would be required to boost the 24volt system from a another source being a 12 volt source… does one connect battery positive from boosting source to battery positive of battery require boosting, negative to negative of only one battery?
                                                                                                                          This seems like it could cause a problem as battery 1 is connected to battery 2 in series which means, battery + of one is connected to battery – of the second, wouldn‘t boosting cause problems?? how does one go about doing this safely to himself and the machine being boosted.

                                                                                                                          Josh
                                                                                                                          June 15, 2012 a 10:36 am
                                                                                                                          • If one battery fails, it‘s recommended to replace both because battery banks composed of batteries of different ages will charge and discharge unevenly. With the 12 volt boost, it looks like one battery is being discharged more than another. This is a problem. The second battery, even though connected in series with the first, is untouched by the boost because the connections are only attached to the first battery. But having a 24 volt system, both batteries act as one single unit. Uneven charge levels will cause early battery failure and poor performance. I would use the boost option as sparingly as possible.

                                                                                                                            Tech
                                                                                                                            June 15, 2012 a 2:57 pm
                                                                                                                          • I have a question about battery charging from a solar panel. The solar charge controller uses a mosfet to act as a switch. If the voltage on the battery increases to a certain level, then the mosfet opens and disconnects the solar panel. What happens if my solar panel puts out 24 volts instead of 15-16 volts? Will the higher voltage but lower current of the panel cause any charging problems?

                                                                                                                            Steve Tannenbaum
                                                                                                                            June 22, 2012 a 4:18 pm
                                                                                                                            • 12 volt solar panels can reach as high as 21-24 volts if the sunlight is direct. The controller should have specs regarding the maximum voltage input it can handle. Even though the controller is, like you said, a switch, it also lowers the charge voltage, too. Most of our controllers lower the voltage to a safe 14.4-14.8 volts. Therefore, 24 volts incoming from the panel is no problem for the battery.

                                                                                                                              Tech
                                                                                                                              June 25, 2012 a 8:39 am
                                                                                                                            • I BOUGHT A LIKE NEW HOVEROUND FOR 3.00 ON A GARAGE SALE. IT WASNOT USED MUCH AND THE BATTERIES WILL NOT CHARGE WITH ON BOARD CHARGER. I DID GET ONE TO CHARGE WILL ANOTHER LEAD ACID CHARGER ON 2 AMPS OVER NIGHT THE OTHER BATTERY SHOWS ONLY 7-8 VOLTS AND IS STILL CHARGING NOW 2 DAYS.
                                                                                                                              CAN I DO ANYTHING TO BRING BACK THIS BATTERY? OR DO I NEED TO BY A NEW ON. I ADDED A LITTLE WATER TO THIS BATTERY EVEN THOUGH I KNEW IT DOESNT TAKE WATER WILL THIS HURT IT IT DOESNT CHARGE COMPLETELY ANYWAY.
                                                                                                                              can i use lead acid batterys in this hoveround to get it going to test it?
                                                                                                                              LET ME KNOW IF YOU CAN HELP
                                                                                                                              THANKS
                                                                                                                              MARV

                                                                                                                              Marv
                                                                                                                              June 26, 2012 a 7:20 am
                                                                                                                              • 7-8 volts is extremely discharged. The batteries are probably beyond repair due to sulfation. If they cannot reach 12 volts, they‘re no use for them. I recommend replacing them. As far as which batteries to use, I suggest deep cycle batteries, not car batteries. They can be flooded…but for mobility scooters its best to use sealed batteries like AGM or Gel.

                                                                                                                                Tech
                                                                                                                                June 26, 2012 a 10:55 am
                                                                                                                              • If you have a bunch of 12V deep cycle batteries paralleled (or groups of series 6‘s then paralleled to make 12V) – is it best to isolate each group so that at night the batteries are not fighting each other. I mean isolation as in commercial heavy duty battery isolators. Is this much more necessary if the bank is not typically receiving a daily charge top up (i.e. solar)?

                                                                                                                                Kyle
                                                                                                                                June 30, 2012 a 12:29 am
                                                                                                                                • If the batteries in the bank are charging and discharging together, and they are of the same type, size, and age, then there is no need to disconnect them. They act together as a single batery unit. But if the batteries are unevenly charged and/or different capacity, they will try to equalize and balance. This is can harm a small battery if connected to a large battery, which is not recommended. Different age and type of the batteries can also cause inbalance.

                                                                                                                                  Tech
                                                                                                                                  July 2, 2012 a 10:24 am
                                                                                                                                • Shouldn‘t this battery be dead? Why is it working?
                                                                                                                                  I just bought a 12v 7.2ah Valve regulated Lead acid battery for $5.00 I tested the volts and it‘s at 12.75 a sticker reads “Top Charge Date 4/26/2007

                                                                                                                                  I ran a motor from it for 2 minutes and it held up. I charged it and it took a charge. Should I run a cordless drill motor from it for as long as I can to see how long it last? Or should I leave well enough a lone?
                                                                                                                                  Thanks Trevor

                                                                                                                                  Trevor
                                                                                                                                  July 8, 2012 a 2:12 pm
                                                                                                                                  • 12.75 is good voltage. If the battery was kept maintained fully charged, there‘s no reason not to use it as long as there‘s nothing physically wrong with the battery. Draining it down with lights, drills, motors is good, you should measure the voltage under the load to see if it holds up and doesn‘t crash. When you‘re done testing it, it‘s good to recharge it ASAP and keep it charged when you‘re not using it.

                                                                                                                                    Tech
                                                                                                                                    July 9, 2012 a 10:19 am
                                                                                                                                  • Hi

                                                                                                                                    Can I charge a wet lead acid battery SLI in paralel whit a AGM deep cycle whit only one alternator?
                                                                                                                                    A relay disconnect de paralel when the motor is off.

                                                                                                                                    Thanks

                                                                                                                                    Francisco
                                                                                                                                    July 10, 2012 a 11:37 am
                                                                                                                                    • For a situation like yours, I recommend using a battery isolator switch, which can be used on up to 120 amp alternators to conveniently allow for adding a spare battery in your car, boat, or RV. The unit is a fully automatic switch that allows the engine alternator to charge 2 batteries, while keeping them electrically isolated from each other. This will prevent current flow from one battery to another, thus allowing each battery to be an independent power source.

                                                                                                                                      You can see it here: http://www.batterystuff.com/battery-products/switches/Bi303303.html

                                                                                                                                      Tech
                                                                                                                                      July 10, 2012 a 12:17 pm
                                                                                                                                    • I just bought a JL 50 scooter and the battery it came with is a12. Battery which came with the liquid which instructed me to put liquid into the cells and then cap it with the plastic cap plate that came with it and then charge fully before using. I filled it with the liquid two days ago but have not been able to go buy the charger which I Plan on buying at wall art tomorrow. Last night and one time today the battery cell cap has popped open on only one cell (the last one) loud enough for me to here it ( it is in the same room with me). I am worried something is wrong, should I be concerned? Is this normal ? Is it because I squeezed the bottles when adding the liquid?

                                                                                                                                      Marissa
                                                                                                                                      July 13, 2012 a 6:49 pm
                                                                                                                                      • Congratulations on the new scooter!

                                                                                                                                        Squeezing the battery would not be a problem. It usually takes hours for the acid to become fully absorbed. The only cause I can think of for the caps popping off is overheating. Is the battery in the garage? Did you install the vent tube that comes off the side?

                                                                                                                                        Something is causing the battery to build pressure, and it‘s not venting fast enough. If the liquid levels decrease, please add distilled water. But other than that, everything else should be fine. Venting is normal, but caps popping off is not. You definitely don‘t want that happening while on the road.

                                                                                                                                        Tech
                                                                                                                                        July 16, 2012 a 10:00 am
                                                                                                                                      • May I charge a 6v auto battery using a 12v (rated) solar panel?

                                                                                                                                        Bill
                                                                                                                                        July 14, 2012 a 9:40 am
                                                                                                                                        • No. This will be like trying to run a gasoline car on diesel. You can either use a 6 volt panel for the car battery, or series the battery with another of identical specs to create 12 volts.

                                                                                                                                          Tech
                                                                                                                                          July 16, 2012 a 10:09 am
                                                                                                                                        • A really helpful, first rate site. Thanks! My question relates to appropriate charging of an AGM (or alternatively, a Gel) battery on a vintage, generator equipped car. The generator and standard regulator setup are inadequate to operating the car with headlights AND, say, windshield wipers or heater blower. The set-point of the regulator has to be raised to 16 volts to avoid battery drain whilst driving, and so after starting, and within about 5 minutes, as the voltage reaches 16, I switch on the headlights to load the generator down to about 14.5 volts. After several hours drive, or when other loads are added, this voltage will fall below 14 volts. Is this procedure good enough to maximize the life of an AGM or Gel battery? An alternator conversion is being considered. Comparing say a Delco 10Si with a Mitsubishi that might be used for tractor or marine purposes, what should I be careful about? I am thinking of the different battery applications, tractor, marine, etc, versus the Delco regulator of 14.4 volts. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                          Roger
                                                                                                                                          July 22, 2012 a 9:07 am
                                                                                                                                          • 16 volts is too high and will damage a gel battery. 14.6 -14.8 volts for an AGM is just right. If you need to charge a gel battery, a regulator will be needed to keep the voltage from exceeding 14.2. An alternator would be a good idea. Regularly pumping 16 volts in a battery will cause the internal resistance in the battery to spike and heat up. It‘s not recommended for the long run.

