Battery Overcharged?? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-12-2013, 09:59 AM   #1
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Battery Overcharged??

Hello! I have a question about using a smart charger for maintaining my battery. I bought a brand new charger/maintainer and put my brand new deep cycle battery on it for maintenance 7 months ago. I went out to my garage today to get my battery in prep for Scamp Camp. I discovered my charger unplugged and my battery on a shelf. Turns out hubby noticed it had boiled over so unplugged it a couple of months ago but forgot to tell me about it. So, why would my battery overcharge when it's on a smart charger and what do I do now? Just plug it back in to bring it up to a full charge? What about the white residue on the top? Do you think I have a faulty maintainer and need a new one? The battery is supposed to be able to stay on a maintainter the entire time right?

P.S. I just checked my battery and it's reading 12.15 on my volt meter.

Thanks!
Melissa
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:09 AM   #2
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I found my charger specs online so yall can see what I was using and if I need something different:

DieHard Battery Charger/Maintainer : Exclusively Available at Sears

Just talked to Sears (where charger was purchased) and they said it's common for batteries on maintainers to do that and to just clean off the terminals etc. Sounds like a line to me....thought that was the purpose of a maintainter was NOT to overcharge/boil over the battery...... was he giving me a snow job?
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
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It has a 3 year warranty. Sounds to me like you need a new one.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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Battery maintainers are popular with antique car owners. I've heard good and bad reports about them, some real bad reports that they were blamed for a fire. I have at least a dozen or more batteries, some in vehicles, some just setting. I will occasionally, as in once every month or two put a charger on each one. I have chargers that will taper off to nothing as the battery reaches full charge. I personally would not leave a charger connected all the time.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:38 PM   #5
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Did hubby actually see it "boiling over", or did he just notice the white stuff on top?

I ask because it's unclear to me if the "white stuff" alone is a sign of overcharging/boiling over...

How's the inside water level?

Francesca
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:52 PM   #6
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I think Hubby just noticed the liquid on top of the battery. White residue was probably where it had started to dry. A couple of cells were just a tad bit low today so Hubby topped them off.

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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Did hubby actually see it "boiling over", or did he just notice the white stuff on top?

I ask because it's unclear to me if the "white stuff" alone is a sign of overcharging/boiling over...

How's the inside water level?

Francesca
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:19 PM   #7
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Melissa

I think all is probably fine?
The charger is a low current trickle charger and should be just fine if left on the battery all the time but if for some reason the power to the charger gets interrupted regularly then the smart cycle might be restarting over and over causing slightly higher charging current than really wanted but still too low I think to overcharge a good condition battery.

Is the charger powered through a switch in the garage possibly?

I would let it charge and monitor the battery voltage with it unhooked and also while charging to see the difference.

The charger may indicate the stage it is in while cycling,do you know if it does?
If so make sure it is progressing through the cycle and then trickles at the lowest charge level it has.

You can also take the charger back and exchange it in case it does have a problem but again a 4amp charge should be OK for a battery in good condition if it is in the bulk charge of the smart cycle,that is pretty low current.

Batteries do produce odd byproducts sometimes for no obvious reason,is it sitting on the garage floor or on a board or something? I know there has been near record heat down there and you are close to a lot of vegetation there so maybe it just sweat the stuff out a little,evaporation is also likely there.

Anyway have fun at HH and sorry I will miss you this time,give the girls and Hubby my regards.

Ed
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:55 PM   #8
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I have a fleet, 5 + mine, of Grand kids ATVs in my garage and all of them are on the $4.95 on sale Harbor Freight battery maintainers. I think they're $9.95 regular price.
They will sit 4 or 5 months without being used.
I haven't had to buy a battery in 3 or 4 years.
John
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:48 AM   #9
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No, the outlet is not on a switch so it should have a constant power supply. Unfortunately There is no indication as to what stage the charger is in. You get an orange light for charging and a green light when complete. The battery is sitting on a wood shelf. Temps have been 70's-80's during the day the past couple months. I'll monitor the voltage to see whats going on.

You're in our thoughts and prayers. Hopefully we'll see you at Scamp Camp next year. Of course if you're ever in the neighborhood you can swing in, lol.

Melissa

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Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
Melissa

I think all is probably fine?
The charger is a low current trickle charger and should be just fine if left on the battery all the time but if for some reason the power to the charger gets interrupted regularly then the smart cycle might be restarting over and over causing slightly higher charging current than really wanted but still too low I think to overcharge a good condition battery.

Is the charger powered through a switch in the garage possibly?

I would let it charge and monitor the battery voltage with it unhooked and also while charging to see the difference.

The charger may indicate the stage it is in while cycling,do you know if it does?
If so make sure it is progressing through the cycle and then trickles at the lowest charge level it has.

You can also take the charger back and exchange it in case it does have a problem but again a 4amp charge should be OK for a battery in good condition if it is in the bulk charge of the smart cycle,that is pretty low current.

Batteries do produce odd byproducts sometimes for no obvious reason,is it sitting on the garage floor or on a board or something? I know there has been near record heat down there and you are close to a lot of vegetation there so maybe it just sweat the stuff out a little,evaporation is also likely there.

Anyway have fun at HH and sorry I will miss you this time,give the girls and Hubby my regards.

Ed
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:41 AM   #10
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You may want to take voltage readings with a good digital (not analog, aka needle dial gauge) voltmeter. Dial meters aren't accurate enough. If your charger is putting out excessive charging currents, it could very well boil out your electrolyte. (Might not be as "smart" of a charger as they claim it to be.) Another suspicion I have is that since you are only reading 12.15 volts across the battery terminals. This, to me, indicates that the battery itself may be the problem. A fully charged battery should be reading about 13.5 volts, as a battery reading only 12 volts is a dead battery. If your battery has bad plates (i.e. internally sulfited and/or grounding out), or a dead cell, your charger will see this as a low battery and continue to provide charging current. I would have your battery tested. And, by the way, it is not that uncommon to have defective brand new batteries. Worth having it checked, its a no-cost troubleshoot.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:15 PM   #11
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The batt sat without charger for a couple months; might that be the cause of the lower 12.15v reading?
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