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Battery stratification question, help me save this battery!  RSS feed

 
casey lem
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Location: under a foil hat
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forest garden
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We have one of those potable battery jump boxes for our vehicles, lead acid battery w/ positive/ negative jump cables that you charge a few days and keep in your trunk, etc. It's about five years old (pushing it, I know), and I've kept it fairly regularly charged, but now it seems shot. When I plug it in to charge the charge indicator lights don't even light. I've checked the reset button and charger cable, don't see an issue. Is it just dead from sitting over time? Could I possibly turn it upside down and let the electrolyte gunk gravitate back to a somewhat usable state? I was thinking of trying to use it to keep a charge in a battery from a vehicle we are storing for the winter. The battery is about as old as the jump pack, which is why I'm mulling over how to keep it alive over winter. In theory, I figured plug in the jump pack, hook it to the battery a few days before use, turn on the pack, and leave it in the garage for a while. Now that the charge lights won't go on on the jump pack, I'm worried my idea is shot. Any ideas, or do I just need to get my cheap butt out and buy a new battery come spring? Thanks in advance.
 
josh mccormick
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The best way to keep your batteries charged and make them last is with a trickle/float charger. I think just about everyone makes them now but i have experience with the battery tender just plug it and leave it I have used one on my motorcycle for years it is an '03 and it still has the original battery in it. Well worth the money
 
                    
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Location: AR ~ozark mountain range~zone7a
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Your battery is probably shot, because your indicator lites are not working, a bad connection, or whatever.

The proper way to test a typical 12VDC car type battery is to wear safety protection like heavy vinyl gloves, face shield, etc. & make sure it has proper level of electrolyte, then charge it for at least an half hour, at around 10-20 amp. rate... battery temperature is best tested around 70 F. You can try charging for an full hour, but usually 1/2 hour at that rate should be enough.

Remove charger from battery.

Then with a working DC voltage meter connect the positive lead of the meter to the positive terminal of the battery, & connect the negative lead of the meter to the negative terminal of the battery. Read the static voltage while the battery is at rest, it should measure at least 12VDC.

If the battery has been charged, and it measures at least 12VDC, then you need to do a load test.

A simple load test is to connect the battery to a load (such as a car with a dead battery) and try to start the car while watching the voltage meter. As you attempt to crank the starter on the car, the battery voltage will quickly drop, but it should not go below 10.5VDC while cranking.

If your battery fails to measure at least 12VDC while static, or drops below 10.5VDC while loaded, then consider the battery shot.

Or you could just take it to where ever you normally buy batteries and they may have an actual 'load testing tool' to properly test it for you.

I would not recommend upside down shaking or gravity of the internal sediment, because battery acid is highly corrosive and most batteries will leak from the vents, which leaking electrolyte (acid) could become very dangerous very quickly. And even tho the sediment contributes a great deal to the poor condition of a battery, worn, broken, or warped internal plates also will render a battery useless, this is what the static & load tests check for.

I bought a battery just a month ago for my car...'the new abnormal' price is $100 bucks.

james beam

 
Mike Sved
Posts: 42
Location: Geraldton, Ontario -Zone 1b
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I've had several successes recently with reviving lazy batteries. Top up the cells with distilled water and use a maintainer to charge and desulphate it.

http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles/charging-articles/make-the-bad-sulfation-go-away.html
 
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