                                                                                                                                            Tech
                                                                                                                                            July 23, 2012 a 4:07 pm
                                                                                                                                          • Thank you for your great information. It always helps to read it rather than using guess work!
                                                                                                                                            I do have a question for you that I hope you can help with please.
                                                                                                                                            I have had our motorhome for nearly 2 years and it came with a couple of solar panels – one of which is rather large. However we have had a couple of problems with cooked batteries! Basically, we discovered our battery was being cooked by one of our solar panels as the regulator was not working. We got that sorted and replaced the very smelly leisure battery. But just recently the same thing happened again and we discovered that our very large solar panel didn‘t have a regulator on it at all. We realised very quickly and disconnected the battery which was beginning to sulphar up and smell. We have since added a regulator and although the battery was able to be cleaned up we are finding that it now will take a decent charge but is only holding that charge for about 45 minutes. So we have 2 great solar panels and no holding charge. Do you think that this is due to the damaged battery or could it be something else? It is a sealed battery and so we cannot tell what state it is in internally. Thank you.

                                                                                                                                            Steve
                                                                                                                                            July 25, 2012 a 2:18 pm
                                                                                                                                            • If the issue was sulfation, then the solution would be to try to restore the battery with an on-board pulse de-sulfator. But if the batteries have been over-charged, and they drain very quickly, then there really is nothing else you can do. Overcharging can dramatically age a battery rapidly.

                                                                                                                                              Can you provide some voltage readings? Say, one at rest. While on the charger. And finally, a reading 45 minutes after off the charger. With these numbers, I can more accurately diagnose the battery.

                                                                                                                                              Tech
                                                                                                                                              July 26, 2012 a 8:35 am
                                                                                                                                            • THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR KNOWLEDGE! WOW! I have been working with batteries for years, yet never really understood their differences, much less how to match them with various applications. Here I have been buying based on the highest amp/hr AND CCA, when I should be looking harder at one or the other. And now there‘s an AGM???

                                                                                                                                              Okay, ….a question:

                                                                                                                                              The GPS/Fish Finder on our boat uses around one-third of an amp. My typical day of ocean fishing is between 8 and 10 hours. I do not like it on the starting battery and am looking for options.

                                                                                                                                              The first question is AGM or a small gel cell? I am looking to understand the balance between them, in particularly, the lesser chance/lower cost of replacing it in the event I trash it, …which I am convinced is destiny – or the higher cost of a gel that I will not trash. (While I think I am very easy on batteries, evidence shows they do not seem to like me.) So, is it just math, or are there other considerations I should be looking at?

                                                                                                                                              If using an AGM, the YT4L-BS will give me 9 hours of GPS. Correct? Or should I be looking at double that size, like the YT6.5L 12v AGM? I just cannot see spending $140 for something a 41 battery will do just as well for.

                                                                                                                                              Prior to reading your pages, I had heard of AGMs, but the information was skewed. I was told they are just like gel cells, which I now know is only a half-truth. I can clearly see the differences over wet and gel, but I am most attracted to the low replacement cost if I, indeed, trash it.

                                                                                                                                              Which one do you recommend?

                                                                                                                                              Again, thank you for the site, …and I welcome your sagacity.

                                                                                                                                              Cpt Crunch
                                                                                                                                              July 30, 2012 a 12:42 am
                                                                                                                                              • AGM batteries can be recharged with any battery charger. Gels are more fragile, and they need a charger with a safe voltage profile for charging. Gel batteries can be discharged further without the damage it would cause an AGM. We recommend no more than 50% for AGM. The Gel can go as much as 80% discharged.

                                                                                                                                                For your GPS/Fish Finder, I recommend a deep cycle battery. The YT4L and YT6.5L are motorcycle starting batteries. I recommend a sealed lead acid deep cycle battery. Having one at least 8 AH in capacity should give you 10 hour of safe runtime given the 300 mAh draw. This is what I recommend:

                                                                                                                                                http://www.batterystuff.com/batteries/upc-telecom/sla-1280.html

                                                                                                                                                Tech
                                                                                                                                                July 30, 2012 a 3:17 pm
                                                                                                                                              • I have an old (‘85) Honda ATV. After some reading (obviously not enough)I purchased a gel cell battery that was advertized as appropriate for my ATV. It did not take long for the battery to reach a point where it would light lights but not turn over the electric starter. After more reading, it would seem that the alternater would need some “adjusting” to keep this battery charged. I can find many references to external chargers, however I have, so far, been unable to find any information on what needs to be done to upgrade the charging system of the ATV for gel. Any help here?

                                                                                                                                                Bill
                                                                                                                                                August 3, 2012 a 2:01 pm
                                                                                                                                                • We do not sell anything that would regulate an alternator to a safe voltage for Gel batteries (no more than 14.2 volts). I imagine it would be costly. It‘s easier to simply purchase an AGM battery for the ATV and not have to worry about charging differences.

                                                                                                                                                  Tech
                                                                                                                                                  August 3, 2012 a 4:07 pm
                                                                                                                                                • Hi, First of all I want to say that your tutorials have been very useful for me and I have learned very much.

                                                                                                                                                  I have an off grid house that I power with four 12V 245AH 8D AGM batteries wired in Parallel which are connected to a xantrex 3000W sine wave inverter/charger. I have a xantrex link pro battery monitor that has a programable alarm relay that I have set to start the generator when the batteries get down to 55% state of charge and to turn off again at 85%. occasionally I turn the generator on manually to bring the batteries up to 100% charge to synchronize the monitor. I just set the system up a few weeks ago and it is working very well so far. I am not there very often but whenever I check on it, the batteries are within range and the generator runs for 4 or 5 hours a week. The only thing running while I am gone is the refrigerator and a half dozen 7w led lights that I have come on after dark. I don‘t have any other source to charge the batteries yet (solar or wind).

                                                                                                                                                  I have a couple of questions:

                                                                                                                                                  Do you think this system will work well in terms of longevity? Is there something I should be doing differently, such as setting up the monitor to keep the batteries at a different state of charge (more or less discharge)? The reason I don‘t bring them to 100% every time is that the generator needs to run for quite a long time to get the extra 10-15% into the batteries and it seems like a waste of fuel.

                                                                                                                                                  Second, if I had an always on wireless internet connection, do you know of a way that I could monitor the battery condition from far away via the internet? So that I would know if there was a problem with the generator not coming on. I don‘t know if there is a battery monitor available set up to do that. Any ideas you might have would be geatly appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                  Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                  Bob
                                                                                                                                                  August 11, 2012 a 7:17 pm
                                                                                                                                                  • hi,
                                                                                                                                                    i have a solar system & i am using a device that measures the voltage of the batteries and send it through a serial port to the computer, that can show me the health at anytime of the day.
                                                                                                                                                    i have 8 batteries connected in parallel, and the problem that i am trying to think of a solution is that the measuring device is treating the 8 batteries as one, and gives me a single reading. But in order for my monitoring project to work, i want to be able to measure each battery alone, even when they are connected in parallel together…
                                                                                                                                                    I know this sounds impossible, but I still need to think of all possibilities.
                                                                                                                                                    Anyone with any clues would be very helpful.

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                    Bob
                                                                                                                                                    August 14, 2012 a 8:16 pm
                                                                                                                                                    • Any technical questions can be emailed directly to Tech@batterystuff.com for the fastest response.

                                                                                                                                                      To answer, at least the best I can, I would personally hook up the tester that you are using to an 8 point switch, where each of the 8 modes were connected to one of the batteries directly. You could then switch the connection on the monitor to each battery individually, even though they are all hooked up together. The only real downside to this would be that if your device is one of the more accurate types, then it will be thrown off by resetting it on each battery and will cease to be as accurate. On the other hand, if it is not a super accurate one, then I wouldn‘t bother setting it up this way anyways. So while its not completely impossible, its a bit of a catch 22. The accurate one will cease to be so, and the not as accurate one falls in the ‘why bother’ catergory. Hope that helps! :)

                                                                                                                                                      Jeremy Fear
                                                                                                                                                      August 15, 2012 a 11:16 am
                                                                                                                                                    • Hi
                                                                                                                                                      I have (8) x 6V x 125AH deep cycle batteries producing 24V in a series/parallel config
                                                                                                                                                      charged by a 250W x 24V solar panel,powering a 24V fridge/freezer 24/7 drawing 2A when running.
                                                                                                                                                      Am i correct in assuming my total stored AH capacity should be sufficient to run the fridge
                                                                                                                                                      with minimal sunlight for a few weeks.
                                                                                                                                                      Cheers
                                                                                                                                                      Max

                                                                                                                                                      Max Williams
                                                                                                                                                      August 16, 2012 a 2:52 am
                                                                                                                                                      • As long as you rpanels recieve at least 5.5 hours of direct sunlight on the panel then you should be good. If you have any further technical questions, please email them to Tech@batterystuff.com

                                                                                                                                                        Jeremy Fear
                                                                                                                                                        August 16, 2012 a 9:43 am
                                                                                                                                                      • hello i have 8 deep cycle battery 12v 200Ah connected series/parallel to supply a ups system and it charged by acostant charger 52.5 V 35A its working abot 18 month every day about 6hr on the UPS and now begin loose its capacity when i check the voltage for each battery while the charger working some of them give 13,4v and other 12.66 and 12.9 so it the sulfated or need for reacharging with a smart charger .

