Running the battery into oblivion - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-28-2005, 12:57 AM   #1
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It would appear that when they were installing my brake and charge lines, that they bumped the 110 cord to my battery charger and it dislodged from the outlet. Kind of hard to do, it's buried way deep.

Anyway, while working on the trailer the past 3 days to run nicer lines to some new lights I installed, and add some more 12v outlets from my gel cells, I didn't notice the charge on my house battery going ..down, down, down...

My lights dimmed all of a sudden, and I looked over and saw.. 8 Volts!

Have I damaged anything? I found the problem right away, and plugged the charger back in and it has gone up to 12.5 volts after a few hours, but that seems a DEEP Deep cycle.

Battery is a year old.

Should I worry?
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:02 AM   #2
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I wouldn't worry. Your lighting is a fairly light load, and deep-cycle RV batteries are meant to carry it over, and over, and over. If it sat discharged for several weeks, it could have caused problems, but if it was healthy to begin with, it shouldn't be an issue. I've completely discharged my deep cycles in the past (accidentally) and they've come back strong without problems.

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Old 11-28-2005, 11:38 AM   #3
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I have had some recover from being discharged to 8 volts. I used to discharge them that low in the Compact Junior when I ran the Igloo cooler on battery only overnight.

You might want to look at the distilled water level. That's how I determined that the 1st Walmart battery in the Fiber Stream was bad after it was discharged to 8 volts... It was also dry!

It is encouraging that yours went back up after being recharged. I think one other determination that my Fiber Stream battery needed replacement was that it would not take a charge after 24 hours on the charger.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:50 PM   #4
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>> "... add some more 12v outlets from my gel cells".


Gina, do you have a Gel battery?

If it's the kind you add water to (lead acid) then I agree that since it wasn't down for very long, then it will most likely be fine. I did that to my old lead acid several times and it never did hurt it. One time I drained it totally down. It still worked fine after I charged it up again.

I have read that AGMs are a little more forgiving than gels, but I don't know that from experience, only through literature. I read that the gel can seperate when damanged and aren't able to heal themself. I think they will still work, but not have the capacity maybe.

I wouldn't think that drawing it down for such a short time would hurt any battery, regardless of which type you have.
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Old 11-29-2005, 08:22 PM   #5
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OK, I've been dying to post this for years. I've never had the proper audience... until NOW! It's the ONLY thing I remember from my high school chemistry class. Sorry, Mr. Steinjes...

Lead-acid battery: PB+H2SO4 yields PBSO4+H20 during discharge. In English, that's lead and sulfuric acid... the lead eats the sulfuric acid and turns it into lead sulfate and water. The problem comes when the lead sulfate builds up in between the lead plates to the point that the plates are no longer isolated from one another and then they short out, causing a dead cell.

So, generally a charged battery without a load will stay as lead and sulfuric acid for a very long time. Once the load is put on it, the sulfuric acid begins to turn to water and the lead begins to sulfate. Even in a totally discharged battery, if it's electrons are replaced quickly enough, the odds of "sulfating the battery out" are pretty slim.

Ha! See... I DID learn something once!

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Old 11-29-2005, 09:48 PM   #6
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uhm... thanks Roger. BTW, your beanie is spinning REALLY fast (We need a Beanie smiley)

I won't worry now. That splains it all!

Suz, my gel cells are smaller ones. I have installed one each under the rear benches, as close to the axle as possible. These are completely isolated from the house battery (And each other!) They have a seperate charging system. I use these for the Endless breeze, a plug in 12v light or a 120v light with invertor when needed. I am wierd about back up systems. I use the house for essentials, and the gel cells for extras. That way, I probably won't freeze to death .... unless I run out of propane!

They are only 20aH and do not weight much.
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Old 11-30-2005, 08:19 AM   #7
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Sorry, I wasn't aware (more correctly, probably forgot) that you had seperate batteries. Makes sense.

I sure don't have the smarts that Roger does (nor a beanie), but I got 'sperience and my 'sperience says that your lead acid is fine.

Interesting side note: Said battery was with the trailer when I bought it. I drew it way down several times (once was totally dead) and it was still working. Fact, I gave it to my neighbor when I got my AGM and it was still working last time I heard.

I wonder if they are related to those watching that just keep on ticking!
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:35 AM   #8
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Oh, c'mon guys... there ain't no smarts involve here! I was just tryin' to remember what I was taught... and seriously, it was high school chemistry... and it was seriously about the only part I remember... and yes, for those of you who ARE smart and really know this stuff... I realize that there's a bunch of stuff I left out, valances, and interim combination steps where the electrons are either given off or recombined etc. etc. etc. but frankly although I remember that stuff happens, I could no more draw it or explain it any more than fly to the moon in my Scamp!

So... the bottom line is that if your deep-cycle battery was strong and well maintained to begin with, discharging it totally and promptly re-charging it will probably not have any effect on it's longevity. If it's a marginal battery to begin with and you leave it sit around for a while in it's discharged state, it could likely kill it.

Roger

hey, send me one o' them propeller beanies, will ya? does wearing one REALLY make you look smart, even if you're not
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:40 AM   #9
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... and yes, for those of you who ARE smart and really know this stuff... I realize that there's a bunch of stuff I left out, [b]valances, and interim combination steps where the electrons are either given off or recombined etc.
So, is this the same thing that hangs at the top of a window to cover up the curtain rod?

Don't let Pete D see this.

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Old 12-01-2005, 03:50 PM   #10
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So, is this the same thing that hangs at the top of a window to cover up the curtain rod?

Don't let Pete D see this.

uhmmmm... lemme think... yes... valences and valances are very similar... Smarty-pants... so I messed up the spelling JUST a little... ONE little e/a problem... geez! I think it's valences that have ruffles and valances that have... no... no... that's Ruffles that have Ridges... See... I TOLD you I wasn't very bright!

Roger
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Old 12-02-2005, 10:11 AM   #11
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uhmmmm... lemme think... yes... valences and valances are very similar... Smarty-pants... so I messed up the spelling JUST a little... ONE little e/a problem... geez! I think it's valences that have ruffles and valances that have... no... no... that's Ruffles that have Ridges... See... I TOLD you I wasn't very bright!

Roger
Shows you what I know. I didn't even know that batteries had valences OR valances.
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Old 12-02-2005, 02:00 PM   #12
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Shows you what I know. I didn't even know that batteries had valences OR valances.

Ya, we learn something new almost every day here.
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