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Old 02-02-2014, 07:35 PM   #21
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Smile Old Wives Tale #238

Quote:
Originally Posted by Briantb View Post
Another caution.. Don't leave the battery on your concrete basements floor
Unless your battery is from the 1940's.....

snopes.com: Do Cement Floors Ruin Car Batteries?


Concrete floors are just fine.....



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Old 02-02-2014, 09:16 PM   #22
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Concrete vs. Cement

FYI..

Concrete is what floors are made of.
Cement is what holds the sand and
rocks together to form the concrete.
My architect brother corrected me a
while back. Picky, picky....

Larry H
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:24 PM   #23
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It's always a good idea to get the "Less Expensive", two decimal place voltmeters, checked against a known meter. I have seen as much as a full one volt error and don't use them any more. Also, any dirt or oxidation in the socket on on the plug can result in reading errors.

I prefer the "Volt Minder" , about $35, if you can find one.



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Old 02-03-2014, 09:13 AM   #24
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When and if you top the battery with distilled water in addition to wearing safety glasses having the battery on a surface you don't care about such as a piece of scrap wood is a good idea. Battery liquid is acid, and will stain/damage things like concrete.

If there is any acid on the outside of the battery from vapor condensation during charging, leaking or sloshing you can expect damage to whatever is under the battery. Your call if that surface is concrete basement floor or old piece of plywood.

Snopes is speaking of car batteries, RV batteries go though a much longer discharge and thus longer charge process. Charging causes bubbling of the liquid, those bubbles rise to the surface and pop which does put acid droplets into the vented liquid. Venting has improved at trapping that moisture but if it does not do a 100% perfect job during a 6 hr. charging session you could end up with a damaged floor.

It's a box full of acid don't set it on anything you care about being damaged.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry C Hanson View Post
FYI..

Concrete is what floors are made of.
Cement is what holds the sand and
rocks together to form the concrete.
My architect brother corrected me a
while back. Picky, picky....

Larry H
You have cemented our understanding with concrete facts.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:17 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Dsironi View Post
and now 3 hours later it shows 12.2- 12.4v(?). I'll check it again tomorrow.
David
David thats the resting reading which on a good battery should read much higher than that. Would suggest that the readings you are getting assuming it really was fully charge before you let it sit for a few hours tells you the battery has been allowed to drop below 50% charge a few times or perhaps run dry? If so that will shorten the life of a battery fast & they do not hold charges as they should. Personally try hard to monitor the battery on the trailer but have found even then after 4-5 years the battery probable needs replacing for best results.

The 12 Volt side of life link given in an earlier post is a great write up and explains the whys and how comes.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:06 PM   #27
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David,
I would suggest you purchase a "smart" charger with a pulse desulfation function. Google "Battery Minder." They make a reasonably priced charger. Build up of sulfur (battery acid is hydro sulfuric acid) on the plates will kill a lead acid battery. I have actually seen a battery declared dead brought back to serviceability by the desulfation process. If you take the battery out of the trailer when it is not in use and keep it permanently plugged in and being desulfated, it should last longer than one that is not maintained this way. In my experience, I have found that I can extend the life of lawn tractor batteries so that I generally double their useful life.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:10 AM   #28
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Meters

A voltmeter that draws power from the circuit it is measuring is effecting the measurement being taken. Depending on the design of the meter, the effect may or may not be significant. A battery operated digital meter is a better choice. The $10-$20 3 1/2 digit LCD digital multimeters (DMM) are fine. For the beginner you really only need 2 scales; DC voltage (2v, 20v, 200v) and resistance. A continuity buzzer built into the resistance scale is nice for trouble shooting shorts and opens. Scales for temperature, capacitance, frequency etc. as well as transistor Hfe testers are not worth paying extra for on an inexpensive meter. Besides, if you don't know what a capacitor is, why would you need a tester? Meters with rubberized housings are worth the extra expense as they tend to take the abuse of vehicle travel better. Good luck, Raz
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:09 PM   #29
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It looks like this has been talked to death, but there are a couple things worth mentioning.

First, I like the idea of having a battery discharge chart, but never have one. For me, I just keep the fact that when my battery hits 12.0 volts, it's half-way discharged. If I go much below that I head into the danger zone where my battery can become "sulphated," shortening it's lifespan. (More on sulphation below.)

A second thing to keep in mind is you can't accurately measure a battery's voltage when the battery is in-use, which is most of the time when you're checking your battery voltage. DO NOT worry that your battery voltage is well below 12 volts when the furnace fan is running!

To more accurately measure our battery voltage I flick the meter on for a moment or two when the furnace is not running and most of our lights (except for an LED or two) are turned off . . . usually as we head off to bed. That way the draw on the battery is pretty minimal and the reading much more accurate.

Returning to sulphated batteries, something I've taken to doing is putting my battery on a "BatteryMinder" trickle charger during the off-season. The BatteryMinder runs in a maintenance mode that reverses the sulphation of batteries that occurs naturally over time. It's kept our battery in pretty good shape; some people have restored used, heavily sulphated batteries to useful service using a BatteryMinder, making it a pretty worthwhile $60 investment.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:31 PM   #30
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Folks love talking batteries

I would say over all some pretty good advice on battery charging and maintenance as well as some good monitoring options.

GL,
Rick.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:13 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterh View Post

Returning to sulphated batteries, something I've taken to doing is putting my battery on a "BatteryMinder" trickle charger during the off-season. The BatteryMinder runs in a maintenance mode that reverses the sulphation of batteries that occurs naturally over time. It's kept our battery in pretty good shape; some people have restored used, heavily sulphated batteries to useful service using a BatteryMinder, making it a pretty worthwhile $60 investment.
One of the issues I've had with 4 stage chargers like the Progressive Dynamics 4045 that came with my Trillium is that what is often billed as a desulfation stage is really a destratification scheme, boiling the electrolyte, useless on my AGM battery. Apparently these pulsing schemes will desulphate AGM and wet cells alike. The frequency and pulse width seems to vary with device. One article I read suggested a 1 kHz pulse frequency leaving me with the impression this process was similar to an ultrasonic cleaner vibrating the crystals away. Another article suggested an RF frequency.

"Pulse Technology (Tuned to the molecular frequency of the sulphur crystal of 3.26 MHz. ... a point at which the chemical bonds that hold the molecules together to form a crystal can be broken.) allows the user to electronically dissolve sulfation formations back into the electrolyte solution without taking the battery out of service."

I'm not sure what they mean by molecular frequency. Perhaps it's similar to the resonant frequency associated with quartz crystals?

I wonder if you have put a scope on your charger and determined the frequency and pulse width. Also I wonder how this process works on an AGM battery since there is no solution but rather a paste. Any thoughts?

Finally the same article suggested desulfation was a slow process.

De-Sulfation is not an over-night process. The larger the plate area and/or the more sulfation present, the longer it takes to remove same, simple. ... The typical de-sulfation process can take upwards of several weeks (or longer) for larger batteries, when doing several batteries at once, and for those with severe sulfation

None of the devices I looked at talked about this?

Based on your previous posts you've forgotten more chemistry than I know so your insight is appreciated. Raz
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