                                                                                                                                                        thanks

                                                                                                                                                        Qusay
                                                                                                                                                        August 19, 2012 a 6:52 pm
                                                                                                                                                        • I don‘t know what the load is, but for a 48 volt system the charger seems a little too low if it‘s charging at 52.5 V. It should be 56 V or so under the bulk charge mode. For float, 52.5 is okay. I‘m not sure what your question is about.

                                                                                                                                                          If the batteries are individually reading different voltages, that‘s not good for the system. Are the batteries the same age? 13.4 v is a little high but good full charge, while 12.9 v sounds just about right. 12.66 v could use more charge. If it‘s not able to reach any higher voltage, sulfation is a good cause of that. An onboard de-sulfator like the Power Pulse or ODB from Battery MINDer would be recommended to fix that battery. No need to disconnect it from the others or change your system.

                                                                                                                                                          Tech
                                                                                                                                                          August 20, 2012 a 11:47 am
                                                                                                                                                          • thanks alot for your assistant
                                                                                                                                                            1- my battery have the same age
                                                                                                                                                            2- i cant increase the charger voltage because its max volt is 52.5 also till now i dont try another charger or charge each battery individually
                                                                                                                                                            3- these readings for each battery but while they connected to the charger and for example when im add all the reading ( 13.4+12.66+12.9+13.54) its equal to 52.5 which is the charger voltage and when im disconnect the charger and after 1 hr battery reading is ( 12.7 , 12.5 , 12.7 , 12.6 ) i think battery No 1 and 4 prevent the voltage to rais in battery 2 and 3 so they cannot charge fully , also at the first 8 month all the battery have the same reading when charging .

                                                                                                                                                            do recommend individually charging for each battery to force it reach to 13.6 v and accept current , like using 48 v charger with 4 bank or its no problem to use 48 v charger with one bank also if i want to desulfate it it is better to use obd-12 for each on or use obd 48 for each 4 batteries

                                                                                                                                                            also what is the recomended methode to charge and maintain this system to get maximum life for the batteries .
                                                                                                                                                            thanks & best regard

                                                                                                                                                            Qusay
                                                                                                                                                            August 20, 2012 a 2:35 pm
                                                                                                                                                            • A 4 bank 48 volt charger would charge the batteries individually, which may solve the problem. 52.5 volts is good if the batteries are fully charged. But since they are not all charged, I recommend the charge rate should be higher for the two to charge up. If you use the OBD-12, you‘ll need one for each battery. Otherwise, you can use a single OBD-48 for all four batteries in series.

                                                                                                                                                              Tech
                                                                                                                                                              August 21, 2012 a 7:50 am
                                                                                                                                                              • thanks to helping me to solve the problem and thanks for the site which give this amount of data for users , really great site and great staff

                                                                                                                                                                thanks again with my best regards

                                                                                                                                                                Qusay
                                                                                                                                                                August 21, 2012 a 11:01 am
                                                                                                                                                        • Hi, just got a new kirkland battery and it has the 6 cells under the cap. Not all of the cells have liquid in them to the top. is this normal for some cells to have more liquid than others, should they all be filled to the top? I could not see any fill lines as to where the level should be. thanks

                                                                                                                                                          Jeff
                                                                                                                                                          August 27, 2012 a 5:01 pm
                                                                                                                                                          • Yes, the cells should be balanced, even as far as liquid levels. Please only use distilled water. They do not need to be filled to the rim, but definitely the plates should never be exposed. If this happens, the plates react with the oxygen in the air and form sulfation rapidly. I hope this answers your question.

                                                                                                                                                            Tech
                                                                                                                                                            August 28, 2012 a 10:24 am
                                                                                                                                                          • I have new replacement 4 × 12v 18 ah deep cycle agm batteries wired in series for an e-bike, the 48 v charger charges the bank at around 54-55 v, Now,the original batteries performed the last 2 years as expected for 300- 400 cycles with good range , but these new replacement batteries are failing within weeks, less than 30% range than originals. When testing the charging voltage going to each individual battery in series , it varies from 14.1 V- 15.9 V from one battery to the next. and under a timed load test on each charged battery, they range from 2 min to 55 min before dropping below 11.5 /cell. Are the batteries poorly constructed or is it a charger issue? Thanks for any insight you can provide.

                                                                                                                                                            Will Helbich
                                                                                                                                                            August 31, 2012 a 3:38 pm
                                                                                                                                                            • How much was the load amount for the test? 15.9 volts is on the high side as far as charging goes.

                                                                                                                                                              Tech
                                                                                                                                                              September 4, 2012 a 3:10 pm
                                                                                                                                                            • This is a philosophical comment. Lead-acid batteries suffer from self discharge. Batteries actually spend overwhelmingly most of the time not on charge but doing absolutely nothing at all. This is what causes sulfation. So what do the experts recommend battery users do? Treat the sulfation. A hundred year old cure! How about treating the battery with something that stops the self discharge?

                                                                                                                                                              John Fetter
                                                                                                                                                              September 6, 2012 a 12:52 am
                                                                                                                                                              • Keeping a battery on a trickle charger will prevent self discharge. Beyond that, asking a battery not to self discharge is like asking a person not to age. It‘s a chemical issue, and healthy batteries will self discharge at a lower rate than older batterie or cheap batteries made from lesser quality materials.

                                                                                                                                                                Tech
                                                                                                                                                                September 6, 2012 a 8:48 am
                                                                                                                                                              • When using a deep cycle battery in a Solar system, using DC 12 volt lights. Is there a way to automatically shut off the lights before it discharges the battery too far?

                                                                                                                                                                Bob
                                                                                                                                                                September 7, 2012 a 11:38 pm
                                                                                                                                                                • Yes, you would need a battery disconnect or a power switch. Priority Start and Battery Guard are two brands that will do this automatically. We sell these in our battery accessories category.

                                                                                                                                                                  Tech
                                                                                                                                                                  September 10, 2012 a 8:42 am
                                                                                                                                                                • I have an electric 2-wheel scooter that my wife uses. It has 3-batteries linked together. How do I hook-up the cables on my battery charger to charge this bank of 3-batteries?

                                                                                                                                                                  Charles Wehland
                                                                                                                                                                  September 8, 2012 a 1:34 pm
                                                                                                                                                                  • It depends entirely if the batteries are suppose to be in series or parallel. The answer to this question depends if the scooter runs off 12 volts, or 36 volts. But the surest place to connect your charger to are the same terminals that the scooter‘s motor is connected to in order to run.

                                                                                                                                                                    Tech
                                                                                                                                                                    September 10, 2012 a 8:57 am
                                                                                                                                                                  • Hi James, thank you for the information and excellent explanations! How can I figure out what type of battery in my car (2007 BMW X3)? The battery is a sealed maintenance free battery. It’s the original battery. The part number is S: 61 21 8 385 398, and the label says it’s 90 AH and 720 CCA, but no manufacture name on it though. I called couple of BMW dealers, but they didn’t know. Hopefully you can help me out. Thanks in advance!

                                                                                                                                                                    Bo
                                                                                                                                                                    September 11, 2012 a 1:53 pm
                                                                                                                                                                    • Sounds like an AGM or a VRLA battery. Both are different types of lead acid batteries, the sealed ones as apposed to the conventional flooded type. It‘s not going to be a gel, I can almost guarantee that. Gel batteries are completely sealed. If there any ventilation or even vent slits on the top of the case, then it‘s not a gel. That‘s good too, because gel batteries don‘t make good starting batteries. They‘re fragile.

                                                                                                                                                                      Tech
                                                                                                                                                                      September 11, 2012 a 2:20 pm
                                                                                                                                                                      • Thank you very much for your answer. I have a battery charger, and I need to choose one of Standard, AGM, and GEL battery type. Which type should I select?

                                                                                                                                                                        Bo
                                                                                                                                                                        September 12, 2012 a 6:42 am
                                                                                                                                                                        • Gel is the safest, because it uses the lowest charging voltage of the three. If you are not sure, the gel setting is always a safe option. Otherwise, if you think it‘s an AGM (check to make sure there are ventilation slots to confirm it‘s not a gel) then use the AGM setting.

                                                                                                                                                                          Tech
                                                                                                                                                                          September 12, 2012 a 7:45 am
                                                                                                                                                                    • this rlly helped me in my auto electrical class

                                                                                                                                                                      Austin
                                                                                                                                                                      September 17, 2012 a 11:41 am
                                                                                                                                                                      • it helped me alot but google‘s better

                                                                                                                                                                        Mark
                                                                                                                                                                        September 17, 2012 a 11:44 am
                                                                                                                                                                        • What did you find that more helpful? Lease share it with us.

