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Old 04-04-2012, 05:32 PM   #1
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Floating batteries

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO FLOAT MY HOUSE BATTERIES? AND HOW DO I DO IT? USING THE ZANTAX SYSTEM.40FDQS
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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Prospector - The Lifeline Battery web site has a battery manual that states 6V batteries should be at "float" when the voltage is between 6.60V & 6.70V or 13.2V & 13.4V when tied in series which is the case with our coaches. I typically rely on the Zantrex monitor panel to indicate when the batteries are at 13.5V for some period of time.

My period of time is 30 - 45 minutes while being stored. I run the generator for that length of time and observe when the battery status symbol for "Full" lights and the voltage level stabilizes at 13.5V. My "float" charge period starts at that point.

I also have the 50W solar option and have observed (with a Fluke meter) that the batteries tend to stay pretty close to that 13.5V level. The chassis batteries tend to read slightly less than the house batteries undoubtedly due to how the Echo Charger functions.

I'll be surprised if you don't get MANY opinions on this subject.

Hope that helps some ...
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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Did you by chance mean "equalize" the batteries?
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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Prospector - The "default" Xantex Freedom 458 Inverter/Charger manual indicates that 13.5V is the "default" float level. The "default" setting is based upon 70 degrees F and comes into play when there's no battery temperature sensor involved. I don't believe my configuration utilizes a sensor but it's also been rebuilt after a battery compartment fire so it may not be indicative of being "original". Also, my batteries are wet cells and charge leves vary depending upon the type of battery (AGM, Gell, etc.).

I've found the Zantrex monitor panel to work quite well but I've checked it with a Fluke meter as previously stated. I would suggest you check yours before "relying" on the panel.

Just more info ...
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
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How often do I ...

Prospector - the batteries stay charged properly when connected to shore power so your question of "How often ..." I assume applies to when the coach is not in use (as in storage). I run my generator every 3 - 4 weeks just to exercise the generator (as well as other components) so the batteries get an "extra" amount of charging during that time. Otherwise, I don't have a specific "charge" schedule.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:32 PM   #6
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Equalizing ...

Prospector - the "Equalizing" function applies to wet cells. According to the battery manual "Equalizing" should be performed if & when the wet cells exhibit reduced charge capacity. There is no absolute schedule for using the "Equalizing" function on wet cells according to the manuals (battery & Zantrex).
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:51 AM   #7
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How often do you need to "Float" the batteries? Well, once they fully charge your converter should switch to float mode, So "Every time you charge them".

Now if you meant equalize... Only when they seem to need it, How to tell that is a bit complex. But for flooded wet cells, when the hydrometer shows discrepency cell to cell.

There is some discussion about equalization affecting sulfaction (Make sit less of a problem) so perhaps once a year for non AGM batteries.. AGM's go to the manufacturer's web page and check with them

One thing.. Do not worry about six or 12 volt differences.. Two six volt batteires in series (properly paired) are the same as a 12 volt battery, Treat them EXACTLY as you would a big 12 volt battery, think of them like a 12 volt battery, This answers nearly all six/12 volt quesitons.. You only have 12 volt batteries.. Some of them are 2-parters.
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