                                                                                                                                                                          Tech
                                                                                                                                                                          September 17, 2012 a 12:18 pm
                                                                                                                                                                        • Hi all,

                                                                                                                                                                          Current setup:
                                                                                                                                                                          1) Two UPSs. Both are independent systems.
                                                                                                                                                                          2) Both are identical; Manufacturer: Delta; Model:J-Series 7 KVA. Each capacity: 5000 Watt, 230 Volt AC.
                                                                                                                                                                          3) Each has 20 numbers of 12 Volt 26 AH batteries connected in series for a 240 Volt DC, 26 AH battery bank.

                                                                                                                                                                          Objective:
                                                                                                                                                                          a)Design a battery bank in such a way that even if one battery fails, the bank would still be operational and keep the UPS running until the failed battery is replaced.
                                                                                                                                                                          b)Try reconfiguring existing battery bank so that cost is minimized.

                                                                                                                                                                          Proposed setup:
                                                                                                                                                                          1)Instead of two identical but separate battery banks as configured now, reconfigure the 40 batteries in one battery bank.
                                                                                                                                                                          2)Batteries will be connected in series and also in parallel as listed in the diagram.
                                                                                                                                                                          3)Two batteries will be connected in parallel to form one 12 Volt 52 AH parallel battery bank pair. Twenty such pairs will be linked in series to form one 240 Volt DC 52 AH bank.
                                                                                                                                                                          4)Connect both UPSs to this one battery bank.
                                                                                                                                                                          5)The 230 Volt AC “Output” of the UPSs would remain independent as they are now.

                                                                                                                                                                          Attached Diagram:
                                                                                                                                                                          Both the current setup as well as the proposed setup are illustrated.
                                                                                                                                                                          (No change in the independent “Outputs” of the two UPSs. The 230 Volt AC “Output” of the two UPSs would remain the same (as independent outputs) in the proposed setup as they are now in the existing setup.)

                                                                                                                                                                          Advantages:
                                                                                                                                                                          1)When any one battery fails, the entire bank would still be operational. (Hence, the UPSs will not fail.)
                                                                                                                                                                          2)So long as “both” batteries connected in any parallel pair do not fail, the bank would still be operational.

                                                                                                                                                                          Question:
                                                                                                                                                                          1)Would the battery charging circuits in each UPS somehow interfere with each other?
                                                                                                                                                                          2)Are there other issues and/or disadvantages in the proposed system that are overlooked?
                                                                                                                                                                          When electrical power is On, would the battery charging systems in each UPS interfere with each other when charging the single battery bank? In other words, currently just as one UPS charges its own battery bank, would the two UPSs charge the single common battery bank without issues?

                                                                                                                                                                          We would be very thankful to you if you can please give us your valuable feedback on our proposed battery bank set up.

                                                                                                                                                                          Selvan Albert.

                                                                                                                                                                          Selvan Albert
                                                                                                                                                                          September 19, 2012 a 7:26 am
                                                                                                                                                                          • I want to increase the voltage of 2 batteries from 24V to 180V. Is it possible?

                                                                                                                                                                            Ameya Pawar
                                                                                                                                                                            September 26, 2012 a 4:55 am
                                                                                                                                                                            • There are some step up converters to increase voltages, but we do not sell them. Additionally, I think it may be hard to find one that will step up to 180 volts.

                                                                                                                                                                              Tech
                                                                                                                                                                              September 26, 2012 a 9:26 am
                                                                                                                                                                            • Thank you for your opinion….I would like to use an electric golf cart for in-town transportation in a small town in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, year around. I am a teacher and typically only drive it back and forth once or twice a day, about one mile each way. 1st question: It can be very cold here on winter mornings, (-20 degrees and more),but then warm-up to 30 degrees on the same day, is there a battery that can handle the temperature range, and still have a reasonable life length? 2nd question: I have a solar panel that I could place on the roof, get a charge controller, and have the batteries always trickle charging, how will that effect the battery life? I have a 36 volt charger that came with the cart. The cart is perhaps 20 years old. The batteries it came with were all exhausted, I took them to a recycler. I was thinking of spending the 150.00 each ( including core fee) for 6 batteries, and stop driving my gas vehicle. I‘d appreciate some advice.

                                                                                                                                                                              Adam Johnson
                                                                                                                                                                              September 27, 2012 a 7:00 am
                                                                                                                                                                              • For the greatest range of operating temperature, the gel batteries would work the best. For a solar panel, you would either need a single 36 volt panel, or 3 12 volt panels in series. That‘s a good idea if you want to see the longest lifespan from the batteries. The charge controller, make sure it‘s safe for gel batteries, which require a slightly lower voltage charge than most other batteries need. We sell Trojan T-105 6 volt batteries for $139 each. No core needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                September 27, 2012 a 8:17 am
                                                                                                                                                                              • Great article. I learned more than I‘ve ever known about batteries, but I still don‘t know much.

                                                                                                                                                                                I am wondering, I recently purchased a year round ice fishing house / camper. I‘m looking at batteries now and am leaning towards an AGM. Is that what you would recommend? Again, this battery will be used year round. Freezing cold when it sits for 4-5 days at a time without being used, then it will be used on the weekends when I go fishing. Then during the summer it will be used in the heat.

                                                                                                                                                                                I‘ve also seen a couple mentions of solar chargers. I do have a generator that i plan to use to recharge the battery when necessary, but am wondering if it would make sense to leave a solar charger hooked up to the battery constantly. The location of the battery in the house would make it very simple to hook a solar charger up and have it mounted either directly in the window, or just outside attached to the side of the camper/fish house. Then even when in use, the battery would be charging, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks in advance for any response.

                                                                                                                                                                                Matt
                                                                                                                                                                                October 9, 2012 a 4:31 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                • For extreme temperatures, the Gel batteries are the best. They also have the slowest discharge rate. Having a solar panel is a great idea, and perfectly safe even if a generator is on or you are using the batteries, if you are also using a solar controller (which regulate safe charge voltage levels, and prevents back feed into the panel). But yes, if a solar panel is receiving sunlight, the battery will also be charging as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                  October 11, 2012 a 9:28 am
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Great Article !

                                                                                                                                                                                    For what it‘s worth. I use NorthStar pure lead AGM batteries. They have the widest operating temperature range (-40 deg F to + 149 deg F) and have a two year shelf life. Never saw a gel battery with that type of operating temperatures. I have one in in my truck. Never a minutes worth of problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Tim
                                                                                                                                                                                    January 15, 2013 a 12:10 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Pure lead vs recycled lead does make a difference in performance. NorthStar batteries sounds like good batteries.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                      January 15, 2013 a 1:19 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                • Thank you for your great work! I have learned a lot.
                                                                                                                                                                                  I have a Die Hard 1150: 20ah AGM power pack. As per your explanations, I leave it plugged in because it has an integrated smart charger that is supposed to provide a safe float charge to maintain the battery‘s health. I have two questions relative to this:

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Is it normal that the battery is slightly warm to the touch when it is plugged, has reached 100% and is receiving a maintenance charge?

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Are dangerous gases given off while the battery is plugged in and receiving a trickle charge? My battery is plugged in in the basement workshop in a fairly large house.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for any information you can provide and take care.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Peter

                                                                                                                                                                                  Peter
                                                                                                                                                                                  October 14, 2012 a 3:22 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                  • If the battery is warm, it‘s because there is more resistance in the battery internally than normal. There is probably a good amount of sulfate crystals on the plates in the cells, which would cause the charger to work harder to maintain the float mode. Sulfation robs the battery of power, but can be reserved with de-sulfation units and chargers.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Gassing should not be an issue if the battery is healthy. Only significant over-charging should cause an AGM to vent excessively.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                    October 15, 2012 a 1:14 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                  • I have a Toyota Coaster bus which is fitted out as a motor-home. The vehicle was manufactured with a 24 volt electrical system, which uses two batteries in series, of 12 volts each. I have outlined a description of the auxiliary electrical system below, but my basic question is, how can I know how depleted my auxiliary batteries are at the end of a day in which the refrigerator has been working for a long time?
                                                                                                                                                                                    I think the basic rule is that the batteries should not be discharged below 50% of their capacity, but what reliable method can I use to determine when they have reached this point? There are two auxiliary 12 volt batteries in series, each 120 amp-hour, to provide power for the “house system” – namely refrigerator, lights, water-pump, and various 12 volt power outlets. The refrigerator is the major user of battery power, because it is a compressor fridge which uses the equivalent of 12 volts 8amps (i.e.96 watts) while it is running, and it runs for approximately 8 to 12 hours in each 24 hour period depending on how hot the weather is. The auxiliary batteries are charged by two solar panels of 80 watts each, and receive additional charging from the vehicle alternator when the engine is running. There is a battery isolator which automatically disconnects the auxiliary batteries from the vehicle electrical system when the engine is not running. The voltage regulator for the solar panel charging system provides a constant display for the auxiliary system, including the auxiliary battery voltage. I have been in the habit of checking the voltage last thing at night, and first thing in the morning, to find how much power the fridge has taken from the batteries. If the night time voltage is below 24.8volts, then the morning reading is below 24.0 volts. The problem is that if we have not done much driving on a particular day, and the solar panels have not done much charging because of cloudy weather, the night-time voltage may only be 24.2 volts, and the morning voltage not much above 23 volts. If the battery is at 24.2 volts when the fridge is not running, then when the fridge starts running the voltage reading drops down to about 23.5 volts. And so my question remains, what is the lowest acceptable voltage for my auxiliary battery system, so that the batteries are not damaged by being discharged too much. Thank you for reading through a long and detailed letter, but I wanted to provide sufficient background information.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Wilfred Kube
                                                                                                                                                                                    October 22, 2012 a 4:35 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Resting voltage of 24.4 volts is 50%. When you reach this point, stop using the batteries until you can recharge them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                      October 23, 2012 a 10:50 am
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Thank you very much for your helpful site,and for your prompt reply to my query.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Wilfred Kube
                                                                                                                                                                                        October 24, 2012 a 2:13 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                        • I do have the same system as Wilfred, although I use a Tripp Lite to invert current from 12V to 110V (2,400 Watts)
                                                                                                                                                                                          I have always used 3 cheap regular truck size batteries, charged by the alternator and, with the almost every WE driving, had no problem running everything for 3 years without having to charge the batteries with an external charger
                                                                                                                                                                                          Recently, to lower the weight, I bought 2 trojan deep cycle batteries 225 that almost totalled the same Amp as the 3 previous ones
                                                                                                                                                                                          To my surprise, these batteries have gone dead last week after 6 months of use, although well maintained as far as water and regular charging through the alternator
                                                                                                                                                                                          The Tripp Lite works fine and we always avoid to use the battery lower than the yellow and red lights which indicate a battery load of 50 %
                                                                                                                                                                                          We did have a 2 minutes run on red light 2 weeks ago (as much as 80% discharge) and to prevent any further problem I recharged the batteries with an external charger together for 20 hours (for the first time in the last 10 years); the charger indicated 14V at the end of the charging process.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Unfortunately, on a trip last week I lost power faster then ever and ended up having to only use the refrigerator while driving, forgetting about the water pump or the coffee maker; I tried to recharge the batteries since then but the charger wont go over 10 volts and goes down to 8 and 7 after 10 hours
                                                                                                                                                                                          My question: since these trojan batteries are very expensive where I live (Peru) should I invest in a charger, what kind, and should I charge the batteries everyday from my house? The car is in the street and I cant go check every 2 hours what the voltage is, so is there a charging process that is safe, guaranteed on the long term for these batteries?
                                                                                                                                                                                          Once again this is the full description of my configuration:
                                                                                                                                                                                          bus sprinter with alternator of 100 Amp
                                                                                                                                                                                          starter battery of 120 Amp
                                                                                                                                                                                          2 trojan deep cycle 225 130 amp each output 12V
                                                                                                                                                                                          one tripp lite inverter 12-120V 2,400 Watts
                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you so much for your answer which should interest many people like me who just want to understand how to run a simple 3 or 4 devices in their camper

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yves Van Damme
                                                                                                                                                                                          February 9, 2013 a 1:22 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                          • It sounds to me like your current charger is probably fine but the batteries may be defective or had their life significantly reduced when they were overly discharged those 2 weeks ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                            February 11, 2013 a 11:13 am
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Thank you for your article, I have a question. I bought a 2 month old (STICKER ON IT) battery from junkyard, outside cell was punctured in a crash, looked inside all electrolyte was gone from the one cell. I repaired the plastic casing,it could now hold liquid safely. Could i add electrolite from an old battery or would that have too many sulfites , it would be better to get a motorcycles worth at autozone? I am going to turn in my old battery anyway as it is a core charge… What do you think?

                                                                                                                                                                                      David Cuneo
                                                                                                                                                                                      October 26, 2012 a 12:36 am
                                                                                                                                                                                      • The moment oxygen hits activated plates in a cell, sulfation will form rapidly. My opinion is that it's not worth the effort or the risk. I recommend buying a new battery. Even if you were able to restore this one a bit, I doubt it will last very long and it would not be safe as the internal resistance when charging will be greater than a healthy battery, which you will risk the battery overheating as a result.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                        October 26, 2012 a 8:33 am
                                                                                                                                                                                      • ”… An amp hour (AH) is a rating usually found on deep cycle batteries. The standard rating is an Amp rating taken for 20 Hours. What this means, say for a 100 AH rated battery is this: Draw from the battery for 20 hours and it will provide a total of 100 amps …”

                                                                                                                                                                                        Should say …
                                                                                                                                                                                        ”… and it will provide a total of 100 amp-hours …”

                                                                                                                                                                                        Greg
                                                                                                                                                                                        October 28, 2012 a 6:22 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Thank you for the suggestion. We will make the change.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                          October 29, 2012 a 9:21 am
                                                                                                                                                                                        • My AGM 100amps battery for UPS is acting strange it gains full charge with 30-50 mins while it also discharges with 30-40 mins, my UPS is charging the battery on 10-12 amps. Any Help

                                                                                                                                                                                          Fawad
                                                                                                                                                                                          November 19, 2012 a 12:09 am
                                                                                                                                                                                          • What is the amount of draw (load) on the battery when its in use?

                                                                                                                                                                                            Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                            November 19, 2012 a 2:42 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                            • I don know exactly but its has a Samsung 42” Plasma Tv and and small Satellite receiver, that‘s all. And with the same load it gave me a Backup time of almost 2 to three hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Fawad
                                                                                                                                                                                              November 20, 2012 a 3:25 am
                                                                                                                                                                                              • If I understand you correctly, your battery isn‘t lasting as long as it used to, and it charges quickly, too? Short charge/discharge periods? Sounds like the battery has sulfate crystal buildup on the plates. Sulfation causes batteries to age quickly. Refer to our other technical articles about how to remove sulfation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                November 20, 2012 a 4:29 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                          • i bought a 12Volt battery 22months back with inverter for my desktop computer only. It reads GT-2100 C20 210AH. It‘s a lead acid battery. The dealer told me that i can use it for 10 and half hours for to power my computer only. from internet i came to know that one should not fully discharge a battery. i till date only once i used it up to 9 1/2 hours. never seen ‘battery low’ blinking any time till date. I always carefully kept the water level full by regularly checking the level indicators. On an average i use the battery up to 7 to 9 hrs these days because of big power cuts here and see it charged fully immediately when power comes. One problem is that if i use the battery for 9 hours then there has to be continuous power supply for at least up to 8 hours(+minutes) to get fully recharged. but here they are supplying power only on alternate hours. i.e, one hour power supply – one hour power cut – one hour power supply. and that too during the night only. during day time only for four hours power in given- morning 8to10 and evening 4to6. rest all day power cut. only in the past 3 months power supply became like this. i have been forced to use my battery very carefully and judiciously. My questions is will it affect my battery life by leaving it to be charged in alternate hours?.(i don‘t use it during night while being charged). i am really worried. we have abundant sunshine here. so i am willing to explore the possibilities to charge it using a solar panel. i want to know the maximum wattage or voltage should i supply to charge it in the minimum amount of time possible. tell me this much wattage up to this much hour. here we have 10~ hours of bright sunshine. please help.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Murugan
                                                                                                                                                                                            November 19, 2012 a 11:09 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                            • It‘s okay if the battery is receiving charge during irregular intervals. It‘s not the best situation, but it‘s not going to destroy the battery immediately. The truth is, the battery is going to build sulfation when its in a discharged state. Re-charging it will reverse this. That‘s good practice, but I understand if your situation prevents you from doing that in the best way possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                              If you‘re looking for solar charging, the largest panel I recommend you can use to safely recharge the battery in the quickest time is a 900 Watt solar panel. This will charge at a rate of 73 amps per hour (35% of battery capacity). Less is fine, but no more for safe re-charging.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                              November 20, 2012 a 11:58 am
                                                                                                                                                                                              • thank you very much indeed. Have a nice day back there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Murugan
                                                                                                                                                                                                November 20, 2012 a 9:02 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                            • (continued…)
                                                                                                                                                                                              I am using a 17 inch CRT monitor which consumes 80W power. Here in India we use 220V Ac for our appliances.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Murugan
                                                                                                                                                                                              November 20, 2012 a 1:51 am
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Is it possible a Low maintanance Lead Acid can charge and discharge Simultanously ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                Nand
                                                                                                                                                                                                December 4, 2012 a 1:36 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                • No. If you are charging a battery and then you use it at the same time, the charger will attempt to supply the load. Depending what the load amount is, and if the charger can supply it, the battery may be charged at a lower rate or not at all and start discharging instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                  December 4, 2012 a 8:08 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                • I purchased a used boat in 2009, it has 2 identical West Marine starter batteries 650 CCA with a Perko 3 way switch, 1, 2 both or off). I‘ve never charged these batteries other than while running my boat, which is probably less than 50 hours per year. The engine is a 175HP Suzuki, with a 44 amp alternator. I feel like I‘m running on borrowed time and want to replace these batteries with AGMs. Should I go with 2 starter type batteries or 1 starter and 1 house? While boat is running is the alt charging both battery at the same time or does it follow the path of the Perko switch? Thanks, great site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Andy
                                                                                                                                                                                                  December 16, 2012 a 2:09 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Since the batteries will be connected together via switch, I recommend using two of the same battery types and sizes. Therefore, if the batteries are used to start the engine I recommend two starting batteries. I recommend a deep cycle battery if you need 12v power while the engine is off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                    December 17, 2012 a 10:19 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • I use 4 – 12 volt dcm0035 interstate batteries hooked up to 48 volt configuration to power my pedicab. I have 2 sets-8 batteries total. They have had 11 months of being drained to approx 12 volts on the meter 3+ times a week. I use 2 noco gen 4 chargers. Mostly in the 10 amp mode….but sometimes doubled up on one battery set. Weather conditions from 35 – 110 F. How can I determine how much life is left? Besides the obvious based on how long they run before being drained. It seems they are at about 50% of new. Also…does my charger do a real 100% charge

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mike
                                                                                                                                                                                                    December 17, 2012 a 7:34 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • There is no magical formula to predict the length of life remaining in a battery. Yes, the Gen 4 charger should bring the batteries to full charge before entering the gentle float mode on/off cycle. 12.0v on the meter is more than 50% discharge, which is more than we recommend for optimal performance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                      December 18, 2012 a 9:02 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • i have 4 batteries ps 1272 fs 12 volt 7.2 amp batteries were stolen how can i wire theser my bike?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ed
                                                                                                                                                                                                      December 26, 2012 a 2:22 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Is your bike a 12v, 24v, or 48v electric motor?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                        December 28, 2012 a 8:32 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • i have 3 sb 12100-s 12 volt 10 amp batteries for my bike which were stolen how do i wire the new ones?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ed
                                                                                                                                                                                                        December 26, 2012 a 2:29 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Is your bike have a 12v or 36v electric motor?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                          December 28, 2012 a 8:36 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Hi,
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Very informative article, thank you. I have a problem with my camper van, 24 volt system for the truck, 25 amp alternator, fridge in the house on the truck that draws current from the 2 × 12 volt in series truck batteries. When ignition is off, the fridge stop drawing current. However, the truck batteries constantly run flat during driving, all well while I drive (diesel truck), but next morning the truck batteries are almost flat. The camper van house has it‘s own 12 volt battery, charged from solar, it performs OK. Currently the 12 volt fridge element draws amps from the second 12 volt truck battery, this implies that the fridge uses the power from the battery, not directly from the alternator. Is it possible that the power outflow from the battery is more than the charge inflow into the battery?. How many Amps can a battery continuously take while charging?. I now think I must tap the 24 volt directly from the alternator, then put it through a rectifier to get 12 volt, and then onwards to the fridge. This will leave the truck batteries free to charge at will without being drained by the fridge. If the truck batteries can only charge at say 6 amps, while the fridge draws 10 amps, the current set up will always discharge and leave me with flat batteries. Am I correct in my reasoning?. Please advise asap, Many thanks, Louw

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Louw Penni Ng
                                                                                                                                                                                                          January 5, 2013 a 1:18 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • There is no limit to what a battery can or cannot accept. A battery cannot say ‘no’ to charge. However, there is a safe range, up to 25% of the battery capacity, should be the max amperage charge rate. For a 50 AH battery, that would be a max of 12.5 amps per hour. Alternators usually don‘t have problems with overcharging, because of the electronic control unit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It sounds to me like you have a 24 volt battery system, but a 12 volt alternator. It seems like the fridge only takes 12 volts to run. What part of your system actually draws from 24 volts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                            January 7, 2013 a 9:02 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • RE; Can anyone please help? Scooter battery problem, will not take a charge.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            It appears that there may not be anything wrong with my batteries. I was told that the batteries must be charged every month or two or sulfation would set in. But the batteries not excepting a charge after 4 months was concerning. With no answers I decided to drain the batteries of two scooters by running the motors with the throttle on full and turning the lights on. However after 5 hours of constant running the scooters meters were still showing full and the volts where at 48.7 and my volt meter was showing 48.6 volts. After 5 hour only dropped 2 volts while protection shutoff is 42 volt. The next day I charged the batteries and yes they took a good charge, 7 hours and still taking a charge when I left for the day (I have them on a 12 hour timer). These Chaowei deep cycle gel batteries must be very good with little self discharge to not except a charge for 4 months.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Garry Mcdonald
                                                                                                                                                                                                            January 6, 2013 a 2:43 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • I‘m glad your batteries are fine now. But for the future, it‘s not necessary to discharge these batteries down. They are not like NiCD batteries, there is no ‘memory effect’ or need to cycle charges. Batteries that are fully charged for a 48v system should give you 51.2 volts or more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                              January 7, 2013 a 9:08 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Very Informative! (I assume 1 to be the highest rating). I have an ‘85 Ford class C motorhome with 2-12v batteries. Not sure if they‘re connected in series or parallel. It has a single alternator and a separate voltage regulator. With the engine running, one battery reads 12.4v, the other reads 16v. I assume this means the alternator is trying to charge this battery more? I first thought the regulator was bad & replaced it. At that time, one battery was reading 16.4v & the other 16.2. I discovered I had bought the wrong regulator, so I bought a second one. It read 16v and 17v. I put the original regulator back in, leading to my assumption that one battery won‘t hold a charge and the alternator/regulator is trying “harder” to charge it. The batteries were in it when I bought it, but they‘re different brands & I have no way of telling when either was purchased. Would my assumption be correct, and should I replace the battery with the higher voltage reading (or both)? What started this was when I bought the rv, before driving home I turned on the headlights and one went out immediately. I turned them off & the seller turned them back on & the second headlight went out. I left it for him to fix. He replaced both headlights. The first time I used them the new ones went out together. I switched to high beam & after about 10 seconds they both went out. I knew something was wrong & suspected the regulator first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mike Smith
                                                                                                                                                                                                              January 12, 2013 a 4:48 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • They do make 16 volt batteries and alternators. They are commonly found in race cars. 16 volts is too high for a 12 volt system. You could be overcharging your batteries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                January 14, 2013 a 10:36 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • I found the article SUPER helpful, because the guys at the auto parts store we talked with did a few confusing things. One guy called a battery looking like a 6-pack of soda cans a gel battery, where as the guy he called in for more info called it AGM, which it probably actually is. However, the guy who actually did know it was an AGM battery told us specifically that it wouldn‘t have any problems if it was completely discharged…which sounded quite attractive. We‘re still planning on purchasing the AGM batteries, but if I hadn‘t found the web page and wised up on the great info and tips you folks provided, we might have blithely followed his information and totally killed our battery (sucksville!). Thanks for a great website!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Adda Lamon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                January 16, 2013 a 8:41 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Sir I will be very thankful if you guide me to build a charger of a 4 volt Li ion battery(which I have dismantled from my old laptop battery)……Thank You.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Silas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  January 17, 2013 a 8:42 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • We are unable to provide you the information you need. We are a reseller. We do not build or manufacture any chargers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    January 17, 2013 a 9:14 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • THANK YOU!!!! The information on this page was GREAT!!! It is now my “Go-To” reference for batteries!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ms. Safety
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    January 18, 2013 a 12:05 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Thanks for the compliment! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      January 18, 2013 a 12:06 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sir, I want to know a matter. When a 12V, 7.2AH rating battery is fully charged, is there any current flow to the battery where the charger is still plug in? and what is the actual voltage when the battery is fully charged? Please ans. to me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks in advance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mizanur Rahaman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      January 25, 2013 a 11:17 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Whether or not current is going into the battery after being fully charges is entirely dependant on the model charger you use and therefore I cannot answer your question. Micro processor controlled chargers will ‘float’ a battery after full charge. This is usually ~13.4 volts with little to no current. However, if you want to know what resting voltage (off charger) on the battery itself is considered full charge, please refer to this article for the answer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        January 25, 2013 a 1:06 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hi,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        my husbands 650cc motorcycle wasn‘t turning over so we figured it was the 12v battery. In order the check that it wasn‘t anything else we hooked up my new smaller scooter 12v battery to his bike and got it running. Now the scooter battery won‘t even turn the lights on the scooter even though the voltage meter says its fully charged. Could we have damaged the battery by using it in a different machine? The bikes take different size batteries with different amps but both 12 volts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nicki
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        February 2, 2013 a 7:17 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • There should be no issue using a smaller 12 volt starting battery for the motorcycle. I‘m surprised if the bike was able to start with a smaller battery. If the battery is truly fully charged, can you provide a resting voltage reading (bike off)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          February 4, 2013 a 1:18 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sir, Thanks for the article. I Have a yacht with 4 Trojan T105‘s(6v – 2 in series- paralleled X 2) as one bank and a truck and tractor battery as the other bank. These are constantly charged by both solar panel and wind generator ( through a regulator) and also charged when the motor is running by alternator.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My question;- Can I replace these wet cells with AGM batteries without changing any charging facilities? and if this is OK, do I replace them all with dual purpose AGM‘s or do I have 2 different banks, 1 starting , 1 deep cycle. I have a manual(idiot) switch, for selecting each battery bank or both. My motor is a Ford Lees 85 HP deisel. Thanks in advance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Reg Rayner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          February 12, 2013 a 8:59 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Most AGM batteries require no special charging accommodations. I recommend using deep cycle and starting batteries for their respective purpose. That way, you‘re getting the best performance based on the demand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            February 13, 2013 a 8:49 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • I have a Yamaha golf cart I purchased 4 yrs ago. Last winter I parked the cart in my heated garage and did not recharge the batteries during the 3 1/2 month period. By spring the batteries were so discharged thatmy cart charger would not work. I used a car battery charger to charge the 4 12V batteries separately. I limped through last summer having to charge to cart every 18 holes. I haave recently read about de sulfating the batteris. I was thinking about trying this before I spring for new batteries. Can you recommend a product to do this and if I can use the cart charger when doing this or would I have to charge the batteries individually. Thanks for the great article.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jerry Anderson
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            February 17, 2013 a 9:50 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • I recommend using the liquid additive called BATTERY EQUALIZER and also the PP48L ON-BOARD DESULFATOR by Pulse Tech.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              February 18, 2013 a 8:58 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Do you recommend a 2 battery solution for a boat? 1 for starting and 1 for deep cycle? Or would a dual purpose battery be sufficient? The engine is a 90 hp outboard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Donny
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              March 4, 2013 a 1:44 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • We recommend using a dual battery setup versus the dual purpose batteries. You get better performance for your needs this way (starting the engine and running your electrical system).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                March 5, 2013 a 9:14 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Great Article. If I have a 80 Amp Hour battery and use a winch that is drawing 435 Amps under load with a 90 Amp alternator on the vehicle, how many minutes can I winch before I fully drain the battery or cause the vehicle to turn off? What formula are you using?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tim
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                March 16, 2013 a 6:54 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Question, i have access to some lead acid batteries with much more life left in them…..more than i need at any one time. I want to put some in extremely long storage (5to10) yrs) Can i remove the electrolyte, flush then store? I read somewhere after flush to refill with ph neutral water and storing worked well. Another that after flushing used inert gas argon and sealed battery vents. Not concerned with losing a little capacity as these are very robust batterys. what would you recommend. I would charge these fully then remove electrlolyte and store it properly until redeployment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sean
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  March 17, 2013 a 12:16 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • I have a 12v 100 amp hour wet cell battery at work. It was taken out in the fall and put on a smart charger. Now I was going to reinstall it back into our equipment. I noticed that the end with the negative post is swollen. With a load test it passes at 9.5v‘s. no other physical damage is found on the case. Could the one cell have pressured up and not vented?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    March 19, 2013 a 9:50 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • It could have had some gassing at some point without actually damaging the cell, as may be indicated by the continued performance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jeremy Fear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      March 19, 2013 a 3:45 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Is it possible for a AGM battery to test 100% on a load test and still be bad? My battery shows 12.8v unconnected. In the motorcycle it shows 12.6v and with the key on it drops to 12.1 and won‘t start the bike.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      David
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      April 12, 2013 a 4:36 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Yes, it i s possible for it to have an internal ‘open’ in the cell. This happens when a weld point begins to come loose in the battery and it is unable to pass any significant current along the now thin connecting point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jeremy Fear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        April 15, 2013 a 8:01 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • I need a battery for a lighting setup for artfair booth (outdoors).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I want to use 6 LED lights (14-watt Par30 bulb 3500K).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        also use of a fan for cooling the booth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        which type of battery do you recommend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Donna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        April 30, 2013 a 5:55 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • I would recommend an AGM battery for this type of useage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jeremy Fear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          May 6, 2013 a 7:48 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • I am battery deficient. I am charging a battery on trickle charge, I know that much, but how do I know what the red and black bits on the charger mean? And how long til it charges? My hubby used to do all this but alas he is no longer here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for input

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sandie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          May 9, 2013 a 4:35 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • I appologize, but I‘m not quite sure what you are reffering to by the ‘red and black bits’. If you want to send me a photograph of the charger in question, my email is tech@batterystuff.com, then I will be more than happy to assist you from there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jeremy Fear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            May 20, 2013 a 8:01 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Hi.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have 2 12 Volt batteries and want to use them both/ But i still want to use them for 12 volts. I just want extra backup.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Please reply me anyone ASAP.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pulkit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            June 25, 2013 a 10:39 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Here is an article that explains the answer to your question. Should you have any further questions please feel free to email our tech guys at tech@batterystuff.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              www.batterystuff.com/kb/aricles/battery-articles/battery-bank-tutorial.html

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Robin Brokaw
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              June 26, 2013 a 9:04 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Brilliant article. Has really explained the internal working of various makes of batteries, better than anything I have come across here in the U.K.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              September 1, 2013 a 3:04 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • What a well written article. Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My interest in the topic comes from wanting to maintain our trailer’s 12v AGM battery over the winter. We brought it home and put it in the basement workshop, but I discovered tonight that it was down to 10 volts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I’d like to put it in the cold room where there’s an unused plug but was worried about the “well ventilated area” instructions. The article says AGM batteries are the safest type, so would it be safe to charge it in the cold room? (10 × 4 × 7 feet, with top and bottom 4” pipe vents)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Larry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                December 2, 2013 a 5:31 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Thanks for a very informative article. I own an older Honda Goldwing with lots of electrical gizmos. I have replaced the battery twice in last year. My dealer replaced the last under warranty about three months ago. The new battery worked fine when I was driving the bike frequently. But after letting the bike set for about two weeks I now have another dead battery. I hooked up my trickle charger, it only has a light that tells me it is charging, I left in on for about a week it did not recharge. I then hooked up my battery charger, it tells me it the battery is fully charged at 6 volts. Does this mean I have three bad cells? This is the second time this has happened, the first new battery lasted about six months this one about three. Do you think I got bad batteries. One I think maybe, but two in a row.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Harold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  January 19, 2014 a 6:03 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • What are the electrodes and the electrolyte of an AGM battery????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Feterom Adolfo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    March 10, 2014 a 3:19 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • During periodic check when I observe that water level is low, I add distilled water to cells of lead acid battery. After a short time the fluid starts oozing out from the caps. It continues for about 12 -15 hours. What is the cause of this problem and how it can be rectified?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Athar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      March 17, 2014 a 5:15 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Best written, most through article I have read regarding batteries, thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have a BMW with AGM battery that was just replaced. I purchased a CTEK multi us 4.3 smart charger to lengthen the life of this new battery. I attempted to charge 3 days after installation, but became concerned as the charger was hot to the touch after 2 hours and still in the bulk charging state. Should I be concerned by the heat? There was no indication of anything awry other than the charger itself being hot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interestingly, the old battery never remained in the bulk charging state this long and I never experienced the charger ever being warm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anders D
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        March 18, 2014 a 9:02 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • I would not be concerned if it is hot after 2 hours, but if it has not entered into maintenance mode after 12 hours, I would check the battery to ensure it is good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jeremy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          May 12, 2014 a 11:56 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Can you use a AGM battery by laying it on it’s side or must it be in the upright position? If so, does it make any difference what side it lies on (battery posts toward the top vs toward the bottom)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dave M
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          April 5, 2014 a 7:34 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Dave, you can use an AGM in any position, except directly upside down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jeremy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            May 12, 2014 a 12:21 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sir Good day! i need with my newly bought gel battery, i dont know if i have to add sulfuric acid… i used it with my u.p.s. and it cant five any power to my computer when i unplug the power cable of the u.p.s.when i read the power rating 12.5V i dont know the ampere since i dont have amp meter. but in the battery it says 7Ah/10H. i thought it is better than my old VRLA with 12V 4.5Ah rating

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Marie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            April 5, 2014 a 8:50 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sounds like you should talk to the manufacturer. If its gell, then you wouldn’t add any acid, and most cases if its AGM it would come prefilled. The 7AH will last longer than the older 4.5AH one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jeremy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              May 12, 2014 a 12:22 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • With a BS in Chemical Technology and eperience with batteries, I congratulate you for this article where expertise and general public understanding are mixed in a state of the art level. Talking for shalow cycle batteries where Ah has no sense because CCA matters people has to be aware that this battery has to be fully charged, and if discharges only 20% i.e below 12.6 V affects the life of the car battery. The status of battery has to be checked every weak, while you check the cold inflation pressure of the tire. To have a optimal inflated tire, means an optimal tire foot print i.e an optimal tire grip. So at this time check the battery voltage in your car parked overnight, start engine check again and you’l get 13.5 to 14.5 i.e. this is the status of alternator and voltage regulator in your car. If not using a vehicle use a battery tender that start charging at 12.6 V and stops at 14.2 – 14.5 V. Not hapy with comercial battery tenders, I made my own using a NE555 timer as precission comparator an more component. I can adjust ON at 12.6 – 12.7V and of at 14.2 to 14.5 volts according to the status (age ) of the battery. Increasing the battery voltage above 13.2 V, starts equilizing process. The weak cealls continue to charge and the strong start boiling. I do this proces at 250mA untill battery saturated, and after turns OFf to let battery to relax. I never buy a maintenance free battery, because I must check the electrolyte, level, top with H2O, and if necessary check the density.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              April 29, 2014 a 5:58 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • I have n ABM 12volts, 120AH battery and a Wet Cell 12volts ,120AH battery can I connect both of them to my solar system in parallel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Frank Tucker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                May 2, 2014 a 11:36 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • We only recommend connecting batteries of same type, size, and age together in a system.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jeremy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  May 12, 2014 a 11:58 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • But why are there no tech replies in 2014?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jim Bigger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  May 12, 2014 a 2:49 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Jim,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Technical questions can be submitted using the “contact us” tab at the top of the website. The comments for articles are not always reviewed by Techs, so the best way to get an expedient answer to a question, is to contact the correct department directly. Thanks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jeremy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    May 12, 2014 a 12:00 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • We have a few 10 tonne dump trailers that are towed behind a few chev 2500 3/4 ton trucks (1 alternator)1 battery. Also towed by 2 ford 1 tons which have dual batteries in them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We are using deep cell wet batteries 175AH (D27’s) one battery in each trailer. The batteries in the trailers only get a 1/2-1 hour charge from the 7 way trailer plug when they are ran to site and dumped. I don’t have the amp draw of the “Dyna-Pack) electric/hydraulic motor/pump unit yet. It takes 15-30 seconds to fully dump the trailer. The batteries don't seem to last too long to these guys. The charge from the tow vehicle may be to low as the voltage drop in the 12 or 14 ga. wire used in the typical trailer tow package. I was thinking about wiring in #4 ga. from the font to the rear trailer with a battery isolator so the trailer battery could receive a better charge rate., specially if being dumped every hour or two and only getting 1/2 or little more charge in between. Is it worth it $150 + isolator. I can install and get reasonable pricing on wire & terminals etc. Also what is the best battery to use as the trucks have different batteries in each of them?? Good site for info I must add.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Randy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    May 21, 2014 a 9:58 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Randy, using an isolator will get better results. Thanks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      May 21, 2014 a 12:37 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • I had solar system, Know I want to add new set of batteries with old one for charging purpose, both pared as 24V sets. 24V old set and 24v new set. is this work or any problem, i will face during charging for solar panels.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      or should i charge separtly and use dual purpose. Once charge new and than Old.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In house for electric city,Should i combine both sets, or I use old to discharge than switch to new for use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Zareef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      June 14, 2014 a 11:37 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • I would recommend charging separately. Mixing old and new batteries is asking for trouble.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        June 16, 2014 a 11:04 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • I have installed a few advanced GPS devices on a fleet of vehicles. The manufactures paperwork says they should be wired into an output capable of at least 13 volts. I have not had any problems with the devices on vehicles with a normal 12 volt car battery and wonder if there would be any possible problems if I wanted to install them on a recreational vehicle like a Polaris ATV/Quad or a Side X Side with a 12 volt battery?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tracy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        June 26, 2014 a 12:50 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • It should work fine, but always check with the manufacturer for a hard answer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          June 27, 2014 a 8:48 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • I have a few questions on battery reconditioning, based on reading of various How To and DIY sites, and hope that you are able to help: 1 – The powder that everyone seems to suggest is Epsom salts, is that correct? 2 – Is there a specific type of these Epsom salts that is appropriate? 3- What are the mixing specs for the solution? Thanks a lot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We would require more information about your situation.  Please contact one of our techs at tech@batterystuff.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ArieS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          July 8, 2014 a 2:50 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • I have a boat with a normal marine 12v lead acid battery I would also like to add a second battery to provide for lets say a 12v access port for accessories. Unfortunately I have limited space for a second full sized battery. Could I use a smaller lets say ATV type twelve volt battery connected through a dual battery charger relay isolator so that both would charge when the motor is running but both would not drain when the motor is not running.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We would require more information about your situation.  Please contact one of our techs at tech@batterystuff.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            GarthJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            July 15, 2014 a 9:58 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • I have two 12v 100AH battery it is connected with IPS recently I see the battery is very HOT & IPS Full Charge indicator not showing full charge. I check Battery Water Level ok. Then I disconnect all battery from IPS 2 days take time to cool the battery & after battery fully cold I connect it to IPS but again the battery is very HOT. What is just happening Can you tell me please.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My battery Name Lucas AP 100 12V 100AH 21 Plate made by Rahimafrooz Bangladesh. Please give me the repply. Thanks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Saiful Haque Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bangladesh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              saiful6848@gmail.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              +8801716579824

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We would require more information about your situation.  Please contact one of our techs at tech@batterystuff.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Md. Saiful Haque Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              July 18, 2014 a 1:06 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • We have a John Deer Gator (riding toy)for our Granddaughter. The connection for the battery has corroded down inside. Is there a safe way to clean it out? It is a very tight area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Laura Hargis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                July 23, 2014 a 12:35 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Baking soda and water, but not in the battery!, just for the terminals and connections.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Admin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  August 15, 2014 a 2:14 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Thank you for some great info. We have a travel trailer that we have parked at a camp area on the back the farm. It hasn’t moved since we bought it 5 years ago. We charge the battery with a Honda 3000 generator. After many years of frustration using a flood cell deep cycle battery we just installed a AGM battery. (I believe we brought the charge down on the batteries too far, too often). Anyway we just bought the AGM battery because we understand it will charge much quicker than a flood cell. My question is using this type generator on a trailer, will that work for a AGM or should we do anything different for charging?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  T-Man
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  August 16, 2014 a 11:39 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • If AGM batteries aren’t damaged by a car’s alternator charger why do they need a special charger?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maurice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    August 23, 2014 a 6:45 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • They really only need a specific charger if they are being maintained long term with a constant charger. The exception is specialty AGMs such as Odyssey batteries or aircraft batteries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      August 25, 2014 a 2:36 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hi, I bought a sailboat with 2 batteries and a selector which reads off/1/both/2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My question is about what you say about batteries being the same size, rating and type. Of the 2 that came with the boat, #1 is a reg. acid starting battery and #2 is a deep cycle used as a house battery. Is that bad? should I avoid the “both” position of the selector?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Joel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      September 4, 2014 a 10:31 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Good Question! The selector switch is designed to get the boat out of a bad situation, say for instance you were unable to start the boat. This enables you to bank the other battery together in such situation to get the boat going again. You do want to avoid tying them toghether unless your are in a problematic situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        September 12, 2014 a 12:37 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Great article, easy to understand and informative. I have a few questions about my RV battery cables. I was about to replace the 2 12v marine batteries on my RV with 2 6v deep cycles, when I realized the cable situation seems strange and possibly scary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - The ends of the cables, for about a foot before the terminal connectors, are all taped up and homemade. Should I be concerned about that? – How do I know if they’re an appropriate size for the battery size? – There is a thin black ground wire coming from the taped up part of the + cable, which is bolted to the trailer frame. Why would the + cable be grounded? Isn’t that what the – cable is for?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The 2 cables that were used to connect the 12v batteries in parallel are also of this taped-up homemade variety. I was going to use one of them to connect the 6v in series, but now am unsure whether I should use ANY of these cables at all. Wiring in new cables seems really daunting because I can’t see an obvious way to access where they run up into the bottom of the trailer. But I don’t want to be unsafe, so…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks in advance :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kyla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        September 5, 2014 a 3:17 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • I would talk to your local RV Service Center if you feel the homemade cables are questionable. If you plan on rewiring the the connections to replace the existing cables we recommend staying with the same gauge wire that originally came with your RV. Obviously the last foot or so you said is homemade, so you would want to look further up to see what size the original cable is. If your changing charger, converter, or inverter (or an all in one) then we recommend you look to that manufacturer for recommendation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          TECH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          September 25, 2014 a 9:48 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • A BMW 128i w/AGM BATTERY—-CAN IT BE REPLACED W A QUALITY WET CELL BATTERY?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          THANKS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          WILLIE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          September 16, 2014 a 2:22 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • If your existing battery is a WET cell then you can use an AGM. However if your original battery was a GEL then you would have to contact BMW to verify that your charging system will charge and AGM as they charge at a higher rate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TECH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            September 25, 2014 a 11:11 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Wow…thankyou for existing. We are beginning to get a solar set up organised for free camping and I have a plethora of questions that hopefully you can answer for me. We intend to run a 12v52 litre fridge and strips of led lights. What do I need to know about these applicances when planning the battery set up. We are looking at a 12v 260 AH AGM battery using a 140W solar panel to charge. Would one battery be enough or should we look at two – the fridge needs to run most of the time but the led lights would be just at night. If we did get two what is the difference between wiring in series and in parallel ….is one way better than the other?? And I need reminding … In paralel is it positive to posiive and neg to neg.. Thank you so much for your time and expertise……cheers Suz from Oz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Suz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            September 20, 2014 a 4:12 am
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Suz I would suggest reading our article: Solar Systems the Right Way. This will help you gather the proper information to determine if your panel and battery setup would be sufficient. As far a series vs parallel I suggest looking at our article: Battery Bank Tutorial – Series and Parallel. This article will show you possibilities of creating different type of battery banks, and maybe the possibility of going to two 6 volts batteries for less than two 12 volts batteries would be for the same Amp/Hr capacity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TECH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              September 26, 2014 a 12:44 pm
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